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  • What years should I be looking for?

    I've been eyeballing upgrading to a V-Star for a year or two now until I discovered the Road Stars. I'm definitely a fan of a lazy, burbling, torquey v-twin as opposed to a high-reving motor, so the Roadie seems right up my alley. That said, I know very little on what's different between the different years. I know they switched from carbs to EFI....at some point. Similarly going from 1600 to 1700 somewhere along the lines. What are some of the larger production updates on these bikes and are there any specific years/models I should watch out for?

  • #2
    1600 99 to 2003 not much for changes except a few recalls (vin number can be checked to see if done). 2004 1st year of 1700 better brakes up front and led tailight. Rev limiter increased to 4750 rpm. 2005 and up for upgraded charging (higher wattage). 2008 and up fuel injected. I love my 04 would just like to have the upgraded charging so I can run some heated gear for spring and fall. Honestly I wouldnt hesitate to purchase any year and with any mileage on them.

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    • #3
      Thanks! Sounds like I'm shooting for a 2005 minimum. Better charging would be good for things like charging a phone on trips, heated gear, radio, etc. Still debating if EFI is a requirement or not. Do these bikes have 2 carbs or just a single?

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      • #4
        One single easy to tune carb

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        • #5
          Single carb, so easy tuning and no syncing. Carbed bikes offer more freedom for tuning, and it can be argued that you can get more performance than the EFI bikes, but finding that *ideal* carb tune, for *all* conditions, and with your particular set up, can be tricky. Where as with the EFI bikes you hit the starter button and go no matter the modifications, or what the weather is, or inferior gas, or type of riding conditions, i.e.. highway, city, mountains, etc. The EFI bikes are a bit pricier and harder to find though and have fewer options for aftermarket exhaust unless you're up for some drilling and welding. If you do go with EFI, do NOT waste your money on aftermarket ECUs. They're all junk. Stock is best and handles mods no problem.

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          • #6
            Supposedly the 2007 is the best carburated bike. I have a 2006, had it for 6 years now, it has 58K miles on it and no mechanical issues ever. They have a few little quirks, like most things mechanical, nothing that'll keep you from riding though. The fuel gauge and speedometer are the most common things to fail. As long as you do regular oil changes with a quality oil that's correct for these bikes, they are capable of giving you well over 100K, many have went over 200K and beyond. The cylinders are lined with Nikisil and never need boring. They don't leak or use oil and the electrics are solid. One of the most underrated bikes out there. When you start looking let us know what you find and how much $$$ and we can advise you. We will even help you find a good deal. Just let us know the city you live in and how far you are willing to travel to get one, and what you have to spend, and we will hook a brother up!





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            • #7
              Since i have an EFI i would say 08 or newer but Road Stars are just fine motorcycles no matter what years. The Pro's on here will tell you more then i could ever about the difference in years. Enjoy finding your Road Star, let everybody know what you decided on. Kroyleahcim

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              • #8
                06 and 07 are the best years for carbed models. Anything 08+ will be EFI. Simple system that is very reliable. Put aftermarket pipes on an EFI bike just for the cool sound. Stock computer will handle it just fine. I’ve had them all. 2000, 2005, and a 2012. EFI is really nice but there are no big bore/cam type kits out there. But if you’re wanting big HP and TQ numbers there are better bikes out there. So, depends on what you want. You want to just get on it and ride, get a EFI model. I would stay with the 06-07 otherwise personally.

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                • #9
                  Also, suspension upgrades are highly recommended. Guys here can help you out with that. I ran the cats ass setup on my 2012 and it made the bike night and day different. And I bought that one brand new.

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                  • D-Fresh
                    D-Fresh commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Care to elaborate on your "cats ass" suspension setup?

                  • Deerkiller
                    Deerkiller commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The usual setup that everyone talks about around here. Roadwing in the rear (I had a switch wired up to run the adjustable preload pump. Most guys like the manual preload adjuster). Race Tech springs up front with gold valve emulators.

                    Also had HH sintered brake pads. Helps a lot when riding as hard as a Roadstar lets you ride. Stops much better. Nice linear feel. Good initial bite.

                    My experience is that proper suspension and brakes make you faster than most engine modifications.

                  • Doc_V
                    Doc_V commented
                    Editing a comment
                    +1 on suspension and brakes. Back in the early 90s, when I first started running track events, I ran some Euro trash w/ 125hp but good suspension and brakes. I was at a Mustang Cobra Club meet once and got lots of crap from the other drivers... Until we got out on track... They'd eat me up on the straights but I'd leave them for dead on the twisty bits. I'll take handling over power *every* time. It's much safer too.

                • #10
                  That is some very good info I just read right there. Thanks

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                  • #11
                    Yeah post what you are looking at and we can advise no problem....we love spending others peoples money!!! Lol

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                    • #12
                      Are the 05s the ones most susceptible to sticky valve syndrome? I have an 08 fuelie and love it. You rarely see any posts here re fuelie problems. Several 08s in my area CL for $4500.
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                      • #13
                        I believe from I have read here and on FB, it seems that the 04's and into the 05's were the bikes most susceptible to sticky valve syndrome. Particularly the 04's. That got sorted out with 06' and 07's so they were the best carbed models with the higher output charging system and higher rev limit ecu.

                        With EFI being introduced in 08, the R's got even more responsive IMO. I love not having to fiddle with the carb. Especially with a more free flowing exhaust and air filter. In '09, 10 & 11 they offered the bike in dark red metallic paint which made them the fastest R's ever built.

