Years sold: 2006-’10
MSRP new: $13,580 (2006) to $15,290 (2010)
Blue Book retail value: $7855 (2006) to $11,440 (2010)
Basic specs: A single-shock, aluminum-framed cruiser powered by an ohv, 1854cc, 48-degree, air-cooled, counterbalanced, four-valve-per-cylinder V-Twin that made “only” 86.7 horsepower at 4600 rpm but slammed out 110.7 foot-pounds of torque at an impressively low 2150 rpm.
Why it won: Though heavy (753 pounds dry) and long (67.7-inch wheelbase), the big Roadliner impressed us by doing just about everything better than any other cruiser on the market. Its Art Deco styling does tend to divide riders into two disparate categories: those who think it’s overdone and those who think it’s drop-dead gorgeous.
But for a bike of its size and design, the ’Liner handles remarkably well, is comfortable enough for long rides, and the engine alone is almost worth the price of admission. From the rider’s standpoint, the Roadliner’s exhaust has a sharp, powerful bark that mimics the bellow of big-inch Harley engines snorting through aftermarket pipes, yet to bystanders, it seems very little louder than any other stock V-Twin. Combine that with outstanding throttle response and brisk, immediate roll-on acceleration, and you have an engine that, in many ways, is the most satisfying of all the cruiser V-Twins.
From the 2006 Ten Best story: “Every manufacturer hopes to hit a home run with a new model, but with the Star Roadliner, Yamaha has belted a game-winning grand slam.”
Useful resources: We are not aware of any discussion groups dedicated exclusively to the Roadliner and its saddlebags-and-windshield stablemate, the Stratoliner, but you can find plenty of informative chatter about these bikes on numerous Yamaha Star forums. A few notable examples are www.bikez.com, www.starbikeforums.com and yamahastarclub.yuku.com. And, as usual, there are plenty of Roadliner/Stratoliner accessories being hawked on the triple-w, along with numerous listings of these Star models up for sale.