So whatís the deal? Star has kept this bike in the test fleet for a while, and when it came time to choose a machine for its annual charity raffle to benefit the Feed the Children Foundation, Star/Yamahaís preferred charity, this Strato Deluxe made the perfect candidate for a full makeover.
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This bike is no stranger to us, as Pete reviewed it during its launch in 2010 and raved about its stellar engine. When the rest of the MO gang got its hands on it during the 2011 Bagger Shootout again the powerful V-Twin and confidence-inspiring chassis stood out, ultimately losing out overall because of the little details like an empty cockpit behind its batwing fairing.
Since the only difference between the Ď12 and its predecessors is bodywork and trim pieces (engine and chassis remain the same), the Ď10 test mule laying around the Star offices received the full updated treatment. Thatís not all, as simply changing bodywork hardly counts as customizing a motorcycle around these parts. Star then added no less than 43(!) items straight from its accessories catalog to make this 2010/2012 hybrid stand out from the rest.
Wherever you see chrome trim on this Strato, you can bet it came from the catalog. Every engine cover gets the shiny stuff, as do the wheels, shift lever and rod, mirrors, backrest support, light bar, license plate holder, floor boards and much more. Individually, the impact is hardly noticeable, but together the new pieces give the bike a striking appearance.
Famed Star customizer, Jeff Palhegyi, performed the transformation then handed the bike to Benny Flores for this subdued yet striking pearl red paintjob. All told, when you add the cost of the bike ($17,490 in 2010), the accessories ($10,275.61), the Metzeler ME880 tires ($551.90) and of course the paint job ($3200), this custom Stratoliner Deluxe is worth $31,517.51.
We were invited to ride this Star creation to the 2012 edition of the Laughlin River Run to show this isnít a trailer queen, but an actual custom that begs to be ridden. Structurally speaking, thereís not much to say about the engine and chassis that hasnít already been said. In our Bagger shootout last year, the 1854cc air-cooled V-Twin pumped out 84.5 horses at 4750 rpm and a stump-pulling 107 ft.-lbs. at just 2000 revs.
Such massive power at only two grand begs the rider to twist the throttle, and when you do thereís no shortage of acceleration. Regardless of which of the five gears youíre in, the Strato Deluxe leaps with gusto when asked. Itís a rather infectious sensation, made all the more impressive by how smooth the engine is thanks to its dual counterbalancers.
My 5-foot, 8-inch frame fit the saddle just fine, with the bars at a natural drop for my hands ó no crazy ape hangers here. Wind protection from the massive front wind deflector was as youíd expect from such a big device. Even riding through a brief rain shower, the fairing kept all but my shoulders dry. If youíre the lucky winner of this machine and about my size, opt for a taller windscreen ó at 70 mph the buffeting around my head was enough to blur my vision.
Otherwise, this custom Strato ticks most the boxes cruiser riders look for in a long-distance tourer. Itís comfy (with a pillion backrest, too), makes gobs of power, has easy-access saddlebags with liners for convenient transport of your things once at your destination, it looks awesome and has a Zumo GPS unit and iPod dock built in. So now you can go wherever you want without getting lost and have tunes to boot. However, the same handlebar-mounted volume and track selector remains, meaning itís impossible to track through different menus.
For the cruiser set looking to travel long distances in style, this is the bike for you. Literally, this very bike. During the 2012 Star Days convention in Reno, Nevada, July 17-20, Star will be auctioning off this custom Stratoliner Deluxe with proceeds going directly to Feed the Children as mentioned earlier.
This is your chance to own a unique motorcycle knowing your money is going to a good cause. Star has thrown virtually every chrome bit at this bike and yet has kept it completely rideable. Take your significant other for a trip around the country, or just park it and admire, the choice is yours. Either way, youíll own something to be proud of.
More information can be found about this and the rest of the Star lineup at StarMotorcycles.com, including information on Feed the Children and the Star Touring and Riding Association.
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