2008 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

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The best of two worlds: Stripped-down street cruisability and plush long-distance touring capability in one motorcycle with the quick-change windshield and passenger backrest.

 

Introduction

Like the look of a cross-continental tourer just as much as a stripped down boulevard cruiser? Than the Yamaha Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe is the machine for you. With its quick-detachable windshield and backrest, this Royal Star can change modes from cross-town neat-streeter to luxury transcontinental cruiser in minutes, easily and without tools.

Take a ride on the Royal Star Tour Deluxe and you will find out that it doesn’t have just the ability of converting itself, but its rider too.

History

Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

In the late ’80 and early ’90 it seemed that no matter what Yamaha would have changed, added, or improved at its Venture model, the Honda Gold Wing would still be a bigger success and we all know that Yamaha doesn’t like second places. So it did what any other smart manufacturer would have done, despite it had and awesome package: it stopped producing the Yamaha Venture in 1993 and fast orientated its design towards touring implying classic looks.

The marketing strategy was carefully planed and before it introduced the second generation of Ventures that would increase the Royal Star lineup in 1999, it needed to test the public with a new motorcycle featuring the mighty V4 engine (which was now more than popular after being fitted on the V-max).

What better way to do that than with the brand new 1996 Royal Star Tour Deluxe. This bike threatened to send contenders scattering and with its combination of nostalgic styling and great power coming from the liquid-cooled, DOHC V4 engine featuring 4 valves per cylinder, it did.

In 2005 Yamaha presented the new Royal Star Tour Deluxe, and it now offered the best of both touring and cruising world. It was all combined in what they call a “Cruiser Touring” machine that dominated, and still does, one of the fastest growing segments in the market today.

Competition

Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

It is obvious that this bike gives a hard time to its competitors by featuring the now famous V4 engine with sporty abilities.

In order to find the closest competitors I will also use the recipe that they did. I will search for bigger bore and stroke to compare with this 1300cc. What better maker than Harley-Davidson when it comes to big V-twin engines?

From the big-skirted fender and detachable windshield to the classic hard touring bags, the Road King is pure undiluted majesty on roads full of four-wheeled sardine cans.

This is the look that made a touring Harley the king of the road. Porterhouse-sized headlamp, giant chrome nacelle, and a new 6-gallon gas tank with restyled console. And immediately below, the big, black and chrome Twin Cam 96 engine and six-speed transmission. Added comfort in the new seat and handlebar position, a new cruise control option and new Brembo brakes with optional ABS. Every on-ramp’s a welcome mat.

Exterior

Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

If you are into massive cruisers or/and touring machines, there is no better alternative than the Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe. Weighing almost 800 pounds and featuring everything that a tourer can offer and more, this Yamaha looks very impressive and able to take you from coast to coast.

Its most important ability concerning design is the fact that it can be stripped down and enjoy awesome street cruisability or left just the way it is and be accommodated in plush conditions, perfect for long-distance touring.

In case you go for the first option, the quick-detachable windshield and backrest will make your bike look more suitable for cross-town cruising. It is just a matter of preferences if you ask me.

Either way, the excellent fit and finish includes flawless paint with extensive chrome and brushed stainless steel accents as well as deep, valanced steel fenders which give it a retro look and really stand out in and out of town, with or without the touring features.

Wherever you go, a headlight is a strict necessity so nobody would want to remove the powerful 12V 60/55-watt halogen headlight in stylish chrome shell with custom bezel which also cuts a stylish profile.

A tourer won’t be complete without its sidebags which in this case are hard-shelled and match the bike’s color. They are also very spacious (9.3-gallon storage with interior storage pouch) and feature one-touch openers.

2008 brings two new interesting two-tone colors with the purpose of making the bike’s look stand out even more. First, there’s the Galaxy Blue/Raven and then there’s the Charcoal Silver/Liquid Silver.


