2012 Yamaha Raider Review


Inspired by the custom bike craze of recent years, the Yamaha Raider was designed to provide riders with the perfect balance of style, performance, and attitude. Loaded with custom-inspired features from the moment it leaves the factory, the Yamaha Raider boasts a low seat, stretched out front forks, and a wide, fat rear tire; giving it a look suggestive of a classic custom chopper. Everything about the Raider seems designed to look aggressive, even the slammed riding position. But far from merely being a good-looking bike with some cool parts, the Yamaha Raider also provides for a ride experience that's exhilarating and fun. Produced by Yamaha’s Star Motorcycle imprint, the 2012 Yamaha Raider delivers in terms of both style and performance.

The 2012 Yamaha Raider is powered by an impressive 113-cubic-inch (1854cc) fuel-injected V-twin engine that generates max torque at just 2500 rpm and produces max power at 4500 rpm. The Raider’s four pushrod-activated valves and dual spark plugs in each cylinder produce optimum combustion. With its classically beautiful architecture, the engine of the Raider was designed with powerful, relaxed cruising in mind. Ceramic-composite plated cylinders that also provide for superior heat dissipation improve reliability and engine longevity. With a computer-controlled, twin-bore, fuel-injection system, the 2013 Yamaha Raider’s engine is able to calculate a perfect mixture for all temperatures and riding conditions. The engine’s distinct jewel-like appearance is down to the special custom machining of its cooling fin. The Raider is constructed on a light but rigid aluminum frame that was designed with athletic handling in mind. The seat is low, holding the rider firmly in place, while pullback handlebars reinforce a sense of casual, urban street cruising. The 2013 Raider’s custom look and straight-ahead drivability are achieved by the bike’s six-degree yoke angle, which is the first ever on a street-legal model by Yamaha Star. Even the wheels, with their five spokes and tall, wide tires, help to evoke the bike’s custom look. With a flangeless 4.2-gallon fuel tank and an EPA estimated fuel economy of 42 mpg, the 2012 Yamaha Raider is a great bike for extended cruises. The bike’s switchgear is mounted inside its handlebars, further bolstering its clean and mean looks.

The 2012 Yamaha Raider reaps the benefits of Star Motorcycle’s close attention to detail. With high quality paint and chrome, as well as a jewel-like fit and finish, the Raider is a head-turner to be sure. Another enhancement to the bike’s custom look are the retro-cool instrumentation components, which are mounted on the tank, and include an analog speedometer, fuel gauge, twin digital trip meters, odometer, and self-diagnostic indicators. More reinforcement to the Raider’s custom look comes in the form of a bright, multi-reflector headlight, LED taillight, and amber turn signals behind clear lenses. Emissions are minimalized thanks to a 02 sensor and a three-way catalyst. Although the 2012 Yamaha Raider takes its cues from the custom chopper craze popularized by shows like Outlaw Garage it comes through in terms of handling, performance, and stopping power. If you’re drawn to bikes with the custom look but would rather spend your time riding, and not constantly working in the garage, the 2013 Yamaha Raider might just be a good bike for you. With style, attitude, and performance capability to space, the 2012 Yamaha Raider is a reliable, and comfortable cruising machine. The bike’s custom-inspired parts and design make the Raider a pleasure to gaze upon, while its modern engineering benefits from the knowledge of some of the world’s most experienced builders of motorcycle. Decked out in chrome as it is the 2012 Yamaha Raider doesn’t necessarily cry out for additional customization. However like all Star Motorcycle, the Raider can be personalized and customized to suit the individual taste of the rider.

New For 2012

  • Nothing new of note was introduced to the Yamaha Raider for 2012.

2012 Yamaha Raider Specs

  • Model: Yamaha Raider
  • Engine Type: 113-cubic-inch (1854cc) V-twin, four valves/cylinder
  • Bore and Stroke: 100.0 x 118.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.48:1
  • Valve Train: OHV
  • Induction: Twin-Bore electronic fuel injection; throttle position sensor
  • Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
  • Transmission: Five-speed, multi-plate wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Belt
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gallon
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: 42 mpg
  • Brakes (Front): Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm
  • Brakes (Rear): Hydraulic disc, 310mm
  • Suspension (Front): Telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
  • Suspension (Rear): Swingarm; 3.5-in travel
  • Wheelbase: 70.9 in
  • Rake: 33-degree
  • Trail: 102mm
  • Seat Height: 27.4 in
  • Curb Weight: 729.9 lb.
  • Tires (Front): 120/70-21
  • Tires (Rear): 210/40/18


  • Fixed Mount Custom Backrest Pad
  • Cruiselite® Custom Soft Saddlebags
  • Quick Release Windshield
  • Star Half Cover
  • Raider Custom Wheels & Accessories (In Chrome or Midnight) Rear Luggage Rack (In Chrome or Midnight)
  • Hard Slimbags by Hardstreet® (Liquid Silver or Candy Red)
  • Cell Phone/MP3 Holder by Techmount ®

Key Competitors For The 2012 Yamaha Raider

  • Suzuki Custom Boulevard M109R
  • Harley-Davidson Dyna-15
  • Harley-Davidson Super Glide Custom
  • Honda Valkyrie Rune