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Yamaha V star 650 skipping on the highway

Hello folks, I have a 2004 Yamaha V star custom 650cc. When I drive it at about 70mph it starts to skip, pretty bad actually. I have had issues with the final drive in the past and just recently replaced it when a final drive that has good splines on the gears and just took it off about a week or two ago to make sure they were still nice and lubricated. Even re-applied grease to make sure. So I don't think the problem is the final drive this time, I just don't see how it could be. Especially because there aren't any issues whatsoever with the acceleration or drive until it hits the 70mph mark(which I drive that fast all of the time with no issues). This issue also just started today and was fine last night. It stormed really bad last night so I'm wondering could I have possible gotten some water in the gas tank? Would that cause my bike to skip at high speed or something? What other reasons would cause my bike to do this? Once again this just started today after a bad storm last night and I just can't see the final drive being the issue since it was recently replace plus lubricated/inspected about a week or two ago. Thanks for the help!

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  • Yamaha Master
  • 3,506 Answers

I am not clear about what it is doing when you say skipping

Posted on Nov 24, 2014

Testimonial: "Like puttering maybe...there is a minor jerk when driving like it's running out of gas sort of, just not as bad but it's still very concerning. When driving at a consistent yet high speed it will skip as if it can handle the speed almost(although it can as I always drive this fast ever since I've had it). I don't know if that clarifies the skipping definition good enough for you but I can't really think of any other way to put it. It's a minor skip in the acceleration that kind of jolts the bike back a tad bit during driving....almost as if it's running out of gas but only happens at high speeds and the tank is full! I filled it up the night before than the next day after the storm(earlier today) I drove it to work and once I get it up to 65-70 mph it skips in the acceleration or just at idle speed."

  • 7 more comments 
  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Nov 24, 2014

    "Like puttering maybe...there is a minor jerk when driving like it's running out of gas sort of, just not as bad but it's still very concerning. When driving at a consistent yet high speed it will skip as if it can handle the speed almost(although it can as I always drive this fast ever since I've had it). I don't know if that clarifies the skipping definition good enough for you but I can't really think of any other way to put it. It's a minor skip in the acceleration that kind of jolts the bike back a tad bit during driving....almost as if it's running out of gas but only happens at high speeds and the tank is full! I filled it up the night before than the next day after the storm(earlier today) I drove it to work and once I get it up to 65-70 mph it skips in the acceleration or just at idle speed."

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Nov 24, 2014

    gosh darn I wrote it in the testimonial...and the second sentence should be "as if it CAN'T handle the speed"

  • jfhinton45 Nov 24, 2014

    I guess skipping for you means missing for me. I work mostly on Harleys although in tech school I overhauled a Yamaha. Is the 2004 running a carb or fuel injection. I am thinking it is still a CV carb which is great but ..... need to know more as efi and carb are different in many ways. If this only happened after a big rain storm I might wonder if mositure did not get into something but do not know where to start you off. See if it clears up after it is dry for a while. However if it clears uo after a while to dry out I would be looking for ecm,cdi type connections and make sure they are dry and coated now with dielectric grease as these areas corrode if not protected from moisuture and then you will really start to have problems. Next as it is cheap I would install new spark plugs as on motorcycles plugs even ones that look good can break down under compression pressure and misfire. I do hope you are using only the best hihgest octone fuel you can get because if not what you are feeling could be detonation or preignition. With respect to spark it could also be a high tension lead or connection that is wet or corroded or corrroding and that could be causing the miss as well. You should also have dielectric grease on coil and spark plug connections. It could also be the coil breaking down at higher speeds, temperatures but really the only way you will likley catch this as a problem would be to wait until it gets worse or replace with a known good coil like a new one. I am somewhat doubtful about a fuelling problem but at this point who knows?? Anything is posssible. AGain efi and carb will have diffferent possibilities and whether a cv carb or not but I cannot imagine the Yamagha having anyhting but a cv carb. If Fuel injection you should also have dielectric grease on the injector connectors. The miss symptom could also be a bad fuel injector. Not likley a water problem if the miss is only at constant speed and not all the way through the speed range etc. You could try some fuel injector cleaner in thefuel but be careful because some fuel tanks are lined and will be damaged by such additives. Try a few things and keep posting comments as you work through things and have more info to provide and/or things get better or worse and if you get the answer i.e. get the miss fixed please post your answer so others can learn and be helped. Good Luck

