The Raider is a brand-new motorcycle for 2008. It is a Star motorcycle, but goes by Yamaha Raider because Yamaha is the manufacturer of this powerful 1854 cc custom cruiser. This Japanese manufacturer introducing the first Star, a Royal Star, in 1996. Yamaha changed the line‘s name to simply ""Star"" for U.S. markets only in 2005. Right out of the factory, the Raider grabbed honors at the V-Twin Expo where it was named the ""2008 Metric Cruiser of the Year."" There are two models of the Raider: the Raider Base and the Raider S. The major difference between the two is the Raider S has dressier looking parts. In introducing the Raider, Yamaha called it ""a whole new kind of Star, a bike we like to call a modern performance custom."" The Raider was designed to look like a chopper, but uses lower handlebars than a true chopper. The front tire is 21 inches, and the smaller back tire, at 18 inches, is the tallest and widest Yamaha has ever put on a Star motorcycle.
The Raider leaves the factory with lots of customized parts and offers a lengthy line of accessories and parts for those who want to jazz up this cruiser even more. One of the first items riders may want to add is a windshield, as the 2008 Raider doesn’t have one. However, riders say the low seat, at 27.3 inches, does provide some wind protection. Riders also opt to replace the passenger seat, as the stock one isn’t comfortable for passengers on long-distance trips. The passenger sits a few inches up behind the driver, providing a nice view of the road. Riders say the Raider maneuvers well in normal city traffic, but it is more fun to ride when the road is curvy. The Raider weighs almost 700 pounds before fluids are added. This, combined with the big V-twin engine, makes it a motorcycle for experienced riders only. The 2008 Raider comes in Black or Cherry Red.