Comparison of the Yamaha XV 535 and XVS 650 with 34 hp


Comparison of the Yamaha XV 535 and XVS 650 with 34 hp

Natural resources

Here the dainty, cute XV 535, there the heavy metal Drag Star – related, united in earth, but as different as chopper and cruiser.

Chopper or cruiser – that is the question here and now. Gone are the days when the friends of two-wheeled ground cover people hung amicably on wondrously curved handlebars and divided the landscape with dry front wheels. More and more often in their leisurely activities they meet conspecifics who are unmistakably brothers (and sisters) in spirit, but who have just as unmistakably deviated from the pure doctrine of chopping, roll towards their salvation with open arms on heavy, thick-soled equipment. Counter cruising.
Chopper or cruiser – that is a question that Yamaha answers “yes” in a Solomonic manner. This commitment to as well as is manifested in the drag star that was added to the notoriously successful XV 535.
Put side by side, the ideological differences between the genres materialize conspicuously. The XV 535 is unmistakably committed to the basic law of chopper construction, to minimalism, to the art of omission: its dissected body with the tightly laced wasp waist between the tank and seat cushion lets the engine and spoked wheels optically dominate, making the XV 535 a motor-wheel.
The Drag Star is different. She pays homage to the motto “bigger is better”, makes herself long and wide, is thick, presents her engine rather casually, and with her bulk seems to bet on the surprise effect that such a chunk can move forward on its own.
Can he? Finally his engine was drained and relieved of six horsepower so that the Drag Star could prove its suitability in the 34 horsepower class. A rough calculation does not bode well at first: 231 kilograms of machine weight plus driver, distributed over 34 horse backs – that almost calls the animal rights activists to the scene.
But the circumcised drag star does not have a protective hand, she needs a hard right hand with strong reverse torque: Only with the tap fully turned can she be persuaded to be the usual urgency – which unfortunately is in stark contrast to the cruiser’s claim to combine dynamism and serenity bring. Because there can be no talk of serenity when the Drag Star is running under full sail: the engine looks equally strained as it is listless, and it defends itself against sustained high speeds with violently whirring footrests, which thus take on a kind of speed limiter function.
The XV 535 engine is not a cheering lathe either, but it cleverly uses its displacement deficit to its advantage. With less stroke and reduced bore, the smaller of the two V2s reacts more cheerfully to marching orders, revs up more willingly, makes less fuss about its task of preparing 34 hp, wastes less energy setting its surroundings in motion.
The well-designed engine and a weight advantage of 35 kilograms make it possible for the XV 535 to duped its big sister Drag Star: When accelerating, she has the longer breath at the top, which ultimately also helps her to achieve a more respectable top speed. And to top it off, the chopper doesn’t even give the larger-capacity cruiser the title of cellar master who opens a barrel in the depth of the rev range without a fight.
As if this weren‘t enough of humiliation, the drag star must also pay tribute to her penchant for size when it comes to driving behavior. When driving straight ahead, the twisting front wheel turns out to be a ruts detector; in slow turns, the front section with a flat steering head angle asserts an energetic say in the alignment, and the footrests become plowshares even at moderate bends. It’s good that at least the brakes are able to bring the Drag Star back to the ground at the speed it deserves.
The XV 535 is not fundamentally different, but consistently better. Because it clearly lost out in terms of weight, wheelbase and front tire width, the Drag Star has a long nose in terms of handling. More predictable when it comes to keeping in lane, more precise steering behavior, more relaxed and easier to drive in an inclined position, the 650 shows you where you’re going at all times – until you scratch the notches and warn you to be careful.
It looked completely different after the first fitting. No trace of a casual, relaxed sitting posture on the chopper, on the contrary: knees and elbows strongly bent, thighs struggling for contact with the tank, hands on those strange wheelbarrow handles – it couldn’t be that. On the other hand, living more beautifully on the 650: space to stretch your legs a little, the right distance from the handlebars, a tank that offers hold and support – it should be bearable. It can be done, but no longer than on the 535. Here and there, after an hour’s drive at the latest, the desire for a cigarette break awakens, not (only) because the nicotine level has dropped, but because the back (or a lament from the back seat) ) signals that it is time to stretch your legs again. Because here as there the sitting posture is firmly cemented, because here and there rear wheel suspension works, which understand their task as a striking connection between the road and the bottom line.
S.But now, at the latest, the drag star is on its way. With her full body, leaning casually on the side support, she quickly becomes the focus of onlookers’ interest and finally gives the cruiser pilot the certainty that he has made the right choice. The chopper driver sees it with serenity – hardly noticed, but with the reassuring certainty that he has found the better natural resource.

My conclusion

Chopper or cruiser – for me that is not a question of the better or worse motorcycle. If only it was possible, there was no getting around the XV 535. The long-serving bestseller is the more agile, dynamic motorcycle, with which you can have a lot of fun even away from the smoothly rolled, dead straight boulevards. No, if movement close to the ground is already the order of the day, then it is on heavy, respectful equipment that offers my 1.80 meters sufficient living space and meets my penchant for exhibitionism. So despite all factual reservations, the Drag Star – not with 34, but with 40 hp. After all, things should go a little forward not only during the show, but also when driving. After all, why do you have a whole-value 1?.

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