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                        • #14
                          https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/m...887601484.html

                          https://eugene.craigslist.org/mcy/d/...845695439.html
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                          • #15
                            The drawback to the fuel injected is the damn fuel pump is in the tank (reduces gas capacity) and that pump costs $500-600 instead of $130 for a pump on a carb bike. The single carb vtwin is a classic design. Donyur air intake and pupes...jet accordingly and ride forever. I see 99-2004 Roadstars around me advertised for 2100-2800 routinely. Mileage is not as important as cosmetic condition to me....you wil not wear out the motor/transmission on these bikes unless you ride 20k miles a year for 20 years. Whatever you buy there are lots of simple relatively cheap things that make a noticeable difference.

                            better seat (s)
                            Roadwing rear shock
                            progressive front springs w/emulators
                            Barnett clutch spring upgrade
                            2004+ CDI if you get a 99-03 bike (raises rev limiter)
                            exhaust/air intake setup (however loud you want lol)
                            EBC HH brake pads
                            getting new bars/risers to make back/arms feel good
                            do all the maintenance you self if ever possible.....easy to work on and you will be a better rider after getting familiar with the mechanical aspect of these simple and reliable machines...

                            I highly recommend changing every fluid out to synthetic, new spark plugs, new fuel filter/Air filter and check bike for the VERY few known problems (listed on here). Look on YouTube at Roadstar exhaust....will see several styles of exhaust AND bike "types ". ...baggers, 2 up touring bikes, solo rider's , bobbers, vintage style, choli style etc. Think about what style you would like and FIRST loo for a used bike that was done right in that style (save a bunch of $ and time). Tons of real nice custom well executed Roadstars for sale for $3k-5k that someone out a bunch of money and time into.

                            if you get an older one with high miles the only thing you have to be aware of are the common wearable items (fuel pump, stator regulator/rectifier, wheel bearings, fork oil and seals, swing arm bearings, steering head bearings, fluids/pads/plugs/filters etc...these all cost $ and always use genuine OEM Yamaha for electronics. Just factor $ in your offer on an older/high mileage bike (if it needs a battery, regulator, stator, fuel pump it would cost you $600+ in parts but would last you a loooooong time at that point). Don't let the carb scare you....easy to remove jet clean etc.

                            stay away from bikes with wiring issues or where the previous owner had a bunch of aftermarket electrical shit on it. It's best to buy a bone stock bike in my opinion OR if a member on here has a nice customized bike for sale that you know the history of and trust it was done right.

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                            • #16
                              Originally posted by Shores View Post
                              Are the 05s the ones most susceptible to sticky valve syndrome? I have an 08 fuelie and love it. You rarely see any posts here re fuelie problems. Several 08s in my area CL for $4500.
                              +1 on the FI bikes. I've not had a RS carb'ed bike to compare with but i know it's super nice to just push the start button and not have to worry about petcocks, jetting, PMS, etc. Mind you i'm not a tuner, just like to ride it. Valid point that a replacement fuel pump is costly, hopefully that will be a ways down the road.
                              2012 Road Star Silverado S

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                              • #17
                                Carb isn't bad, I know folks with FI bikes with issues. Petcock not a big deal. Pull the choke for less than a minute. Jetting, had tech do it. Don't mess with it. PMS, just leave the wife home . I wouldn't let it be a deciding factor. Factors for me would be price, miles, extras, like air, exhaust, other dodads. Road star is rock solid! I've had mine for 15 years.

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                                • #18
                                  Of the 2 Road Stars I have experience with, the 2006 vs 2003. Likes of 2003. Prefer the spoke rims. The downside, requires tubes vs the rims of the 2006, No tubes required for the 06. A different look but more practical. Despite that, I prefer spokes for retro looks. Secondly, Taller gears in the 2003. The 2003 has 33th sprocket thus lower rpm on the highway.

                                  My 2003 was modified by ther privious owner with a Patrick Racing 208 Big Bore engine with all the goods. heads, cam, the whole 9 yards. Because of that I prefer the 2003. Downside of the 2003. Fifth gear is goners, thus the bike is a paperweight under a bike cover in my yard. Someday I may get it fixed. Good looking paperweight though. Wish I could find another with a 110 big bore kit, but that is as rare as finding Big Foot. Will never sell the 2003 as I consider it a collector's item, and it will be ridden again.

                                  The 2006 was ridden hard and needs new fork oil etc, swing arm bushing and clutch. Not bad considering the 45000 hard kilometers or 28000 miles it suffered. I bought it used with 25000 km's lite on it. It now has a total of 70,000 kms. Still works strong after all that.

                                  Because of no recall issues, in practical terms, I would buy 2005 and up. If I had unlimited funds, a 2006 with 110ci fully decked out Patrick Racing Big Bore kit with spoke rims with the 33th primary sprocket for a bit taller gearing ie: highway riding.

                                  Never owned a EFI bike, thus in ignorance, I prefer carbed bikes. The fuel injected bikes seem to have a more efficient sounding idle. I think EFI is more practical. But...the carbed bike has a bit more potato sound. Soundwise I like that more. If it is a Road Star, to me, they are all great bikes.




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                                  • Father Pobasturd
                                    Father Pobasturd commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    I have an '06 that came stock with spokes.

                                • #19
                                  Have 2 04's and one 05 no svs just change the oil brakes tires & battery and push the button

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