2005 Yamaha Motorcycles: Return of the Royal Star Tour Deluxe, 20th Anniversary V-Max, Midnight Warrior and More

Yamaha's line of 2005 cruiser motorcycles includes a completely fresh take on the Royal Star Tour Deluxe, a Midnight version of the Road Star Warrior, a limited-edition 20th-anniversary V-Max, a hard-bag Road Star Silverado, and new versions of the V-Stars

Yamaha lifted the curtain on its 2005 Star cruiser models tonight to reveal several new and revised motorcycles, highlighted by a completely new version of the Royal Star Tour Deluxe, a bike that even Royal Star aficionados had left for dead years ago. However, Yamaha managed to apply same the power-boosting engineering that pumped up the Royal Star Venture (and Midnight Venture) full-dress tourer and then mixed in some fresh ideas to create an intriguing bagger. We will get to the details in a few paragraphs.

Another addition to the Star line is a Midnight version of the Road Star Warrior. Almost all the shiny parts of the original Warrior—including the wheels, headlight and turn-signal shells, instrument nacelle, airbox, and exhaust system—have been blacked out with a variety of finishes, giving Yamaha's performance V-twin cruiser a very tough look. The only touches of color are red stripes around the wheels. There are also Midnight versions the V-Star Custom models, both 1100 and 650.

For 2005, the Road Star Midnight Silverado wears more useful hard bags instead of the leather ones found on all previous Silverado models. It will be $13,499. The base Road Star 1700 is available in two versions, a black cherry rendition with cast wheels or a white/raven machine with wire wheel;s and whitewall tires.

When we heard that Yamaha was doing something with the mighty V-Max for 2005, we figured that the company had finally recognized its V-4 musclebike's age and was going to bring it into the 21st century. We were half right (which is better than our usual score). Yamaha has recognized it's age—and it's celebrating it with a special, numbered, limited-edition 20th anniversary model. Only 2000 will be made (which is the actually about how many have been sold in each of the last few years), and each one will have a numbered plate. The wheels are blacked out and it gets a flamed-red paint job. It now has clear turn-signal lenses with yellow bulbs.

Like other motorcycle manufacturers, Yamaha continues to see strong growth in the U.S., which gets about 40 percent of Yamaha's production. Sales here have been up by about 10 percent over 2003, tracking the overall market (which is up 8 to 12 percent, depending on who you ask). The company has been very successful in the cruiser market, and this mid-year intro was arranged primarily to showcase new cruisers, which will be in dealers shortly. It now offers over 1000 accessories for the Star series and continues to expand that number. In fact, we expect some of the features of the new Tour Deluxe to show up in the accessory catalogs.

About That Royal Star Tour Deluxe

Though they were beautifully finished and appointed and carried a great five-year, unlimted-mileage warranty, Yamaha's early Royal Stars were disappointing. For one thing, the 1300cc V-4 engine lacked power, due in large part to an intake airbox with very limited volume. That issue was finally addressed with the Royal Star Venture. which put additional plenums in the lower leg fairings.

Although those lowers won't work on all cruiser variants, they will work on a bagger, and in the 2005 Royal Styar Tour Deluxe, Yamaha came up with a pretty unique rendition of this classic cruiser style with these lowers—and the 100-hp output they permit—a permananet fixture.

Yamaha saw the desire for a moderate-duty touring bike that could also serve as a city cruiser—in other words, a bagger you could undress. To make the Tour Deluxe at home in either environment, Yamaha made it convertible. Hidden latches allow the windshield and passenger backrest to be removed or installed in less time than it takes to read this sentence, no tools required. The lower windshield extensions go with it. New hard bags provide utilitarian luggage capability with one-handed opening. It has air-adjustable suspension at both ends, and the 5.3-gallon fuel tank from the Venture give it plenty of range.

Detail attractions include electronic cruise control, a nostalgic LCD instrument cluster, and rider and passenger floorboards. The MSRP is $13,999 in red/black or silver/black. Watch for a full riding impression in the October issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

We will be adding more photos in the next few days as they become available.