Star Motorcycles - Raider - First Ride

Photography by Tom Riles, Brian J. Nelson

There are two versions of the Raider: the basic model, available with nary a do-dad in black-on-black or basic red; plus the more expensive blue or red flamed S-model, which must stand for "Shiny" since it's dressed up with a chrome fork, clamps, risers, headlight, turn signals and so forth. Star describes the Raider styling cues as "black art...wicked gothic." Hmm... One thing I find especially unappealing about the Raider's look is the downswept 2-1-2 exhaust. We heard the arch touted as one of the bike's most "graceful" elements, but all I think when I look at it is "limp." Lucky it's a quick fix. On the universally appealing side, the Raider is very clean, with most cables and wires neatly routed through the bar, risers and frame.

Typical of this line, the Raider is very well built and nicely balanced for a pleasant ride. The styling will be a take-it-or-leave-it thing, but if you're over the traditional Road Star, aren't turned on by the draginspired Warrior and don't have the eye or the beans for the pricier, more classically styled Roadliners, the Raider offers a glam option.

No doubt any cruiser rider can find his place among the Stars-and he won't need a Gulfstream to get there.


A spin-off of the classically styled Roadliner 1900 and a step up from the 1700cc Road Star.

Harley FXDWG and FSXTC, Honda VTX1800F, Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic, Suzuki Boulevard C109R.

Price: $13,180-$13,980
Engine type: a-c 48-degree V-twin
Valve train: OHV, 8v
Displacement: 1854cc
Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 118.0mm
Compression: 9.5:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 5-speed
Claimed horsepower: na
Claimed torque: na
Frame: Aluminum double-cradle
Front suspension: Conventional telescopic fork
Rear suspension: Single shock
Front brake: Dual four-piston calipers, 298mm discs
Rear brake: Single-piston caliper, 310mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-21 Metzeler ME880F Marathon
Rear tire: 210/40R-18 Metzeler ME880 Marathon
Rake/trail: 39.2/4.0 in.
Seat height: 27.3 in.
Wheelbase: 70.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.1 gal.
Claimed weight (tank full/empty): 717/692 lbs.
Colors: Raider: Raven, Candy Red Raider S: Blue, Candy Red with flames
Available: Now
Warranty: 12 mo./unlimited mi.

Contact: Star Motorcycles
Yamaha Motor Corp. USA6555 Katella Ave.Cypress, CA

Comfy, well-made cruiser with plenty of oomph, but somewhat narrow style appeal.

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