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2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

Thursday, June 17, 2004
2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe
2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe
With the rise in popularity of the touring/cruiser models the competition for motorcycle enthusiast dollars has become fierce. It seems few riders are strictly tourers anymore, and the aesthetic charm of the cruiser genre has taken a bite out of the high-mile niche.

Never one to rest on its laurels, Yamaha has emerged with a machine that might satisfy the ever-conflicting desires of motorcyclists with its new Royal Star Tour Deluxe.

As I strolled through the stunning countryside on my way to Monticello, the plantation of Thomas Jefferson, it finally dawned on me what the Royal Star Deluxe embodied: a true tourer that likes to play dress-up for occasional cruises down the boulevard.

For a while I was a little miffed by the Deluxe's conflicting identity. Is it a tourer? Well, it can't be a full-blown long-distance machine because it lacks some of the amenities offered on luxo-barges like the Honda Gold Wing and BMW K1200LT. But then again, it's not really a cruiser because, well, it's a V-4, and not a very quick one at that. At first, I wasn't truly convinced there was any market for this machine because it didn't have any concrete identity.

However, it seems as though my inability to grasp the concept was truly a symptom of my own preconceived notions of what a bike should be. Even before I swung my leg over the Deluxe, Yamaha's PR people hit me with a barrage of pie charts, graphs, and statistical charts that proved there was unequivocally a market for a blended machine such as the Deluxe.

As I sat and listened during the media debriefing, it sounded like Yamaha took a Royal Star Venture and just repackaged for people who don't want all the crap on it…whhiicchh, in all honesty is what they did. But that's not to say it's a naked Venture. A host of new features and ergonomic standards give the Royal Star Deluxe an identity all its own and, despite my hesitancy to accept a machine that blurs the lines between cruiser and tourer, Yamaha did a damn fine job.

Aesthetically, the Royal Star Deluxe doesn't possess the jaw-dropping good looks of Road Star Warrior. However, it is certainly a good looking bike and will do well to fool the less than hardcore enthusiasts on Main Street into thinking it's a chrome-laden V-Twin cruiser.

After turning a few miles, my first thought was this machine was destined for long hauls on the asphalt. It performs the touring function beautifully. The windshield is large and deflects windblast at just about any speed, and the wide comfortable seat is perfectly suited for longer rides.

The Tour Deluxe is an excellent tourer and a solid boulevard cruising machine.
However, the one theme that kept popping up during my time with the Tour Deluxe was its ability to convert between tourer and around town cruiser. Yamaha's Star Line has been at the forefront of metric cruiser customization for the last few years. With the Tour Deluxe, Yamaha is taking it a step further by instituting features which allow owners to make changes to their bike within a matter of seconds.

Those looking to take to the boulevard for the day can take advantage of Yamaha's technological advancements which allows the rider to change the Royal Star Deluxe from a tourer to a cruiser in just a few seconds. The engineers at the tuning fork logo have designed the windshield and sissy bar so they can be removed quickly. Simply depress two levers and remove the desired apparatus. Not only does the system work as well as advertised, it is truly a remarkable feature for people who don't want to be pigeon-holed into cruising a tourer or vice versa. Yamaha also included a multitude of interesting little goodies like exhaust tips that can be swapped out with the turn of a screw.

A set of capacious, locking hardbags comes standard on the Deluxe. With 9.3 gallons of space, there's plenty of room for supplies for an overnight trip or a lightly-packed weekend. They might not be big enough for multiple days like those on a Venture or Gold Wing, but this bike is about dual personality capabilities, which begs the question: What's wrong with multiple personalities?

All this hardware is fun to play with, but nothing stands out on this machine more than its cruise control. We're talking about real cruise control, not a throttle lock or some goofy apparatus. A push of the button, just like on a car, and the bike's electrowizardry takes over to keep the Royal Star with a mph or two of your set speed. For the first time in my life I rode with my right hand down at my side while cruising on the freeway. Ah, the freedom.

Okay, so it's got a few cool features, but what about the bike?

The Venture-inspired Deluxe utilizes a version of the liquid-cooled V-4 originally designed for the venerable V-Max. The Deluxe doesn't pull anything like Mr. Max, but it's heavily detuned for use on a cruiser-style bike with touring capabilities.

