Yamaha, the Japanese manufacturer, began producing motorcycles in 1955, starting with small-displacement bikes and then a developing a strong line of powerful competition bikes. In 1994, Yamaha established the Star brand, a line of cruisers, specifically for the U.S. market. The Stratoliner cruisers were introduced in 2006; in 2007 the company made the Stratoliner base and Midnight models as well as the Stratoliner S. All were design carryovers.
Powered by an air-cooled, 1854cc, 48-degree V-twin engine with an overhead cam and pushrod-activated valves, the Stratoliner—all three models—have computer-controlled, twin-bore fuel injectors. Ignition is electric. The five-speed manual transmission, with overdrive, has a belt final drive. A heel-toe shifter is standard. An adjustable preload telescopic fork with 5.5 inches of travel provides the front suspension; the rear suspension is a twin-sided swing arm. The front brake is an 11.7-inch dual disc; the rear brake is a 12.6-inch disc.
Weighing in at 758 pounds dry, the Stratoliner has a wheelbase of 67.5 inches. The two-piece seat on all models is a low 28 inches, with the upright rider position typical of cruisers. The instrumentation covers the basics with a few extras: speedometer, odometer, clock, fuel gauge, and tachometer. Yamaha doesn’t provide an estimate of gas mileage; the tank holds 4.5 gallons.
Part of the cruiser’s distinctive look comes from the locking hard side bags, but a wide variety of saddlebags and tank bags are available, along with a huge selection of accessories to customize the bike and add bling. A detachable windshield is standard; several different windshield options are also available.
Cruising Rider magazine declared the 2006 Stratoliner the bike of the year, a tribute to its looks, performance, and ride-ability. Yamahas are well known for being reliable, durable machines, and the Stratoliner offers great cruiser style, the latest technology, and a smooth ride as well.