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2008 Yamaha Road Star Silverado

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The Road Star Silverado gets the look just right and brings along with it a reliable and powerful 102-cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin that’s built to pump out mountains of torque for years to come. For 2008, the engine gets electronic fuel injection for even more smooth, responsive power.

 

Introduction

The Road Star Silverado is legendary for its stylish and strength. It’s designed with casual touring comfort in mind, including a plush seat, full-sized floorboards, and soft leather saddlebags. For 2008, Yamaha made things even better by adding fuel injection.

Almost too beautiful to ride, this special machine blends classic styling with a deep rooted character and personality. A massive fuel injected 1,670cc V-twin delivers impressive torque and the kind of cruising performance you only get from a Yamaha.

It stands for uncompromised comfort and it’s dangerously close to being too damn beautiful to ride. The legend goes on.

History

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

The year 1999 had a positive impact on Yamaha’s way of building cruisers. By that time, the Japanese manufacturer had introduced the Road Star, their first model featuring belt drive and an excellent new starting point to a bright future of producing and selling cruisers.

The mechanical horse was based on a 98 cubic inch (1602cc) air-cooled, pushrod, 48-degree V-twin with 99 foot pounds of torque delivered at 2250 rpm at the crankshaft, and a five-speed transmission.

Those same features were implemented on the brand new 2001 Yamaha Road Star Silverado but the idea was to smoothly combine classic looks with technological advancements like four valves per cylinder, forged pistons and ceramic composite cylinder bore plating.

Simply a touring version, the Silverado presented another side of the same bulletproof built Road Star machine by being equipped with windshield, saddlebags, a low seat height and comfortable ergonomics.

In 2004 The Road Star Silverado has undergone a major update, and the engine’s displacement increased to 102 cubic inch (1670cc). The Silverado remained air-cooled for the simple fact that its buyers equate bare, functional fins with classic styling. This was how it became popular so why change it? It simply applied the “bigger is better” formula that always makes a hit.

Another big evolutionary step came with the model year that I am reviewing. Fuel injection is the key here.

Competition

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

Bigger in displacement and now fuel injected, the Yamaha Road Star Silverado is suitable to fight against the VTX1800T, which is an awesome cruiser built for the perfect road trip, combining a massive 106 hp 1795cc V-twin with all the touring touches you could ever need: roomy saddlebags, big windscreen, cozy passenger backrest.

Suzuki claims you’ve never seen or experienced a classic cruiser like this. Introducing the new C109RT, a machine combining classic cruiser styling with renowned Suzuki V-twin power in such a striking way that it becomes a true opponent of the Yamaha. Its most important feature is its 109-cubic-inch engine featuring Suzuki fuel injection which is the same basic powerplant used by the awesome M109R. Tracing its technological heritage to Suzuki’s championship winning GSX-R supersport bikes, it only requires one ride to make you notice that it boosts its own power characteristics, with more torque down low for extraordinarily acceleration.

True to its name, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Nomad is ready to travel and there’s no surprise this ready made touring-cruiser is a popular choice. Highlighted by a strong frame and excellent power from a 95-cubic-inch V-twin, the Nomad also has extensive touring features, a stylish appearance, and excellent riding dynamics.

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

Exterior

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

When Yamaha designers worked on the Silverado, they began with a clean sheet of paper. The first step was to draw that long and low frame borrowed from the Road Star, and create that nice classic cruiser look that never gets old or out of fashion.

The 5.3-gallon fuel tank came in second and it featured a speedometer stylish designed which provides easy riding of odometer, dual tripmeters, clock and fuel gauge as well as low fuel, high beam, turn signal, neutral and engine diagnostic indicator lights.

Further on the drawing board was added the touring rider seat and passenger seat with backrest. Both were shaped for roominess and extended long-range comfort.

Those nicely shaped fenders cover the fat whitewall tires which remind us how it all started back in the early days. The wheels are 16-inch cast so they go extraordinarily great with the tubeless tires.

This bike received a nice finishing touch with its industry-leading Star Family fit and finish featuring rich, lustrous paint, exactly the way a cruiser should. But another feature worthy to represent cruisers is chrome. The Road Star Silverado has load of that so it looks as stunning as it is powerful.

