Yamaha XVS 650 A Drag Star Classic




Make Model

Yamaha XVS 650 Drag Star Classic


1998 - 02


Four stroke, 75°V-twin cylinder, SOHC, 2 valve per cylinder


649 cc / 39.6 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 81 x 63 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 9.0:1
Lubrication Wet sump


28mm Mikuni downdraft-type carburetor


Digital TCI 
Starting Electric

Max Power

40 hp / 29.2 kW  @ 6500 rpm

Max Torque

50.9 Nm / 37 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Clutch Wet, multiple disc


5 Speed 
Final Drive Shaft

Front Suspension

Telescopic fork
Front Wheel Travel 140 mm / 5.5 in

Rear Suspension

Swingarm Monocross
Rear Wheel Travel 86 mm / 3.4 in

Front Brakes

Single 298mm disc 2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

200mm drum

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre

Dimensions Height 1105 mm / 43.5 in
Length 2450 mm / 96.5 in
width    930 mm / 36.6 in
Wheelbase 1625 mm / 64 in
Seat Height 695 mm / 26.0 in
Ground Clearance 145 mm / 5.7 in

Dry Weight

229 kg / 504 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

16 Litres / 4.2 US gal

Yamaha has always had a strong presence in the middleweight cruiser market, and this 650 Drag Star, introduced in 1997, had to fill the classify chromed shoes of the firm's successful, long-running XV535 Virago.

The Drag Star uses a larger-capacity version of the well-proven Virago engine, but in a 'lowrider'-styled chassis. The imitation hardtail rear monoshock suspension and brushed fork shrouds, together with the tank-mounted speedometer and deep valanced mudguards, give the Drag Star typical cruiser good looks.

Many parts are chrome-plated, including the exhaust, headlight and engine casings, and the wide, spoked rear-wheel looks suitably authentic.


The simple air-cooled engine uses a SOHC valve-train and two-valve cylinder heads, with twin Mikuni carburettors. Using a larger bore and stroke than the 535 donor engine, it drives through a wet clutch to a five-speed gearbox, and clean, low-maintenance shaft drive ensures trouble-free final drive.

Performance is brisk enough for a medium-capacity cruiser. The willing engine's 30kW (40bhp) appears in a satisfyingly torquey manner, and the capable chassis perforins well to the limits of its Ground Clearance. The single front brake disc with a two-piston sliding caliper looks underwhelming, but together with the strong rear drum brake provides excellent stopping ability.


The Drag Star is no performance machine, however, and is best kept for light summer cruises, although its economic performance and shaft drive make it a stylish alternative for commuting duties.

The low-slung seat height of just 695mm (27in) is ideal for shorter riders, while wide pullback bars and forward foot controls make for a comfortable riding position.

There is a massive choice of aftermarket accessories for the Drag Star, including chromed parts, cissy bars, screens and luggage.