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2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe First Ride

Monday, February 22, 2010
Big sweepers are no problem for the sorted chassis of the Stratoliner Deluxe.
The 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe is both powerful and refined. A slick new fork-mounted fairing and sleek hard saddlebags set the Deluxe apart from its forebearers.
The brown haze blots out the mountains above Palm Springs, a gritty combination of sand, dust and debris. The wind keeps shifting as I-10 bends west through the high desert, doing its best to unnerve me as I lean the 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe into the direction it’s blowing, relying on the mighty 1854cc mill beneath me to punch through the windstorm. It’s power vs. power as man and motorcycle confront the winds that wildly spin the arms of the towering white windmills lining the highway. In these conditions I’m glad I’m on a heavyweight cruiser-tourer with a torque-filled lump and a full front fairing.

The streamlined fairing of the ’10 Stratoliner Deluxe became my saving grace while waging the losing battle between wearing a half-shell helmet and wind-borne sand. The Deluxe’s ergos have me almost vertical in the saddle so at six-feet tall, the blast from the front comes right over the shorty windscreen to smack me mid-face. I duck beneath the pocket of protection the fairing forms. It’s wide and tapers at the bars, providing great protection for rider’s hands, but tucking in I feel the breeze coming up from underneath on my cheeks. Still, it would have been a hellacious ride without it.

A city rich in neo-modern architecture like Palm Springs is a perfect host for the launch of the 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe. The model is known for its art deco styling. The 2010 version continues that tradition, but the art deco ribbing on the gas and oil tank is more subtle now thanks to an attention-grabbing, muscular front fairing and streamlined hard saddlebags. The Stratoliner Deluxe only comes in Raven, another contributor to its aggressive new presence, complemented further by the all-black fork components. Details like the fender strut on the front wheel and the honeycomb-shaped taillights balance the neo-modern look with a touch of classic hot rod culture.

The pillars of the Westin Mission Hills serve as a scenic backdrop for the neo-classic styling of the 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe.
The pillars of the Westin Mission Hills provide a scenic backdrop for the neo-classic styling of the Stratoliner Deluxe.
The heydays of hot rods in American cruising culture were epitomized by big engines, a fact not forgotten by Star. Build up a few rpm and the 113 cubic-inch pushrod V-Twin launches the bike with authority. The surge down low is immediate, the midrange is meaty and its horsepower kicks in on the top end until giving in to the five-speed’s demand for a higher gear. Star's power claims are 91 hp and 117 lb-ft of torque. We registered 108 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm and 80.7 hp at 5000 rpm from our recent dyno numbers of the 2009 Stratoliner S, which runs an almost identical engine.

This V-Twin is infused with technology gleaned from Yamaha’s sportbikes, like ceramic-composite plated cylinder and forged pistons cooled by oil jets. Four pushrod-activated valves and dual spark plugs in each cylinder head keep the pistons churning efficiently within the 100mm bore while fuel delivery through the 12-hole injectors is spot-on. Its dual counterbalancers work well at quelling the vibes at speed. The Stratoliner Deluxe sports a relatively high 9.5:1 compression ratio for a bagger, a ratio that is achieved with the help of the dry sump oil cooler that assists in keeping the heads running cool.

Spent gases are jettisoned out a burly 2-into-1 exhaust running down the right side, spitting out a bass-filled note that is healthy without being over-the-top. After all, noise and emission standards are doing nothing but
The 1854cc powerplant at the heart of the 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe is definitely one of its strong points.
The 1854cc powerplant at the heart of the 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe is definitely one of its strong points.
tightening down so Star is doing their best to play by those rules. The 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe does have an Exhaust Ultimate Power valve (EXUP) inside the two-into-one exhaust system that aims to boost torque in the 2500-3000 rpm range.

Between Pinyon Crest and Cahuilla Hills, California Highway 74 drops down a mountain in a series of switchbacks and sweepers. The Stratoliner Deluxe’s eight-piece aluminum frame exhibits no noticable flex as it comfortably banks over in the endless onslaught of broad turns. At 37 lbs, the frame on the Deluxe is 25 lbs lighter and 56 pieces less complex than Star’s Road Star. And while the Deluxe is easy enough to coax into a slow-arcing turn carrying speed, tighter radiuses and slow-speed maneuvers requires some more work. Thankfully the handlebars are wide-set so you can get the leverage needed to keep those big floorboards scraping. But overall, for a bike that sports a decent sized 190mm bun on the back and has the girth of the Stratoliner Deluxe, the motorcycle felt more agile than the Strato S I tested a few months back.