To make it a cruiser, Yamaha added an adjustable windshield, saddlebags and passenger backrest. These elements are the appropriate ones for this machine and fit it perfectly.


Test Drive

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

Designers worked in parallel with engineers because this bike didn’t just had to look good, but it had to perform as well. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Many aspects would have to be carefully looked after. The rider would only appreciate true cruising performance once it was properly accommodated so that was the start.

This is also what I first tested when I faced the Silverado. I noticed that the low seat is firm and comfortable, exactly how it should be for those long trips from state to state. Handlebars are at quick reach and involve no stretching or inconvenience while grabbing them. The only thing missing to complete the triangle is the floorboard arrangement. This allow for your feet to be forward positioned for maximum long range comfort.

I could have gotten used to the comfy ergonomics but city traffic soon determined me to maneuver the Road Star Silverado slowly but this was a good opportunity to see how the 712 lb feel underneath me. I have to say that this machine, despite the fact it is big, pretty heavy and receives its respect thanks to those features, doesn’t become a nightmare when it comes to slow speed maneuvering, no matter the situation.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to push it front and back all day so I headed outside town where I could get that precious feedback that makes a bike good or less good.

Here, I was glad that the engine and belt drive are not just a part of the look. Both perform spotless but what I immediately noticed is how the massive V-twin pulls hard from down low. This is how the engine was tuned before it was fuel injected but this new equipment has significantly improved the way the motor pulls. Stump-pulling torque is also fabulous but my “plus” heads towards strong and smooth acceleration.

The clutch is easy to pull and engages smoothly so the bike’s predictable character is easy to get used with. Shifting doesn’t require too much concentration because the five-speed tranny is very precise and will never allow you to miss any gears. I certainly didn’t.

Massive and a little heavy in town, the Road Star Silverado only keeps the first feature once it gets out on the highway as the weight disappears with the speed increase. While I was cruising at 70 mph I began to appreciate the adjustable windshield which provides proper wind protection and certainly increases the levels of comfort on board. This was also the time when I extended my feet out in a relaxed riding position and wished I could take this baby home with me.

Handling is predictable both in and out of town. The highway really made me underestimate this cruiser’s abilities but the Road Star Silverado only needed a few twists and turns to change my opinion.

I appreciate the dual front brakes because these are encountered on powerful machines which apart from going fast, also need to stop pretty fast. This is no R1 but it brakes strongly and reassuring for a cruiser.

The end of the day found me very relaxed and with a big smile on my face. This was mostly due to comfortable seating position and, very important, the way the suspensions function. Excellent that is! Stable bike at high speeds and stable as well under hard braking.

Thinking back from the start of the day until I swing my leg off it I would conclude that this is one hell of a cruiser. It simply offers everything this type of rider needs: powerful acceleration starting with 2000 rpm, stability at high speeds, great ergonomics, and reliable brakes. What else could you ask for? Ohh, it looks awesome, too!

Price

The Cobalt Blue painted Road Star Silverado can be just the machine for you if my test ride gave a clue but, as you know, everything comes at a price. Thank Yamaha Yamaha that in this case, no exaggerations are being made with the MSRP of $13,599. The only think that will make you wait will be the fact that the 2008 model year will only be available starting with march 2008. I bet I’m going to see some more activity out on the highway at that time.

Conclusion

With the 2008 Road Star Silverado, Yamaha proves that it can have a motorcycle which is perfectly good and take it to a whole new level. This time, it was all about fuel injection, but what will it be the next time?

Featuring 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 now that it has it, history can be written, trouble excluded.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 102-cubic-inch (1670cc)
Type: Air-cooled 48-degree V-twin; pushrod OHV, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 97mm x 113mm
Compression Ratio: 8.3:1
Carburetion: Fuel Injection
Ignition: TCI
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
Tires/Front: 130/90-16
Tires/Rear: 150/80-16
Wheels: 9-spoke cast
Length: 98.4 in
Width: 38.6 in
Height: 59.1 in
Seat Height: 27.9 in
Ground Clearance: 5.7 in
Wheelbase: 66.5 in
Ground Clearance: 5.7 in
Dry Weight: 712 lb
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal

Other

Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Cobalt Blue

Features

 

Key Features:

- New, electronic fuel injection ensures easy cold starting and flawless fuel delivery at nearly all altitudes and in nearly any conditions.