Feeding the cylinders is a set of 32mm Mikuni carburetors with heater circuits. The carbs dish out a smooth and even dose of power through the powerband and nary a hiccup emerged during my ride.

Capacious hardbags provide enough room for overnight trips.
A set of capacious hardbags are large enough to accomodate overnight trips.
Yamaha claims peak horsepower at the crank of 98 at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 89 at 4750. While we weren't able to get specific numbers during the press introduction, the bike feels like it might offer somewhere in the high 70s in terms of horsepower, similar to the old Venture.

Still, with its 1294cc of displacement and 10:1 compression ratio, it pulls reasonably well down low and through the midrange before really shining as the V-4 is rolling along at cruising speeds. Roll-on power feels similar to that of a lighter 1200cc V-Twin. Although it lacks the low-end punch that a Twin gives you, it makes up for that by offering a more linear powerband and higher rev range. Third-gear pulls are especially dramatic when the revs are up, and the overdriven fourth and fifth gears allow the pilot to lazily cruise along the highway with negligible vibration and good fuel economy. Expect about 180 miles of cruising range from the 5.3-gallon fuel cell.

The Deluxe feels right at home winding its way through the countryside or cruising on the highway. The air-adjustable front fork with 5.5 inches of travel performs admirably on the road, soaking up bumps while providing consistent feedback in and out of tight corners. Likewise the 4.1 inches of travel offered by the rear air-adjustable suspension absorbs road undulations much like a tourer should. Moreover I was impressed at how well the Royal Star Deluxe stayed planted, which is due in large part to a low center of gravity. Yamaha went to great lengths to keep all 844 pounds of wet weight near the earth, which improves overall handling and performance.

Even though the suspension is predictable when pushed through tight corners, the Royal Star Tour Deluxe has trouble playing the role of sportbike. As with most cruisers, floorboards touch down at relatively modest lean angles.

Scrolling through the 5-speed transmission is accomplished with the flick of a heel or toe. The gears are neither too tall nor too short and provide enough room in the rev range to get the bike up at a reasonable velocity. The tranny performed beautifully throughout and I never missed a shift. In conjunction with the ultra-smooth clutch, shifting duties are a breeze.

Bringing this leviathan to a stop is done with is a set of 298mm twin-piston calipers in the front while braking duties out back are accomplished with the help of a 4-piston 320mm disc brake. The binders on the Royal Star Tour Deluxe are absolutely outstanding and are perfectly suited for a bike this size. They won't induce any stoppies, but for a bike this big they do a superb job.

Yamaha has emerged with a machine that might satisfy the ever-conflicting desires of motorcyclists with its new Royal Star Tour Deluxe.
For an 800-pound machine the Tour Deluxe is surprisingly easy to turn at low speed.
Ergonomically, the Royal Star Tour Deluxe is a comfortable bike. Hands rest comfortably on the wide rubber-mounted bars and feet fall naturally on the extra-roomy rubber-mounted floorboards. While some Japanese cruisers tend to fit smaller frames, Yamaha went to great lengths to ensure the engineering department across the Pacific gave enough room for the supersized American butt. Sure enough, my 6'0" 190-pound frame fit the overall size of the bike pretty well.

The controls are easily accessible. The brake and clutch levers are big and wide, providing an excellent target for the hands and need but a couple of fingers to actuate. The horn and blinkers function as expected and are set in their tradition UJM placement. Down low, the wide pedal brake and heel-toe shifter feel and look like sturdy components.

The seat height is similar to that of the Venture, measuring in at a reasonable 29.1 inches. Riders who are vertically challenged might have some difficulty maneuvering the bike in tight spots, but stop lights should be fine for most people. Speaking of tight spots, the Tour Deluxe is a rather nimble bike considering its substantial heft. Even though it weighs more than the 768-pound Harley-Davidson Road King Custom, it is far easier to maneuver when performing U-turns on a two-lane road.

While I am impressed with the overall finish of the Deluxe, I was torn on its instrument cluster. The retro speedo is dressy, but velocity is indicated using a digital LCD needle which, aside from being pretty cheesy, is very difficult to read during the day, especially in situations where speed varies. It's easier to see at night, but the LCD needle has got to go. Indicate speed with LCD numbers or with a traditional speedo so it can be read at a glance. What Yamaha came up with for the Royal Star Deluxe is second only to the ZX-10's tach in terms of hard-to-read gauges.

