Stryker – first ride

Bondo’s impressions on the new Yamaha Stryker.

Words: Steve Bond. Images: Yamaha (title by Didier Constant)


Remember when we put up the first ride of the Super Ténéré a couple of weeks back and promised to follow it with Bondo’s impressions on their new Stryker the following week? Well, we obviously make promises lightly as it’s been two weeks since the Super Ténéré piece, but then what’s a week* between friends?



New to the Yamaha cruiser range is the 2011 Stryker – a mid displacement model with overall styling similar to the Raider that was introduced a couple of years ago.

And, just like the Raider, the Stryker has a generous 34 degree steering head rake with an extra six degrees of offset at the triple clamps to give the Stryker a definite chopper-ish appearance without sacrificing light steering and acceptable cornering.


Motor is the same as found on the 1300 V-Star.

The engine is vitually the same unit found in the V Star 1300 – a 1304cc, 4-valve, 60 degree v-twin with EFI. It’s free revving with lots of torque right off idle and running up through the gears is a breeze as there’s virtually no vibration, the shifts are crisp and the lever has a short throw. Belt drive transmits power to the 210/40-18 rear bun.

I only noted speeds in the 100 – 110 km/h range but the Stryker didn’t seem strained or laboring at that velocity. The reach to the bars isn’t excessive, the hard seat keeps your bottom in one place and the pegs are forward mounted but not extremely so.

With the front end kicked way out and a stretch-limo wheelbase of 1750mm (68.9 inch), the Stryker, as you’d expect, is stable in a straight line. The 120/70-21 inch front wheel allowed the Stryker to bank through 80 kmh corners effortlessly, yet there was little tendency for the front to “flop” in slower turns.


Turning in tight spots isn’t great.

In tight spots, the long wheelbase and aggressive rake conspire against you as full lock and foot dabbing was required when doing U-turns on a narrow road when doing passes for the camera.

Braking power from the single 310 mm front disc was adequate, even though the feel was a bit wooden and optimum stopping required a healthy pull on the lever and a dab on the pedal.

Fit and finish are exemplary and the view from the cockpit is fairly uncluttered as Yamaha has done a fine job of routing unsightly cables, hoses and wiring. The front end seems to stretch w-a-a-y out there and the overall feel is of a motorcycle larger than a “mid size” cruiser.


Do we have enough cruisers yet?

The Stryker has a fashionably low seat height of 670mm (26.4 inches) and, as an added bonus, the junction between the 15-liter fuel tank and front of the seat is narrow, making it even easier to touch the ground.

The Stryker definitely brings some nice features to the mid displacement cruiser party (LED taillight, self canceling turn signals, stylishly curved staggered pipes, etc) and, at $12,399 for black and $12,599 for blue or red, it’s aggressively priced as well and is arriving at your local Yamaha dealer as we speak.

*Interestingly a week between friends is the same amount of time as a week between non-friends, acquaintances and enemies, that being 7 days or 168 hours, or 10,080 minutes or 604,800 seconds.

Engine Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve, 60 degree V-twin
Displacement 1,304 cc (80 cubic inch)
Bore and Stroke 100 x 83mm
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Maximum Torque 10.9 kg-m (78.8 ft-lbs.) @ 3,500 rpm
Fuel Delivery Mikuni 40 mm dual throttle body F.I.
Lubrication Wet sump
Ignition / Starting TCI / Electric
Transmission 5-speed
Final Drive Belt

Suspension (Front) 41 mm fork
Suspension (Rear) Adjustable link Monocross
Brakes (Front) 310 mm disc
Brakes (Rear) 310 mm disc
Tires (Front) 120/70-21
Tires (Rear) 210/40R18

Length 2,530 mm (99.6″)
Width 860 mm (33.9″)
Height 1,130 mm (44.5″)
Wheelbase 1,750 mm (68.9″)
Seat Height 670 mm (26.4″)
Fuel Capacity 15 litres (3.3 Imp. gal.)
Wet Weight 293kg (644.6 lbs)
Colour(s) Metallic Black
Vivid Purplish Blue
Yellowish Red



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