Basically a stripped down Stratoliner, Star’s 2010 Roadliner S qualifies as the ultimate boulevard cruiser not only because of the massive engine powering it, but also thanks to the glamorous styling and unique riding feel. Cumulating these incontestable qualities, this model has everybody going “yes, it’s a Star” and who are we to disagree?
Only the Roadliner S carries on to 2010 (the Roadliner Midnight remains a 2009 model year) and this cruiser is set to find the sweet spot of riders who prefer short and non-windy rides, but also that of those who feel like buying a base motorcycle and accessorize it as their hearts demand.
Definitely one of the best representatives of Star Motorcycles, but also kind of positioned in a class of its own because of the unmatched design, the Roadliner S is sure to have a well kept recipe. To begin with, the 113-cubic-inch air-cooled 48-degree V-twin; pushrod OHV, 4 valves per cylinder motor is great at delivering roll-on torque and the best of it is that you don’t have to roll the throttle that much in order to be provided. Star has simply tuned the impressive powerplant to deliver the best of torque in between 2,500 – 3,000 rpm and what a great idea that was. The fuel-injection tuning and the Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve make sure the engine works brilliantly together with the five-speed gearbox so that any incursion down the boulevard would be so grunty than nobody would have troubles in spotting you passing.
As a rider, you would really need to like being in the center of attention for the simplest reason: this is a high-end product which looks, sounds and costs as such. Star’s characteristics are everywhere from the massive front headlight to the belt drive and two-into-one exhaust, indicating that it addresses to bikers found at the last of their evolutionary steps. Yet, with the seat being positioned only 27.8 inches from the ground and the engine being anything but boring, young rebel souls often find their place on the Roadliner and confess that the bike fits them like a glove.
Like any big bore cruiser, the Star Roadliner does weigh much (749 lbs wet), but unlike similar motorcycles, this one knows how to deal with this issue. With a low center of gravity and a near 50/50 weight distribution on the front and rear wheels, our bike only needs to be set into motion in order to lose the wale-like impression. The frame is made out of aluminum, while the suspensions offer good wheel travel (5.1 inches front and 4.3 inches rear) for those smooth and relaxing rides.
Stopping such a heavyweight motorcycle demands unleashing the front brake master cylinder with integrated lever onto the 298mm discs with the help of strong monoblock calipers. The single rear disc measures 320mm in diameter, which is almost as big as the belt drive pinion.
Star offers a long accessory list for both the 2010 Roadliner S and the 2009 Roadliner Midnight, meaning that it can be easily personalized and/or turned into a tourer.
The closest thing in performance and style to the Star Roadliner is probably the Suzuki C109R. This cruiser relies on a 108.8-cubic-inch liquid-cooled, DOHC, 54-degree V-twin engine that is as well fuel injected, but needs to move significantly more mass than Star’s as it weighs 838 lbs. Also massive and featuring smooth flowing lines the C109R is a serious and reliable motorcycle. It has a five-speed constant mesh transmission and shaft drive instead of belt on the Roadliner. The MSRP for Suzuki’s bad boy cruiser is $14,799 which is definitely competitive.
Kawasaki misses no chance to impress and in this case the Vulcan 2000 Classic is the appropriate thing to name. Featuring a monstrously big V-twin engine (125-cubic-inch) with eight valves per cylinder, it also delivers the best of torque (141 lb-ft) in the 2,500 – 3,000 rpm range (2,800 rpm, to be more precise). That is also due to the fuel injection system, which has long arrived on this model and turned the big cruisers category upside down. MSRP is $13,899 for now.
Honda sticks to 2008 with their VTX1800 lineup and the “N” corresponsive model to the Roadliner has everything to stay in line. The 109.53-cubic-inches 52-degree V-twin, SOHC; three valves per cylinder engine is fuel-injected and implicit capable of making an impression even against the Vulcan. The classic looks with the deeply valanced fenders are there as well, so we’re waiting for that next model for no apparent reason. At $13,699, this bike is the cheapest in the crowd.
Star’s goal when designing the Roadliner was a long cruiser with a low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution and those demands resulted into a 101.6-inch length, 6.1-inch ground clearance and 50/50 weight distribution on the wheels. They started from there and decided to actually have two models based on the different styling tweaks that designers imagined: the S and the Midnight models.
The 2010 Star Roadliner S lights up the atmosphere with its Deep Blue paintjob, but also thanks to the multitude of chromed components (switchgear, front brake and clutch master cylinders and levers, belt guard, fork and fork covers, handlebar clamps, shifter, front pulley cover, various engine covers and rear fender stay) and polished wheels.
The 2009 Star Roadliner Midnight shows a Raven paintjob with flames. This gives a nice and mysterious touch to this big piece of iron as not only the gas tank and fenders are covered in black, but most other pieces that are chromed on the S model.
Overall, both models look compact (yes, despite the great length) and mean, especially because of their knitted front fenders and big headlights. The 12-spoke wheels are nice too and so are the old-school taillights.
To some, it might seem just perfect to take for a ride, while to others it represents the starting point of a never ending personalization project.
Apparently, the base Roadliner model is the Midnight as Star prices it at $14,090, while the 2010 Roadliner S starts at $15,290.
No doubt about it, the 2010 Star Roadliner S is an exclusive piece of machinery that seems like being in a class of its own despite the strong competitors available on the market today. This is mostly the result of Yamaha making a brand of its own out of their cruising motorcycles and this is only the beginning.
Engine and Transmission
Type: 113-cubic-inch (1854cc) air-cooled 48° V-twin; pushrod OHV, 4 valves/cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 100mm x 118mm
Compression Ratio: 9.48:1
Fuel Delivery: Twin-Bore electronic fuel injection; throttle position sensor
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Aluminum monoshock
Suspension/Front: 46mm telescopic fork; adjustable preload, 5.1-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; 4.3-in travel
Brakes/Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm
Brakes/Rear: Hydraulic disc, 320mm
Wheels: 12-spoke cast
Length: 101.6 in
Width: 43.3 in
Height: 43.3 in
Seat Height: 27.8 in
Wheelbase: 67.5 in
Ground Clearance: 6.1 in
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal
Fuel Economy: 42 mpg
Wet Weight: 749 lb
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Features & Benefits