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

A big cruiser for smaller women

By Michelle Baird; Photos by Riles & Nelson
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.
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.

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.

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.
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-degreepushrodV-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.
Staggered shotgun dual pipes are positioned low and rearward, well out of the way of both the riders 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.
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.
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 Salso 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 youre 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 Michelles 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 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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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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15 thoughts on MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2013/2012 Star Motorcycles Road Star Silverado S

  1. I am currently riding a 1998 Honda Shadow ACE 750. She is beautiful, and I love her, but I’ve got about 6,000 miles under my belt on her now and I might have the opportunity to move up to my husband’s 2007 Yamaha Road Star. I’ve ridden it in the parking lot before and didn’t have any problems, but at only 5 feet 2 inches, I worry about getting stuck in a situation of having to stop on a hill and holding it up with one leg, or having to back it, etc. I’m thinking about getting the Joe Rocket motorcycle boots that have the 2.5 inch heel (enclosed heel) to help out with the height issue. It’s my own trepidation holding me back. Tell me I can handle this bike!

  2. The readers comments are so helpful. I’m still looking for my first bike and a newbie. I’m leaning towards a middleweight cruiser (750cc) as a beginner bike but somehow something inside of me (about 5 percent) is telling me to go small.

  3. I previously submitted a post about the Yamaha Road Star Silverado S and now have a new post. I actually traded my 2010 Road Star for a new 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B in May of this year. I drove it for five months and really loved it. Due to finances, I found myself needing to sell the Gold Wing. I took it back to the dealer where I bought it and the dealership made me a good deal to buy the Gold Wing back from me. I also noticed that my old Road Star was still sitting on the showroom floor as no one had purchased it. So, I bought it back. Could not be happier!The Road Star is such an awesome bike! Even if I ever get a new bike in the future, I will keep this Road Star as well because it is just such a great bike. If anyone is considering this bike, do not be afraid to purchase one. You will definitely not be disappointed!

  4. I was so happy to find this article as I am about to purchase a 2012 Road Star Silverado S. I have been a reader of WRN since the purchase of my first bike in 2008 (2003 883 Sportster Hugger). Switching to a Yamaha from a Harley took a little of a mind shift for me, but the way the Yamaha handled compared to my Sporty was a great selling factor. I am 5 feet 8 inches and the fit seems perfect. I am extremely excited to pick the bike up on Saturday and already have a long trip planned to Michigan U.P. in two weeks. Can’t wait to take her on a long trip.Thank you so much for the reviews you do. I find them very helpful and informative. This one settled my mind that I am making the right choice.

  5. Thank you for this review. It was exactly what I was looking for. I needed a detailed review to show my husband, and the fact that someone a little shorter then I am was able to ride this bike and found it comfy and easy to handle will help in our decision making process. He is sure I could handle it, I just wasn’t sure. I am looking at the 2013 model, love the color and it comes standard with just everything I want.

  6. I have to agree with Andy [comment posted 5/15/2013]. I have been reading your reviews for quite sometime now and find them very helpful. I myself stand about 5 feet 6 inches and find that I can honestly rely more on the truefulness of the articles then a salesman at a dealer. Keep up the good work and thank for helping us guys that are vertically challenged.

    1. Thanks for sending us your feedback. It’s valuable to us. In January 2014, we changed our tagline to “Motorcycle Lifestyle. For Women, and Men who ride with Women” so men know that there is content here written from a lifestyle point of view that both genders can appreciate. We are now purposely including more gear reviews by men and touring articles by men that meet our guidelines, i.e. that they appeal to both genders. Please help us spread the word by sharing the site and stories with guys you think would like what we offer. Thanks.

  7. I own the 2010 Road Star Silverado S and this is the best bike I’ve ever owned. I started out five years ago on a 2007 Honda Aero 750, then moved on to two different Honda VTX 1300. From there I traded up to a 2005 Honda Gold Wing 1800 but I was never comfortable on it so I traded that for the new Road Star. It handles beautifully and has plenty of power to keep up with other Gold Wings. I put over 8,000 miles on it this year. I would not hesitate to purchase another larger Yamaha. They are so well balanced and nimble for their size.

  8. Didn’t mean to infringe on your women’s site, but am thinking about purchasing a 2012 Silverado and was surfing all the articles I could find pertaining to it and came across yours. I thought it was one of the best reviews I read. Hats off to you. Found everything straight forward and informative. Thanking you for taking the time to review this motorcycle.

    1. Hi Andy,Thanks for visiting and reading our review. While “women” may be in our name, WRN is written from a motorcycling lifestyle point of view that both women and men can appreciate. So, no apologies that you are infringing on a women’s site. WRN is meant for men, too.

  9. I have a V Star 650 Silverado that I’m looking to trade for something more powerful and comfy for longer rides with my husband. I’ve been riding for a little over three years now: took the MSF course, rode a 150cc scooter for two of those years, then rode a 250cc Virago starting last March and moved to my 650cc last June. Given this I guess I’m an intermediate rider. My husband jumped from the 250cc to his 1900cc Stratoliner easily enough, but would a jump from a 650cc to this Road Star be too much?We gone on some day trips with my 650 and the problem for me is the shake above 60mph. It would also be nice to have some locking storage.

    1. At this point, it’s all about confidence. How will you feel riding /handling the bigger bike? Do you feel confident enough to make the switch? Jumping to a Road Star after three years with your experience is not unheard of, but you’re asking something that’s pretty subjective and difficult to answer without knowing your skill level. I’d say that once you got used to how the Road Star handles, its weight distribution, assuming you can touch the ground with both feet, you probably can ride and handle this bike comfortably. You’ll certainly appreciate all the creature comforts and high speed comfort if that is what you’re seeking. Good luck.

  10. Hi, I’m looking at getting my first bike but I am seriously short (4ft 11)! Does anybody know of any even smaller bikes or do I have to stick with a scooter?! Thanks, Rosie

    1. Hi, Rosie—Lots of shorter women are able to find a bike they feel comfortable on! Take a look at our story “The Lowest of the Low,” in which we compiled the lowest seat heights on the market from the major manufacturers. You might also consider posting a question in the WRN Forum to see what other women riders have to say. Best of luck!

  11. Glad to see the review of this bike. I’ve had a 2003 Road Star Silverado for about five years now and love it. At only 5 feet 2 inches it can be a challenge at times, but “smart” parking certainly comes in handy. Took the bike on a 7,000-mile trip from Raleigh, NC, to Cody, WY, in 2010. Absolutely love the performance. Actually considering an “upgrade” to a newer model.

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