01. Star Motorcycles’ V Star 950 with completed Willie & Max touring upgrade parts—audio
While there are lots of options to go out and buy a full-on touring bike complete with bags, windshield, and audio capabilities, in today’s economic climate shelling out upwards of $20,000 on a new bike isn’t within everyone’s budget. Maybe you don’t need or can’t handle a 800-plus pound machine. Or it’s possible you already own a middleweight cruiser, such as a Vulcan 900, VTX 1300, or V Star 950, to name a few but it lacks the needed touring accessories.
Well, Willie & Max recently released a bevy of touring accessories to convert some very capable metric cruisers into competent touring machines. The bolt-on parts consist of hard saddlebags, Batwing-style fairing with or without audio capabilities, as well as accessories. Parts can be purchased individually or as complete kits. A nice feature of the non-audio fairing is the cutouts are clearly marked for a later date if an owner decides to go with audio. There’s no guesswork involved at all.
02. Other than the sissybar, this is the stock ’11 V Star 950 before the install.
We started with a new ’11 V Star 950 (MSRP $8,390) that features an air-cooled SOHC, V-twin, with five-speed gearbox. This cruiser is the perfect platform for a touring conversion. The motor is plenty spunky, and the chassis is stout. We contacted Willie & Max and ordered the complete touring kit with audio. We also had them make a custom seat from its Custom Seat Program.
When purchased as a kit with hardsided saddlebags, full fairing, mounting hardware/bracketry, and 9-inch clear windshield the parts are available in different levels of finish: primered and ready to paint, $1504.00; Gloss Black, $1794.99; or OEM color match (quotes available from Willie & Max). The Radio/Stereo Add On Kit retails for $419.99 and includes a marine-grade Fusion RA-200 radio (AM/FM/weatherband, iPod and mp3 ready), two speakers, grills, hidden antenna, USB cable, bracket, cover, and wire looms. While we didn’t go this route there is also an optional amplifier that adds another $195.
03. We received the ABS saddlebags and fairing painted in gloss black with subtle blue an
04. After securing the bike to the lift we first removed the fender strut bolts. The siss
05. After applying blue Loctite to the supplied bolts we simply slid the bolt through the
Willie & Max’s Custom Seat Program provides 1,000s of seating options including materials, colors, textures, designs, stitch color, piping, two tone, accent, gel, one up or two, etc. Custom sissybar pads are available as well. You can buy a new seat from them or have your current seat refurbished.
06. We next used a step-drillbit to open up an 11⁄16-inch hole. The drill point is clearl
Evaluation: The Willie & Max Touring Kit turns an otherwise one-dimensional motorcycle into a bike capable of carrying you and your gear long distances. The parts are made of top quality materials and look as good as any factory offering. In this case economy doesn’t mean cheap.
The audio is a nice feature; the power is adequate around town but at freeway speeds we recommend the optional accessory amplifier kit. The hidden antenna could be more powerful as well.
It’s pretty hard to touch a competent touring machine like this that comes complete, brand new for around 11 thousand dollars. Amazing. B
07. The bags were sat on to their respective brackets and fastened to each support with t
08. The saddlebag installation was done.
09. The locking saddlebags come with keys and shown here are the optional, removable bag
10. We moved onto the inner fairing and installing the audio equipment. Each of the 5.25-
11. The marine-grade Fusion stereo was installed between the speakers.
12. Moving to the back, we installed the hidden AM/FM antenna to the inside of the inner