Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2011 Star Stryker First Ride

Monday, October 11, 2010
The factory-custom styling of the Stryker looks right at home cruising the boulevard at night.
The factory-custom styling of the Stryker blends right in with the rock & roll lifestyle of the press launches' host city, Austin, Texas.
Fall may signal the end of summer, but it also signals the beginning of press launch season. Woke up at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin last week with riding on my mind. Went outside where a row of raked-out cruisers with custom-painted tanks and low-slung saddles awaited. The motorcycle’s back-to-front symmetry leaves a positive initial impression. Low and wide out back, the 2011Star Stryker gradually gets taller as you scan forward, the bars mounted on its raised steering head punching
Star kept the bars of the Stryker tidy with a single instrument gauge.
out rider’s arms almost horizontally before the fork drops off at a heavy 40-degree rake angle. The 21-inch-tall front hoop balances out the 210mm-wide rear tire. We fire them up with the effortless thumb of an electric starter. The 60-degree V-Twin vibrates sedately at idle as dual crankshaft balancers work their vibration-quelling magic. The mill sits ready for a solid twist of the right wrist to activate the flow from its dual 40mm throttle bodies. Heading down Sixth Street, another motojournalist takes the opportunity to be the first to light up the tires. Right in front of Austin PD. Fortunately, the officer was in the middle of writing a ticket and we were able to embark without incident on a 125-mile first ride on the 2011 Stryker through the Texas Hill Country. 

Star Motorcycles enters the mid-size custom cruiser foray based on input received from focus groups and Star dealers. The size of the bike and price point were two major areas of contention when contemplating Star’s latest cruiser. The Stryker helps complete the company’s lineup, filling the gap between the brawny 1854cc Raider and the V Star 950. Its design comes from a combination of sources, including custom bike builder and frequent collaborator on
Videos Our Sponsor
2011 Star Stryker First Ride Video
Click to view video
The 2011 Star Stryker offers factory-custom good looks with a peppy 1304cc engine. See and hear Star's mid-size custom cruiser in action in our 2011 Star Stryker First Ride Video.
Star projects, Jeff Palhegyi, an outside design company out of California called GKDI and Yamaha’s internal R&D department.

Red lights and morning traffic make getting out of town and above second gear a challenge. We finally push through cage-driving commuters to jump on Highway 1 South. The road is a mess of grooved pavement. The Stryker’s front end feels light as the bike’s weight bias puts only 45% on the front while the rear bears the other 55%. Stuck out at the end of 40-degrees of rake is a lightweight cast aluminum 5-spoke wheel with a single 320mm disc. The 21-inch Bridgestone Exedra tire is maintaining solid contact with the road but the grooved surfaces are transferring a little uneasiness to the bars. As soon as the road smoothes out, so does the quality of the ride.

Once out of town, we’re able to run through some gears and sample what the 1304cc engine has to offer. The nucleus of the powerplant is ripped straight from the V Star 1300. That equates to an 80 cubic-inch V-Twin with twin-barrel fuel
The Strykers engine comes straight from the V Star 1300  but has a different airbox  mufflers and mapping.
The Stryker's engine comes straight from the V Star 1300, but has a different airbox, mufflers and mapping.
Star claims it re-designed the dual mufflers of the 2-1-2 arrangement used on the 2011 Stryker.
Star claims it re-designed the dual mufflers of the 2-1-2 arrangement used on the 2011 Stryker.
injection and a single overhead cam design. The Stryker engine differs, though, by its higher cam lift and roller rocker arms. This move is aimed at reducing friction and upping lift ratios in the quest to inject the factory custom with a little more stomp. A larger, three-liter airbox also delineates the Stryker’s mill from the standard V Star 1300, as does its ignition and fuel-injection maps that are dialed-in to maximize the Stryker’s performance.

The engine utilizes forged connecting rods and a single crankpin, common denominators in the quest for lumping V-Twin character. But overall the engine is very well-balanced, vibrations are nominal and only come into play in the upper rpm as the motorcycle approaches redline around 6600 rpm. Ceramic-composite cylinder sleeves keep the piston action smooth as the oversquare engine sports a 100mm bore and a compact 84mm stroke. Operating within each cylinder are four valves, two 36mm intakes and two 32mm exhausts, while fuel is metered out through dual 40mm throttle bodies with 12-hole fuel injector nozzles. The entire operation is cooled courtesy of internally run coolant hoses.
 
Roll on the throttle and the mild-mannered nature of the mill disappears in a surge of low-end grunt. Acceleration is snappy for a 1300 and the bike overall feels lighter than its claimed 646-pound running-order. Gearing is fairly tall and power delivery is even throughout the powerband. Second gear is especially giving while pushing the speedometer up to the 80 mph range. The five-speed transmission is very compliant with just a tad of notchiness felt when engaging the lower gears, but finding neutral is a hassle-free process. A carbon-reinforced belt reliably transfers power to the rear without lashing.

