Between the Lines | Star Watch 2012

Star Goes Custom; Kawasaki Kills the Heat; Honda Plays it Cool; Triumph Mucks up McQueen

Star Motorcycles Announces its 2012 Cruisers, Including the New SCL

The new model season is an exciting time for moto-enthusiasts, and some of the most eye-popping new rigs can be found in Star’s 2012 model line.

For 2012, the V Stars return in force. The V Star 250 exchanges its 70s-era buckhorn for a more current drag-style handlebar. It also receives a new tank graphic and will come only in Raven at an updated MSRP of $4190. The V Star 950 returns with Liquid Silver and Candy Red paint choices and a $200 increase to $8490. The V Star 950 Tourer will come in Raven and Impact Blue for $9490. The V Star 1300 will only be available in Candy Red at $10,990, while the Tourer gets a new price of $12,090.

The popular Stryker returns in Raven, with a blacked out look and no graphics on the tank, retailing for $11,090. Also available is Candy Red and Reddish Copper, with a blacked out fork, pipe and fender rails plus a color matched pinstripe; both options add $250. The Road Star S will come in Raven, for $13,490, while the Road Star Silverado S gets Lunar White Pearl paint, for an MSRP of $15,590. The VMAX receives a new anodized side cover to match the finish on the intake scoops, and new grey seat stitching, at an MSRP of $19,890. Touring cruiser aficionados will appreciate the Venture’s iPod integration (and free iPod Nano) on their new Intense Black $20,190 rig. The Raider returns in Liquid Silver with black fork legs and fender rails for $14,590. The Raider S features two colors: Raven ($15,190) and Nebulous Purple ($15,390).

The Roadliner and Stratoliner S are both back for 2012 with changes. Star toned down the polarizing art deco streamliner design so for 2012, both bikes gain a more traditional single bar tank emblem and lose the front fender stay. The Roadliner S will wear Seashell and a $15,390 hang tag. The Stratoliner S comes in Intense Black for $16,590. The Stratoliner Deluxe receives the same “liner” changes plus additional features to position it closer to its competitors. New iPod/iPhone music integration with a hand control allows volume/ track adjustment. New chrome speaker trim, a closable glove box, and a removable Garmin Zumo 665 GPS also become standard features for the Deluxe. The 665 is fully integrated into the Deluxe’s audio system for turn-by-turn directions through the speakers. The Stratoliner Deluxe lists for $17,990, a $500 price increase.

Star’s biggest announcement, however, is the introduction of the Star Custom Line (SCL)—an effort to deliver genuine “factory customs” to its loyal customers. Receiving the SCL treatment first will be the 2012 Raider SCL. The ultra-limited edition Raiders will feature modifications that, although they come from the factory, won’t be available from the Star accessory catalog. Topping off the Raider SCL is a smooth six-layer paint scheme that adds a bold orange with gold and black. The wheels and pulley are the product of a joint effort between Star and Performance Machine. Owners will park their posteriors on a two-tone leather seat that carries the color tones of the paint scheme. And if all that isn’t enough, a limited edition aluminum SCL tank badge will signify the production number of the bike.

According to Star, all these goodies would cost over $6000—if you could buy them. But you can’t. The Raider SCL will be available in February 2012, but with only 500 SCLs being produced, you might want to make your down payment sooner, rather than later.

By offering only 500 SCLs, Star may have found the sweet spot in the delicate balance between the exclusivity Star fans will want, and the cost-effectiveness a manufacturer needs. If the Raider SCL is a hit, expect to see other limited edition Stars down the road.