The winding roads to Palm Springs gave us plenty of opportunities to sample the chassis and hanlding of the Stratoliner Deluxe.
The winding roads to Palm Springs offers plenty of opportunity to sample the handling of the Stratoliner Deluxe.
This despite the fact that the new Star sports a new fork-mounted fairing. Its combination polycarbonate and ABS construction tips the scales at only 16.5 lbs and is lightweight and well-balanced enough that it doesn’t inhibit steering much at all. Nestled cleanly in the recesses of the fairing are a pair of five-inch speakers that work in tandem with the audio control system mounted on the left handlebar above the control housing for the turn signals and horn. These thumb-operated controls are for the iPod port sitting in a small dugout compartment in the fairing below the shorty windscreen. Tunes while riding is always a good thing.

With the Stratoliner Deluxe’s 4.5 gallon tank full of fuel, our journey began with a 45-mile romp down the 405 and I-5 along the Pacific coastline. I take advantage of the bags, which are wider and longer than the bags on the base Stratoliner, and stuff the large pull-out liners with spare clothes, cameras, and a computer. The locking hard sidebags are made of the same polycarbonate/ABS blend as the front fairing and has a claimed 13.7 gallons of storage space. The one-finger push button system works well enough with gloved fingers and snaps shut without hassle. The bags do prohibit easy access to the preload adjustable rear shock, but the factory settings on the suspension provided a stable ride for my 220-lb frame and lightly loaded saddlebags.

Between the smooth ride provided by the well-sorted suspension and the comfort of the wide, cushy seat, highway miles are a pleasant experience aboard the 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe. The fact that with the Deluxe’s mill you can dispose of cars at will doesn’t hurt that experience either. With ample-sized floating floorboards at a good forward
The bags on the Stratoliner Deluxe are longer and wider than the standard Strat and hold a combined 13.7 gallons.
The bags on the Stratoliner Deluxe are longer and wider than the standard Strat and hold a combined 13.7 gallons. The sound from the five-inch speakers was clean and an iPod port and little cubby hole allow you to bring your tunes along for the ride.
Plug and play. Music on long hauls is always a bonus! iPod is making a killing getting all these manufacturers to make bikes that are compatible.
stretch, ergos are tilted a touch forward, arms spread wide apart, and even after 200-plus miles in the saddle I didn’t feel like I had been wrestling a big bike all day.

Every manufacturer looks for small features to set their bike apart. The trick lurking up the Stratoliner’s sleeve is a sliding main switch cover. It hides the main switch when parked. Gimmicky? Yes, but anything that might make it a little bit harder for a thief to figure out is cool by me. Routing the switch wiring inside the handlebars helps keep the bars tidy, and features like the engine’s big tapered pushrod tubes and machined fins add up to a motorcycle with quality fit and finish. Its air filter cover is plastic, but beyond that its all American-style steel fenders and side covers, a strong selling point for the market it caters to.

The tank-mounted console features a big dial with clock-style instrumentation dominated by an analog speedo, a tiny tach, a fuel gauge, twin digital tripmeters and an odometer. It’s also got a green low fuel light that I didn’t see come on despite the needle being almost buried on the E, but I learned from a Yamaha tech that it generally doesn’t kick on until it gets down to the 0.8-gallon subtank.

And even though it’s a new model, there are more than 90 current accessories already available from the Star accessory catalog. The list includes saddlebag guards and trim rails, a tall windshield, touring handlebars that aren’t quite as wide and an MP-3 Cable. Star also had a custom Stratoliner Deluxe at the intro that had been done over by Jeff Palhegyi Design. The JPD Fairing Lowers it was outfitted with are a great idea to counteract some of that updraft that sneaks in underneath the tapered front fairing.

Jeff Palhegyi Design shows what can be done to the Stratoliner Deluxe with a little customizing creativity.
Jeff Palhegyi Designs put its spin on this cusomized Stratoliner Deluxe.
The 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe has the power and looks to be an instant competitor in the big cruiser-touring market. Its 1854cc engine is one of the most powerful in its class, its bags give riders more incentive to take it on longer rides and the fairing looks so good you’ll want to get out and ride. But for a metric cruiser, it’s price point  $17,490 is so close to its American competitors, the 2010 Victory Cross Country at $17,999 or the 2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide at $18,999, that even with its lower price point it might be a challenging sale considering the others have larger tanks, longer ranges and that made-in-America mystique in their favor.

