Best of the Best 2012: Motorcycles: Cruisers: Star Motorcycles Raider SCL

Singular style and robust brawn typically distinguish the most compelling cruisers from lesser specimens, but those qualities often come at a premium. Bucking the high-price trend is the new Raider SCL from Star Motorcycles, an American brand of cruisers produced by Yamaha. The bike incorporates custom-style details and a muscular motor into an off-the-shelf package priced at just under $20,000 and limited to 500 examples.


The inaugural SCL—or Star Custom Line—model adds more than $4,600 worth of accessories and aesthetic touches to the Raider platform. Most obvious is the paint, a blazing metallic-orange finish that requires six layers to achieve its retina-scorching depth. Braided stainless-steel cables and hoses complement the shimmering bodywork, and the engine’s machined cooling fins further enhance the bike’s appearance. Other eye-catching design elements include a two-tone leather saddle with orange stitching, chrome five-spoke wheels developed in conjunction with Performance Machine, and chrome pulley and belt guards.


The SCL’s painted parts frame a 113 cu in (1,854 cc) V-twin equipped with ceramic-composite-plated cylinders, electronic fuel injection, and an exhaust valve that helps generate peak torque between 2,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm. For all of the powertrain’s technological details, the mill also appeases traditionalists with its air-cooled architecture, a signature feature of Harley-Davidson engines that eliminates the need for an unsightly radiator.


Star Motorcycles, www.starmotorcycles.com

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