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2008 Yamaha XV1900 Custom S Road Test


by Pascal Bastien ,

Yamaha introduced the all-new XV1900 Custom S, a cruiser-type motorcycle with some of the sleekest lines you'll find. The Japanese manufacturer made no compromises when it came to designing this unique mount; the frame and the forward-stretching front fork of the XV1900 give it a striking chopper look.

With its bold styling and exuberant powertrain, this Yamaha will leave no one indifferent. Hands down, it's one of the most stunning bikes out there.

The bold, well-executed styling will certainly appeal to legions of fans.

Attention to detail
Yamaha made huge strides with regards to designing and assembling its premium motorcycles. Attention to detail is simply remarkable, as evidenced by the uniquely-shaped swingarm, striking fork head and spectacular styling of the headlight and handlebar mounts, among others. Also worth mentioning are the new, more aerodynamic, brushed-aluminum, brake and clutch master cylinders as well as the flangeless, teardrop-style main fuel tank integrating a retro-looking, chrome instrument panel. A gigantic 210-mm rear tire (the widest ever installed on a Yamaha motorcycle), a LED taillight and a huge dual muffler combine to create a breathtaking right three-quarter view. Likewise, the custom-looking, 5-spoke wheels ought to be exhibited in an art museum.

Yamaha engineers are masters at camouflaging electric wires to create a sleek, uncluttered engine look. Yet, the XV1900 Custom S is full of electronics, particularly to manage the big V-twin. The one-of-a-kind spec sheet is so comprehensive that it would take a separate review to list them all. You won't find a single square inch on this new Yamaha that did not receive extra attention.

Exuberant powertrain
The XV1900 Custom S relies on the same engine as the Roadliner, namely a massive, air-cooled V-twin with pushrod valve actuation. The very sophisticated electronic fuel injection system uses 43-mm throttle bodies. The cooling fins and many other components are polished, which gives the engine a unique and captivating appearance. The cylinder head has been redesigned and now incorporates a pent-roof combustion chamber design featuring an oil passage near the exhaust valve seat to improve cooling and durability. Mechanical centrifugal decompression mechanisms insure fast, easy starts. This new system is contained inside the camshafts and reduces weight (since no solenoid is required) and complexity.

Chrome, lots of chrome... After all, it's a premium cruiser.
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