The base Stratoliner Deluxe also lacks a couple features like cruise control and ABS that riders in this segment embrace. It’s within Star’s capacity, but when prodded for insight whether ABS was a possible future option, it sounds like it's not currently in the works. Not that the Stratoliner Deluxe needs ABS. On the contrary, its setup already has great feel and modulates evenly without being catchy and doesn’t lock up easily.

Add into the equation that its fit and finish is on par with the rest of its class and we are sure its going to lure some customers to the Star side. Baggers are a hot commodity these days, and Star is pinning its hopes for snatching a slice of the cruiser market share with this solid competitor: The 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe.
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2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe Specs
I bet the powerful engine of the Stratoliner Deluxe could pull the glider behind it fast enough to launch!
Engine – 113 cubic-inch air-cooled 48-degree
V-Twin Pushrod OHV
Bore/Stroke – 100 X 118mm
Compression Ratio – 9.5:1
Fuel Delivery – Twin-Bore electronic fuel injection. 43mm throttle bodies and 12-hole injectors.
Ignition- TCI
Transmission – 5-speed; mulitplate wet clutch
Final Drive – Belt
Frame – Aluminum
Suspension – Front 46mm telescopic fork; adjustable preload, 5.1 in. travel
Rear – Single shock; 4.3 in. travel
Brakes – Front Dual Hydraulic Disc, 298mm
Rear – Hydraulic Disc, 320mm
Tires/Front – 130/70-18
Rear - 190/60-17
Wheels – 12-spoke wheels
Length – 101.6 in.
Width – 43.3 in.
Height – 59.6 in.
Seat Height – 27.8 in.
Wheelbase – 67.5 in.
Ground Clearance – 6.1 in.
Fuel Capacity – 4.5 gal.
Weight – N/A
Warranty – 1 year limited factory
MSRP - $17,490

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Addikted   July 10, 2011 05:37 PM
Here's my 2 cents. Every review of that I have read on this bike is pretty much spot on(haven't read a bad one yet). I am a very spontaneous buyer and purchased a 2010 Strat Deluxe last July while attending a bike rally out of town in Lacrosse, WI. I previously owned a 2006 Honda VTX 1300C model with around 6-7k worth of extra's on it and only 20k miles on it. I walked into the showroom at the dealer ship who was putting on a BBQ for us and seen this bike on the showroom floor. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE OF THESE BEFORE. Carried on my day an went back the next morning and traded my Honda in and picked up the Yamaha. The Stratoliner D is AWESOME. Very balanced and low center of gravity, so you dont really feel like your hauling 800lbs around. Slow, tight U-turns can be a little extra work, but no big deal. There is a brief moment when you are coming to a complete stop that it feels uneasy, and slightly unbalanced. No big deal though. Power is plentiful and very fun. The torque at 2500-3500rpm's makes riding fun. Its the first stock seat on any motorcycle that I didn't feel like I needed to run out and replace. And I dont plan too either. The rear passenger pillon could be slightly bigger though. My wife complains after long days(300+ miles). But for shorter rides its just fine. The fairing is by far the coolest looking one I've seen in a while, and the ipod hook up, comes in handy. The stock shorty windshield that comes with it looks the best, but for me, Doesn't work that well. I'm 6ft tall, and the wind comes right over the shield and into my face and chest which makes it even tougher to hear the radio when traveling at highway speeds. I upgraded and bought the 14in shield and problem fixed. The hardbags have plenty of storage but I suggest getting the custom liners. They come off in about 5 seconds with minimal effort. But being they are painted, it's tough to take them off and just set them down without any damage. They need a blanket or towel to lay down on. All in all, this bike is freaking sweet! Very fun, and handling it is very easy for a intermediate rider. I would not suggest this for someone who is just starting out. Too much power and weight for the beginner. My only real complaint(if you wanna call it that) is Star should have left the 2 into 1 behind and put on dual exhaust. I've seen a custom one with duals, and it looked amazing. The price is up their with the other baggers, but I think some motorcycle companies could start learning a few things from new bikes. 9 out of 10 is my rating for this bike, with approximately 4,000 miles of riding one at the time of this writing.
Al -Not so fast on Cross Country  September 24, 2010 02:42 PM
I have been loving my 06 Victory Jackpot, putting on between 10-12k a season in MN. thats getting with it. I am 49 & ready to buy a bagger so I go & test ride the new Victory Cross bikes, I hated them. I have been riding for a long time and I am not brand loyal, rough ride for a bike with air assist,no power for a 106, bad wind buffeting on both models, the windshield on the Crossroads vibrated badly, transmission super clunky, and the bike just felt light and unstable. I walked away from the dealer in shock, I was gonna buy one of these bikes. Please ride one before you buy, I am buying a Strato-Deluxe, big power,great looks,awesome fairing that works and looks good too,no clunky tranny or wobbly windshield. Buyer Beware!
Colorado Stratoliner -2008  August 22, 2010 08:50 PM
I always get amused when the best gripe people like Milwaukee Mike can dig up is that Japanese bikes don't hold their value. See, we dont have to worry about selling our bikes in 3 years because they are still running great.

