2012 Yamaha Roadliner Review


Envisioned as bike that would strike a harmonious between power and beauty, the 2012 Yamaha Roadliner is the flagship of the Yamaha Star Motorcycles casual touring series. A big, powerful cruiser, the Roadliner is a high tech machine with classic American styling. It also delivers the kind of handling you wouldn’t really expect from a full-size cruiser. With a massive V-twin power plant and neo streamline styling, the Roadliner provides a high level of performance and excitement. While the bike is certainly a head-turner in terms of looks, it’s also a capable cruiser, ideally suited for tooling around town or making extended highway treks.

Powered by a massive 1854cc V-twin, that’s the biggest engine produced by Yamaha’s Star Motorcycle division, the 2012 Yamaha Roadliner is a fuel-injected machine that’s capable of producing maximum torque at just 2500 rpm. Extremely powerful and impressive to behold, the bike’s 113-cubic-inch engine is an air-cooled 48-degree V-twin with four pushrod-activated valves. The engine’s two spark plugs per cylinder help to maintain optimal combustion efficiency. The cylinders are ceramic-composite plated, providing for superior heat dissipation as well as increased reliability and engine longevity. The twin-bore fuel injection system monitors multiple engine parameters, helping to calculate a mixture that’s perfect under all conditions and temperatures. The cooling fin has special custom machining that gives the engine its distinct jewel-like appearance. The 2012 Yamaha Roadliner is constructed on a light, rigid aluminum frame, with just a few welds, resulting in a look that’s smooth and clean. Ride quality and appearance are further bolstered by the bike’s 46mm front fork tubes, while a single shock with adjustable spring preload in the rear helps smooth out the ride under a variety of different weight loads. The Roadliner has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 42 mpg and the bike’s flangeless teardrop fuel tank carries 4.5 gallons of fuel, giving the Roadliner a substantial cruising range. The bike’s 12-spoke wheels evoke a retro thick spoke look, while contemporary tubeless radial tires provide for a ride that’s smooth and modern. Power is efficiently routed to the rear wheel via a strong-and-light belt final drive.

The 2012 Yamaha Roadliner is well appointed with chrome. Switchgear, front brake cylinders, clutch master cylinders and levers, belt guard, fork and fork covers, handlebar clamps, shifter, front pulley cover, various engine covers, and rear fender stay, all feature gleaming chrome. The bike has a distinctive look that’s both retro and modern, thanks to its neo-streamline design. The Roadliner has a long and low aluminum frame that further enhances its impressive looks, while helping to facilitate handling that’s unlike anything you’d expect from a full-size cruiser. Ride comfort is enhanced by floating floorboards, while the bike’s sculpted seat helps decrease the amount of effort required to operate the Roadliner. Long range riding comfort. Visibility is also great, thanks to position beams housed within the main headlights. The left thumb operates the high beam switch and there is a driving light switch that can be operated by the right thumb. The 2012 Yamaha Roadliner has classic clock-style instrumentation that further enhances its retro looks. Instrumentation consists of an analog speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge with twin trip meters and an odometer. The bike’s bright multi-reflector headlights, LED taillight, and amber turn signals behind clear lenses lend the Roadliner a custom look. If you’re looking for a powerful modern cruiser that’s styled like a classic American road machine, the 2012 Yamaha Roadliner may well be worth looking into. With its big, bold engine, lightweight aluminum frame, and impressive styling, the 2012 Roadliner has got performance, power, and chrome-plated style in abundance. It’s an ideal bike for riders who want to cruise in comfort and style, while having a good time reaching their destination.

New For 2012

  • The 2012 Yamaha Roadliner features a tank emblem that's been redesigned, giving the bike a more modern look.

2012 Yamaha Roadliner Specs

  • Model: Yamaha Roadliner
  • Engine Type: 113-cubic-inch (1854cc) air-cooled 48-degree V-twin; four valves/cylinder
  • Bore and Stroke: 100mm x 118mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.48:1
  • Valve Train: pushrod 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: 4.5 gallon
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: 42 mpg
  • Brakes (Front): Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm
  • Brakes (Rear): Hydraulic disc, 320mm
  • Suspension (Front): 46mm telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
  • Suspension (Rear): Single shock; 4.3-in travel
  • Wheelbase: 67.5 in
  • Rake: N/A
  • Trail: N/A
  • Seat Height: 27.8 in
  • Curb Weight: 750 lb.
  • Tires (Front): 130/70-18
  • Tires (Rear): 190/60-17


  • Quick-Release Backrest Upright
  • Comfort Cruise Solo Seat
  • Deluxe Hard Sidebags
  • Stratoliner Deluxe Windshield Bag
  • Billet Passenger Floorboards
  • Stratoliner Deluxe Fairing Kit
  • Star Half Cover
  • RoadLoK® Anti-Theft Systems

Key Competitors For The 2012 Yamaha Roadliner

  • Honda Rune
  • Harley-Davidson Super Low
  • Suzuki Boulevard
  • Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero ABS