2009 Star V Star Cruisers First Look

June 11, 2008
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

2009 V Star 1100 Silverado
The V Star 1100 Silverado is Star Motorcycles leading entry in the mid-sized touring cruiser category and differs from the Custom and Classic versions by virtue of its studded leather seat and saddlebags, passenger backrest and adjustable windscreen.

Here we are, barely approaching summer of 2008, and already the 2009 models are rolling out. Star Motorcycles was the first on board with the release of its 2009 VMax last week, and its parent company, Yamaha, is wasting no time following that debut with the next wave of 2009 models.

With fuel prices at an all-time high, it’s no wonder that the first cast of new releases feature mid- to small displacement motorcycles and scooters. The allure of a 2000cc beast has begun to lose its luster. Efficiency isn’t just a catch phrase any more. It’s a mandate. Riders still demand performance, but they also want to save a few bucks at the tank. Cruisers like the shaft-driven V Star 1100 Silverado and scooters like the new 499cc TMAX fill the bill, providing enough power to get the heart racing without draining the tank with every twist of the throttle. (Make sure to check out Yamaha’s 2009 scooter lineup).

Yamaha’s cruiser division, Star Motorcycles, returns the V Star 1100 Silverado in both Classic and Custom variations for 2009. The models I predict that will see increased sales for 2009 are the 650cc V Star Silverado, Classic and Custom. The lower displacement is just about right for new and novice riders, its 4.2 gallon tank translates to plenty of commuter miles between fill ups, and they still have plenty of attractive classic styling cues. A $7,399 sticker price for the V Star Silverado is another strong selling point. Offering new colors and features like blacked-out engines and new blacked-out wheels only make the platform more attractive.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2009 V Star 250 gain in popularity as well. I foresee it being a hit with the big city, suit-and-tie set who want to pick up something on the cheap that they can have fun on that’s not a scooter. The little cruisers require little maintenance, would be a great commuter, and take up half a parking space.

V Star 1100 Silverado (Classic & Custom)

2009 V Star 1100 Custom
The 2009 V Star 1100 Custom is lower and lighter than the Silverado and is available with a blacked-out engine and new blacked-out wheels.

The V Star 1100 Silverado continues to use a 65 c.i. air cooled V-Twin as its power source mounted in a large-diameter double cradle frame. It has loads of classic-style motorcycle accoutrements, like full-size floorboards, heel/toe shifters, a tank-mounted speedo and deeply valanced steel fenders. A link-type single rear shock with 4.5 inches of travel is tucked out of sight for a rigid look. According to spec sheets, the shaft-driven motorcycle did gain 31 lbs, and tips the scales at a claimed 670 lbs.

The V Star 1100 Silverado is the fully-dressed touring version, complete with studded leather saddlebags and a studded leather seat to go along with a passenger backrest and an adjustable windscreen. The Silverado lists for $10,099, the Classic sells for $8,899 and the Custom is the least expensive of the trio at $8,799. The Custom version has the lowest seat height of the three (27.2 inches) and a skinnier front tire (110mm) to go along with its spoke wheels. In its blacked out version, the Custom is a mean-looking ride.

2009 V Star Silverado (Custom & Classic)

2009 V Star Silverado
Stylistically, you can’t tell the difference between the 1100cc Silverado and the 650cc version (above). Look for the smaller displacement cruisers to gain in popularity as gas prices continue to rise.

The V Star Silverado has all the style and pizzazz of the 1100 without the pop. The 2009 version of its 649cc air-cooled mill remains the same, as the 81x63mm bore/stroke still compresses gases at a 9.0:1 ratio. Twin 28mm Mikuni CV carburetors continue to provide the fuel while a wide-ratio five-speed transmission transfers power to the 170mm rear tire. Like its big brother, the Silverado 650 comes in a Classic and Custom version. The Classic version puts emphasis on its retro heritage, like the floorboards, steel fenders, and custom-looking clear turn signals to go along with its bounty of shiny chrome. The Custom edition is long and low, with a 27.4-inch seat height and a 63.4-inch wheelbase. It also is 70 lbs lighter than the 2009 V Star Silverado, with a claimed weight of 513 lbs, which should make it the easiest to handle of the three. The V Star Silverado is the most expensive of the small displacement cruisers, listing for $7,399, while the Classic is $800 cheaper ($6,599) and the Custom’s a virtual bargain at $6,399.

V Star 250

2009 V Star 250
The V Star 250 requires little maintenance, gets good gas mileage, and only takes up half of a parking space. Ideal for city commuters.

Specs show that Star’s little 250 remains virtually unchanged. A 249cc air-cooled V-Twin will get the show rolling, while a 282mm single disc and a rear drum will bring the action to a halt. At 324 lbs with a 27 inch seat height, the motorcycle is light and low enough to be an excellent starter. Wire-spoked wheels, chrome pullback handlebars and a sculpted teardrop tank give it curb appeal. With a MSRP of $3,699, the small cruiser could easily become a big seller for Star.

Full information on all Star models can be found at www.starmotorcycles.com.

Other news filtering out of the Yamaha camp for the street is the return of its YZF-R6S sportbike that uses the same 600cc liquid-cooled Inline-Four and is available in two new color options.

For riders who like to mix in a little dirt in with their street riding, Yamaha’s XT250 dual-sport has been redesigned, and the versatile fat-tired TW 200 is also back for ’09.

Full information on all Yamaha models can be found at www.yamaha-motor.com.

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