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2004 Yamaha V star not driving.

Ok here is the deal, I have a 2004 Yamaha V star 650. I went to take off from the red light the other day but blam! It wouldn't go anywhere, just kept revving up like it was in neutral. I pulled it to the side and shifted the gears all I could(seemed to go through them all since the green N light would go off and on as I shifted) but still it just kept revving up. It also sounds like something is making a small rattling noise when I rev it up with the throttle pulled back. Also when I push it around without the bike being on, I can hear a creeking/crackling noise that sounds as if it's coming from the rear tire. I looked and it seems as if there is has also been some oil leaking. Does anybody have a clue?? This is my only transportation and I'm freaking scared as this is my favorite lovely little bike that I just converted into a chopper. Can it be fixed? Is it my fault? What do I do? Should I just throw it in the dump????? WHAT DO I DO PLEASE I'M BEGGING ANYONE!!!!

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  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Feb 15, 2014

    Ok, I think you are right! I just took it apart and found out that the spline inside the final drive is stripped. When taking the drive shaft off, there was a red powder substance built up inside. So I dumped out the red powder/sand and it looked like all the splines(gears?) inside had been stripped. Prior to taking the final drive off I tried what you suggested and it was way too obvious that the issue was there in the final drive. Anyways, here are some pics that I took. Can I fix these little spline(gear) parts or do I have to order a whole new final drive??? They're pretty hard to find and expensive...$300-$700. Even harder to find for a classic V star. Well never mind, I can't add my images...too big. Anyways, replace the entire drive or can I break down my current drive and replace the splines/gears??? Please and thank you so much for the help you've given me so far.

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  • Motorcycles Master
  • 1,554 Answers

First off, you didn't state if your V Star is the Classic, Custom, or Silverado model.
I'll go with the Classic for now.

Going from your description (I can hear a creeking/crackling noise that sounds as if it's coming from the rear tire, has also been some oil leaking.), and the fact that your bike is a shaft drive, I'd suspect the rear drive shaft or it's gear assembly:

http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmotorcycles/2004-yamaha-v-star-classic-650-xvs65as-drive-shaft/o/m145479sch295406

Had it been leaking prior to this happening?
If so, the oil level might have gotten too low.
If not, you might have blown out a seal, but you could have cracked the casing also, so further/closer examination on your part is required to determine exactly WHERE the oil leak is coming from.

As far as the noise/it not going, possibilities are the drive shaft U-Joints might have gone south, or the final ring and/or pinion gear might have broke.

Basically, the only way to tell is to break down the final drive and have a look.

Posted on Feb 08, 2014

Testimonial: "eeer I did put classic in one the description bars, but apparently it didn't show up?? But yeah thanks I will try all of these suggestions."

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  • Expert
  • 74 Answers

It sounds like you either blew out something in the gear case (pinion gear, ring gear, etc) or there is an issue with the midshaft/driveshaft. Raise the back of the bike up, put it in N, and rotate the tire, pinpoint where the clatter is coming from. My VStar 1100 did this, and I ended up getting a replacement used gear case for about 300 dollars.
The bad news is that if the problem is farther up in your drivetrain (in the transmission, or in the engine case) that will become a costly repair. With the bike raised up, carefully put it in 1st gear and observe if the driveshaft is turning....if it turns, that is a good sign, and helps to show that the problem could be in the gear case.
Use a digital camera when you start taking things apart so you have a reference to use when you put it back together.

Posted on Feb 08, 2014

Testimonial: "Well when I roll the bike in neutral the drive shaft(that's the pole attached to the wheel right?) doesn't spin....does that mean....the worst???"

  • 1 more comment 
  • The_UG Feb 09, 2014

    Nope...that is actually decent news. When the bike is in N, it is disengaged only from the transmission. If you push the bike in N, the driveshaft and tire should both turn. What you described leads me to believe that the problem is most likely in the final drive. If you are confident in you abilities to crack the case open yourself, you will see inside what is broken; although a good shop will be able to identify the same thing as well as get replacement parts. I got a used final drive when I blew mine out, Had 37k miles on the bike (back then) and got a used final drive with 20k miles on it. I am now rolling over 50k on the bike, with no frther issues.

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Feb 15, 2014

    Ok, I think you are right! I just took it apart and found out that the spline inside the final drive is stripped. When taking the drive shaft off, there was a red powder substance built up inside. So I dumped out the red powder/sand and it looked like all the splines(gears?) inside had been stripped. Prior to taking the final drive off I tried what you suggested and it was way too obvious that the issue was there in the final drive. Anyways, here are some pics that I took. Can I fix these little spline(gear) parts or do I have to order a whole new final drive??? They're pretty hard to find and expensive...$300-$700. Even harder to find for a classic V star. W

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Feb 15, 2014

    Well never mind I can't add photos because they're too large and I don't know how to re-size. The point, can I rebuild the certain parts(splines) on the drive or do I have to replace the entire thing?? Please and thank you so much so far for all the help!!!

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Its funny you should mention this but yes, I had its bigger brother the GS 850 G , same problem, Apparently, in my situation I did the same thing and went to the shop and let those butchers make it worse !!!, the way i found my leak was by washing the motor with a grease and oil cleaner , strayed the whole motor and wash it all off totally, then I turn her on and let her get to operating temp went for a few mile and came back and checked it, for me it was the head gasket   the guys put on and i forced them to do it again,  I found out later that it was common with the suzi's of that model and ended up doing it myself, I used the original gasket and used a compound called gasket goo and it never leaked through out the 8 years i had it . But before you do anything , surly they gave you warrant y on the work so take it back and demand they do it properly.
Cheers and ride safe

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SOURCE: v star 650 final drive noise

I have an 03 as well with 47K on it and recently had it go out for the SECOND time. I talked with the dealer who talked with Yamaha directly and was told that if the u-joint at the front of the drive shaft gets tight that it will cause this issue. A known issue, no mention of this in the maintenance of the bike, and Yamaha is unwilling to do anything about it. The first time mine went out the splines on the coupler and rear shaft were dust, and NO lub anywhere near them. When I replaced it the shop packed the coupler with bearing grease before assembling again, and when it dies this time there was no lube anywhere. No visible leakage either. I have no idea where it went.
Rather messed up that a "bullet proof" system as I haev been told by many dealers, has this issue, is known by Yamaha, and nothing is being done for the majority of us.
My solution: Get rid of the bike and do not buy another Yamaha!

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