BTW, the reason ours drop in value is that we actually rack up the miles. Do a search on Harleys for sale and you will find a bunch with less than 4,000 miles after 5 years of trailering and being garaged. They'll also toss in thousands of dollars of "Screaming Eagle" accessories and leathers. So technically they have lost a lot of money as well.

And my Strat get's consistant 45MPG, and easily outruns $30K Harleys. Wanna race Mike? And be thankful I won't use my 23 Y/O VMAX. You can pick those up pretty cheap too. But you wouldn't have the stones to ride a VMAX anyway......or admit it if you have ridden one.

My brother has a Road King with 100K miles and we both detest people with your attitude. And yes, I can outrun his Stage 3 HD, but I never let people badmouth HD because he's ridden an proven that HD also makes a good reliable bike.

Get a life Mike, Start riding and quit bad mouthing what others ride.

Jeff W. -Nice bike  April 24, 2010 10:23 AM
I love that motor and would consider one BUT until it gets a 6 speed, a bigger tank, better MPG( those motors avg 36-38MPG?) lower price ( would hate to buy one then find out they're selling left overs for 3-4K less, like they do now on some models)more paint options, an after market following, performance mods, parts, accessories, ect. Unitl all that and more, I'll keep my Harley. Nice bike though, really.

New Bike -Nice Ride  March 3, 2010 01:19 PM
This is a beautiful bike and far superior to any Harley. I had my mind pretty much made up on a Victory Cross Roads until this bike showed up.
Mcguire -sewer rat  March 1, 2010 09:37 AM
Ok Im turning over a new leaf after seeing this. No more bragging brand loyalty...just check it out....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9nrANs5Tr4 it out..
Shoshin -I like H-D's but...  February 28, 2010 10:28 AM
Rode Rt. 66 last summer through CA and AZ. My buddy and I ran Road Stars. Both bikes ran flawlessly and there were more than a few H-D owners that were surprised that we were out there in the heat. They said they left their bikes in the garage until the weather cooled off. People that say that H-D is the best and slag other people's rides are merely ignorant assholes. Fortunately, the vast, vast, vast, majority of H-D rider's that I've met are great people, so that leads me to conclude that people that turn up their noses at other guys' rides are pathetic posers. All I say is "Ride what you like and like what you ride". Personally, I love the Stratoliner engine, but the price is creeping up there. I like the Victory Cross Country, but again, price is an issue to me. I'll be the first to admit that I bought my Road Star because it was cheap, reliable, and had tons of aftermarket support. But after riding it for the past two years, I can honestly sat that I love my cheap, reliable, bulletproof Road Star. But I might put an Electra Glide fairing on it; I'm not proud, I'll steal good ideas from anywhere I can find them. That's the American Way.
CCRider -Waiting  February 27, 2010 01:54 PM
I am waiting for my dealer to get one in and assembled for a test ride. I have a deposit on one. If I don't like it I have a Victory picked out also. I do not care about cruise control or the radio. My dealer did tell me that the bike does have cruise control and radio as an option.
Mickey -Whaa, whaa!  February 27, 2010 11:56 AM
I can't believe the whining here. No radio! No cruise control! You guys are too soft. Toughen up.
New Ride -New Victory  February 26, 2010 04:01 PM
I like the Strato but I just bought a new Victory Cross Country. It has everything I need and a great ride. Now all I need is some warm weather to hit the roads.
Mike in WV -Not enough bang for the buck  February 26, 2010 01:50 PM
First of all I can say that I do appreciate the style and power that Star bikes deliver as I am a former owner of an '06 Stratoliner S and loved it. But...it was a cruiser with bags (although relatively small). Now, we are seeing the Strat Delux being labeled as a Tourer. Sorry...throwing on some larger bags and a fairing doesn't make a bike a tourer. Star should have taken the dials off the tank and designed them into the fairing so you don't have to take your eyes way off the road to see them, plus...put in a true stereo system, cruise, heated grips and seats and a larger tank so you're not having to pukk over every 2 hours to refuel. The trannie also needs a 6th gear...I love the 113 cu inch motor and it does have great power and torque, but a 6th gear would really help deliver better fuel efficiency. If you want this same bike...consider buying an earlier model Stratoliner at a better price, then add the Corbin Fleetliner saddlebags and fairing and you will have a lot more change in your pocket.