In addition to the speedo, the Deluxe offers dual tripmeters, a fuel tripmeter, clock, fuel gauge, and indicator lights for cruise control and overdrive, water temperature, and low oil level. It sounds the instrument space might look like the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, but Yamaha did an excellent job of hiding said indicators when they are not in use.

Don t like the exhaust tips  No problem  turn them around or swap them out for different ones with the turn of a screw.
Don't like the exhaust tips? No problem, turn them around or swap them out for different ones with the turn of a screw.
The technical specs of the Royal Star Tour Deluxe aren't out of the ordinary, but that's not to say the bike isn't. Yamaha included a bunch of cool features on this machine and slapped them on a respectable motorcycle. No, it's not a brand new bike, but at $13,999 the Royal Star Tour Deluxe is superb touring machine that is much cheaper than a competitor like the H-D Road King which costs $16,995, the BMW K1200LT at $18,660, and its touring-oriented cousin the Venture, which comes in at $16,999. Unlike the Venture and KL1200LT, it offers the ability to quickly transform the bike into a cruiser.

After a full day of testing, there's little question the Royal Star Tour Deluxe will receive ample interest from the motorcycling public. Although it doesn't adhere to strict cruiser standards, it passes the cruiser test with its beefy, low-slung looks. Yes, it's a V-4 not a V-Twin, so it stands slightly apart from the pack.

We think a rider who is on the road for the enjoyment of riding as opposed to showing off their ride will find the Royal Star Tour Deluxe to be a perfect fit.

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lesfry   May 22, 2013 08:27 PM
I ve owned a 06 Tour Deluxe for 7 years and have just over 38000 on it. this could be the best bike on the road, but Yamaha has cut corners it it like they designed a great bike. and cut corners and put cheep parts that wont last. 1. Seat Sucked. the most uncomfortable seat on a tour bike, you nutz ride on the tank, I solved this problem by getting a mustang seat. 2. cheep paint. it seams they put the least amount of paint they could get by with, your saddle bags will be scratched all to hell. and your finder will be full of chips. 3. tire wear is excessive, stock tires only last about 4000 miles, with a long wear tour tire gets about 6000. vs 10000 pn a harley or Golding. 4. cheep components and expensive replacement. the switch for starter and cruse control is cheep plastic and easily breakable. my second one just broke. and they cost about $500 to replace. that's excessive for a part that cost about $5 to make. in the long run it is cheaper to get a Gold-wing or Harley. they may cost a little more but the extra money is worth not having the disappointment of watching your bike fall apart. the motor is wonderful, the rest of the bike sucks. 5. the tires wear out too fast and it cost alot to replace them. it will cost you $150 in labor at the cheapest place i can find for this bike. Oil Change and new back tire cost me $550. If I had it to do over with I would have goten a different Bike. Yamaha's quality just isn't very good.
okie   March 11, 2013 11:20 AM
I have a 05 royal star deluxe want to add a fairing with radio aat ny suggestions what kind Thanks Mike
davie100   July 31, 2012 07:11 AM
UPDATE from yesterday.

Spoke to owner of shop, Cudos to Bob Weaver Motorsports. Yamaha is covering tires under warranty and service department is covering installation! No charge to me!

That's customer service folks!

I'm in love again! 4300 mi in 3 months.
davie100   July 30, 2012 11:35 AM
Bought my 2009 RSTD in March of 2012 right off the showroom floor, 0 miles. I agree with the heat, ok I put on pegs. Other that that I love the machine.


I just took it in for its 4000 mile service, and the dealer is telling me the back tire is fried! WTF it only has 4327 mi.

