Yamaha Royal Star XV13/A  (1996)

July 1999 - May 2012


Ride to Syracuse 2000

Spring Ride - 2005

Why I got this bike

   In 1999, after 30 years of riding sport bikes, I felt I wanted to try something different.  The ZX11 was an aggressive ride and wasn't suitable for just laid back riding.  Also, cramming my running gear into the tank bag for my noontime run at work was always awkward, so I figured a bike with saddlebags would be easier. 

  I looked at this Royal Star for sale in an off-road bike shop in Guilderland Center and made the owner buy a new battery for a test ride around the parking lot.  I liked the feel and the size of this huge bike and didn't mind the weight and apparent lack of cornering clearance.  It took from May to July for me to take the plunge and spend $7,850 for this behemoth.

  But, I enjoyed it right away.   I have only touched the floorboards down 3 times and have gotten more positive comments about this bike than any other I've owned.  Maintenance has been simple.  Oil filter is easy to get to and the plugs just require a good 16mm deep socket.


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Bullet tach from Barons Custom

  It came with a windshield, studded seat and tank pouch (perfect for holding a Thruway EZ Pass). I bought the bullet tach you see here from Barons for $200 over the internet.  It came with excellent installation instructions and was easy to connect up to the coil wiring and looks and works fine.

  The next spring, I added passenger floorboards, a larger passenger seat and back rest (about $850).  The studded saddle bags I found, used, for $480, from a guy who owned a similar Royal Star.  (He said he looked at this exact bike the year before I bought it.)  When I was out riding the ZX11, I saw his bike outside his house (on route 30A) and stopped to ask him about it.  This was right after I had looked at the bike but before I bought it.   A few months later I saw his ad for the used bags and knew it was the same guy.  He let me ride his bike to try out the tall windshield which blocked the wind better than mine.

  The ride is massive and stable as long as it's not pushed hard in turns or on irregular surfaces.  The mass makes riding around town easy. The thing just rolls along.  The windshield is low so there is some wind buffeting over 60 mph.  The riding posture is perfect for me.

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  By fall 2002, I've done 8,000 miles (speedo reads 13k).  I found lower deflectors on eBay for $100 that enhance the look but make little other difference.  I also bought a stock seat set ($45) to see if it is better padded for long rides.  I experimented with windshield adjustments, but I am looking for a taller screen.

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Feb. 2002 - Ridden in every month over the winter (check out the snow)

Luggage taken off for rear tire replacment

July 2005 - I've replaced the windshield with the middle height one.  A major improvement in wind noise elimination.  No buffeting either.  Nearly 20k miles on the bike without any service issues.  Just oil and tire changes.  Brakes are still on the first set front and rear.  The rear shaft housing did get new gear lube.  Just a routine item.

I also had PCW Racing richen the carbs for a slight, but noticeable improvement in performance and a slight drop in mpg to a consistent 40 mpg.

New tires in 2006. Only spark plug and oil changes have been needed.

June 30, 2007.  New air cleaner ($50 from eBay).  But I probably didn't need to do any more than blow out the dust from the old one.  9 years use and 25k miles.

The Catskills from the Helderbergs

Stamford NY

March 27, 2009, first ride for this season.  28,400 miles.
In 2009, I do something different.  I rent out the bike two times, once in May for 1 day, to a guy from England so he and his brother could ride to Orange County Choppers in Newburgh.  The brother was riding a new Suzuki M109, a massive, space ship sized, very modern looking bike.

And a second time to a guy and his wife from Washington State, who visited relatives in Copenhagen NY.  That time for a week at the end of June.  Came with his son and he rode away on the bike to Utica and up to northern New York. He owned a Honda VTX so this was not very different ride for him. They did have to trailer it back in the rain at the end of the rental and the weather was not so good the last 3 days.

New sealed battery purchased for this rental.  Old one lasted 10 years!

End of 2009 season 31,000 miles and needs a new rear tire.  Purchased but not yet installed. Front had been replaced early in the season.
In 2010 the clutch spring gets replaced with a stiffer one at PCW Racing  for $200.  I detected a  slight slipping in 5th gear when accelerating strongly.  No clutch plate wear problems found and it was an easy job.
Oct. 2011 - Over 32k miles on the odomenter with no issues.  I haven't ridden this bike that much this season since I've been working on other bikes and riding the two Harleys... Evo Softail and then the Dyna LowRider.

Last Ride - Sacandaga Lake - May 27, 2012

RT. 29 Mosherville

This great bike gets sold in May 2012.  32,590 miles, 13 seasons and 28,000 miles of my use. It had fresh oil, two good tires, ran perfectly and was in excellent cosmetic condition.  Sold from a Craigslist posting to a guy from Potsdam who drove to Schenectady first thing on Memorial Day.  Included with the bike was the studded aftermarket seat, two passenger seats, the stock passenger foot pegs, two mirrors, the original air filter and the trim rails removed to install the back rest back in 1999.  He also got the full shop manual and three keys.

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Created Dec. 10, 2000

Last Edit - May 28, 2012