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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2013/2012 Star Motorcycles Road Star Silverado S

A big cruiser for smaller women

By Michelle Baird; Photos by Riles & Nelson
1/29/2013

Star Motorcycles’ Road Star Silverado S is a 1670cc, 773-pound heavyweight cruiser with a fairly long, 66.5-inch wheelbase, which might put off women riders concerned about riding a big bike. However, the Silverado’s controls are well within reach for the average-size woman. At just 5-foot-5, I found it to be stable and well balanced, making it a great choice for women riders craving the stability and power of a bigger motorcycle. 

While the 2013 Road Star Silverado S models are now available, you might still be able to find a 2012 model in this stunning Lunar White Pearl color that Michelle is riding, still on showroom floors.
While the 2013 Road Star Silverado S models are now available, you might still be able to find a 2012 model in this stunning Lunar White Pearl color that Michelle is riding, still on showroom floors.

The only color option for the 2013 Road Star Silverado S is this Impact Blue—and yes, we think it makes an impact!
The only color option for the 2013 Road Star Silverado S is this Impact Blue—and yes, we think it makes an impact!

The Road Star Silverado S is a glammed-up touring cruiser with chrome bits throughout. It is outfitted for extended touring with an adjustable windshield, color-matched hard bags that lock, a passenger seat with a backrest, and a powerful 102-cubic-inch V-twin engine. For a few days last summer, I test rode a 2012 model in Atlanta that was decked out with more than $4,000 of hard parts from the Star Accessories Catalog. Other than a color change, the 2013 model is identical to the 2012.

The Road Star Silverado S is a viable option for women who want a full-size cruiser but don’t want all the aches and pains resulting from a far reach to the hand and foot controls.
The Road Star Silverado S is a viable option for women who want a full-size cruiser but don’t want all the aches and pains resulting from a far reach to the hand and foot controls.

As I learned from experience, backing up the heft of the fully loaded Silverado S is not impossible while seated or standing alongside—it just happens very slowly, one inch at a time. Thoughtful parking is a must for those who want to avoid breaking a sweat. 

The Road Star Silverado S builds power smoothly and evenly, so this 773-pound bike is not a chore to ride.
The Road Star Silverado S builds power smoothly and evenly, so this 773-pound bike is not a chore to ride.

Even though the Road Star Silverado S is a large touring cruiser, the 27.9-inch seat height is within reach for shorter riders thanks to a seat that narrows where it meets the tank. Most bikes in this class have a wide seat without a tapered front, making them difficult for the average-height woman (estimated at 5-foot-4) to flat-foot. 

Despite being on the shorter side (when compared to a man), with a 29-inch inseam and a height measurement of 5-foot-5, Michelle can flat-foot the 27.9-inch seat height of the Road Star Silverado S with a comfortable bend in the knee.
Despite being on the shorter side (when compared to a man), with a 29-inch inseam and a height measurement of 5-foot-5, Michelle can flat-foot the 27.9-inch seat height of the Road Star Silverado S with a comfortable bend in the knee.

The Road Star Silverado S has a narrow waist where the seat meets the tank, so shorter riders can scoot up a bit to allow their feet to reach the ground.
The Road Star Silverado S has a narrow waist where the seat meets the tank, so shorter riders can scoot up a bit to allow their feet to reach the ground.

The heart of the Road Star Silverado is its 102-cubic-inch (1670cc), air-cooled, 48-degree pushrod V-twin powerplant. The two-into-two exhaust system lets out a distinctive V-twin growl, which rumbles out of staggered shotgun dual pipes. At faster speeds, the Silverado S runs at lower rpm and quiets down for more pleasant highway cruising. 

The Road Star Silverado is powered by a 1670cc, air-cooled, pushrod V-twin powerplant that doesn’t give off uncomfortable heat in stop-and-go traffic situations.
The Road Star Silverado is powered by a 1670cc, air-cooled, pushrod V-twin powerplant that doesn’t give off uncomfortable heat in stop-and-go traffic situations.

Staggered shotgun dual pipes are positioned low and rearward, well out of the way of both the rider's and the passenger’s feet and legs.
Staggered shotgun dual pipes are positioned low and rearward, well out of the way of both the rider's and the passenger’s feet and legs.

The Road Star Silverado S is made for hitting the highways for long road trips. The gears shift smoothly, and top gear (fifth, in this case) is well suited for highway cruising speeds. The engine doesn’t have to work hard to keep the pace. It gets an estimated 36 miles per gallon, so the 4.8-gallon fuel capacity means it can motor on for around 170 miles before the low-fuel warning light comes on.

Hard parts won’t drag in the corners with 5.7 inches of ground clearance. The height of the windscreen is adjustable, so even a 5-foot-5 rider like Michelle can change whether she looks over it or through it.
Hard parts won’t drag in the corners with 5.7 inches of ground clearance. The height of the windscreen is adjustable, so even a 5-foot-5 rider like Michelle can change whether she looks over it or through it.

The Road Star Silverado S has attractive nine-spoke cast wheels with tubeless tires. Dual 298mm front discs and a 320mm single rear disc slow the Silverado S to a stop progressively and effectively.
The Road Star Silverado S has attractive nine-spoke cast wheels with tubeless tires. Dual 298mm front discs and a 320mm single rear disc slow the Silverado S to a stop progressively and effectively.

