Yamaha Road Star
Yamaha introduced its classic cruiser motorcycle, the Road Star, in 1999. The Yamaha Road Star is an air-cooled, big-bore, heavyweight V-Twin cruiser motorcycle that attempts to combine American character and attitude with state-of-the-art Yamaha technology. Obviously, it was designed in hopes to increase Yamaha’s presence in the American V-Twin cruiser motorcycle market.
The Yamaha Road Star is a shot across the bow of psychoanalysis, serving notice to the practitioners of pricey self-help that happiness is a lot closer than perhaps they’d like their patients to know.
While the emphasis on the Road Star was combining classic cues with modern performance, Yamaha didn’t abandon traditional styling altogether. Instead of opting for a liquid-cooled engine like other Japanese manufacturers, the 1999 Road Star sources an air-cooled, pushrod operated V-Twin with belt drive. Its 48-degree V-Twin is fed by a single 40mm Mikuni carb. The motorcycle’s styling is clean and simple, and it also comes in a dressed-up Silverado version with Yamaha touring accessories like wider handlebars, a tall, adjustable windshield, studded seats, a passenger backrest, whitewall tires and leather saddlebags.
Variations of the Yamaha Road Star have come and gone over the last decade, including the Yamaha Road Star Warrior, the Road Star Midnight, the Star S and the Silverado. In 2004, displacement was bumped up to its present day 1670cc standard. To counteract the increase in power, Yamaha included bigger brakes as well, running 298mm dual discs on the front with 4-piston monobloc calipers.
The 2009 Yamaha Road Star features a hardtail-looking double-cradle steel frame with its link-type rear shock tucked out of sight. The Road Star’s fit and finish includes deep paint and plenty of chrome, rider and passenger floorboards, and a stylish tank-mounted console.