Test Drive

Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

Out on the open road the Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe performs spotless and proves able to outstand hour after hour of long riding. After all, it is what is was created for and it is hard to find another one like it. Maybe the Royal Star Venture, but you will notice that the Deluxe offers quite some advantages.

The bike proves very easy to handle once on the move and that is due to its high-rigidity, single-backbone frame with solid engine mounting and 29-degree caster angle. This also leads to responsive steering so the package seems complete when it comes to leaning over and enjoy the plush ride.

But things won’t be the same without the air-adjustable telescopic front fork and air-adjustable link-type rear suspension. This equipment simply carries you towards the ride of your life and I am sure you will feel like riding again and again, with no wish to stop.

In case you want to stop for gas or a nice, worm meal, the large-diameter front and rear disc brakes will provide you with all the stopping power needed. It won’t do any wheelies but it doesn’t want to fool nobody neither. Honest brakes that do their job properly.

A tank full of gas won’t make you stop for about 180 miles so the wide open road and the freedom will be the two things that will dominate your senses.

Let’s check out the important stuff! How about the engine? Its 1294cc liquid-cooled, DOHC 70-degree V-four develops a claimed 97 hp at 6000 rpm and 89 ft. –lb. at 4750 rpm. These numbers resulted in unimaginable engine performance that gives cruising a whole new meaning. It brings excitement, hard acceleration, loads of torque and excellent sound coming from the nicely shaped exhaust system.

The beast is mated to a five-speed wide ratio transmission with 4th and 5th gear overdrive providing plenty of highway passing power. This leads to fuel efficiency given by the low rpm involved.

Although the V4 engine slightly sacrifices low-end, its mid-range pull is simply awesome and 3rd gear gave me the meanest rush ever encountered on a cruiser.

Once I was cruising in fifth gear, I hit the cruise control button and lay back, this being my second time riding without my right hand on the handlebar. And I mean riding and riding over and over again. The cruise control is this bike’s most appreciated feature by us at TopSpeed and it couldn’t have completed the bike’s character better.

Its low center of gravity makes it go like a train and also improves handling and overall stability. I very much appreciate this aspect of the bike and I couldn’t imagine things without it.

The floorboards are more than relaxing, both for the rider and passenger and in collaboration with the saddle and, in my case the handlebars, the riding position is truly relaxed without any stretch involved or anything like this at all.

Excellent touring abilities encountered on the 2008 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe. These are given by the windshield which is more than effective and really sets this bike apart from your average cruising machine. If you also decide to drop the backrest, oh…there was your cruiser. That is the beauty of it. Two wonderful characters gathered under a single name which you know very well.

Life on board of this Yamaha is very relaxed and reassuring. This feeling is also implemented by the retro dash which features classic looks and modern goodies such as: digital speedometer, odometer, dual tripmeters, fuel tripmeter, clock, fuel gauge, and indicator lights for cruise control, overdrive, neutral, high beam, turn signals, water temperature and low oil-level. All these were easy to read during day and night so you won’t have a problem with getting your information from there.

All in all, the bike was great and very tempting. I strongly recommend you to give it a try and create a new image on cruising. Good luck!

Price

If you keep a place in your garage especially for this cruiser, the only question now remaining is what color scheme should choose. The Galaxy Blue/Raven is the cheapest. Suggested retail price is $14,499. But if you are more into Charcoal Silver/Liquid Silver, the MSRP rises to $14,999. Not a big choice apparently, cut it can make all the difference. 