Our route through the Texas Hill Country continues on Ranch Road 3238 as we pass by the turnout for Hamilton Pool. The fun increases in the rises and falls of the rolling topography. The Stryker is planted as we hit a series of sweepers and 35 mph turns. Star made a smart choice in only going 210mm-wide on the rear. It gives the bike the custom look Star was hoping for without totally sacrificing handling. At times, it’s easy to forget you’re on a bike with 40 degrees of rake.

Besides pushing out the steering head to 34 degrees and adding six more degrees in the trees, the heavy rake angle is disguised somewhat by the short space between the downtubes of the double cradle steel frame and the space
The 2011 Star Stryker has comfortable ergos that encourage riders to get out of town.
We took the Stryker for a 125-mile run through the Texas Hill Country to gather our first ride impressions.
created by its fresh open-necked design. The revised front end also features a  redesigned 41mm fork with new top and bottom triple clamps. The Stryker doesn’t require much push on the bars to get it tilted in at speed, but at slower paces, you become aware of the 40 degrees of rake. Sharp turns require a little extra room to get the 21-inch front hoop pointed in the right direction. It does, after all, sport a generous 68.9-inch wheelbase, but the low center of gravity afforded by the lowest seat height amongst the Star cruisers helps neutralize any ill effects. The Stryker’s riding position is lower than the V Star 1300, leaving rider’s arms up high almost level with the horizon.

When it comes time to scrub off speed, the Stryker relies on big single discs, front and back. The 320mm front provides a lot of surface area for the two-piston calipers to bite into. Overall power and feel at the lever on the front is solid, albeit without a strong initial bite. The rear brake, on the other hand, has plenty of bite and locks up fairly easily. But the 310mm rear rotor, with its hard-working single piston caliper, teams with the big front disc to be my saving grace when I had to jam on the brakes to keep from T-boning another journalist turning unexpectedly in front of me.

Fortunately, the controls are forward-mounted and the brake lever is easily accessed for just such an occasion. It is a tight squeeze on the bike's left side between the peg and shift lever for riders wearing thick-toed boots, like me, and I hooked my toe under the shifter a few times. The hand controls fall readily into place though, thanks to the swept-back
A pair of right thumb switches  Select and Reset  above the starter button allow you to access the minimalist LCD for speedometer  two tripmeters a clock and a fuel gauge.
Star kept the bars of the Stryker clean by utilizing one gauge for everything, but the speedo face is a little busy.
handlebars. A pair of right thumb switches (Select and Reset) are mounted above the starter button that allow you to toggle through the two tripmeters, fuel gauge and clock of the LCD readout. Star squeezed the LCD along with the analog speedo, tach and indicator lights including high beam, turn signal indicator, engine diagnostics and neutral indicator all into one handlebar-mounted gauge. Granted, the bars sport a clean, tidy look, much in the vein of a custom bike, but trying to squeeze everything into one small display makes the cluster a little busy.

Style-wise, at first glance the Stryker is going to draw comparisons to Star’s Raider. With good reason. The fenders are carbon copies and the wheels are identical sizes. Which means there are a variety of accessory wheels readily available for the Stryker. But look closely and the Stryker is its own beast. The shape of its tank is wicked, wide and slim. The height of the steering head is much more pronounced. The open neck-style double cradle steel frame is all-new. The way the seat scoops down low is cool, too. Its stock cast wheels look more custom than factory and it has metal fenders, which may be a trivial fact, but it adds worlds to the Stryker’s fit and finish, especially considering its $11,240 MSRP.

