Long-Term Bikes: 2009 Star V Star 950


2009 Star V Star 950
MSRP $7,890

Caretaker: Cherney

Measurements: 5' 7"/155 lbs./30-in.inseam

Odometer: 4175

Total Miles: 3975

I picked this bike up in Southern California in late autumn, and returned it almost a year later to the day. What that means is it got a nice, long 1000-mile shakeout cruise as its initial ride, and the same distance on the cool-down as well.

Unfortunately, I dropped the ball in between-though I did install a Silvertail BlackJack pipe (courtesy of Leo Vince), which turned out to be a near-perfect addition of sonic oomph and weight-saving, and experimented with a couple of windshields along the way (the quick detach, mid-size Yamaha unit worked best), an upgrade to a more controlled rear suspension probably would've been the best thing to improve the ride. The Star runs like a champ right out of the box, but there's a touch of looseness out back. Alas, I never got around to ordering Progressive's 465 series damper (with hydraulic ride height adjustment, not the lower one), mainly because the ride never got all that bad. I also should've replaced the stock seat right off the bat (it's a rack), but never did find the right combination of profile and support from the aftermarket units I looked at (I didn't want an even fatter saddle).

Do I regret spending my last few months riding rather than wrenching? Hell, no. The V Star 950 was the near-perfect do-it-all-bike for me-one that fit my measurements to a tee, and one that I acquired a natural feel for, right off the bat. If it ain't broke, why fix it?