Conclusion

Featuring excellent handling and great amounts of power, the Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe promises to make your dream a reality and you will no longer find yourself dreaming for the best, but riding the best. And that is probably the best feeling a rider can get on its brand new machine.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 79-cubic-inch (1294cc)
Type: Liquid-cooled 70-degree V-four; DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 79mm x 66mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Carburetion: (4) 32mm Mikuni CV
Ignition: TCI
Transmission: 5-speed, wide-ratio w/5th-gear overdrive; hydraulic clutch
Final Drive: Shaft

Chassis and Dimensions

Suspension/Front: Telescopic fork; air-assist, 5.5-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; air-assist, 4.1-in travel
Brakes/Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm
Brakes/Rear: Hydraulic disc, 320mm
Tires/Front: 150/80-16
Tires/Rear: 150/90-15
Length: 98.6
Width: 39.8 in
Height: 60.0 in
Seat Height: 29.1 in
Wheelbase: 67.5 in
Ground Clearance: 5.9 in
Dry Weight: 787 lb
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal

Other

Warranty: 5 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)

Colors: Galaxy Blue/Raven; Charcoal Silver/Liquid Silver

Features

 

Key Features:

Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

- The best of two worlds: Stripped-down street cruisability and plush long-distance touring capability in one motorcycle.


- Quick-detachable windshield and backrest let the rider optimize the bike for cross-town cruising cool or cross-country touring comfort quickly without tools.


- Electronic cruise control with right handlebar controls for ease of use.


- Color-matched locking hard-shell sidebags with handy, one-touch openers and spacious 9.3-gallon storage with interior storage pouch.


- 67.5-inch wheelbase provides a smooth highway ride and plenty of room for rider and passenger.


- The Royal Star Tour Deluxe S gets chrome accents to the front end.

Engine:

79-cubic-inch (1294cc) liquid-cooled, DOHC 70-degree V-four tuned to put out class-leading power - 97hp @ 6000 rpm and maximum torque at 89 ft.-lb. @ 4750 rpm – for incomparable cruising performance.


- Four heated Mikuni 32mm carburetors with TPS deliver seamless throttle response and greater power across the entire rev range in nearly any climate.


- Compact-design dual intake system enhances performance without sacrificing fuel tank capacity.


- Large-capacity radiator ensures superior engine cooling for maximum efficiency.


- Single-axis internal counterbalancer reduces engine vibration for super-smooth running.


- Wide-ratio five-speed transmission with 4th and 5th gear overdrive provides plenty of highway passing power as well as low-rpm, fuel-efficient cruising.


- Low-maintenance hydraulic clutch actuation and strong, low-maintenance shaft drive for touring convenience.

Chassis/Suspension:

- High-integrity, single backbone frame with solid engine mounting and 29-degree caster angle delivers responsive steering and excellent handling.


- Air-adjustable telescopic front fork with 5.5 inches of travel smoothes out the bumps and adapts to varying load capacities.


- Air-adjustable link-type rear suspension features a vertically mounted single shock with revised damping for a classic hardtail look and outstanding long-distance ride quality.


- Large-diameter front and rear disc brakes with sintered pads provide strong, linear stopping power.


- New rider and passenger seats provide even more room and comfort along with a seat height – 29.1 inches.


- Full-sized, floating-type rider and passenger floorboards reduce vibration and are positioned for optimal long-distance comfort.

Additional Features:

Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

- Cool retro “dash” combines classic looks with new-age function, including: digital speedometer, odometer, dual tripmeters, fuel tripmeter, clock, fuel gauge, and indicator lights for cruise control, overdrive, neutral, high beam, turn signals, water temperature and low oil-level.


- Wide hand control levers offer great feel and look cool too.


- Quick-detachable windshield and backrest let the rider optimize the bike quickly without tools.


- 5.3-gallon fuel tank provides outstanding touring range along with classic lines.


- Incomparable fit and finish includes flawless paint with extensive chrome and brushed stainless steel accents as well as deep, valanced steel fenders.


- Large, powerful 12V 60/55-watt halogen headlight in stylish chrome shell with custom bezel maximizes nighttime visibility while cutting a stylish profile.


- Ignition switch with integrated steering lock mounted near the front of the fuel tank for extra convenience.


- 12V 18AH maintenance-free battery for reliable starting even in cold weather.


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