Harley has its stretched and slammed Rocker, and Star has its likewise chopper-inspired Raider for 2008. The bike is definitely a step toward the radical: fork rake is 39.2 degrees! The alloy frame’s high-altitude headstock, though, sports a 33-degree rake to help preserve handling, the latter point also being the reason that the rear tire is a 210/40-18; it’s wide, but not too wide to harm steering too much. A 120/70-21 rolls at the front.
Power comes from the air-cooled, four-valve-per-cylinder, 113-cubic-inch (1854cc) V-Twin used in the Roadliner. Stylized 2-1-2 exhaust features an EXUP valve and catalyzers. “The focus was best-in-class power and exhaust tone, as well as unsurpassed handling character,” we were told when the bike was announced last month.
We’ve showed you the bike already, but does it live up to the hype? Is it as nice to ride as Star says? To show they’re shooting straight, Star bundled Senior Editor Paul Dean into a private jet and flew him to Eureka, California, for a press introduction of the new model. He’s there now, so we’ve set up a forum page where we’ll post regular updates from the ride, with riding impressions and photos. You can post your questions and comments and we’ll respond to them as soon as possible. But be sure to check back frequently; it’s happening live!