Monday, September 7, 2009
At a bike show in Maryland this Yamaha Roadliner caught my eye as the most unique bike at the show. Being the only metric bike in sight, perhaps it just caught my eye because it was different from the rest. The owner of this machine told me he was torn about how to design the custom paint scheme. He wanted to preserve the trademark horizontal lines that are on the tank of this bike. It is certain that the three horizontal lines on the tank and the oversized chrome headlight give this bike its unique look. The look appeals to some, and not to others. The inspiration for the design comes from the Streamline era of the 1950's and 1960's, when everything that moved was designed to look like it moves very fast.
With an engine displacement of 1854 cc (113 cubic inches), this pushrod v-twin has more than enough torque and horsepower to pull your arms out of their sockets when you twist the throttle hard. When I have ridden one of these bikes I find that it goes like hell in a straight line, but requires some manhandling in tight turns. It is very smooth and graceful in long-radius, sweeping turns. If you live in Florida where the roads are flat and straight, this bike will be right at home. If you live in West Virginia where the mountain roads are narrow and twisty, you might want a lighter bike with a shorter wheelbase.
If you are in the market for a max-sized v-twin, compare this bike to the Honda VTX 1800 Shadow, the new Kawasaki Vulcan 2000, the Victory Hammer or the Harley Softails.