Battle Of The Basic Big Twins 2000 Yamaha Road Star

The biggest of the big contender in the Battle of the Basic Big Twins

Yamaha's Road Star won the 1999 comparison, and it returns to defend it's title for 2000.Cruiser

This article was originally published in the August 2000 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

Last year’s big twins comparo winner returns unchanged to face the challenges from the new twins on the block. Still the biggest of the big, Yamaha’s 1602cc monster has lots of visual appeal with its oversized pushrod tubes and heavily finned air-cooled cylinders. A large triangular airbox on the right side feeds the cylinders through a single 40mm carb. Each cylinder has four valves and two spark plugs. A long rocker operated by a pushrod depresses each valve pair, and one of the pair has a screw adjuster in its tappet to adjust for wear. Hydraulic adjusters set the primary clearance automatically, and the intake and exhaust pushrods share a common tube.

The cylinders are lined with a ceramic composite material. No counterbalancer or crankpin juggling was used to quell vibration from the 48-degree single-crankpin twin—though that doesn’t seem to have created a problem with vibration, thanks to engine location and the damping effect of the massive 45-pound crank. A dry-sump lubrication system stores oil in a reservoir atop the transmission. The transmission has an extra shaft that emerges to propel the final-drive belt near the swingarm’s pivot point, thereby minimizing belt-tension changes as the single-shock swingarm moves through its arc.

Riding on 16-inch wire-spoke wheels with dual discs up front and the sort of wide seat, tank, floorboards and fenders that are currently fashionable (and always comfortable), the Road Star squarely hit the cruiser buyers’ perceived target, making it an immediate hit.

Yamaha Road Star
Designation: XV16A
Suggested base price: $10,499
Standard colors: Black, purple
Extra cost colors: Two-tone red/red, add $100
Standard warranty: 12 mos., unlimited miles
Recommended service interval: 4000 miles
Engine & Drivetrain
Type: Air-cooled, 48-degree tandem V-twin
Valve arrangement: OHV, 2 intake, 2 exhaust valves operated by pushrods, hydraulic adjusters, threaded adjusters
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1602cc, 95 x 113mm
Compression ratio: 8.3:1
Carburetion: 1, 40mm CV
Lubrication: Semi-dry sump, 2.6 qt.
Minimum fuel grade: 87 octane
Transmission: Wet, multiplate clutch, 5 speeds
Final drive: Belt
Wheels: Wire-spoke, 16.0 x 3.0 in. front, 16.0 x 3.5 in. rear
Front tire: 130/90-16 Dunlop D404F
Rear tire: 150/80B-16 Dunlop D404
Front brake: 2, single-action, two-piston calipers, 11.7-in. discs
Rear brake: Dual-action, two-piston caliper, 12.6-in. disc
Front suspension: 43mm stanchions, 5.5 in. travel
Rear suspension: 1 damper, 4.33 in. travel
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal., (0.92 gal. reserve)
Handlebar width: 33.0 in., 1.0 in. diameter
Inseam equivalent: 33.1 in.
Electrical & Instrumentation
Charging output: N/A
Battery: 12v, 18 AH
Forward lighting: 7.5-in 55/60-watt headlight, position lights
Taillight: Single bulb
Instruments: Speedometer, fuel gauge, LCD clock and odometer/dual tripmeters; warning lights for engine monitor, fuel level, high beam, neutral and turn signals
Fuel mileage: 39 to 46 mpg, 42.2 mpg avg.
Average range: 218 miles
RPM at 60 mph, top-gear: 2270
200 yard, top-gear acceleration from 50 mph, terminal speed: 69.7 mph
Quarter-mile acceleration: 14.85 sec., 86.6 mph