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Differences between 2008 - 2013 RSV?


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Hello all,

I'm looking to move up from my 1989 Venture Royale to one of the newer Royal Star Ventures (2008-2013). No real issues with the '89 but I am getting closer to retirement and maybe having a bike that I am not so concerned about on long rides would be helpful. I'm still a fan of the V-4 so interested in sticking with the tried and true. Any significant differences in this year range I should be looking at as far as options or accessories?

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No argument there. I really do like it. Its just some of the nit picky things like the finicky starter when it gets hot, a shifter shaft oil leak and not being sure when or if the stator might give up the ghost.  Maybe I should just stay with it and see what happens.

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I like the 1st gen much better than the 2nd, but with that said I will stick with my 2nd gen just because of parts availability.  Other than colors and a few audio changes most parts are interchangeable, or at least that has been my experience.

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The second gen has its issues too such as the ignition switch fails and the fuel pump likes to fail.  You can fix that starter issue by swapping it out with 4 brush starter from a 91 or newer V4.  

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The newer you go in the 2nd gens the more likely you are to have less whine.  My 2006 was noisy even after a warranty clutch basket replacement but my 2012 is much quieter.  Colors changed and the sound system accessories to the radio changed over the years

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12 hours ago, rpep1982 said:

No argument there. I really do like it. Its just some of the nit picky things like the finicky starter when it gets hot, a shifter shaft oil leak and not being sure when or if the stator might give up the ghost.  Maybe I should just stay with it and see what happens.

I have never been an owner/operator of a 2nd Gen so no real clue what the differences are thru the years. I do know there are some things to look for when buying and if I were thinking of going that route I would want to know what they are. I never was an owner/operator of the 89 either but have swung the leg on the 83/85 MK1's a few times and gotta say if I were in your shoes and you like your 89 I would put a few hours of time in it and some cash to bring it up to road worthiness. I have criss crossed the country and most of Canada on our 83's numerous times and have always had great success with their reliability with very few failures thru the years.  How many miles on your 89 @rpep1982? How many of those miles have you put on it and how long have you had it? I have no idea if yours has the 4 brush starter in it but all my 6 MK1's ran the 2 brush starter out to retirement of the bike and did that simply by taking the starter off when it started showing sign of doing what you mention and cleaning the carbon brush dust out and off the interior of the starter. One I actually did "feel" a looser armature bearing in and I replaced that. I also found that keeping a good battery in them helped with starter longevity as it keeps the starter from getting hot.  If it were mine and it has the white, three wire stator terminal on the left side about 1/2 up the frame I would undo that terminal and ohm out the stator to see if the 3 legs match in resistance. If so I would use it as is and HARD WIRE that connection and do away with the terminal but thats only cause I had my fill of issues with that terminal early on in ownership. I would also drop in some Progressive springs in her forks if that hasnt been done. Doing so and you got a new bike right there!  Are you sure on the shift shaft leak? Where are you seeing the leak? At the shift shaft under the cover where the shaft exits the internal block? There are numerous things that can cause oil to gather under there is why I ask. I would definitely take a look at the carb diaphrams too and make sure they are worthy no matter how many miles on it BUT, I would do the same thing if I sprung for a 2nd Gen or any other used bike that had CV carbs on it that I was going to trust with my kids in tow or even riding alone cross country. All that said, if you just want to ride something different than heck ya, I would opt for a 2nd Gen,, they are cool and definitely earned a reputation as 3rd place for the best of the best all time touring bikes BUT you already have the 2nd place title holder for that class with the 89.. 1st place still goes to the mighty 83/85 MK1 :)  Puc

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I would suggest going with a 2009 or newer.  I believe that in 2009 they made changes that eliminated the gear whine.  2008 could have the whine.

1st Gen or 2nd Gen...I have a 2009 RSV and haven't had any issues with it.  Older bikes if you get one in good condition would be good since the motor will go forever.  Anything over 100,000km/60,000 miles consider it should have the valve clearance checked if it hasn't been done yet.

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@cowpuc I always appreciate your feedback on these issues! So to answer some of the questions. I am out of the country right now and can't look directly at the bike but I believe I am at about 43000 miles. I replaced the fork springs with progressives right after I got it almost 6 years ago as the original seals were shot and I rebuilt the front. I've put about 4000 miles on it. The oil leak looks like it comes from the area of the shaft but I really haven't torn into it to be sure. It usually leaves me a spot on the garage floor about the size of a quarter after riding. As far as the carbs, I haven't had any issues. It runs like a top!

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On 6/17/2022 at 6:44 AM, XV1100SE said:

I would suggest going with a 2009 or newer.  I believe that in 2009 they made changes that eliminated the gear whine.  2008 could have the whine.

1st Gen or 2nd Gen...I have a 2009 RSV and haven't had any issues with it.  Older bikes if you get one in good condition would be good since the motor will go forever.  Anything over 100,000km/60,000 miles consider it should have the valve clearance checked if it hasn't been done yet.

I like that idea and just happen to know where a 2009 is at. 

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23 hours ago, rpep1982 said:

@cowpuc I always appreciate your feedback on these issues! So to answer some of the questions. I am out of the country right now and can't look directly at the bike but I believe I am at about 43000 miles. I replaced the fork springs with progressives right after I got it almost 6 years ago as the original seals were shot and I rebuilt the front. I've put about 4000 miles on it. The oil leak looks like it comes from the area of the shaft but I really haven't torn into it to be sure. It usually leaves me a spot on the garage floor about the size of a quarter after riding. As far as the carbs, I haven't had any issues. It runs like a top!

@rpep1982,, awe,, thank you for the compliment on my feedbacks on this stuff my friend, its appreciated and so are you! GOOD ON YA on the Progressives! Should be good to go there. On the leak, when you say shifter shaft are you talking about the shaft that comes out of the case where the shifter itself attaches? Is it dripping from that location? If so there is a good probability that you have oil sneaking out of the Stator area via the grommet or wiring itself where they enter the stator area. If you are thinking the shaft that comes out under the forward drive cover, there are TONS of things that it could be, assuming always get me in trouble. It could actually be sneaking down from above being caused by slight over fill in the crankcase at oil change and then collecting oil in the airbox.. Lots of potential under that cover for oil leak. Another one is to double check the screw on the forward cover that has the copper washer behind it. is it tripping from one of those cover screws? No problem, we will find it!

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On 6/20/2022 at 2:30 PM, Woody said:

I like that idea and just happen to know where a 2009 is at. 

It certainly looks like a good one! I don't think you should wait on me to sell it. I won't be back in the States until around Thanksgiving.

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On 6/20/2022 at 7:01 PM, cowpuc said:

@rpep1982,, awe,, thank you for the compliment on my feedbacks on this stuff my friend, its appreciated and so are you! GOOD ON YA on the Progressives! Should be good to go there. On the leak, when you say shifter shaft are you talking about the shaft that comes out of the case where the shifter itself attaches? Is it dripping from that location? If so there is a good probability that you have oil sneaking out of the Stator area via the grommet or wiring itself where they enter the stator area. If you are thinking the shaft that comes out under the forward drive cover, there are TONS of things that it could be, assuming always get me in trouble. It could actually be sneaking down from above being caused by slight over fill in the crankcase at oil change and then collecting oil in the airbox.. Lots of potential under that cover for oil leak. Another one is to double check the screw on the forward cover that has the copper washer behind it. is it tripping from one of those cover screws? No problem, we will find it!

I'm pretty sure it's coming from the shift shaft area. I will check the stator grommet and wiring. Thanks for the tips!

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