- A medium-size adjustable windshield enhances riding experience by keeping wind and weather off the rider.


- Touring rider seat and passenger seat with backrest is shaped for roominess and extended long-range comfort.


- Power is not a problem for the long-legged 102-cubic-inch V-twin, and belt final drive passes it to the rear wheel with maximum efficiency.


- Fat whitewall tires evoke the classic retro cruiser look.

New for 2008:

- Computer-controlled fuel injection monitors multiple engine parameters to calculate perfect mixture under nearly all conditions.

Engine:

- 102-cubic-inch (1670cc) air-cooled, pushrod OHV 48-degree V-twin pumps out huge amounts of torque barely off idle for brisk acceleration and fantastic overall cruising performance.


- Hydraulic valve lifters driven by twin camshafts deliver exceptional performance and less maintenance. Ceramic composite cylinder bore plating ensures greater durability and optimal heat dissipation.


- Smooth-shifting five-speed transmission with 5th-gear overdrive delivers outstanding cruising performance with low rpm at highway speeds.


- Dry sump lubrication system uses a handy spin-on filter and creates lower center of gravity by helping keep overall engine height to a minimum.


- Electric starting system features solenoid-activated auto-decompressor for easy, dependable starting.


- Two-into-two exhaust system features beefy, staggered shotgun dual pipes putting out a soulful V-twin exhaust tune.

Chassis/Suspension:

- Solid-mounted engine housed in specially designed rigid-look, double-cradle frame features a stylish 32-degreee rake.


- Extra-long 66.5-inch wheelbase creates long and low retro profile, added rider comfort and well balanced handling.


- Telescopic 43mm front forks with stainless steel covers and 5.5 inches of wheel travel for great handling and a plush ride.


- 16-inch cast wheels shod with tubeless tires for a classis, yet sporty look while providing confidence-inspiring handling and excellent grip.


- Dual 298mm front disc brakes feature four-piston calipers with aluminum pistons and sintered brake pads for strong, linear stopping power, backed up by a 320mm single rear disc.


- Lightweight and high-strength final drive belt provides long life and quiet operation.

Additional Features:

- Industry-leading Star Family fit and finish feature rich, lustrous paint and extensive chrome accents that create a machine as stunning as it is powerful.


- Ultra-thin, tank-mounted speedometer features a stylish design and provides easy reading of odometer, dual tripmeters, clock and fuel gauge as well as low fuel, high beam, turn signal, neutral and engine diagnostic indicator lights.


- LED taillight and clear turn signal lenses with amber bulbs for a custom look, great visibility and reduced current draw.


- Full-size floating-type rider and passenger floorboards are roomy and comfortable.


- A two-piece heel/toe shifter, and braided stainless clutch and throttle cables add even more comfort and style.


- 5.3-gallon fuel tank with low-fuel warning light means exceptional cruising range.


- Seat and fork locks both integrated into main ignition switch for extra convenience.


- Handy dual underseat helmet holders.


- Powerful 12V 60/55-watt halogen headlight minimizes nighttime visibility and comes with beautiful chrome finish.


- 12V 18-amp-hour maintenance-free battery ensures fuss-free, dependable starting.


Models Available

 

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

This is the model which I wrote about because it is the one I had the opportunity to take for a test drive. It is also the originally introduced machine, the one which created the powerful heritage and made it suitable to face another challenge.

Yamaha Road Star Silverado S

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

That very same challenge is known under this name. The Road Star Silverado S gets chrome accents to the front end including standard passing lamps, chrome switchgear, front brake master cylinder, front fork and levers. Of course it features the reliable and powerful 102-cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin that’s built to pump out mountains of torque. For 2008, the engine gets electronic fuel injection for even smoother, responsive power.

This model also features locking hard sidebags which create a cool look and provide ample storage for traveling.

Price

This one is available Charcoal Silver painted and it will require some more dollars. For the suggested retail price of $14,099 you will feel a bit special for riding a different model which features less classic elements, but Yamaha guarantees to deliver the same amounts of power and torque so as satisfaction would come no matter the model.



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