A Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle is a cruiser-style motorcycle made by the Japanese company Yamaha Motor Company. Yamaha began producing cruiser motorcycles in the 1980s and has since become one of the top cruiser motorcycle manufacturers. This article provides an overview of Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycles, including the different models, design, performance, accessories, maintenance, riding experience, and reviews. It also answers frequently asked questions and provides relevant keywords and links.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Models
Yamaha offers several cruiser motorcycle models across different engine displacements and styles. Some of the most popular Yamaha cruiser models include:
- Star Roadliner – A full-sized cruiser with an 1832cc air-cooled V-twin engine. Known for its muscular styling and powerful performance.
- Star Stryker – A middleweight cruiser with a 1304cc air-cooled V-twin engine. Has an aggressive, stripped-down look.
- Star Bolt – An entry-level cruiser with a 942cc air-cooled V-twin engine. Great for new riders.
- Raider – Yamaha’s largest cruiser with an 1854cc air-cooled V-twin engine. Features a muscular, imposing styling.
- Warrior – An affordable mid-sized cruiser with a 1700cc air-cooled V-twin engine. Comfortable and versatile.
The different models cater to various riding styles and experience levels, from beginner-friendly cruisers like the Bolt to high-performance models like the 1900cc Raider. When comparing models, key factors include engine size, riding posture, styling, and pricing.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Design
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycles are known for their aggressive, muscular styling. Key design elements include:
- Streamlined, teardrop-shaped fuel tanks
- Forward-set footpegs for a cruiser-style riding position
- Pullback handlebars for an easy reach
- Large front tires and fenders
- Sweptback exhaust pipes mounted high
- Deep, sculpted seats for comfort
The styling takes inspiration from American V-twin cruisers with a distinctly Japanese twist. For example, the Star Roadliner has a classic muscular cruiser look but with some sport bike DNA in the chassis design. The overall styling aims to evoke power and performance.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Performance
With their large-displacement air-cooled V-twin engines, Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycles deliver strong acceleration and passing power. Key performance features include:
- Powerful acceleration from a standstill
- Strong mid-range punch for confident passing
- Low-end torque for effortless cruising
- Broad powerbands for smooth delivery
- Capable high-RPM performance when desired
For example, the 1854cc engine in the Raider provides monstrous torque output for incredible acceleration. The cruiser styling belies the potent performance. Yamaha cruiser engines are designed for real-world speed and excitement.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Accessories
To customize their bikes, riders can choose from a wide range of Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle accessories:
- Windshields for increased wind protection
- Saddlebags for added storage
- Passenger backrests and floorboards for comfort
- Custom exhausts for a unique look and sound
- Extended reach seats to accommodate different riders
- Chrome accents and trim for stylish detailing
- Engine guards and crash bars for protection
Accessories allow owners to tailor their cruiser’s fit, function, and style to their needs. Popular items include windshields and saddlebags for touring. Customizing your Yamaha cruiser helps make it your own.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Maintenance
Proper maintenance is crucial to keep a Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle running smoothly for years. Recommended maintenance includes:
- Regular oil and filter changes
- Checking/adjusting valve clearances
- Cleaning/replacing air and fuel filters
- Inspecting brake pads and tires
- Checking fluid levels and cooling system
- Lubricating controls and pivot points
- Testing battery and electrical connections
The air-cooled V-twin engines are relatively simple to maintain compared to liquid-cooled designs. But following the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual is still essential, especially for heavy-duty cruiser models like the Star Roadliner.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Riding Experience
The riding experience of Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycles combines cruiser comfort with sportier handling. Key attributes include:
- Upright sitting position with extended reach to handlebars
- Low seat height for confidence at stops
- Enough ground clearance for spirited cornering
- Nimble handling despite the size
- Strong acceleration and braking performance
- All-day comfort for rider and passenger
For example, the Star Bolt has a very natural, neutral riding position allowing you to maneuver easily through traffic. Yamaha cruisers are designed for performance cruising, not just laid-back straight-line riding.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycle Reviews
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycles consistently earn strong reviews for their combination of style, performance, and value. They stand out for:
- Muscular, head-turning cruiser styling
- Strong acceleration and passing power
- Quality fit and finish
- Reliable engines with proven durability
- Versatile seating accommodating riders of different sizes
- Agile handling and sporty capability for a cruiser
- Excellent bang-for-the-buck
Reviews praise both entry-level models like the Star Bolt and high-end cruisers like the Raider for offering an exciting cruising experience. Yamaha’s cruiser lineup hits the sweet spot between traditional style and modern performance.
What is the top speed of a Yamaha cruiser motorcycle?
The top speeds of Yamaha cruisers vary by model but generally range from 105-135 mph. More powerful models like the Raider can reach speeds over 120 mph.
Are Yamaha cruisers good for beginners?
Yes, some Yamaha cruiser models like the Bolt are great starter bikes. They have low seat heights, manageable power, and smooth throttle response. More powerful models are better suited for experienced riders.