Come on Yamaha....14k for the machine 4 months ago and I need tires already.

itsmejeffkucera25   July 15, 2012 09:55 PM
I wanted to share my story with this bike and hopefully someone will read it and make an informed decision regarding owning one. I was looking for a comfortable bike for a while and I think I read every review out there. Price, comfort, and maintenance cost helped me narrow down my search to two bikes, Yamaha RSTD and Kawasaki Nomad. The RSTD is more comfortable (I’m 6 feet 200 pound) almost every bike I sat on felt a little too small. I bought a used 2005 RSTD 4 months ago with 14,000 miles on it, and here’s what I’ve experienced after about 12,000 miles: 1. Comfort: I have Mustang seats on it (money well spent if you’re going to be riding a lot) I drive about 100 miles a day to and from work and the ride is a pleasure, plenty of power, great balance, smooth, and big bike feel on the highway. I test drove lots of bikes and aside from the Goldwing and the Victory Vision, this is by far the most comfortable bike for my size. The highway pegs are a great addition but I don’t feel the need to use them (I just do to cool off my feet, more on that later). Several passengers commented on how comfortable they feel on this bike but some of them complained about the wind. 2. Power: this bike has got it. Roll on the throttle and feel the instantaneous rush of power to the wheel. The wide ratio gears make it possible to be cruising at 35 MPH in 5th. At highway speed top gear has plenty of power but should you require more drop it to 4th and hold on, it’ll go in a hurry. Even with a passenger, the power is there and does not disappoint. 3. Gas mileage: The best I’ve gotten is 44, the worst is 39 MPG and I drive with a heavy foot before getting to the highway. I’m sure I can get a little more than 44 if I try but I’m very happy with the 42 MPG I typically get. 4. Windshield and backrest: they can be easily removed (a dual edge sword) and I keep the backrest off, the windshield (stock) is the perfect height for me, not too long not too short. You can ride without the windshield but if you have any highway driving to do you need to keep it on. I tried driving without it on the highway and it’s a little too much wind for me (and bugs) for in town driving it comes down to your preference. 5. cruise control: one of the nicest thing about this bike. It’s nice to be able to take your right hand off the bar every now and then. 6. maintenance: The only thing I did is change oil and air filters, the dealer said they already changed the final gear oil just before I got it (recommended at 16,000 miles). No issues whatsoever so far, I couldn’t be more satisfied on this front. Now for the bad stuff: 1. The whine this bike is notorious for is here to stay. It could be pretty bad at times and a lot of people get really ticked off about it. I’m ok with it and I think it went down a little bit as the miles piled on or it could be just my wishful thinking. In any case, if this is something that’s gonna bother you don’t buy this kind of bike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of the noise and I wish it wasn’t there but I can truly say it does not bother me. Everybody that I’ve talked to said this is not nor will it develop into a mechanical problem and I’m happy with that (so far so good). 2. Heat: my feet get really hot on the inside because of the lack of wind to cool off the engine. I notice this more on hot days (no kidding) but it’s not terrible and I have enough room on the floor boards to slide my feet outward and away from the heat. 3. windshield and backrest do not lock. This means that anyone could remove those in 10 sec and walk away with them. It would’ve been nice to add a locking mechanism so you don’t have to worry about leaving them on the bike overnight if you were to stay in a not so nice neighborhood. 4. In tight turn at low speed (full lock), the wide handlebars can trap your knee if you’re not prepared to move it out of the way. The first time it happened I almost dropped the bike but now that I know about it I get my knee out of the way when I’m about to make a sharp low-speed turn and have no problem. All in all, this is an excellent bike all around. Superior comfort, good gas mileage, and no mechanical problems whatsoever. If you’re considering a bike like this take note of the flaws, if you can live with them you’d be one very happy rider just like I am.
Gary Marcondes -2009 RSTD  October 17, 2010 01:34 PM
While I agree with all the good comments about the bike, I've been pleaged with the dreaded clutch whine / chirp as so many other riders have been. Mine started around 700 miles and got unbearable by 3000 miles. Yamaha is replacing the clutch basket but won't garrantee an end to the noise. How can they get away with a mechanical defect like that. Anyone with a car that whined like that would have options. It dosen't appear that we do. If this dosen't work, I'll be selling mine. Any help would be appreciated.