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Nov 25, 2014

    alrighty....I talked to a dude today who said he knew exactly what it was and could help me but I have to get with him again because he's just a customer that comes in to buy lotto tickets. He said it most likely is a bad seal somewhere in the exhaust(or something like that, he specified it but I can't remember). I was also advised to run sea foam through just in case any ways. I do think it could be the seal because a few weeks ago I started getting a pretty decent oil leak around the carbs and my dad plus other sites mentioned it being a seal that sounds like the seal that the guy was talking to me about...very similar with names and area. I also read on another forum where some lady was having the same problem with her Vstar 1100. I will still look into all of this, I'll consider it my homework as I barely know the name for any of these parts because I'm new to all of this. Thank you and I will keep you updated as well.

  • jfhinton45 Nov 25, 2014

    The oil is an interesting addition to the situation but an intake leak or an exhaust leak won't be oil leak related. One would expect an intake leak to cause a problem at more than the high speed BUT... it would lean out the mixture and could cause high speed detonation or preignition, especially if you are not running very high test ie octane fuel. Keep posting as you learn more and if there is more you can add that is also always helpful. It is also helpful to know you have carbs not efi but the carb will be singular and a cv carb which it is also good to know as it will have different symptoms than efi but still even if the diaphragm is defective I doubt you would get the miss only at the one set speed. However if you are having this problem with acceleration rather than steady cruising I would want to check out the accelerator pump circuit BUT again if so you should have the problem at all accelerating speeds. Thanks aqnd please keep posting as you learn or think of more things/symptoms.

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Nov 27, 2014

    Update: Well it rained here super hard all day and all night, we got 2-3 inches of rain and I get on my bike today (surprisingly a dry day even after long heavy drizzles throughout the night) and well I crank 'er up and take off without even warming it up and after I get out on the road I hit it to 70-85mph and no problem at all! Nothing all day and night. I don't know, I didn't even have a chance to do anything to it at all. Not even Seafoam treatment. I bought it tonight anyways and just gonna add it to my bike because it can only help.

  • jfhinton45 Nov 27, 2014

    What can it help if there is no problem? If you are using high quality high octane fuel you should not need any additives at all. Waste of money????? What do you expect a particular additive to do?? It seems many people use fuel stabilizers for instance and what most if not all of them apparently do is to"Fight adverse affects of ETHANOL, which can cause corosion damage to fuel tanks, fuel lines,carburetors and injectors." and ALSO " ...fights deposits that can accumulate as a result of ethanol produced solvents and acts as a demulsifier ..." ITIS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION WHY ANYONE WOULD USE CHEAP LOW TEST FUELS THAT CONTAIN ETHANOL INSTEAD OF PREMIUM FUELS THAT DO NOT CONTAIN ETHANOL but the pay out money to buy and use additives that control the breakdown etc of ethanol. For storage purposes also such fuel stabilizers ONLY assist with or delay the breakdown of the ETHANOL content of the cheaper fuels. It is oxygen that eventually breaksd down petroleum based fuels so it appears that the best way to avoid that is to always have the fuel tank as full as possible to limit the amount of oxygen present in the fuel system/tank etc.

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Nov 28, 2014

    Ok new update......I drove my bike to work tonight and after I closed up, got on the thing to leave and it would not crank at all!!! Had to call someone to pick me up BUT it was acting as if the battery was dead....it would only putter with weak energy, do you think this is a totally separate issue or what?! If it's electrical it can only be the battery right? Or could it be the spark plugs?

  • Michael Dockery
    Michael Dockery Nov 28, 2014

    also with your fuel debate you got going are you pretty much telling me to use a higher grade fuel? Like premium?

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