Home

Contents/Summary

bulletAvon Grips
bulletBatwing Fairing
bulletBungee knobs
bullet Brain's Airbox Mod
bulletBrake Rotor Plate
bullet Chin Spoiler
bulletCorbin Touring Seat
bullet Corbin Solo Seat
bullet Cobra PowerPro Tuner
bullet Custom Solo Seat
bulletDyno Testing
bulletDIY Decals
bulletExhaust System
bulletFront Fender
bulletHandlebars
bulletHard Bags
bullet Hogtunes
bullet Integrated Signals
bullet License Mount
bulletPop Top Windshield
bulletMirrors
bulletQuick-release Bags
bulletReaper Tips
bullet Shifter Linkage
bullet Suspension
bulletStainless Lines
bullet Striped Wheels
bullet Spokes

 

 

 

 

Our Bike

Check out what we're doing to our Raider.  We'll show you all the accessories and mods we add on, and all the work we do, as we do it.  Our Raider is a constantly evolving work in progress, not to mention an amazingly versatile canvas, so we'll note where certain mods were replaced by others as we go along.  In some cases, the previously installed and reviewed parts are for sale, as noted.

This was our Raider, where we started, bone stock, more or less:

LA Choppers Super Radius T-Bars

Any modification that makes your Raider more comfortable and helps you ride longer is certainly a good thing, and anything that makes your Ride look more awesome is even better.  Problem is, rarely does one item do both.  That changed the moment we installed the new 9" pullback Super Radius T-Bars from LA Choppers.  In short - we absolutely LOVE this modification.

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The Super Radius T-bars come in two different pullbacks - 6" and 9".  We chose the 9" to bring the bars a little closer to us.  The few extra inches of pullback make a huge difference in riding comfort - that little twinge you get between the shoulder blades after a particularly long ride is gone; and we found ourselves sitting up a little more straight, for more comfort in the lower back.

Ergonomics aside, the T-Bars just look incredible.  The entire bar, except for the control area, is an extra-meaty 1.5" in diameter versus the stock 1" bar; cruising along and looking down at the speedo from time-to-time, you'll catch a glimpse of the substantial chrome expanse.  Speaking of the chrome, it's lustrous and well-finished, and the welds between the riders and handlebar are completely invisible - the transition is seamless.  The curve of the risers has in interesting visual effect for the Raider; as you can see in the profile shots above, at some angles, it actually exaggerates the look of the rake of the front end.

A couple of notes in installation.  LA Choppers made the T-Bars specifically for the Raider, so they are drilled to accept the internal wiring of the stock Raider's handlebars, and for the locator pin of the stock controls.  The internal wiring can be tricky to install, and requires that the stock connectors be cut off the wires and then soldered back on once run through the bars.  It's not a hard task, but will definitely take some time, so if patience is not one of your virtues, you might consider a professional installation.

Because of the extra pullback, we opted to go +2" in the throttle cables, clutch and brake lines.  You can use your stock cables and lines with the T-Bars, but you will have to route them differently.  With the longer cables and lines, we were able to route them through the stock locations, using the guides already on the front forks.

Available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Stainless Cables and Lines

Since we were installing the T-Bars shown above, we decided to upgrade our Throttle Cables and Clutch & Brake lines at the same time.  There are many vendors out there from which you can buy stainless cables and lines directly, however this immediately becomes a challenge once you want anything other than stock length.

Pacific Coast Star supplies EVERYTHING needed to upgrade your lines and cables from stock length, all the way up to +15" over.  We ordered +2" to accommodate the extra pullback on the new handlebars, and PCS shipped the throttle cables, clutch line, and brakes lines, along with all the fittings already installed, making installation a simple (if a little time consuming) proposition.

Note that Pacific Coast Star uses Galfer for the clutch and brake lines, and Barnett for the throttle cables,  both top-of-the-line vendors in their own right.

Baron's/LA Choppers, who makes the awesome T-Bars that we installed, now also supplies similar Stainless Kits in everywhere from stock to 20" over, available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Custom Solo Seat

This is a big one, the most custom of all of our modifications, being a total one-off.  Using Low and Mean's Spike Custom Seat pan, which provides an amazing foundation, we brought our ideas over to Jerry at Master Upholstery in Newton, NJ.  While looks and style are certainly a priority in custom solo seats, we wanted a saddle that we could ride long-distance as well.  To that end we incorporated two different densities of foam, along with a 1/8" viscoelastic gel pad for vibration isolation.

The seat is extremely comfortable and supportive, due to the combination of foams used and the gel pad.  At the same time, the Low and Mean Pan starts 1.5" lower than stock, hugging the frame.  Our seating position ended up a couple of inches lower than our Corbin Dual Tour saddle.

