2012 Yamaha Raider S

Yamaha wants to make you believe that the Raider S chopper is one of the can’t-miss bikes in its market. And knowing these people for as long as we have, there’s nothing about their proclamations that feels like they’re blowing smoke up our behinds.

This is the magic of Yamaha. They can build up their products to such ridiculous heights, more than living up to the lofty expectations set for them. The Raider S is another example, one that Yamaha built while combining "chopper"-inspired styling with a superior handling chassis, and all-around top-notch performance.

There are no compromises with the Raider S, only a generous helping of some of the world’s best bike builders putting their collective talents together to create something that’s really as mouth-watering as it looks.

Custom cruisers continue to push to the extreme ends, and that’s why there’s a Raider S. No ifs ands, or buts about it; this bike is as good as advertised - maybe even more.

Find out more about the Yamaha Raider S after the jump.


Yamaha Raider S

Specific to the "Raider S” is a generous heaping of chrome: chrome triple clamps, fork sliders, air box cover, engine covers, headlight housing, and handlebar risers. All this chrome creates the kind of visual swagger reserved only for the best of the best. There’s also a cool, tank-mounted instrumentation that complements the custom look, containing an analog speedometer and a fuel gauge, along with twin digital tripmeters, odometer and self-diagnostics. Custom 5-spoke wheels carry a 21" tire up front and a wide, 18" radial tire, the tallest and widest ever on a bike from this market.

Other features that come exclusively to the Raider S, include numerous custom inspired styling highlights (headlight stay, handlebar holders, rear fender stays, mirrors, footpegs etc.) found throughout the Raider, self-cancelling chromed turn signals with stylish clear lenses, a low-fuel warning light that is activated with 3 liters of fuel remaining, steering lock, a helmet holder, an upper and lower belt guard, and a low maintenance sealed battery.


Yamaha Raider S

The Yamaha Raider S is powered by a 1,854cc air-cooled, long-stroke, OHV, 4 valves per cylinder, 48°, V-twin powerplant that produces massive torque and class leading acceleration from very low rpms. A two-into-one-into-two exhaust with Exhaust Ultimate Power valve (EXUP) inside boosts torque, helping the bike reach max torque at 2,500 rpm while maximum power breaks out at 4,500 rpm, providing exciting acceleration with great pulse and torque feel. The bike has a traditional pushrod valve actuation that keeps engine height down for a lower center of gravity, ensuring more uniform heat dissipation due to absence of a cam chain case. A lower center of gravity also helps to ensure light, easy handling while Yamaha’s exclusive "controlled forged construction" keeps the pistons light for faster response and to accommodate higher rpms with reduced vibration and less reciprocating mass. A cooling fin is also included in the bike set-up, eliminating the need for liquid cooling, while maintaining that traditional, stylish air-cooled engine appearance. Each cooling fin is specially machined to create shining highlights that change with the angle of the light.

Chassis and Suspension

Yamaha Raider S

A high-tech, cast aluminum double-cradle frame dramatically cuts down the weight of the Raider S while also balancing strength and rigidity. The critical head pipe area features box type construction for additional strength with the frame providing excellent handling characteristics. A light, controlled-fill, aluminum swingarm casting complements the bike’s lithe style. A low, sculpted seat holds the rider in place, and pullback bars reach back to enforce a casual, urban cruising style. A 6-degree yoke angle—the first ever on a street-legal Star Motorcycle—makes it possible to achieve that custom look, as well as neutral handling and straight-line cruisability. 46mm fork tubes serve a sweet appearance and an excellent ride through 5.1 inches of wheel travel. A tucked-out-of-sight single shock with adjustable spring preload out back provides a smooth ride under varying loads while the front brake master cylinder with an integrated lever operates a pair of 298mm front discs squeezed by strong monoblock calipers for excellent power and feel, with a 310mm disc out back.


Yamaha Raider S

The 2011 Yamaha Raider S doesn’t come cheap. You’ll need to shell out $15,290 for the opportunity to ride one back to your home.


Yamaha Raider S
Engine Type113-cubic-inch (1854cc) air-cooled V-twin
OHV, 4 valves/cylinder
Bore x Stroke100.0 x 118.0mm
Compression Ratio9.48:1
Fuel DeliveryTwin-Bore electronic fuel injection;
throttle position sensor
IgnitionTCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
multiplate wet clutch
Final DriveBelt
FrameDouble cradle
Suspension/FrontTelescopic fork;
5.1-in travel
3.5-in travel
Brakes/FrontDual hydraulic disc, 298mm
Brake/RearHydraulic disc, 310mm
Wheels5-spoke cast
L x W x H101.2 x 36.4 x 45.9 in
Seat Height27.4 in
Ground Clearance5.8 in
Wheelbase70.9 in
Fuel Capacity4.2 gal
Est. Fuel Economy42 mpg
Wet Weight729.9 lb
ColorRaven; Glacier Blue


Yamaha Raider S

Motorcycle ---- "You look at a new generation of custom cruisers. A race that stands out. Check the attention to detail. From front to back, it’s the Yamaha Raider S 2011 charge of "custom" inspired parts. Extended fork, fat rear tire, low seat and an aggressive, slammed the driving position. For 2011 Raider is not only looks good ... it gives a fantastic driving experience too"

Smartcycleshopper ---- "Experts will obviously get the most out of the Raider S as they should have the skill set to fully exploit everything it has to offer. Its massive engine won’t overwhelm experienced pilots, its handling characteristics should be old hat by now and the weight is about average for anyone who has ridden cruisers before"

Zimbio ---- "The trick was to match the design inspired by "chopper" and a platform that would provide excellent handling. Yamaha Yamaha ’s engineers were not willing to compromise. Raider S was to produce a great handling and excellent ride comfort. Discover the excellent quality, design and all round performance Raider S"

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