In November, I looked at a lot of bikes and test road the ones I considered. My hands down favorite was the Victory Cross Country. The Street Glide and Ultra Classic couldn't keep up and were no where as comfortable as the Cross Country. Style, power, handling, bells and whistles and dependability...what more could I want? And...it is the MOST American made bike (out side of custom built) on the market! This is my 3rd Victory and I absolutely love them. Plus...I've gotten great trade in value so don't let anyone convince you that HD's are the only bikes that retain a decent value. Remember, resale value is determined by the consumer. If there are fools who are willing to pay outrageous prices for a used HD...then they deserve what they get.
Colton -nice  February 25, 2010 01:20 PM
This yamaha is a nice bike far better than the harley but i'm still gonna have to take the victory cross country
Mcguire -sewer rat  February 25, 2010 07:53 AM
Im not advocating that everyone buy a RSTD, just make sure one goes on your group ride so you will have someone to tow back the Harley
Mcguire -sewer rat  February 25, 2010 07:50 AM
Sofjr, sounds like a Truumph rider to me.
RJ -re: milwaukee mike  February 25, 2010 07:25 AM
I'll tell you the same as I tell my brother who has Harley Davidson tattooed up both his arms. I must commend you on your brand loyalty. For years The Motor Company has dictated through smoke filled marketing glasses how much is enough motor, suspension, and thoroughly sold everyone on the theory 'less is more' called the minimalist approach, all in an effort to increase their own profits. Even going as far as targeting the subprime market knowing darn well these people could not afford the payments and most likely the bike would be repo'ed. Yet, you are still an advocate for the cause... Yeah, they are acting in your best interest.

Love it or hate it, there's a place for the metric market to drive competition and give you a better Harley in the end. You cannot argue that capatialism is what drives companies. The fact that they are an American company, well, the three Chevys parked in my driveway has done more for the economy than any motorcycle will. Heck, our own US Government selling our nation's debt to China at an alarming rate in exchange for importing cheap quality tools made of who knows what products should be a lot more concern than any metric motorcycle.

Quagmire -RoyalStarTourDeluxe  February 25, 2010 03:40 AM
I am a big Star guy, I have owned a Royal. But bolt on cooling fins to make the motor look like an HD is cheesy. More cheesy than a fake gas cap (with a built in fuel gauge) to make it look like real "FatBobs" (2 separate tanks). Or the classic fake stitching in every auto interior plastic door panels for the last 30 years. Maybe not, but it always bugged me.

