Roundup

Star Stratoliner Deluxe

Get lost on the open

Of all tiif. metric-crl'tsf.r brands. Star gets it best. Part of its success stems from the company's ability to stay current with consumer interest. Baggers are hot right now, for good reason, and the Stratoliner Deluxe provides comfort, practicality and good touring capability.

Based on the neo-classi-cally streamlined Roadliner (a CWTen Best winner in 2006), the Stratoliner was penned in Star's Long Beach, California-based design studio. The goal was simple: Take an already impressive package and add a fork-mounted batwing fairing, hard bags and touring amenities designed for all-day comfort.

Star pilfered knowledge gained in parent company Yamaha's sportbike lineup— think YZF-R1 and R6—for the betterment of its cruisers. The 48-degree, 1854cc (113 cubic-inch), air-cooled, pushrod ohv V-Twin looks like standard cruiser fare. Features like ceramic-composite cylinder liners (100 x 118mm bore and stroke), four-valve heads, two sparkplugs per cylinder, computer-controlled, twin-bore 43mm Mikuni throttle bodies with 12-hole injectors and an EXUP exhaust power valve, however, prove that the Stratoliner has a whole road lot of technology packed in its traditional engine layout.

Backroads stretching from the Pacific Ocean north of San Diego to the mountains above Palm Springs—the route for the press introduction—provided opportunities to test the engine's flexibility. Yamaha claims 91 horsepower and 117 foot-pounds of torque at the rear wheel. Torque is king in cruising, and the Stratoliner not only grunts away from a standstill, the smooth-running (twin counter-rotating balancers) engine easily torques past traffic, rarely requiring a downshift from the slick five-speed transmission. Power output from this monster motor provides good acceleration even with loaded bags and a passenger on board.

An excellent chassis features at its core an aluminum frame, made from just eight pieces, and a controlled-fill, die-cast aluminum swingarm. Suspension con sists of a preload-adjustable shock and a stout 46mm fork. The Strato Deluxe provides a cushy yet compliant ride, ably soaking up imperfections in the road while providing sufficient control and stability when attacking twisties.

Contributing to the bike's excellent handling is the wheel and tire package; polished, cast aluminum, 12-spoke wheels carry 130/7018 front and 190/60-17 rear radial tires. Grip was very good, even when the floorboards were buried in the as phalt and sparks were flying. Steering is neutral and light, making low-speed U-turns simple and curvy-road carving enjoyable. Top-notch monoblock front-brake calipers and 298mm discs provide very good stopping power.

A comfortable, upright riding position, supportive seat and good wind protection with no buffeting make eating up miles on the 517,490 Stratoliner Deluxe relaxing; you'll happily get lost out on the open road.

"Torque is king in cruising, and the Stratoliner not only grunts from a standstill, the smooth-running engine easily torques past traffic."

0 0

Post a comment