You’re looking to a whole new kind of Star, a bike called a modern performance custom. Chopper-inspired but built to perform. Good luck outdoing this bike’s combination of looks, performance and Star build quality.
When the engineers at Yamaha set out to produce a true custom machine, the easy part was the styling and attention to detail.
The trick was to combine this awesome “chopper” inspired styling with a chassis that would offer superior handling. The engineers at Yamaha were not willing to compromise. The all-new Raider must deliver great handling and excellent ride quality so as its rider would discover its true superior aptitudes and all around performance of the new Raider.
With the brand new Raider, Yamaha intends to head the Star motorcycle line to as many directions possible and it uses all the resources to complete this objective.
The fact is that Yamaha follows the “chopper” tendency and creates what I call a manufacturer’s web of products. This way, once a customer enters the showroom, a bike will surely catch its attention based on the type of ride that he wishes. The Raider offers that special something in a world of heavy-duty cruisers.
That is why the Star line of cruisers became a brand of its own starting with 2006 and the Raider intends to direct that success to even higher scales.
It does it, of course, with good looks and exceptional fit and finish but what really sets it apart from any form of competition is its 113-cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin motor. This last unit is being transferred from the already initiated Roadliner, a bike which I tested and which is truly reliable and awesome performing thanks to the engine that can now be found on the 2008 Yamaha Raider.
Bottom line, we are witnessing history being written my friends and nobody would recommend you to miss this important episode that will probably determine other Japanese manufacturers to head towards the “chopper” look.
2008 Harley-Davidson Rocker
Until the other Japanese manufacturers will enter the scene with their own brand new machines featuring chopper features, we can only head towards Harley-Davidson, the manufacturer that started it all.
Closest competitor is the Harley-Davidson Rocker, a bike featuring an air-cooled rigid-mounted 1584cc Twin Cam 96B Balanced engine, a fat 240mm rear tire, color-matched satin stainless metallic painted engine covers, 5-spoke wheels, curved handlebar riser, cast aluminum finned oil tank, front fork lowers, swingarm, turn signals, hand controls, headlamp and new fuel tank console with speed shop style speedo. Also featuring new LED Stop-Turn-Tail light internally wired, independent v-bars, and color matched frame, the 2008 Rocker really rocks!
2008 Yamaha Raider S
If you are looking for a cruising machine that looks like it’s moving even though it is not, there can be no better choice than the Raider.
Featuring sleek design and ultra refined body pieces, this cruiser looks like a real bullet. Why? Starting with the front, you will notice the beautifully-shaped round headlight accompanied by chromed elements (chrome triple clamps, fork sliders, air box cover, headlight housing, handlebar risers, etc) strategically positioned to make the bike stand out even more and make it glow superbly out on the boulevard.
The handlebars remind us of those custom-made machines which involve a lot of stretching, but this is not the case with the Yamaha (at least not that much). On the handlebars, the mirrors are very stylish and if you take a closer look, they actually remind you of a star.
Further, the fuel tank is nicely sculpted and features a speedometer and all chromed package surrounding it. The comfy seat takes the lines even further and introduces us to the rear fender which, like the first, looks like a small wave but this one ends with and LED taillight.
Another aspect well worth to be taken in consideration when it comes to cruisers is the engine. This one has chrome spread all over it and shines beautifully underneath that gas tank.
Customizing is the key when it comes to the Raider and a pair of custom 5-spoke wheels carry a 120/70-21-inch bias tire up front, and a wide, 210/40-18 radial out back – the tallest and widest ever fitted on a Star motorcycle.