First pictures of Road Star Warrior

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Yamaha’s new XV1700 Road Star Warrior is unveiled today, boasting sports bike technology and cruiser styling.

The Warrior’s engine is pure cruiser. Based on the XV1600 Wild Star’s 48 degree air-cooled V-twin, the Warrior retains the simple, two-valves per cylinder, pushrod design, but the capacity is punched out to 1670cc from the original 1602cc – providing a significant increase in power and torque.

It now makes around 40 per cent more power than the Wild Star’s 57bhp – equating to 80bhp.

Like the Wild Star, the Warrior’s motor features fuel-injection and two spark plugs per cylinder to increase efficiency. At low revs, the engine management even closes off one of the twin throttle ducts – making the engine more responsive at low revs without reducing top-end power.

But while the engine is relatively low-tech, the chassis takes its inspiration from machines like the R1 rather than following the usual cruiser style.

While most cruisers stick to a tried and tested formula of steel tubes forming a backbone over the engine, the Warrior features an all-aluminium double-cradle design to increase rigidity and reduce weight. Yamaha claims the chassis is 41 per cent stiffer than the Wild Star’s steel frame, while helping reduce the bike’s dry weight from 307kg (675lb) to a relatively light 275kg (606lb).

The suspension also breaks with cruiser tradition – using technology closer to that on the The Warrior is different – it features an aluminium swingarm, which Yamaha claims is based on the R1’s design, linked to a monoshock via a rising rate linkage.

The aluminium swingarm itself is claimed to be 42 per cent lighter than conventional steel cruiser swingarms, while the advanced monoshock design should give the bike better ride and handling qualities than you would expect from a custom bike.

The forks are Kayaba upside-downers, derived from the units used on the R1 – so they should offer far superior composure than you would expect from a bike with the Warrior’s looks.

The rest of the running gear also shares more with sportsbikes than cruisers. The wheels are lightweight alloys – improving the bike’s responses and quikening the steering – and they feature sportsbike-sized rubber. The front uses a 120/70-ZR18 tyre, while the rear features an extra-wide 200/50-ZR17.

The Warrior features a digital rev-counter mounted in an aerodynamic pod on the headlight, while the analogue speedo is more traditionally bolted to the fuel tank.

The rear lights use LEDs rather than normal bulbs – as on the latest R6.

Yamaha has also introduced a range of more than 500 optional extras to personalise the machine. These include styling parts, like more traditional cruiser exhausts, a bellypan or a bikini fairing, or tuning modifications to increase the power of the engine.

So far, it isn’t clear when the bike will become available in the UK. In America it goes on sale in December, costing £8700.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff