Best Cruiser: Star Raider

Ten Best Motorcycles of 2008.

Best Cruiser: Star Raider - Ten Best Bikes 2008

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It’s pretty easy to build a fat-tired, raked out custom; even private owners and one-man shops have put together some stylish examples. The hard part is building one that has the requisite fat-tired, raked-out look but that also feels and behaves like a “normal” motorcycle. And so far, no one has done it better than Yamaha with its Star Raider. Despite its 40-degree fork angle, 210mm rear tire and 71-inch wheelbase, the Raider handles amazingly well. The raked front end doesn’t flop side-to-side, and the rear tire offers no noticeable resistance to turning. Combine that with the Raider’s thunderous, torque-laden 1854cc V-Twin engine, and you have one of the most satisfying rides of its kind ever built.