E-mail / lngary@verizon.net
Michael Fochtman -Big Mike  August 17, 2010 01:28 AM
2006 royal star tour deluxe. I am a big man at about 420lbs 6'3". I went and sat on a bunch of Motors, but this bike seemed to fit me the best. I bought a brand new 2006 in Oct 09 in under 1 1/2 years I put over 26000 miles the bike. after I hit 26000 miles I started getting better gas milage about 40-42 mpg. I cant complain for 9,999 dollars it was a good investment.
David firefighter1203@yahoo.com -radio caddy  July 2, 2010 08:06 AM
I have 2005 Yamaha Road Star Deluxe. I am looking for a radio caddy.
Geoff Hart -RSTD  June 19, 2010 12:46 PM
Iam speechless, words cannot describe how I feel about my bike. Iam totally in Motorbike Heaven.cannot see me ever wanting to change it.This is me now, me & my Bike for life.
Ray Hegwood -2005 Tour delux  June 4, 2010 03:09 PM
Just bought my first touring bike cant wait to take a trip. It is used but man does it have power. 65mph in second ?realy? WOW three more gears. How fast is this thing? Should have bought one years ago.
Jerry M. -RSTD  March 13, 2010 08:15 AM
I bought a 2006 RSTD last fall and couldn't be happier. I had originally decided to buy a Road King, but after riding the two the RSTD fit me better, was more comfortable, offered the cruise control, and had air ride front and rear. It is very smooth and fun, it's as easy to handle around town as it is on the highway. The only drawbacks with this bike are an annoying clutch whine (which is common due to the straight cut gears Yamaha uses, not a mechanical problem though) and the limited amount of bolt-on accessories. If you are in the market for a large "convertible" cruiser I would recommend finding one of these. I am disappointed Yamaha discontinued the model for 2010.
Dave A. -2005 Royal Star Tour Deluxe  January 8, 2010 06:13 PM
35,0000 miles later, I can say this is the finest motorcycle I've ever owned. I can see why Yamaha warranties this bike for 5 years
James Bryant -Tour Delux  November 28, 2009 07:47 PM
We bought our first Yamaha last year, 2006 Tour Delux,with 4200 miles. several of our friends own Harley's and did thier very best to get us to buy a Harley. after taking a 2000 mile trip to Florida with several Harley's I'll keep my Tour Delux and put it up against those Harley's any day of the week. Nice site ran across it surfing, Stay safe everyone.
MarcusB -Smooth  October 20, 2009 08:19 PM
I just picked up my new Royal Star Tour Deluxe yesterday. The 40 mile freeway drive home confirmed I made the right decision. UNBELIEVABLE! I cannot wait to take my next road trip. Prior to this bike, I planned for a stop every 100 miles. The stops were due to the inevitable bike butt. When I felt my spouse squirming, I knew it was time to stop. I suspect I'll need to wake her up to see if she has to pee on the Royal Star Tour Deluxe. V Twin I'll never look back!
ray mccoy -feed back  October 13, 2009 05:15 PM
rideing sesion is allmose over time to think about a new bike
i dearly love my old 83 venture i know its not a sport bike but it thinks it is. GUYs am i going to like the newer star???? has any of ya road both?? ill be looking at an older bike 02/05
Curtis BUrns -Royal Star Tour Deluxe  September 29, 2009 02:04 PM
Love the bike, but i have funny sound in the back of mind. Its a 2007 and i just don't think that i should be having these problems so soon.( purchase on Aug 25 2009 no miles on the bike)
Dave A. - - Tour Deluxe  September 19, 2009 03:32 PM
Bought a tour deluxe in June - Immediately started using it to commute to work daily. Road it from Florida to the Blue Ridge mountains the day I passed the break in period. Awesome bike with plenty of power. Did very little downshifting in comparison to my wife's V-Twin in the mountains.

As Dennis noted above, it feels suprisingly nimble for a bike of its size (ok, it is not a sportbike), while still being very comfortable. Spent 8 days on it away from home with no complaints.
tour delux,dave dunn -tour delux  January 23, 2009 01:28 AM
from my first best friend, back in 75 the xt 500 enduro to my next best buddy that i rode 2500 miles in 9 days to calif. a 1100 special strait 4 banger, im now a boneafied old fart at 51 years old. under powerd harleys with over powered loud pipes never impressed me. ill take my new tour delux with a third more horse power vs cc any day. after building locomotives all day the last thing i want to listin to is loud pipes. they say loud pipes save livas, but all they do for me is hurt my ears.
Dennis F. Hyde -RSTD  January 5, 2009 06:28 PM
I would agree with all of the above. I might add that my throttle hand has never gone to sleep like it did on the VTX1300 I owned previously. My V4 is very comfortable and is ranther nimble for a heavier bike. I wouldn't trade for anything. This is the bike for me.