Yamaha Road Star



At the heart of this machine is a massive, air-cooled 1670cc V-twin that pumps out an awesome amount of piston pounding torque. But “The Roadie” is more than just muscle. Legendary Star styling and attention to detail make it a rolling piece of art that you’ll be proud to ride.

For 2008, Yamaha has added Fuel Injection to the already impressive list of features so this package couldn’t have been better.


In 1999 Yamaha introduced the Road Star. An 1602cc (98 cubic inch), air-cooled, pushrod, 48-degree V-twin was the starting point and 28 inches seat height and 66.3 inches wheelbase were one-off features. But what made this bike a true Yamaha icon was the fact that it was the first motorcycle in its line with belt drive.

With the Road Star, Yamaha started the long road towards the Star line of cruisers. The brilliant idea was to combine American character and attitude with technological advancements and quality control standards that only this Japanese manufacturer could imply.

In 2002 Yamaha proved it can offer diversity at the highest levels with the introduction of its brand new power cruiser, the Road Star Warrior. An extension of the base motorcycle, this monster went for the air-cooled, pushrod, Road Star-derived engine displacing 1670cc. The amazing engine was tuned for more power and featured the most unique exhaust in its class.

The 2004 Road Star model suffered the benefic effect of the Warrior version. Yamaha bored out the world’s largest production air-cooled pushrod V-twin 2mm which meant that 1602cc became 1670cc, just like on the Warrior.

Yamaha had also made the Road Star more comfortable and eliminated vibration from the floorboards, seat and handlebars. Together with the crisp engine, this was one sweet ride and a big step forward towards the 2008 fuel-injected motor.


Suzuki also offers a true classic cruiser which is ready to fight against the Road Star. The Suzuki Boulevard C109R combines classic cruiser styling with renowned Suzuki V-twin power in such a striking way that it became the closest competitor for the Road Star.

The key to C109R’s performance is its 109-cubic-inch engine with Suzuki fuel injection, the same basic powerplant used by the awesome M109R, which traces its technological heritage to Suzuki’s championship winning GSX-R sport bikes. One ride on the C109R and you’ll notice that it boosts its own power characteristics, with more torque down low for extraordinarily acceleration. The C109R establishes its own identity with its styling.

It has pullback handlebars, floorboards that let you kick your feet out a relaxed riding position and its own slash-cut mufflers.

Following the path forged by the original Vulcan 1500 cruiser’s design, the Vulcan 1600 Classic continues to provide riders and experience that’s hard to forget. Its good looks materialize in the form of a low, sleek chassis matched with equally impressive V-twin power are without a doubt a big part of this successful motorcycle.

At the center of this exciting bike is a 95-cubic-inch V-twin engine generating plenty of low-end torque and supplying the Vulcan 1600 Classic with more than enough power for just about anything its rider chooses to do. Extra power is nice for playtime, but when a plan calls for extended seat time, the single-pin crankshaft and a gear-driven counterbalancer work together to provide a comforting rhythm without those harsh vibrations.


The element with which the Road Star beats its competitors and makes a rider buy with its heart, not with the brains, is styling. The bike that had much to do with the introduction of “Star Motorcycles” is clean looking and prefers a lower seating position.

Classic elements are all over this Yamaha, starting with its fenders, fuel tank featuring ultra-thin, tank-mounted speedometer introducing us to a stylish design and providing easy to read odometer, dual tripmeters, clock and fuel gauge as well as low fuel, high beam, turn signal neutral and engine diagnostic indicator lights, and ending up with the legendary V-twin arrangement with plenty of chrome all over it.

The 16-inch cast wheels individualize it in the crowd so all the rider has to do is to keep it out of the garage. No problem with that!

Colors available for this model year are unique and provide excellent fit and finish for this Star. Galaxy Blue/Sapphire Blue Scallops and Pearl White are both excellent finishing touches and prove to be the most appropriate for this classic cruiser. Good bye Black!

Test Drive

From the first time I heard that the Road Star finally receives fuel injection after its last big revamp in 2004, I was very anxious to hear how this system influences the way the engine performs, but most of all, I needed to see for myself.

So I found my way on a nice and comfortable Yamaha Road Star and hit the road. The first thing that strikes you once you start opening the throttle is how the engine strongly pulls starting with 1500 rpm. This is the amazing effect of fuel injection and it is also the feature that makes this bike feel able and charming from the first twist of throttle.

The 1670cc air-cooled V-twin is now exploited best because the computer-controlled fuel injection monitors multiple engine parameters in order to calculate perfectly the mixture needed in any given condition. This is a major advantage and a big step forward for the mighty engine which enjoys revving freely in any given gear.

I had the occasion to take this beast out the highway and see how it really behaves while running in fifth gear. Cruising is excellent and the engine is always ready to provide the power needed for passing over or anything from wide openings of throttle once you exit those twisty roads or TopSpeed exploiting. If the corners will require a lower gear it is no problem.

I noticed that the versatile character allows for strong acceleration, especially in lower gears, which are mostly used on cruisers.

This gearbox doesn’t make a debut this year, so it is not evasive or determines you to miss any gears. It is easy to use and makes all the right noises, as well as the engine in collaboration with witch makes its magic.

Excellent handling is given to the fact that the Road Star feels light and ready to rock. Slow speed maneuvering in tight spaces, like parking lots is far from being a nightmare, although the engine is big and requires respect. Also, steering is very confident at 90-degree corners in first or second gear.

The fact that the bike is so responsive is mostly due to bulletproof mechanics but the ergonomics are great and things wouldn’t have been the same without them. Ever since it was introduced back in 1999, this was a strong point so appreciation soon came but now we can talk about evolutionary steps which let their fingerprint on the levels of vibrations transmitted to the seat, handlebars, and floorboards.

I appreciate the fact that the controls have the standard arrangement but let’s see how they work. The brake lever feels strong but that is an effect of the braking power it delivers to the front 280mm disc brakes on the wheel. Braking with your foot is always recommended in collaboration to the front and in this case, the rear braking power is applied on a 320mm disc.

The equipment which I thing it needs a bit more refining is the suspension which with more than one occasion seemed a bit rough. But hey, no boy will ride this think! The bike still feels comfortable and long ride friendly but it is good to know that nothing is perfect.

Overall, it is an awesome package offered by a great manufacturer with loads of experience and attitude. The fact that fuel injection is now a reality can only mean one think: great horses and excellent response. Ok, two thinks.


The 2008 Yamaha Road Star is offered for the MSRP of $11,899, no matter the color elected. Considering the advantages offered and the fact that this bike can be customized as you please, I dare to call it a bargain. The motorcycling public has made all the right noises related to it so great sales are waiting.


Yamaha always proves it has the talent to keep the best on a bike and add the missing piece. There is no better example than the 2008 Road Star. The manufacturer made sure that the frame will remain the same so as the general positive arrangement will be kept and the awesome ergonomics too.

Having an excellent riding position and a low center of gravity which results in stability at high speeds, this cruiser only needed fuel injection so as the recipe would be complete and ready to be set on the table and be enjoyed by people all over the world.


Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 102-cubic-inch (1670cc)

Compression Ratio: 8.3:1

Chassis and Dimensions

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