Test Yamaha XVS 1100 Drag Star
According to popular belief, cruisers are overweight, poorly motorized and have lousy chassis. Live on calmly in your small, perfect world ?? but stay at home. Cruisers like the Drag Star 1100 would only shake your ideology to the core.
France, a motorway exit somewhere in Provence. Three German motorcyclists look down on the ground. In front of them are two gendarmes who look very official. “Neuf cent franc,” proclaims one in a military, jagged tone. The other adds with a raised index finger: “Vitesse 130.” This language is understood even by those who only have very rudimentary knowledge of French. With a fine of 900 francs, the two want ?? by everyone. That would be appropriate for two of the three speed offenders, because they drive super sports cars, so move on French highways, if they are not damned careful, constantly in acute danger of fines.
But the third in the league? At first glance, it doesn’t look like a potential stoker. Half-shell helmet, sunglasses, casual leather jacket: This is how someone identifies himself who has nothing to do with speed stress? actually. But cruiser drivers in particular have every reason for a guilty conscience, after all, they had practically forced their colleagues to follow his brisk pace. Because he really gave his Yamaha XVS 1100 Drag Star the spurs. Just a very short time to see how much is possible, word of honor. But the good Lord punishes the small sins immediately.
Well, admittedly, the needle of the large, beautifully designed speedometer was briefly on 175, which was not to be overlooked because of the huge digits. Later, during the test drives in Germany, the figure turned out to be a real 168 km / h. Not bad for an air-cooled V2 engine which, according to the test bench, has “only” 63 hp and also has to propel a vehicle that is not exactly light at 277 kilograms, and a type of motorcycle in which maximum performance plays a completely insignificant role.
For the cruiser driver, the journey is the goal. And following this motto, the drag star succeeds with amazing ease. On the autobahn the big V2, according to Yamaha “the link between the small Drag Star 650 and the big V4 models of the Royal Star family”, impressed with good seating comfort and ?? for a cruiser ?? surprisingly stable straight-line stability. Yes, you can go on vacation with a motorcycle like that, even if only as a soloist: The spartan back seat roll is more suitable as a loading area for a large roll of luggage than for transporting people. Packed with man and mouse, the 1100 is always available for a cruising speed of around 130. Because of the moderate consumption of 6.6 liters of normal gasoline, a range of well over 200 kilometers can be achieved at this speed. That’s perfectly fine.
Just like the indulgent behavior of the gentlemen’s gendarmes: they finally let the repentant Germans go away without paying a fine. Mercy before justice. The journey of the dissimilar trio continues into the Ardèche. There, on wonderfully winding country roads, the Drag Star does not act as an annoying brake block for the two of them? acting with braked foam ?? Sports colleagues. It keeps up well and proves to be very suitable for bends. With an astonishingly large freedom of inclination, you can swing with pleasure from one corner to the next. At a brisk pace, mind you. In tight hairpin bends, the Yamaha shines with a neutral turn-in behavior.
A discipline in which many of her colleagues mess up because suddenly, as if moved by magic, they tip over on their own in an inclined position. Even in the steep mountain passages, the beefy engine never makes a particularly strained impression, it willingly accepts the gas even at very low engine speeds without annoying the driver with bloodcurdling vibrations. A lot of foot strength is required to change gears, but each of the five speed levels engages perfectly, albeit audibly. When the load changes, the cardan drive with the open shaft noticeably raises and lowers the stern, but this never has a negative effect on the Drag Star’s handling. Probably her most beautiful trait: thanks to the lavishly dimensioned double-disc brake system, the Yamaha decelerates perfectly, easily dosed and without any physical impairment. This is not the only reason why the Drag Star has the title »Fun-Cruiser«.
The nicely appealing, but cruiser-typical strong underdamped working telescopic fork shows the driver the limits when braking too hard. With a noticeable click, the fork first goes to block, and then, with repeated bouncing, reminds you that you are on a cruiser ?? and his driving style has to adapt to this.
Anyone who wants to turn the drag star out of the aforementioned suspension characteristics may not have internalized cruising in and of itself. In short, that would be simply unfair, even if the rear shock absorber doesn’t respond particularly sensitively.
Nevertheless, the Yamaha can claim to dampen and bounce properly. An attribute that not all members of the cruiser and chopper family can claim for themselves. However, the product planners at Yamaha should think about a completely different topic: How about if they? certainly cleanly processed? Chrome-plated side covers and painted fenders made of disdainful plastic would not be exchanged for metal parts? Would be more stylish for such a successful cruiser.
D.he in turn releases his driver after a long day in the saddle with the extremely satisfying feeling that he has shown the motorcycle the limits ?? and not the other way around. Which has something to offer.
A cruiser must be carved out of this wood, then it will also work with driving pleasure. The Yamaha XVS Drag Star 1100 can also convince while driving, because it deliberately did not use bulky add-on parts. With its V2, which responds cleanly and does not immediately give in to its impressive weight of 277 kilograms, it is easy to live with even on longer tours. And the chassis is among the finest that has been presented to the cruiser and chopper fan base so far.
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