The Yamaha Dragstar models are some of the most budget-friendly cruiser bikes out there.
It is easy to control, offers comfortable riding, and is affordable.
However, it has its fair share of flaws, which we will discuss in this article.
Here are the most common problems associated with the Yamaha Dragstars:
1. Engine Bogs Under Acceleration
This is a common problem with motorcycles and affects many of the Dragstar models.
Bogging refers to a situation in which the motorcycle hesitates while the rider tries to accelerate.
Usually, when you switch to a higher gear, your bike should respond immediately with an increase in speed. However, if you switch gears and your bike delays before speeding up, then your bike is bogging.
Another sign that a motorcycle is bogging is if it sputters when you try to increase its speed. In such a situation, you will not see the bike’s power output rise; neither will the bike move faster.
Rather, the bike will chug along on the road like a heavy steam train. This can be annoying and frustrating for any rider. Besides, it can put the rider at risk of a collision or crash.
The major cause of the bogging problem is an imbalance in the air-fuel ratio.
This means there are two types of bogging:
I. Lean Engine Bog:
If a bike gets too much air (at the expense of fuel), the engine will run “lean.”
This will inevitably cause it to bog or hesitate when the rider tries to accelerate.
II. Rich Engine Bog:
If the bike gets too much fuel (at the expense of air), the engine will run “rich.”
Should this happen, the motorcycle’s throttle response will become slow-in in other words, engine hesitation.
However, it’s not always an improper air-fuel mixture that is to blame. Sometimes, the bike may not be getting enough fuel, which would definitely affect acceleration.
Faulty or clogged up fuel lines could restrict fuel flow to your engine, causing the sputtering and hesitation.
An improper air-fuel mixture may be responsible for the engine bogging.
As this is a fuel-related problem, any faulty component in the motorcycle’s fuel system may be responsible.
For example, a blocked fuel filter will reduce the amount of fuel the engine gets and cause it to run lean. Similarly, a clogged up air filter will restrict airflow into the engine and cause the engine to run rich.
Situations will lead to the same problem: engine bogging. Other likely culprits include dirty spark plugs, damaged vacuum lines, leaky intake manifolds, etc.
Finally, the last suspect to consider is the carburetor (if the model is a carburetted model).
If dirt or debris gets into the carburetor and clogs the jets, fuel flow issues will occur.
If this happens, the engine will likely hesitate next time you accelerate. Don’t fret, though; a simple clean of the carburetor (including the jets) will solve the issue.
Additionally, poor carburetor adjustment can also be responsible for Dragstar’s bogging problem. Should this be the case, the bike will have to undergo a carburetor tuning or readjustment.
We would advise that you avoid the temptation to tune the bike as it could lead to more problems. Rather, have a technician carry out the carburetor tuning/readjustment.
2. Bike Stalls While Riding
It can be frustrating and annoying to have your bike stall while riding.
Some Yamaha Dragstar owners have complained that their bikes tend to lose power without warning. According to these riders, the stalling problem is often preceded by some hesitation or bogging.
One minute the motorcycle is cruising; the next, it is sputtering and cutting out mid-transit.
In other situations, repeated backfires may precede the stalling.
A backfire is a loud pop or banging noise that comes from the bike’s exhausts.
Here are some likely causes for the stalling problem on the Dragstar bikes:
Put simply, if the bike’s engine isn’t getting the fuel it needs to run, it will eventually die.
A dirty fuel filter will reduce the engine’s fuel supply and cause the bike to stop running.
Likewise, a clogged fuel pump or fuel line(s) could cut fuel flow to the engine and cause the stalling problem.
Gasoline dilutes after 30 days and reduces in quality after that.
Running diluted (bad) gas on your motorcycle will cause problems for the machine, including stalling.
If your bike has sat unused for more than a month, then it’s likely you have bad gas in it.
Clogged Gas Caps:
The gas cap helps prevent dirt and debris from getting into the gas tank.
It is also responsible for allowing air into the engine so that the engine can get a balanced air-fuel mix.
When clogged, gas tanks will restrict air from entering the engine, which leads to engine stalling.