The Stryker’s also got an impressive line of over 60 accessories already available, everything from quick-detach windscreens to passenger backrests to highway
A detachable windscreen  passenger backrest and highway bars are but a few of the 60 accessories already available for the Stryker.
A detachable windscreen, passenger backrest and highway bars are but a few of the 60 accessories already available for the Stryker.
bars. The style of the accessories were developed and engineered at the same time as the bike by the same U.S.-based team that designed the motorcycle. There is even a Raven version straight from the factory to go along with a line of blacked-out accessories Star calls its new Midnight Collection. Initially, the Stryker is being offered in three colors - Raven, MSRP $10,990, while Impact Blue or Reddish Copper will cost a tad more at $11,240. This price point situates the Stryker lower than the 2010 Fury, Honda’s factory custom chopper, which lists at $12,999. In these times, it’s all about saving some Benjamins, which means the Stryker’s $11,000 sticker price will be one of the first things to attract consumer’s attention. Its low-slung saddle, slick tank, clean styling and an obliging engine will help seal the deal for some.
2011 Star Stryker Photo Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
Recent Cruiser Reviews
2015 Indian Scout First Ride
We channeled our inner Burt Munro during a first ride on the resurrected Indian Scout, tapping into the liquid-cooled V-Twin's claimed 100 horsepower on the roads around Sturgis.
2015 Indian Roadmaster First Ride
The 2015 Indian Roadmaster revives one of the company's most luxurious model monikers from the 1940s, and does it one better, becoming the most comfortable and touring-capable Indian motorcycle yet.
2015 Victory Magnum First Ride
Victory gives its best-selling bagger the custom treatment, adding a 21-inch front wheel, new LED headlight, lowering the rear an inch to go with top-shelf paint in the 2015 Victory Magnum.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire First Ride
MotoUSA's Backmarker gets seat time in the new Harley-Davidson LiveWire, though no serious opportunity to test the machine's mettle in the congested streets of Manhattan.
Star Cruiser Dealer Locator
Technical Specifications
The 2011 Star Stryker comes in three different color schemes including Raven complete with a host of blacked-out components.
2011 Star Stryker
Engine – 80 cubic-inch, liquid-cooled V-Twin; SOHC; four-valves per cylinder
Bore/Stroke – 100 X 83mm
Compression Ratio – 9.5:1
Fuel Delivery – Fuel Injection
Ignition – TCI: Transistor controlled ignition
Transmission – Five-speed
Final Drive – Belt
Frame – Steel double cradle
Suspension Front – Telescopic fork; 5.3-inch travel
Suspension Rear – Single shock; 3.9-inch travel
Brakes – Front - Hydraulic disc, 320mm
Rear – Hydraulic disc, 310mm
Tires – Front – 120/70-21 Rear – 210/40-18
Wheels – Five-spoke cast aluminum
Seat Height – 26.4 inch
Wheelbase – 68.9 inch
Fuel Capacity – 4.0 gallon
Weight – (claimed wet) 646 pounds
Warranty – One year (Limited Factory Warranty)
MSRP - $10,990 (Raven); $11,240 (Impact Blue, Reddish Copper)

Login or sign up to comment.

Comments
Hippie   March 14, 2012 04:36 AM
I just bought new 2011 Stryker. Just took it for the first ride last sunday 3/12/2012. Iam totally impressed! I sold my 2000 Harley Fatboy last July. I bought it new and rode all the time. The Stryker is hands down a better ride and even though my Fatboy had the 1550 modification done to it i believe my stryker is much quicker even at just 1304cc. My Stryker takes the bumps in the rode much smoother than the Harley and being from Michigan that is a much desired. Love the Stryker!
MR CEDRIC -HAVED BEAUTIFUL MOTO  January 2, 2011 08:55 AM
TO CAMEROUN
Mid Life Crisis Ken -Help me decide  November 27, 2010 08:36 AM
Guys - any help will be appreciated. I'm going through my bucket list and riding a cruiser is on top. Looking for a "cool" bike for casual cruising and occassional highway miles. Hopefully will become part of the community. You guys seem so passionate about riding I can't wait to start. What will be a good cruiser to get? I'm 47 years old, 5'10" and 185 lbs. I've been looking at everything from a Honda Shadow to a Harley Dyna. This bike caught my eye. Any ideas? Also, can't decide which course to take - the MSF or the Harley Riders Edge. Any ideas with this also. Thanks for helping.
Vstardude -One very cool bike!  November 11, 2010 06:52 PM
The smartest thing they did was relocate the speedo on the bars. It's right there and you don't have to take your eyes off the road to read it. When spring rolls around I'll be sellin my vstar 650 and buyin the Stryker. LOVE THOSE PIPES TOO!
Zippy -Biketoberfest Star Tent  October 15, 2010 04:19 AM
I just got back from the Biketoberfest Star Tent. They have gotten away completely from the "Classic" look in thier line. Everything is this new edgey, pointy style. We will see if it sells,

They did not even have a Venture or V Star 650 to display, 2 of the only 3 classic style bikes they have left. They did have a Roadstar on display. I told the Star rep, you guys have nothing I would buy to update from my Roadstar. Didn't really seem to care.

I am looking to buy my 5th Star, guess I will pick up a leftover Roadstar. (before they drop that line also) Spoke to a guy who just bought an 08 new for $9650 out the door.
Doo Dahh -where u @  October 14, 2010 07:15 PM
I love it, " a ladies bike for sure, Harley wives especially", (classic). So, here forth this is a girls bike. So any dudes considering this bike. Your on a chicks bike. :-0
Zippy -reply to WR, #2  October 13, 2010 04:33 AM
"I think it will sell like hot cakes" I stopped at my local diner after my Sunday ride and the hot cakes weren't really selling that fast. Just saying is all.
Zippy -reply to WR  October 13, 2010 04:28 AM
" out pace the Star V Star 1300 classic" WR, Star never made a V Star 1300 Classic.

