Priced at $10,990 in Raven or $11,240 in Reddish Copper or Impact Blue, Star's Stryker undercuts the Honda Fury's price point by up to two grand. How does this raked-out ride stack up against its competition?
The Goods: Don't call it a raked-out Raider
The newly designed 41mm front fork offers 5.3 inches of travel, and though Stryker has a more conventional cruiser silhouette compared to Fury, its total fork rake of 40 degrees is two degrees more horizontal than its Honda counterpart. Though Stryker's steering head is canted at 34 degrees, 6 degrees of tree rake brings the grand total to 40; the tilted trees enable a trail figure of 109mm, which adds stability and prevents "flopping" at lower speeds. A rear preload adjustable shock offers 3.9 inches of travel.
Throw a Leg Over: "In," not "on"
Seated in the contoured and somewhat firm saddle, you're sitting more "in" the bike than "on" it, and Stryker's controls are more cruiser than chopper-like: pegs are forward, but the reach to the handlebars isn't quite so extreme, allowing for a more upright posture.
The black-faced speedometer incorporates basic indicator lights, and a Stryker logo (in an italicized Old English font, of course) sits just above a digital odometer that doubles as a fuel gauge using the "Select" button on the right handgrip controls.
On the Road: Low slung and hunkered-down
The light clutch lever works progressively, and though there's a touch of notchiness at the shift lever (which could have been due to our test bike's newness), gear changes are positive with an easy-to-find neutral. There's some snatchiness with roll-on throttle, and though it accelerates aggressively off the line when provoked, Stryker doesn't offer the sort of power that tempts excessive speed (unlike ballsier big-bore power cruisers like the Suzuki M109R or the Harley V-Rod.)
Though its wheelbase is more than two inches shorter than the Fury's, Stryker is still quite a long bike, and those dimensions become most apparent on twisties. Stryker feels hunkered down despite its 40 degree fork rake, but it takes some anticipation and forethought to get this 646 pound bike to turn, thanks primarily to the suspension's lazy geometry. Once pitched over, there's enough ground clearance to get you around the bend without drama at reasonably sane speeds, but if you're feeling saucy and throw it deeper into a lean, your boot heels will likely dig into pavement shortly before the pegs touch down and start to fold upward.
The dual-piston, single disc 320mm front brake does an adequate job of bringing the bike to a stop, but it's often necessary to invoke the 310mm, single-piston rear unit in order to scrub off speed more quickly.
Bottom Line: Two-wheeled apples and oranges
Star's Stryker is a solid performer and a great value, and while its firm-ish saddle might limit its long distance use and the throttle abruptness at low rpms makes its drivetrain a tad more rough around the edges compared to the Honda Fury, its incrementally more accommodating ergonomics make it slightly more practical—- all of which results in a tie, earning it 3.5 out of 5 stars on our About.com ratings system.
Managing to achieve a similarly impressive balance of style, function, and value along with the Fury, the Star Stryker offers a novel twist on the cruiser platform that should steal more than a few riders away from Honda... but at the end of the day, these are both capable, well-built bikes that will attract different types of buyers thanks to their dramatically different styles.