My New 2006 Yamaha Star Roadliner

My New Motorcycle

2006 Yamaha Star Roadliner

2010 started out great.  I bought a new motorcycle, finally.  After almost a year of research and riding a lot of different motorcycles a decision was finally made.

During 2009 I had the pleasure of test riding motorcycles that ranged from the Kawasaki Ninja 650R and Yamaha FZ6R, both entry level and very fun to ride motorcycles, to the ultra powerful Kawasaki Ninja ZX14.

I put several hundred miles each on the Harley Davidson Road King Classic and Harley Davidson Ultra Classic, The Motor Companies flagship touring motorcycle.  Of the two my favorite was the Road King Classic.  I loved the style of the motorcycle and found it very comfortable in standard trim.  Both motorcycles were excellent.

I also had the opportunity to ride some of the most powerful production motorcycles built.

The Kawasaki ZX14 is one of the craziest motorcycles I’ve ever encountered.  It’s smooth, scary fast and has more power then you will ever need off a drag strip.  It also performs and “legal” speeds, even in town. 

The 14’s more sophisticated sibling, the Kawasaki Concours, is just as impressive.  The Concours is Kawasaki’s Sport Touring motorcycle and its engine is similar to the 14’s.  The difference lies in that the Concours is tuned to produce better torque at lower RPM’s.  While some horsepower is sacrificed, one would never know it because it’s still more then most riders would ever used.  The Concours comes with detachable saddlebags and is very comfortable.  It also uses a shaft drive system, coupled with a slipper clutch that makes the typical lag and lash effects of a shaft drive almost unnoticeable.

In the touring category I spent some time on the Suzuki C109T.  The big Suzuki was smooth and powerful, with one of the best V-Twin engines around.  I wasn’t crazy about the style of the motorcycle (personal taste) and of all 750+ lb motorcycles I rode; it was the only one that truly felt heavy.  This bike is well suited for freeway and two-up riding, but not for corners.

In the Cruiser category, the Yamaha Star Roadliner has to be one of the nicest cruisers being made.  It doesn’t look like a Harley, but has a classic Neo-Style appearance that’s unique in production motorcycles.  One thing I’ve found when talking to people about the Roadliner is that one either loves the style or they don’t.  The Roadliner is powered by a 1900cc (113ci) air-cooled, push rod, V-Twin engine that produces more then enough horsepower and torque.  It also makes the right sound, if you’re a lover of V-Twins.  The Roadliner is built around an aluminum frame, which reduces the weight of the big bike and makes it more nimble then the other heavyweights out there.  While I love the Harley Davidson line, this bike would eat up and spit out all of the 96ci powered bikes and would out perform the CVO line as well. 

In the end I came home with a new 2006 Roadliner Midnight that my local Yamaha dealer hadn’t been able to sell.  Apparently riders in our area either want sport bikes, midsize cruisers or full on touring motorcycles.  I’ve wanted a big cruiser that I could customize to my liking and this bike will allow me to do just that.  It’s dark, powerful and is a clean canvas to come up with something unique.  The price was also impossible to pass up.

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