New Motorcycle: 2012 Yamaha Stratoliner S

With small issues creeping up on my old 2007 Honda VTX1300C, I figured it was time to cut bait while I could get money of that bike. Small things such as the home-made fairing (that I took off), bad fairing wiring, dangling exhaust tip, and other things were making me not want to ride the bike. Not something good since it’s a toy.

I went over to RideNow powersports (a motorcycle, offroad, & water toy store) with my VTX1300C and played my cards slow. After a while, an older salesman came by and started chatting about things, and we got to business after a couple of minutes. After examining my VTX, they gave me an amount and I decided I’d use it as a down payment.

Talk about timing. They were “cleaning house” of the older motorcycle models, and had a few Yamaha Roadliner & Yamaha Stratoliner on clearance. I was looking at the Roadliner because of it’s 113 cubic inch engine before, and was interested in it. I never knew about the Stratoliner which was basically the roadliner except with key-lockable/removable windshield, hard bags, & passenger backrest. That really makes for a different bike look, and I’ve been wanting to update to a windshield for a while now. The price was significantly less than new value, and these were with no road miles on them.

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After waiting for paperwork and everything to be complete, everything was set!  I have 3 years maintenance & warrantee,  along with a lowering suspension wishbone that will be installed next weekend to lower the bike 1 1/2 inches.

I took the bike for a spin (80 or so miles) around Phoenix, and it handles nicely.  The bike is more suited for highway use than residential road use, it feels like.  At 70 MPH, the engine is at about 3,300 RPM, with a top out redline of about 5,500.  The energy the motor has is amazing, as with just a little twitch of the wrist when traveling at 70, you accelerate to 80 and beyond before you even realize it.  I am still getting used to the tires Yamaha put onto this bike, though.  It feels like the center is very high, almost a tall center.  When going into a corner, it scan scare the hell out of you since the bike needs to fall quite a bit before engaging into cornering.  I’m hoping this changes with break-in.

Here’s to the ride!

UPDATE 10/6/2015:
I know it’s a late update but I figured if not now, when?
After the lowering, the bike acts much better for me.  I don’t feel like the bike is falling, and I’ve only really scraped the foot plates once or twice though it was on a deep turn.  I’ve removed the windshield for riding around town (less than 45-50 mph) and it helps a little with the acceleration.  Of course once you hit the highway, the wind gets a bit harsh but that’s expected.  It only takes me less than 30 seconds to slip the windshield back on for weekend rides which is nice.  I’m pushing 2600 miles on the bike since I haven’t ridden too much, and I can hear the engine noises dulling down from breaking in.  Though the valves do sound like a sewing machine at times, I’m wondering how an oil change with Amsoil full synthetic would help that when the time comes.
I’m happy with my girl, I’ve taken her for a ride into California and back during some very bad windy weather and she held nicely.  Though the fuel economy was drastically hurt, at 27 MPG.  The wind was above 40 MPH, and pushing back on the bike constantly as I was traveling at 75-80 MPH.  Live and learn, I suppose.

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