Actually, I am not Quagmire, but I do play one on TV.
sofjr -Why I sold my cruiser...  February 24, 2010 05:30 PM
Many of you remind me perfectly well why I sold my cruiser a couple years ago...you seem to be of the opinion that it's what you ride that matters most, not that you ride...period. The whole cruiser "clic" made me sick so I traded the cruiser for something else. Too bad really because cruisers are so gorgeous to look at...can't say the same for the attitudes of many of those who ride them.
Mcguire -sewer rat  February 24, 2010 05:23 PM
And Quagmire...if that is your real name, Name 1 classy looking bike or car that dosen't have something useless bolted on just to make it look snazzy. At least with this bike (the honorable Royal Star Tour Delux) you want have to complain of it having an ugly motor...nothing else in cruiserdom has anything that really compares to it...just look
Midwest Biker -Real World  February 24, 2010 04:42 PM
I think Milwaukee Mike should get into the real world and take off his Harley undies. The Quad City Times has 18 used Harley's for sale right now at give away price's. These are people that suckered for the Harley line and finally realized that they bought a real piece of crap. If anybody really is stupid enough to want to buy a outdated overpriced Harley then the want ads is the place to look. Most of the bikes in these ads even have the screaming beagle kits on them so they will at least have 70 hp to rip the asphalt with. Maybe they would even throw in there Harley under ware, belt buckle and ash tray. I know a lot of Harley riders and when they are sober they all admit that they wish they had not bought a Harley.
Woodman West -Mil Mike is Right  February 24, 2010 04:04 PM
Gotta agree on this one, the value part, not the "losers" part. The "fake" UltraGlide, Kawi Vulcan Voyager MSRP'd at $16,800 in the April 09 review. I am seeing them new for $12-13k on ebay. At this rate they will be $8k in a year with low miles. My local Yami dealers still have '08 Road/Stratoliners heavily discounted.

No one is even stocking This Starto Deluxe that I can see.
Quagmire - RoyalStarTourDeluxe  February 24, 2010 03:30 PM
Plus the fake bolted on cooling fins give it 10% more horsepower! ZOOM!

milwaukee mike -Stratoloser deluxe  February 24, 2010 03:29 PM
Overpriced metric Street Glide wannabe.
McGuire is right on the money!
There will be losers will buy these, then two years down the road will find that their bikes are virtually worthless.
Just buy the HD and you'll be happier in the long run.
Mcguire -sewer rat  February 24, 2010 02:59 PM
Imagine one with an air cooled pushrod motor bragging about how hight tech it is...weird
Mcguire -sewer rat  February 24, 2010 02:54 PM
Don't even talk to me about torque on that Harley'bastard son bike of yours. Im sure it has enough torque to haul a hog and a hoggett up the mountain but realllly would you rather listen to a motor rev like an Indy car than sound like a bongo. I bought my RSTD used with 3000 miles on it. It already had Bub pipes and a rejet and a Corbin heated seat, I added a Dyna ignition and voilia...Roadliner eater. I understand if the cost of the mods is out of your reach since you BOUGHT THE BANK ON THE BIKE. I paid 10000 (thats ten thousand) two years ago. Drop that bike and you won't brag about that frame.
RJ -Deluxe is not, should be Stratoliner Mediocre  February 24, 2010 12:48 PM
First off, Mcguire, surely you are not comparing that steel frame, carbureted, dog of a motor, Royal Star of last decade to this modern torque monster with EFI smooth fuel delivery. That's just absurd on so many levels and I'll leave it at that.

Second, although I currently own a Roadliner S, previously owned an RSWarrior, and generally a Star cruiser believer, I am quite disappointed in this release. At best for a tourer they really should have cruise control and an actual radio as before mentioned and not an adapter specific to only certain generations of ipods. The cheesy speakers, why in the world when they actually have a division of the company dedicated to musical instruments and electronic components? This is Yamaha for crying out loud... Although the bike does have self cancelling signals, the bike still doesn't have hazard lights something so vital to highway safety if you've ever had to stop for someone in the group or to put on rain gear. You also need to watch so you don't actually bump a rear signal walking around the bike because the thing will just snap off so flimsy - all show no go. Nothing was ever done to fix the common problem of the pulley nut on the front of the belt drive from coming loose. Sure, it's supposed to be a staked bolt but again another safety issue and mess if it comes off while riding. Checking it needs to become as routine tire pressure checks. Also the quality of the foam in the seat remains so dense that it remains comparable to that of asphalt or a brick. Try going and sitting on a new Cross Country, soft and plush plus firm lumbar support so don't tell me they are even trying to remain competitive. Additionally why not put ABS or dare I say traction control on a cruiser since this is where it's needed the most? Maybe even take some styling cues from the Kawi C14 on heated grips and adjustable windscreen to go along with that T/C. Or how about a heated seat for those cooler days touring through New England in the fall? I know all these luxuries cuts into the profit margin and possibly considered gimicks but if you want us as consumers to drop 20K on a bike that depreciates by one half in a 2 year period it damn well better be good. At a minimum something called their flagship cruiser should actually be one up on the competition not barely making it at the same cost as the others. Oh did I mention trying to track down a rear tire, your choices for a 190/60/17 are Bridgestones or Yamaha only dealer inflated Dunlops and this bike eats tires because of weight and torque...
Quagmire -RoyalStarTourDeluxe  February 24, 2010 10:33 AM
Plus the fake bolted on cooling fins give it 10% more horsepower! ZOOM!
Mcguire -sewer rat  February 24, 2010 07:52 AM
For the money the Royal Star tour Deluxe is a better cruiser. Run a side by side comparison and I'll take the V4 any time
saddle -T-Man gets to the point  February 24, 2010 07:24 AM
No Cruise control? No ABS? No radio? A 4.5 gal gas tank? No Yamaha option fairing lowers? No six speed transmission? This is suppose to be a bagger? Only 1 year Warranty? Love the power and torque but would trade some of it for above listed. $17490 = No sale for me. Wanting to buy a V-twin Bagger this spring and now it's time to look at a Harley or Victory. Yamaha are you reading this?