Telescopic 43mm front forks with stainless steel covers have 5.5 inches of travel, while the hidden link-type, preload-adjustable rear shock provides 4.3 inches of wheel travel.
Telescopic 43mm front forks with stainless steel covers have 5.5 inches of travel, while the hidden link-type, preload-adjustable rear shock provides 4.3 inches of wheel travel.

The Silverado S feels very balanced at slow speeds, a welcome effect of the bike’s dry-sump lubrication system, which uses a spin-on filter and helps centralize mass by keeping overall engine height to a minimum. The Silverado S also lacks that big-bike handlebar flop when making tight turns.

Michelle likes that the Silverado S feels stable and balanced for slow cruising, like those times when you're creeping along in urban areas.
Michelle likes that the Silverado S feels stable and balanced for slow cruising, like those times when you're creeping along in urban areas.

The saddlebags on the Silverado S are hard sided, lockable, and color matched to the rest of the bike. One half-shell helmet will fit in a saddlebag, while a full-face lid can latch to the helmet holder accessible under the seat. 

The leather studded windshield bag on Michelle's test model, which can be found in the accessories catalog, holds small items like sunglasses or a bottle of water.
The leather studded windshield bag on Michelle's test model, which can be found in the accessories catalog, holds small items like sunglasses or a bottle of water.

A half-shell helmet fits inside the locking saddlebag, which uses the same key that removes the seat, locks the fork, and turns on the ignition.
A half-shell helmet fits inside the locking saddlebag, which uses the same key that removes the seat, locks the fork, and turns on the ignition.

A studded solo seat and tall passenger backrest, along with almost three dozen other parts, were added to the Road Star Silverado I test rode. Extended riding time requires a cushier seat, and Star Motorcycles has some of the most amazingly comfortable seats around, which compare in comfort to some aftermarket seats that cost twice as much. 

Michelle’s test model was outfitted with Star Motorcycles Accessories’ Studded Comfort Cruise Solo Seat. Michelle says she’d opt for a cushier seat for longer touring, and Star’s catalog offers plenty to choose from.
Michelle’s test model was outfitted with Star Motorcycles Accessories’ Studded Comfort Cruise Solo Seat. Michelle says she’d opt for a cushier seat for longer touring, and Star’s catalog offers plenty to choose from.

Passenger space is sufficient, and while some bigger riders might find it cramped, the tiered seats allow the average-sized pillion rider to see more than the back of a helmet. Plus, both riders get their own roomy floorboards. 

Full-size rider and passenger floorboards are long and comfortable. A two-piece heel-toe shifter comes stock, but this model was upgraded with the Billet Shift Arm and Billet Rider Floorboard Covers, which eliminated the heel shifter.
Full-size rider and passenger floorboards are long and comfortable. A two-piece heel-toe shifter comes stock, but this model was upgraded with the Billet Shift Arm and Billet Rider Floorboard Covers, which eliminated the heel shifter.

This add-on Billet Brake Pedal Cover means less chance of foot slippage in the rain.
This add-on Billet Brake Pedal Cover means less chance of foot slippage in the rain.

Information from the tank-mounted speedometer is easy to read with a glance down. It includes an odometer, dual tripmeters and a clock. The switch to adjust that information is on the right grip, so the rider can keep both hands on the handlebars when toggling through. There are also all the usual indicator lights expected from a modern motorcycle, including a low-fuel warning light, high-beam light, turn signals, and engine diagnostic indicator lights.

The low-profile tank-mounted speedometer has old-school-cool looks.
The low-profile tank-mounted speedometer has old-school-cool looks.

A switch on the right handlebar lets riders toggle the trip meter and other info. The custom-looking stainless steel braided throttle and clutch cables come stock.
A switch on the right handlebar lets riders toggle the trip meter and other info. The custom-looking stainless steel braided throttle and clutch cables come stock.

Levers are easy to reach for smaller hands.
Levers are easy to reach for smaller hands.

With its white paint that sparkles in the sunlight, silver chrome throughout, and a jewel-like LED taillight, the 2012 Road Star Silverado S has sophisticated looks.
With its white paint that sparkles in the sunlight, silver chrome throughout, and a jewel-like LED taillight, the 2012 Road Star Silverado S has sophisticated looks.

White paint usually means constant wipe-downs to keep it looking good, but the high-quality Lunar White Pearl finish stayed surprisingly clean despite several afternoon downpours.
White paint usually means constant wipe-downs to keep it looking good, but the high-quality Lunar White Pearl finish stayed surprisingly clean despite several afternoon downpours.

The best part of the Road Star Silverado S is that it comes stock with all the accessories you need to tour. The price is also competitive, at $15,590 for the 2012 and just $300 more for the 2013 model. 

Specs at a Glance: 2013/2012 Star Motorcycles Road Star Silverado S
Displacement: 1670cc
Seat Height: 27.9 inches
Weight: 773 pounds
Price: 2012 price $15,590; 2013 price $15,890
Colors: 2012 Lunar White Pearl; 2013 Impact Blue

WRN Recommendation
Star Motorcycles’ Road Star Silverado S is an ideal choice for riders who are ready to move up to a touring bike but don’t want the heft of a full dresser with a full front fairing and rear top case. Plus, the fact that “smaller” riders can actually maneuver the bike is a plus, so experienced riders—men and women—should consider this motorcycle. It has nice-sized saddlebags that lock, an adjustable windshield, and decent fuel consumption, and best of all, it’s dressed for touring right off the showroom floor. 

To learn more about Michelle Baird, visit the WRN Contributors page. 

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