On a wet and blustery day better suited to a test of Yamaha watercraft, Motorcycle Mojo Editor Glenn Roberts and Associate Editor Uwe Wachtendorf recently travelled to Yamaha Canada headquarters in Toronto to get a first impression of the new 2012 Stryker.
Combining the liquid-cooled, 1,304 cc V-twin engine of a V-Star 1300 with the chopper inspired styling of a Raider, the Stryker is described by Yamaha as a bike that imbues ‘youthful rebellion’. The Mojo team, who aren’t as youthful but just as rebellious, took a pair of new Strykers on a multi-hour ride that included city, highway, and country roads – and lots of rain.
At the end of the day the two editors compared notes as Wachtendorf emptied water from his riding boots. “The Stryker’s stretched out front end uses the same six degree offset yoke as the Raider”, commented Roberts. “It made for easy riding at both slow and high speed while keeping the looks of a true custom motorcycle. Although its 21-inch front and 18-inch rear tire generally provided a smooth ride” he continued, “the suspension was a little stiff for rough roads. With only 100 mm of rear wheel and 135 mm of front wheel travel, a few of the bumps jarred my spine when the bike bottomed out.”
“I was surprised by the Stryker’s ergonomics” added Wachtendorf. “I had expected its low seat height (670 mm/26.4 in.) would have resulted in a cramped riding position for taller, heavier riders such as myself. Instead there was plenty of room to stretch out. It was also surprisingly quick; despite a 550 cc disadvantage I kept pace with a 75 kg (165 lb) heavier Stratoliner Deluxe during an impromptu roll-on test. Not only is the Stryker lower than a V-Star 1300, but with a wet weight of 293 kg (644 lb) its also 10 kg (22 lb.) lighter. It’s an important consideration in a class of machines where weight can be an intimidating factor for some riders.”
Yamaha claims that the Stryker’s design should appeal to re-entry motorcyclists and existing riders looking to upgrade from smaller machines. Both Mojo editors agreed that with a starting price of $12,400, the Stryker represented a good value in the mid-size cruiser market.
We’ll be spending a lot more time riding the Stryker in the next few weeks, but for those too impatient to wait for our full report, the 2011 Stryker is already finding its way into Yamaha dealers across Canada. For more information you can visit Yamaha’s website, and watch for our full test of the new 2011 Yamaha Stryker in an upcoming issue of Motorcycle Mojo Magazine.