How is it that these excellent points get glossed over by actual MC "journalists?"

T-Man for Editor!
Dave -lots 0f grunt  February 24, 2010 04:42 AM
this bike has lots of power unlike ALL harleys which have good build quality but there engines are GUTLESS.
uber twin -Star Stratoliner TheClone  February 24, 2010 01:13 AM
looks like it got a HD frontend fairing and Victory style rear and bags
T-man -This is suppose to be a bagger?  February 23, 2010 04:40 PM
No Cruise control? No ABS? No radio? A 4.5 gal gas tank? No Yamaha option fairing lowers? No six speed transmission? This is suppose to be a bagger? Only 1 year Warranty? Love the power and torque but would trade some of it for above listed. $17490 = No sale for me. Wanting to buy a V-twin Bagger this spring and now it's time to look at a Harley or Victory. Yamaha are you reading this?
bryan harley -good assessment, matt  February 23, 2010 02:39 PM
Matt, your assessment of the Stratoliner Deluxe is right on the mark. Thanks for the input.

Chekk6 - Thanks for letting Jay Mack know the Deluxe does come with a good heel-toe shifter and self-canceling signals. Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like having to mess with turning my signals off.

Des - The fairing on the Stratoliner deflected plenty of wind blast in my chest area, but it comes standard with a shorty windscreen, so at six-feet tall, I was getting a face-full of wind. When I ducked behind the fairing because the winds out of Palm Springs were blowing so fierce, I noticed that because it tapers toward the handlebars, more air comes up underneath around a rider's legs than with other fairings.

Morvegil -More Power  February 23, 2010 11:06 AM
Apparently you street glide fools have no idea of power. THis bike would WOMP all over your Pirate Glide.
Smitty -Strat is fantastic, but Vic is worth the price  February 23, 2010 11:05 AM
I own a Stratoliner and it is a really great bike. Handles extremely well, has plenty of power and fits my 6'2" frame perfectly. I also paid way below MSRP. If I were actually going to spend $17k+ on a bike I think I'd be looking at an American bike and it would be Victory.
TD -Traveler  February 23, 2010 08:58 AM
I rented a street glide last year and found it to be a decent ride just seemed rough compared to an 09 Strat I rented. I do a lot of 4-5000 mile trips and don't think the Street Glide would stand up. I will say I changed my seat with a nice Mustang which helped in the long hauls.
Skipper -Copies Again  February 23, 2010 07:55 AM
God I just knew there would be some Harley moron bitching that it is a copy of a Harley. Christ a Harley is a copy of a Indian - so there, take your outdated overweight Harley and shove it.
Chekk6 -You got it Jay Mack  February 23, 2010 04:38 AM
The liner has self cancelling turn signals and a heel shifter. You are in luck!! I have a Roadliner. I have had many bikes and this is one of my favorites. Ride Safe
irksome -why oh why  February 22, 2010 08:07 PM
Y'know, if I wanted a V-Twin Harley, I'd buy one. But I don't. And I certainly don't want a friggin' clone of one either. At 51, I'm considering slowing down a bit; if I DO get rid of my trusty Speed Triple I'll be looking at a Triumph Thunderbird with the 1700cc kit. At least then I won't have to get the pirate costume.
Matt -Cruiser In Touring Bike's Clothing.  February 22, 2010 06:34 PM
The Deluxe has a lot going for it. Best in class engine (just my 2 cents), good handling (although the beach bars were a little awkward for me as well), and in my opinion a great looking bike. Although I think it is fair to say that this is a cruiser in a touring bike's clothing. Witch isn't really a bad thing. If I was going to take a weekend trip I think the Deluxe would be a top choice but any longer then that I start to miss the cruise control, overdrive gear & extra audio options etc. The Deluxe's biggest weekness though besides it's fuel capacity is it's price. I've seen photos taken at recent bike expos of the inside of the hard bags and fairing and they seem rather flimsily (is that a word?) constructed. I might be willing to over look that if I were paying at least a grand less but $17,500 is getting up into the tourer range and for a few hundred more I can get a Victory Cross Country. Although I predict that the Strat Deluxe is only intended to be around a few model years to help fill the void left by the discontinued Royal Star Deluxe untill Yamaha updates it's entire touring line. But only time will tell.
Western vibe -Lars, a copy?  February 22, 2010 06:33 PM
A copy? Well yeah they both are v-twins with hard bags and a fairing but other than that what is a copy? The bags on the Yamaha look like they were designed at the same time the bike was they are so well integrated, unlike the HD where the bags look like lunch boxes hung on the side as an after thought. How about the fenders, no Harley fender looks like the Yamaha’s fender. The Yamaha has a single exhaust outlet Harley has two. Even with the CVO motor the Harley puts out LESS hp and torque than the Yamaha. The Harley may be an original, which isn’t hard to do when their bikes don’t change/progress, but the Yamaha is a vast improvement over the Harley. Think of Harley as the original like a VCR and the Yamaha as a Blu-Ray Disc player.
lars -copy  February 22, 2010 04:27 PM
id rather go for an Harley street glide. Look closer it so similar thats its freaking sick. An true copy of an Harley street glide

