Re: Consistency noted after re-reading...
Easy to ride, smooth power delivery (both articles), smooth clutch, swift gear changes (2000 Valuebike Shootout)
Long distance comfort hampered only by lack of fairing (both articles) but otherwise good thanks to tall gearing (both articles), well-padded, comfortable seat (Frugal Flyers), good seating position, and long wheelbase (2000 Valuebike Shootout)
Long range; 87-octane compatible (2000 Valuebike Shootout)
Suspension O.K. but could be better (both articles), rear suspension undersprung and prone to bottoming out under heavy load (Frugal Flyers), spongy feel, bias-ply tyres (2000 Valuebike Shootout)
Front brake not very powerful (Frugal Flyers)
Powerful, but in a bland way (both articles)
Indestructable if given routine maintenance (both articles)
Low insurance and maintenance costs (Frugal Flyers)
Screams for Screamin' Eagle parts (both articles)
Easy to manoeuver, thanks to low seat height, upright riding position and drag bars (both articles)
Adequate brakes, but could be better (BOTH ARTICLES! Hmm, maybe more improvement needed?), good engine braking (Frugal Flyers)
Solid overall feel, unique "Harley" feel (both articles)
Controls are stiff and heavy, but do the job well (both articles)
Suspension inadequate for highway travel (2000 Valuebike Shootout), sloppy damping (Frugal Flyers)
Not too intimidating for new riders, upgradeable with experience (2000 Valuebike Shootout), first by converting to 1200cc and then by adding performance parts (both articles; also both articles mention the performace parts twice, as this review does)
No depreciation (Frugal Flyers)
Low servicing and maintenance costs, but no centrestand (Frugal Flyers)
Apart from the above comparisons, there is this telling comment on the Yamaha V-Star Custom's brakes in the "2000 Valuebike Shootout":
The brakes are pretty good and only get edged out by the likes of the SV650 and CB750.
Please note that this infers that the V-Star's brakes were better than the Sportster's improved brakes, but were not as good as the (CB750) Nighthawk's.
And, yes, the Yamaha V-Star has a shaft.