Star builds the Road Star S and Road Star following the classic recipe, but adds a high-tech fuel injection system as well as a range of distinctive features that have become this maker’s emblems by now. Features such as the belt final drive, 9-spoke cast wheels as well as the amazing fit and finish are setting Star apart from the rest of the Japanese crowd and closer and closer to Harley-Davidson built quality.
The two classic Road Star models address to mature and experienced riders who demand the most from a cruising-type motorcycle and also prefer the possibility of accessorizing their standard bikes instead of going for those touring Silverado ones that Star also offers.
Classic cruisers originated in the Unites States of America and use to represent finesse, beauty and bling, if you will, due to the multitude of chromed elements that they used to feature. Japanese manufacturers also jumped in this train when the market started to become more and more demanding and it’s no secret now that they’ve become quite good at building stylish cruising motorcycles.
The 2010 Road Star S is without doubt one of the best representatives of the industry for offering great all-around thrill at an affordable starting price. For a little over $13K (or just over $12K in the case of the 2009 Road Star, which is still available) you get an impeccably looking cruiser, with its most important feature being certainly the engine. A 102-cubic-inch, air-cooled, 48-degree V-twin; pushrod OHV, four valves per cylinder engine looks great, but the performance capabilities of this powerplant are even greater. With a computer-controlled fuel injection system delivering loads of torque just above idle and working perfectly in all conditions, the engine on these Stars isn’t just great performing, but very reliable as well.
There’s a five-speed wide-ratio transmission actuated by a heel/toe shifter, so that’s a nice feature to have too. Also, the floorboards are very spacious and grippy.
This looks like and actually is a serious piece of machinery, so the frame is made out of steel and the engine is solidly mounted on it. Despite that, previous model years presented no excessive vibrations, keeping owners happy and proud of their two-wheeled machines. With plush suspension featuring 5.5 inches of travel up front and 4.3 inches of travel at the rear, the Road Star, no matter model, is a top notch overall product always ready to face it’s contenders.
Just how Yamaha gathered their cruising motorcycles under the name star, Suzuki brands them as Boulevard and among those models it is very easy to distinguish an appropriate alternative for any specific Star model. The 2009 Suzuki Boulevard C109R is priced at $14,799 and offers plenty for that money. To begin with, a massive fuel-injected 108.8-cubic-inch, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 54-degree V-twin engine, also a steel frame and shaft drive instead of belt. This bike is mostly bought by those who want to ride the biggest motor out there, but there’s always the Vulcan 2000 Classic and I bet there will be more in the future.
So we’re better off looking for a closely sized engine and make a proper comparison. The alternative is spotted in Kawasaki’s 2010 Vulcan 1700 Classic, a cruiser which’s 103.7-cubic-inch, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder V-twin develops 108-lb-ft at 2,250 rpm. Final drive is this time belt, while the best of this Vulcan is the six-speed transmission with overdrive. Design is also splendid and the retail price affordable (only $12,999 for a 2010 model year).
The 2008 Honda VTX1800 is also well worth mentioning as an in-between alternative. Price is $13,699 while the fuel-injected 109.53-cubic-inch V-twin is sure to touch some gentile chords in a rider’s heart.
Everything about classic cruisers is related to looks and that very important good first impression, so the 2010 Star Road Star S had to offer that. The bike is extremely well put together and it all culminates with the massive V-twin motor and that two-into-two exhaust. The combination of Raven and chrome is definitely eye-catching and those beefy tires covering the cast 16-inch wheels with nine spokes each immediately stand out.
Cruisers are all about piece (not quiet as the exhaust is pure symphony) and the rider-machine communion is simple and natural. There’s a foamy seat and pullback handlebars, so there are five-star accommodations both for rider and passenger as the pillion seat is pretty comfy too.
The headlight isn’t monstrously big, but definitely not of regular dimensions, while the sinuous lines of the front fender carry on all the way to the gas tank (also featuring complete instrumentation), seats and to that rear fender and stylish LED taillight. On the lest side, the belt final drive is an easy to spot feature, but yet again, so is this entire motorcycle.
You can still buy the 2009 Star Road Star, which comes with a lustrous Candy Red paintjob.
But apart from colors these models also come with different prices, as we also mentioned above. The 2010 Star Road Star S has a $13,090 MSRP and the 2009 Star Road Star starts at just $12,390.
First as Yamaha, now as Star, the Road Star has come a pretty long way and proved being not only beautiful and proper performing, but reliable too. There’s no doubt that evolution has a strong word to say and that, ten years from now, we’ll be bragging about how reliable the 2010 model year is.
With the 2010 Road Star S, Star meets their ambitions of delivering an uncompromised classic cruiser with a compromised retail price. Great combination!
Engine and Transmission
Type: 102-cubic-inch (1670cc) air-cooled 48° V-twin; pushrod OHV, 4 valves/cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 97mm x 113mm
Compression Ratio: 8.3:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 5-speed, wide-ratio; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Steel; hidden shock
Suspension/Front: 43mm fork; 5.5-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; 4.3-in travel
Brakes/Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm
Brakes/Rear: Hydraulic disc, 320mm
Wheels: 9-spoke cast
Length: 98.4 in
Width: 38.6 in
Height: 44.9 in
Seat Height: 27.9 in
Wheelbase: 66.5 in
Ground Clearance: 5.7 in
Fuel Capacity: 4.74 gal
Fuel Economy: 36 mpg
Wet Weight: 743 lb
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Features & Benefits