If the vacuum lines in your bike start to leak, the amount of air in the engine will increase.
This will lead to a situation in which the engine runs too lean and eventually stalls.
Faulty Throttle Position Sensor:
The throttle position sensor controls the air-fuel ratio in the engine.
If this component is faulty, your engine will have either excess air or excess fuel in it.
Either one of the two will increase the chances of your bike stalling.
So, how do you prevent your Dragstar bike from stalling?
The first step is to ensure you don’t have bad gasoline in your engine. If the bike has stayed unused for more than a month, drain it of all fuel. At that 30-day mark, the gas will likely have deteriorated and will cause your bike to run poorly.
The second step is to ensure that nothing is messing with your bike’s air-to-fuel ratio. Check and clean filters; air filters, gas caps, fuel filters. Inspect for leaks, particularly in the vacuum lines and intake manifolds.
Seal whatever cracks or holes you find; if you cannot seal a crack, have the part replaced.
Also, examine the throttle position sensor (TPS) for any signs of malfunctioning.
Finally, check if any component is restricting fuel flow to your engine. Your fuel pump and fuel lines should be your major areas of concern in this regard.
3. Bike Won’t Start
Starting problems are quite common on Yamaha motorcycles.
As such, it’s not surprising that a good number of Dragstar models suffer from startup issues.
On some affected bikes, the bike will start up — lights and all — only for it to die before the rider can drive off. For others, the bike simply doesn’t start at all; the starter will crank, but the bike won’t turn over.
Meanwhile, some also say the bike goes off on occasions and refuses to come back on.
These issues are frustrating for many owners as the cause of the problems is hard to determine. In fact, you may have a spanking new battery and still have the bike refuse to start. Here are some causes for this problem:
I. Battery Drain:
If you leave your bike unused for a long period, you may have issues starting it up next time you want to ride.
This is because there are components on the bike that are always drawing power from the battery.
Your battery could lose all its power, which will make the motorcycle unable to start.
II. Bad Battery:
If your battery is bad, you may experience abnormal battery drain and have the battery cannot power your bike.
III. Faulty Electrical Components:
One reason many people hate electrical problems is because of the multiplicity of components in the electrical system.
As such, many electrical components could cause starting problems.
Here are some electrical-related things that may be responsible for your bike’s failure to start:
- Faulty starter
- Bad ground connections
- Dirty/fouled spark plugs
- Faulty ignition coils
- Malfunctioning side stand killswitch
- Use a battery tender — this will keep your bike charged at all times and prevent excess drain
- Check your battery’s condition
- Check various parts of your bike’s electrical system for any faults.
General Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Dragstar
Here are the most important selling points and shortcomings of the Yamaha Dragstar:
Pros of Yamaha Dragstar
Here are some positives of the Yamaha Dragstar:
1. Relaxed Riding Manners:
The Dragstar was designed for those who desire relaxed cruising performance.
Its 649cc V-Twin puts out maximum torque at 3,500 RPMs.
This means you will have more than enough power at low speeds, which ultimately means you can ride quickly yet comfortably.
2. Air-cooled Engine Design:
Thanks to the air-cooled engine design, the Dragstar doesn’t get unbearably hot, even in stop-and-go traffic.
The engine has a well-designed heat dispersion system that features cooling fins to reduce heat.
3. Classic Look:
With its chrome painting, bobtail rear fender, retro heel-and-tore shifter, we’d forgive if you think the Dragstar is some expensive classic bike.
The Dragstar’s design is simply amazing and remains a head-turner always.
Cons of Yamaha Dragstar
The following are common issues with the Dragstar:
- Engine bogs/hesitates under acceleration
- Bikes stall while riding
- Bike stalls while riding
What Do the Reviews Say?
“The Yamaha Dragstar is a fun and hassle-free way to enjoy your cruising. It has a low, comfy seat, ease of use, and nice styling. Add that to a low price, and the Dragstar makes a good case for itself as an alternative to Harley’s 883 Sportster or Triumph’s Bonneville.”
What’s The Resale Value On the Yamaha Dragstar?