The Eagle eyes at Motorcycle.com have noticed that Yamaha Motor Corporation is in the process of folding its Star Motorcycles cruiser brand back into the company’s core motorcycle business, under the Yamaha name.
The move is a tectonic shift for the space, as Star Motorcycles was Yamaha’s attempt to give Harley-Davidson a run for its money with superior “metric cruiser” offerings.
As such, the brand was originally set aside from Yamaha’s other motorcycle models, in an attempt to set Star Motorcycles away from the “Jap Bike” mentality that existed at the time in the cruiser demographic.
Yamaha, along with Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki have had limited success in this regard, despite offering superior machinery on virtual every metric, save one: their bikes are not from the Bar & Shield brand.
Surely now realizing this, Yamaha has pivoted its “sport heritage” lineup back into Yamaha’s core brand, though we expect the “Star” name will remain in the model branding to some degree.