Yamaha’s Star Motorcycles are all classified as cruisers. And most of them look like cruisers. Most of them. There are several models in the 2013 Star lineup that standout by virtue of their looks and performance.
Yamaha Star VMAX
Since its introduction in 1985 the VMAX has been turning heads. Yamaha contracted English designer John Reed to construct the ultimate custom power cruiser. What he came up with was the four-cylinder, 16-valve VMAX. That first edition VMAX put out a claimed 145 horsepower. With a major upgrade for the 2009 model year the VMAX power output jumped to 197.4 horsepower, 123 foot-pounds of torque and a more impressive power-to-weight ratio than the Ferrari Enzo.
Classified as a cruiser, Yamaha touts the VMAX as the “ultimate fusion of brawn and brains.” The bike relies heavily on sportbike technology, like a slipper clutch and wave-style brake discs. Unique styling cues on the VMAX include the bike’s iconic handbuffed, aluminum intake covers, oxidized-titanium-coated front fork tube, magnesium engine side covers and four-into-one-into-two-into-four exhaust.
Standard features on the VMAX include some you won’t find on many other cruisers, like the immobilizer ignition system that keeps the ignition system, fuel pump and starter motor from functioning without the presence of the coded ignition key. This feature helps prevent ride away theft. The lean angle engine kill switch automatically stops the engine if it detects the motorcycle is laying on its side to prevent damage to the powerplant.
Instrumentation on the VMAX includes an analog, step-motor driven tachometer and digital speedometer with LED indicators and an LED shift timing indicator. The multi-function display uses organic electroluminescene for a more precise display than LCD. Included in the display are a clock, fuel meter, tripmeter, fuel reserve tripmeter, coolant temperature, gear position and stopwatch.
At the heart of the VMAX is that big, 1,679 cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 65- degree V-4 powerplant with a compression ratio of 11.3:1. Yamaha’s fuel-injection system, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) switches on the fly between 150 mm and 54 mm intake funnels to deliver maximum performance throughout the powerband. The VMAX has two radiators to increase efficiency.
A five-speed transmission with a hydraulically activated, race-inspired slip clutch and a heavy duty shaft drive deliver power to the rear wheel. The shaft is designed with two cross joints because of the beefy rear tire.
All that power demands powerful brakes, and the VMAX delivers there as well. Yamaha selected Brembo master cylinders for both the rear and front, and the front has a radial pump and reserve tank. Wave-style dual 320 mm discs with radial-mounted mono block six-piston calipers are up front. In the back there’s a single 298 mm wave-style disc and single-piston caliper. Three-position ABS comes standard on the VMAX.
Suspension on the VMAX is fully adjustable. The cartridge-damper-type front forks with 52 mm inner tubes feature adjustable compression and rebound damping and spring reload. The single rear shock has compression and rebound clickers and remote preload adjustment.
The VMAX has a seat height of 30.5 inches and wheelbase of 66.9 inches. The four-gallon fuel tank is tucked under the rider’s seat for mass centralization and to keep the bike’s looks clean. The big V-4 gets an estimated 27 mpg for a range of just over 100 miles. The VMAX weighs in at 683 pounds ready to ride.
Yamaha’s standard one-year limited factory warranty applies. Nebulous Purple is the only VMAX color choice for 2013. Base MSRP is $19,990.
Yamaha Star Stryker
Yamaha introduced the Stryker for the 2011 model year to fill the displacement gap between the Raiders and the V Star 950. Design work on the mid-sized custom cruiser was a collaboration between the Yamaha design team, custom bike builder Jeff Palhegyi and California based design company GKDI.
That design work is still evident on the 2013 Yamaha Stryker. Yamaha describes the riding position of the Stryker as “fists in the wind” and pure attitude. The 34 degree rake and yoke offset of six degrees combine for a total fork angle of 40 degrees and give the Stryker a muscle chopper look. Normally a radically raked front end and lots of trail, the Stryker has 109 mm of trail, translate to heavy steering. But because of the six degrees of yoke offset handling on the Stryker is light and nimble.
Custom chopper inspired styling cues don’t stop there. The 2-into-1-into 2 exhaust system was specially designed for the Stryker to add to its bad boy attitude. It’s dual slash cut mufflers have an exhaust note that Yamaha calls the “sound of acceleration.”
The low, one-piece rider-passenger seat combined with thick one-inch handlebars put the rider’s arms in a position that’s level with the horizon. The long, low frame is highlighted by steel fenders that make it easier to customize the Stryker. Under those fenders is fat 210-series rear tire and a tall, skinny 21-inch front tire.
A chrome housing mounted on the handlebars contains the instrument cluster with an analog speedometer, digital odometer, dual tripmeters, fuel reserve tripmeter that displays mileage since the bike went to reserve, fuel gauge, clock and warning lights. The rider can cycle through the readouts and reset tripmeters with a switch on the right handlebar.
The Stryker features a 1,304 cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 60-degree V-Twin engine with four valves per cylinder and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. Yamaha wanted a classic air-cooled look for the Stryker, so they added engine cooling fins and routed liquids through carefully hidden hoses and internal engine passages. The appearance of the radiator is minimized by mounting it between the front frame downtubes.
All that power from the engine is transferred to the rear wheel via a five-speed transmission with fifth gear overdrive and belt final drive. The 41 mm telescopic front fork provides 5.3 inches of travel. Vertically mounted and tucked out of sight to maintain a hard tail look, the single rear shock has 3.9 inches of travel.
Big hydraulic disc brakes, 320 mm in the front and 310 mm in back, provide stopping power. The Stryker has a seat height of 26.4 inches and a wheelbase of 68.9 inches. Wet weight is 646 pounds. The teardrop gas tank holds 4 gallons, and with the Stryker’s estimated 40.9 mpg has an estimated range of about 160 miles between fill ups.
For 2013 Yamaha offers two trim packages for the Stryker, high-quality chrome or a blacked-out package. Color options include Candy Red, Pearl White or Raven. The Stryker comes with Yamaha’s one year limited factory warranty and a 2013 base MSRP of $11,590.
Research All Of The 2013 Yamaha Star Cruisers
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