Yamaha Roadliner & Stratoliner: Neo-Retro Jewels

Star Roadliner MotorcycleGenerally speaking, I’m a practical guy. Typically, I’m attracted to practical bikes. Bikes that are multi-purpose: They serve reliably as a commuter. They hold their own when used to run errands. They’re fun for weekend get-aways. And I definitely like bikes that make long-distances go by comfortably. For me, cruisers don’t reflect all those qualities. However, I do like to ride them around town now and then.

So what is it about the Star Motorcycle (Yamaha) Roadliner that snagged my attention?

Although I don’t like to analyze things such as aesthetics (“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”), if forced to elucidate, I guess there is something enticing to me about that “neo-retro” look.

Anyway, after becoming enchanted by the Roadliner for a spell, I found myself adjusting my helmet astride the Stratoliner for a demo ride at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA. The Strat is the same bike as the Roadliner, except it’s got some extra goodies: a windshield and saddlebags. “Practical” goodies. The windshield has a quick release function and the saddlebags come on and off, too, so if you want that leaner, Roadliner look, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

The Roadliner/Stratoliner lay claim to Cruising Rider Magazine’s 2006 Bike of the Year. My impression after escorting her around the urban backdrop of Long Beach, CA? I’d like to take this fine-looking cruiser, adorned with the practical jewels, for a longer weekend jaunt to get a fuller flavor for her sensibilities out in the countryside.

2 thoughts on “Yamaha Roadliner & Stratoliner: Neo-Retro Jewels

  • The local cycle shop has had a few of these beauties when I have been in and they are incredible in their art nouveau styling! I am like you, in that I like practical bikes, but the styling on these talks to me, and the instrument cluster and speedometer look like old watch faces- just beautiful. They put me to mind of the streamliner school of locomotive design of the 30’s and forties. They look like precision machines to me.

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