How comfortable are Yamaha cruisers for longer trips?
Yamaha cruisers are designed for comfort on longer rides. Features like windshields, cruise control, and upgraded seats make models like the Star Roadliner very capable touring bikes.
How reliable are Yamaha cruiser engines?
Yamaha cruiser engines have a reputation for being very reliable. The air-cooled V-twin design is proven and durable. With proper maintenance, they can easily log 100,000+ miles.
What kind of gas mileage do Yamaha cruisers get?
Fuel economy depends on the model but ranges from 35-55 mpg. Larger-displacement engines like the Raider tend to get 35-45 mpg, while smaller models can achieve 50 mpg or more on the highway.
What customization options are available for Yamaha cruisers?
Many accessories allow customization including new seats, windshields, saddlebags, exhausts, chrome accents, engine guards, and more. Dealers also offer custom paint options on certain models.
What is the difference between Star and Raider Yamaha cruisers?
The Star line features Yamaha’s more traditional V-twin cruisers, while the Raider has an edgier, more aggressive look and power. But both offer quality cruisers with Yamaha’s reliability.
What is the closest competitor to Yamaha cruisers?
Why are Yamaha cruisers cheaper than Harleys?
Yamaha can offer more value by building cruisers overseas in high volume. Harleys are built in America in smaller numbers. But Yamahas rival Harleys in quality while costing thousands less.
Yamaha Cruiser Models In-Depth
Yamaha’s cruiser lineup includes both modern and vintage-inspired models across a range of engine sizes and riding styles. Here is more detail on some of Yamaha’s most popular cruiser motorcycles:
The Yamaha Star Roadliner is one of Yamaha’s premier big-bore cruisers. Its muscular 1832cc air-cooled V-twin engine provides incredible torque for unbelievable acceleration. With its classic teardrop fuel tank and sweptback exhaust, the Roadliner looks right at home on the highway. It’s geared towards experienced riders looking for a powerful, comfortable cruiser.
For extreme performance, the Yamaha Raider 1900cc takes the V-twin experience to another level. Its 1854cc engine is the largest production V-twin on the market. Testers have recorded 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds thanks to the Raider’s monstrous torque output. From its cast wheels to its slash-cut pipes, the Raider’s styling matches its extreme power.
To customize their bikes, Yamaha cruiser owners can select from a wide range of Yamaha cruiser motorcycle accessories. Popular accessories include windshields for touring, saddlebags for storage, and passenger backrests for comfort. Riders can also customize the exhaust note with slip-on mufflers or full systems. Chrome accent trim and engine guards further allow owners to personalize their bike’s look and function.
On the smaller end, the Yamaha Bolt cruiser is one of Yamaha’s most approachable cruisers. Its 942cc V-twin provides smooth, linear power perfect for new riders. The Bolt has a low seat height for added confidence at stops. With its blacked-out styling and urban look, the Bolt attracts younger entry-level riders.
In Yamaha cruiser motorcycle reviews, testers consistently praise the reliability and quality of Yamaha’s cruisers. Even the less expensive models like the V-Star demonstrate excellent fit and finish. Reviewers are also impressed by the performance capabilities of Yamaha cruisers – they handle curves well for large cruisers. Overall value is another high point, with Yamaha cruisers costing thousands less than comparable models.
The Yamaha Stryker throws back to the bobber style but with modern performance. Its stripped-down styling pairs with a 1304cc V-twin punching out plenty of low-end power. For a meaner sound, owners often upgrade the Stryker’s exhaust. The Stryker provides an aggressive, raw cruiser experience.
For riders in the market, there are great deals on quality Yamaha cruiser motorcycles for sale at dealers nationwide. With proper maintenance and care, used Yamaha cruisers have tremendous longevity – it’s not uncommon to find examples with 100,000+ miles still going strong. Their timeless styling also ages well on the used market.
When weighing the best Yamaha cruiser motorcycles, factors like engine performance, riding comfort, handling, and styling preferences come into play. Models like the Roadliner and Raider represent the pinnacle of Yamaha’s cruiser lineup with their imposing V-twin power. But even Yamaha’s smaller cruisers impress with their reliability, quality, and value.
The renowned Yamaha cruiser reliability stems from the simplicity and durability of their air-cooled V-twin engines. Properly maintained, these motors can easily achieve 100,000+ miles without major issues. Costly repairs are infrequent, and routine maintenance is straightforward. This dependability is a major selling point of Yamaha cruisers.
Yamaha Cruiser Motorcycles – Overview of Yamaha’s cruiser lineup on their official website.
Yamaha cruiser motorcycles offer a great balance of traditional cruiser styling and performance. Models like the Star Roadliner and Raider provide modern power and handling in a classic V-twin package. Yamaha cruisers are noted for their muscular design, strong acceleration, versatility, reliability, and value. With a range of options, Yamaha has some of the best cruisers for riders of all experience levels looking to own an exciting cruiser.