Star Raider: Modern Performance Custom

2008 Yamaha Star RaiderWhat!? Yet another cruiser?

And a chopped one right from the factory? We’ve come full circle with the terms “custom” and “chopper,” since those used to apply to what you did to your bike after it was completed by the factory.

V-twins are still the most popular segment of motorbikes in America. Add all the attention that the custom chopper market has been generating in the past few years from guys on TV and elsewhere, who customize bikes to such an extent that some of them are impractical at best, and in some cases completely unridable, and it’s not hard to figure why Star Motorcycles (Cruiser division of Yamaha), is riding this “custom chopper” wave as hard and long as possible. (Star has been the #1 metric cruiser manufacturer for 2006 and 2007).

The 2008 Raider with downswept pipes on the right side is Star’s first “Modern Performance Custom,” which includes an 1854cc power plant, 34 degree rake, a 21″ tire on the front and a 210 on the rear. Yep. That’s a power cruiser with an extended fork that still is an enjoyable and very ridable motorcycle.

I sank into the Raider’s comfortable riding position and headed out for a demo ride. The bike’s comfort was further reinforced by the twin counter-balancers moderating engine vibrations. (This is not a bone-shaking cruiser, but it’s certainly no Gold Wing either).

Cruisers are bikes strong on design, and the bike’s clean “chopper” look is supported by a lack of visible cables and wires, which are tucked into the handlebars and frame.

In brief, the Raider certainly does not lack for power, is one of a very few manufactured, chopper-designed bikes which can be further aided and abetted by your own selections from a catalog of bolt-on accessories to truly make this “custom.”

If you want to factor cost into the equation of a raked out motorcycle purchase, the Raider stands in a league of its own, as you won’t find anything else near this price for what it offers:

You can claim your own Raider for $13,180 and if you want some additional chrome, get the Raider “S” model for another $800, ($13,980).

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