The Yamaha Road Star Silverado From The Leather Bagged Cruiser Comparison

The good-looks award goes to the Road Star Silverado

Yamaha Road Star Silverado
Good looking from the studded seat to the back rest, too bad its down on power.Dean Groover

This article was originally published in the August 2001 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

Introduced in 1999, the first model year of the Road Star, the Silverado has survived relatively unchanged. What riders get for their $12,599 is a Road Star with some sexy accessories.

The biggest V-twin that Yamaha builds sits menacingly in a double cradle frame. Two 95mm pistons slide over a trick ceramic coating for a stroke of 113mm, yielding a displacement of 1602cc. Feeding the monster motor, a 40mm CV carburetor breathes through the triangular airbox mounted to the right side of the engine between the pushrod tunnels. Yes, those twins made in Wisconsin don't sell the only pushrod engines on this continent anymore. A belt drive not only adds to the Road Star's classic style, but also prevents the jacking effect often present in shaft driven big twins. Feeding the beefy engine is an equally beefy 5.3 gallon tank.

Yamaha Road Star details
The Road Star Silverado is one of the best looking bikes in the comparison.Dean Groover

All of the Silverado's rolling gear is the same as the base model Road Star. Two 11.7-inch discs gripped by two piston calipers handle braking duties, while a 12.6-inch unit handles things out back. The rear suspension resides under the engine and is adjustable for preload only. Spoked wheels hold tube-type Dunlop tires.

The rest of the bike is just as tasty. Feast your eyes on the studded seat and backrest that both passengers and tail bags like to lean against. The new. lower windshield makes it possible for a wider variety of body types to comfortably see the road ahead. The white-walled spoked wheels continue the classic profile set by the engine and valenced fenders. The leather bags mount to the chassis rigidly, preventing the saddlebag flop many throw-over aftermarket bags display. Of course, the bags feature studs to match the seats. When it comes time to load these bags, they rank midpack of our four bikes.

The Road Star is a perrenial favorite among the Motorcycle Cruiser staff, and once again, the Yamaha won the best looking honors. Unfortunately, this Silverado felt down on power compared to previous Stars we've enjoyed, landing this bike toward the back of the pack in this comparison.

High Points

  • Great wind protection
  • Best seat
  • Best looking bike in comparison

Low Points

  • Down on power
  • Truckish steering
  • Wimpy brakes

First Change: Find some more power

Yamaha Road Star Engine
The monster motor of the Silverado.Dean Groover
Specs: Yamaha Road Star Silverado
Suggested base price: $12,399
Wet weight: 782 lb.
GVWR: 1164 lb.
Seat height: 27.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Fuel mileage: 32 to 38 mpg, 34.9 mpg avg.
Average range: 185 miles
Engine type: Air-cooled, 48 degree tandem V-twin
Final drive: tk, belt
Front suspension: 5.5 in. travel
Rear suspension: Single damper, 4.3 in. travel, adjustable for preload
Wheels: Wire spoke, 16 x 3.0 in. front, 16 x 3.5 in. rear
Quarter-mile acceleration: 14.56 sec., 89.1 mph