From the first time I heard that the Road Star finally receives fuel injection after its last big revamp in 2004, I was very anxious to hear how this system influences the way the engine performs, but most of all, I needed to see for myself.
So I found my way on a nice and comfortable Yamaha Road Star and hit the road. The first thing that strikes you once you start opening the throttle is how the engine strongly pulls starting with 1500 rpm. This is the amazing effect of fuel injection and it is also the feature that makes this bike feel able and charming from the first twist of throttle.
The 1670cc air-cooled V-twin is now exploited best because the computer-controlled fuel injection monitors multiple engine parameters in order to calculate perfectly the mixture needed in any given condition. This is a major advantage and a big step forward for the mighty engine which enjoys revving freely in any given gear.
I had the occasion to take this beast out the highway and see how it really behaves while running in fifth gear. Cruising is excellent and the engine is always ready to provide the power needed for passing over or anything from wide openings of throttle once you exit those twisty roads or TopSpeed exploiting. If the corners will require a lower gear it is no problem. I noticed that the versatile character allows for strong acceleration, especially in lower gears, which are mostly used on cruisers.
This gearbox doesn’t make a debut this year, so it is not evasive or determines you to miss any gears. It is easy to use and makes all the right noises, as well as the engine in collaboration with witch makes its magic.
Excellent handling is given to the fact that the Road Star feels light and ready to rock. Slow speed maneuvering in tight spaces, like parking lots is far from being a nightmare, although the engine is big and requires respect. Also, steering is very confident at 90-degree corners in first or second gear.
The fact that the bike is so responsive is mostly due to bulletproof mechanics but the ergonomics are great and things wouldn’t have been the same without them. Ever since it was introduced back in 1999, this was a strong point so appreciation soon came but now we can talk about evolutionary steps which let their fingerprint on the levels of vibrations transmitted to the seat, handlebars, and floorboards.
I appreciate the fact that the controls have the standard arrangement but let’s see how they work. The brake lever feels strong but that is an effect of the braking power it delivers to the front 280mm disc brakes on the wheel. Braking with your foot is always recommended in collaboration to the front and in this case, the rear braking power is applied on a 320mm disc.
The equipment which I thing it needs a bit more refining is the suspension which with more than one occasion seemed a bit rough. But hey, no boy will ride this think! The bike still feels comfortable and long ride friendly but it is good to know that nothing is perfect.
Overall, it is an awesome package offered by a great manufacturer with loads of experience and attitude. The fact that fuel injection is now a reality can only mean one think: great horses and excellent response. Ok, two thinks.
The 2008 Yamaha Road Star is offered for the MSRP of $11,899, no matter the color elected. Considering the advantages offered and the fact that this bike can be customized as you please, I dare to call it a bargain. The motorcycling public has made all the right noises related to it so great sales are waiting.
Yamaha always proves it has the talent to keep the best on a bike and add the missing piece. There is no better example than the 2008 Road Star. The manufacturer made sure that the frame will remain the same so as the general positive arrangement will be kept and the awesome ergonomics too.
Having an excellent riding position and a low center of gravity which results in stability at high speeds, this cruiser only needed fuel injection so as the recipe would be complete and ready to be set on the table and be enjoyed by people all over the world.