About the Speedo in the tank, I would rather look down or not know my speed than run these goofy looking speedo pods.
shuzzbudd -kahuna tuna  October 12, 2010 09:13 PM
nice bike! can't wait to ride one. keep speedo where it is,on tank bib style you have to take yer eyes off the road.
wr -stryker  October 12, 2010 08:35 PM
Don't forget this is only an intro report, and first ride on the new for 2011 stryker. Latter on the editors for mo USA will give an in depth report on the new stryker. Just like they always do. Im an older guy who thinks this new modern look and instruments location really looks cool and can be read at a glance. the tank mounted speedo is old hat and not as visible at a glance. all in all a very modern take from the norm and I think it will sell like hot cakes, for the guy or gal who wants to be noticed while ridding short distances on the blvd and shot hops on the highways
wr -stryker  October 12, 2010 08:25 PM
Its a l@@ker alright, but I am into handling more so than the look. Plus the torque peaks 500 rpm lower than the V star 1300 classic which torque peaks at 4000 rpm respectively vs 3500 rpm. so It has more low end torque for around town but will not out pace the Star V Star 1300 classic. Don't get me wrong I love the look but for two up riding I am going to buy the classic which is 22 lbs heaver than the Stryker way to go star Yamaha
big fan -dont want to sound like a jerk  October 12, 2010 06:46 PM
when i call myself (big fan) i refer to this website,and as for a newbie not so much,sorry i get really excited to see every new bike out and hope to get the first scoop on it,that's why i love moto usa,dont hate just because you list new REVIEW VIDEO's but say nothing about the bike, and yes i can read. thanks for making me feel bad. just saying please more Info on all bikes.
Rick -Outstanding  October 12, 2010 04:54 PM
Great bike for Harley guys looking to upgrade to a quality bike!
Eric -Females  October 12, 2010 03:50 PM
A ladies bike for sure. Harley wives especially.
kentaro -night rod special owner  October 12, 2010 02:50 PM
Looks like a H-D Night Rod Special made love to a Honda Fury.
Mitch -Big Fan/Harley  October 12, 2010 02:06 PM
The video is pretty well done for a one day ride & shoot in my opinion. I think some people new to the site tend to assume that the article is a companion to the video rather then the other way around.
GB -milwaukee mike  October 12, 2010 04:27 AM
i see where walmart now carries HD shirts. along with all the other crap made in china.
woodco100 -reply. Nick - How's the seat?  October 11, 2010 04:44 PM
I rebuilt Metric seats into usable seats, I specialize in Star. If this seat is 1/2 as bad as the horrible stock rock that come on Stars it is good for about an hour. Stars have very uncomfortable cast foam/vinyl seats.

Keeps me in business, I cannot get cuaght up on orders!
harley -big fan  October 11, 2010 04:12 PM
It's a first ride video, meant for people to hear and see the bike and a few initial impressions. It was shot at a press intro, so we don't have much time to shoot video in between riding the bike,doing passes for the photographer, writing down notes and talking to Star reps.You want a report on the bike's power, read the article. The weight? Look about six inches up in the right hand column where all the bike's specs are listed.
big fan -you guys are getting lazy  October 11, 2010 03:54 PM
What's with your (review video)?? That didn't tell me anything about that bike? Power,weight,what the hell, I sure hope you don't pay him..
Nick -How's the seat?  October 11, 2010 11:10 AM
On a bike like this, you carry almost all your weight on your butt, making a comfortable seat absolutely crucial to long-term enjoyment of the bike.

The seat is the greatest failing of this bike's nearest competition, the Honda Sabre, which doesn't even offer accessory seats.

My current ride is an Intruder 1400. I replaced the seat with a Mustang item, making the bike much more enjoyable.

If this bike is comfortable, I might actually buy it.

Of course Milwaukee Mike might sneer at me and think I'm a poser, but only for as long as it takes me to pass him -- not very long at all.
Fred -Mr  October 11, 2010 10:38 AM
Mike, this bike isnt a harley!
milwaukee mike -I have to agree with the last three posters; huh?, GB,and Zippy  October 11, 2010 08:20 AM
Also 11K+ for a poser bike is ridiculous.
At this time next year they will be selling at "Fire Sale" prices.
But there are some people that will buy anyting.
Maybe if they sold yamahas at Walmart, they might sell more. Walmart shoppers don't care where the products are made or if they are robust enough to last more than a few uses.
huh? -Gag!  October 11, 2010 07:11 AM
sad...
GB -and  October 11, 2010 07:04 AM
straighten those damn pipes out!!
Zippy -speddo  October 11, 2010 03:25 AM
Put the speedo in the gas tank where it belong on a cruiser.