Available this year in a 500-unit production run, the Raider SCL combines the reliability of an OEM motorcycle with the recognition of individuality and distinction of rarity.
Most eye-catching of the Raider SCL's features is its metal flake Blazing Orange paint scheme. Utilizing a six-layer process the high-metallic color appears wet enough to be dripping off the bodywork. The fenders and fuel tank feature an attractive tribalesque design, while attached to the top of the tank is a numbered, limited-edition aluminum tank badge.
Two other distinguishing attributes of the Raider SCL are the two-tone black and tan leather seat with orange stitching and “SCL” embroidered into the passenger pillion, and its chrome 21-inch front, 18-inch rear, wheels co-developed between Star and Performance Machine with matching chrome drive pulley.
The SCL also receives steel mesh brake, clutch and throttle lines, a chrome belt guard and the same chrome upgrades the S model boasts over the standard Raider model. What’s the value of these paint, chrome and leather upgrades? At 19,990, the Raider SCL is $4,800 more than the MSRP of the Raider S ($15,190) and $5,400 more than the standard Raider ($14,590).
Assuming a similar set of new, chrome, forged PM wheels and matching chrome belt pulley retail for $3,200, leaves only $1,600 to spend on custom paint, a leather seat, and the other upgrades if you were to do it yourself — making $4,800 seem reasonable.
The SCL delivers equal performance to its two Raider stablemates. All three Raiders are powered by a fuel-injected, 1854cc, air-cooled, pushrod, V-Twin producing a claimed 123 ft-lbs of torque at 2,500 rpm. The bikes utilize an all-aluminum double cradle frame, five-speed transmission and belt final drive.
The high-compression engine (for a cruiser, 9.48:1) delivers a seemingly unending stream of power with no perceived hiccups in the fuel delivery process from its EFI system. Minor, steady and large throttle inputs result in appropriate engine response.
The claimed 730-pound (wet) Raider rolls on a 71-inch wheelbase and compared to other Star models with wider bars, the Raider requires more effort to initiate a turn, but its confident handling manners allow grinding of hard parts when cornering aggressively.
The bike’s size and seating position is welcoming to taller riders while its 27.4-inch seat height keeps things manageable for shorter riders. If your arms are long enough to reach the bars while still leaning back, the dished saddle provides some lower back support.
For a complete riding impression of the Raider, read our review of the Raider here.
As a factory custom billed by Star for exhibiting “a level of style and quality rarely seen on a production motorcycle,” there exists a few oversights that if attended would elevate the Raider SCL to such a claim.
These cosmetic nitpicks may seem trivial, but on a production custom, emphasizing style and quality while offering no increase in performance over the standard Raider or Raider S models, warts of this nature shouldn’t exist. Otherwise, the Raider SCL continues a reputation for clean (flangeless fuel tank) and aggressive design established with the original Raider.
The Raider SCL is the first in a series of production customs to come from Star. And although Star representatives were unwilling to discuss what the next SCL model will be, rest assured the 2013 model SCL will be equally stunning, scarce and expensive as the Raider SCL is this year.
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