TD -Traveler  February 22, 2010 04:13 PM
Good review, I traded my 07 vstar 1100 in for this and can't wait to get it. Yamaha is offering a 48 month warranty for an extra $680. So with trade-in and Y.E.S warranty I paid $12,600 which is easier to take.

Jay Mack -Chief Cook and Bottle Washer  February 22, 2010 01:55 PM
Unless Yamaha has added the ability to heal shift, this bike will never be mine.

Also, unless Yamaha has added self-cancelling turn signals, it isn't up to the VIctory or the Harley.
Harry -$17,500.00 and a 1 yr. Warranty?  February 22, 2010 01:33 PM
A heavy weight bagger at a premium price of $17,490.00 and you get the same 1 year warranty as you would get with a little $5K v-star 650? What is up with that? Maybe if Yamaha had as much confidence invested in their product as we would need in order to invest in buying one for $17,500.00 there would then be a meaningful warranty.
Looking For Now -Nice Ride But No Radio  February 22, 2010 12:54 PM
I would still go for the Victory. I like the Star line of bikes but this model seems to be missing a few things. Although it is a nice looking bike. If it had a nice AM/FM-Satellite radio and cruise control I would really be interested as I like the looks a lot.
Dorzok -Disappointed  February 22, 2010 11:47 AM
No radio, no ABS option, no intercom, no sale. maybe i can pick up a deeply discounted left over in two years.
Des -How was the shield?  February 22, 2010 11:25 AM
It sounds like the shield does not provide good protection judging by the wind on the cheeks comments.
Did it cause buffetting? It sounds like it works more for style than function.
Same money as the Victory? That will be a really tough sell..
Hutch -MPG-Dynos-etc  February 22, 2010 08:39 AM
Guys - When you're at a press intro you dont get to weight or dyno the bikes. The OEMs allow you to ride their route with just enough fuel to get from here to there then send you to a tech briefing. It's a riidng impression. A first ride. Full testing comes after that. Now, we do supply tech specs in the test. It's right there. We did test the Stratoliner and link to it from this test as well. There we supply dyno runs, mpg, measured weight etc - becuase we had the bike in our hands. Hopefully that helps. This is intended to just whet your appetite...
Rapid -Wha Happened?  February 22, 2010 07:51 AM
I have to tell you I'm really disappointed by your review of this bike! Where are the specs? What is the weight? What kinda gas mileage did you guys get on it? You guys really left a lot off on this one! =(
Woodman West -Not avail,  February 22, 2010 03:31 AM
Just dont try to buy one unless you want Yamaha to lie to you and the dealer to laugh in your face. Great way to treat customers with sales down %40.