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Jerry covered the seat in (obviously) black leather, adding the pattern to compliment the overall theme of the Raider, and then contrast stitching to match the striping that we did on the wheels last year.

The Custom Seat Pan is Available in our Marketplace

Freedom Performance Sharp Curve Radius Exhaust

This one was a very long time coming.

Some of our early readers might remember (and signed) our petition, where we begged Vance and Hines to come out with a curved 2-into-2 exhaust system.  They eventually did so, but we never felt that it followed through on the promise of the JPD-designed concept shown in our petition.

After 5 years of ownership, serious research, installation of the original Reaper Tips and subsequent migration to the Vance and Hines 2-into-1 Big Radius Pipe, we finally completed out Hot-rod Bagger Project with the installation of the Freedom Performance Sharp Curve Radius 2-into-2.

 

Freedom Performance's design captures the true essence of what we where looking for from the very beginning - a short, beautifully-designed, high-performance swept 2-into-2 exhaust system.  The length of the pipe was of particular importance because we were installing hard bags and wanted to make sure that the pipes didn't hit them or interfere with how we positioned them.

The Sharp Curve Radius system features awesome quality chrome heat shields, which is should be noticed are 1-piece, meaning that there are no seams from where they connect to the cylinder heads all the way to the tips, which consequently, are beautifully sculpted little works of art in their own right.  Designed as a performance system, the SCRs feature a triple-stepped header for proper exhaust flow and a very well concealed cross-over between the pipes that equalizes flow between the pipes to eliminate any performance deficit found in some 2-into-2 systems.  The Sharp Curve Radius is available with either a standard "performance" baffle or optional quiet baffle.  We opted for the quiet baffle in anticipation of the installation of an audio system later on.  Performance from the system is absolutely outstanding, and even with the quiet baffle the sound is powerful, authoritative and rich.  The system provides a deep rumble with nice volume that comes seriously alive when you crack open the throttle.  At steady cruising speeds it settles down, but never lets you forget that you've got a custom performance exhaust installed.

Available in our Marketplace.

Corbin Dual Tour Saddle

Our Dual Tour saddle, the first seat for the Raider from Corbin, USA, arrived 3/18/08.  Installation was flawless, taking less than 5 minutes, and as can be expected from Corbin, quality and fit are perfect.  As with other Corbin Saddles, it is constructed from a significantly denser foam material than other seats, which initially feels quite firm.  Over longer rides, this material holds up much better, does not compress and offers more consistent support, vibration isolation and comfort for both rider and passenger.  The Dual Tour model that we installed is ideal for long distance two-up riding, and includes a built-in receptacle for Corbin's removable backrest.

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The lines of this seat are quite different than the stock unit.  Where the OEM seat is actually wider than the frame, and overhangs the bike on both sides, the Corbin hugs the contours of the Raider.  The rider portion is significantly flatter than the sharply sloped stock seat, allowing the pilot to easily move front and back to find the ideal riding position.  The seat height for the rider is lower than stock, while passenger ride height is slightly higher.  We ordered the seat with what Corbin calls a "nose job" - a no-charge custom option where they narrow the front portion of seat a bit, offering an easier reach to the ground.

The passenger section is significantly more accommodating than the stock seat, offering the same support and comfort as the rider, as well as increased room.  The overall profile of the seat changes the look of the bike somewhat, as can be expected for any two-up long-distance saddle.  The Dual Tour uses the stock mounting brackets and lock, so it's very easy to remove and replace with a solo seat when you want to return to the low-profile chopper look.

Corbin Custom Stinger Saddle

In addition to the Corbin Dual Tour, which we continue to enjoy for two-up riding, we wanted to have the option of a fastback-style solo seat that complimented the lines of our Raider Bagger, while still providing long distance, supportive comfort.  Furthermore, it had to swap instantly with the Dual Tour, using the same hardware, including the mounting bracket on the rear fender.  Between our past experience with their products and their solid reputation for engineering and quality, it made perfect sense to go back to Corbin.

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Corbin's Stinger Saddle for the Raider was the perfect place to start, with their original model offering the basic style that we were looking for.  Starting there, we wanted to make some modifications to the design in order for it to cut an even sleeker, lower profile.  To that end, we asked Corbin to shave 1" off the height of the tail section and remove the backrest hardware, replacing it with the V-shaped pattern shown in the photos.  The design was then completed with a tan "Baby Gator" stripe.

Corbin's customer service throughout the process was absolutely outstanding.  Equally impressive is that they were able to positively nail the design of our Stinger to our exact specifications with two short phone conversations.  The "Raider Performance Edition" of the Stinger swaps easily with the Dual Tour within a minute.  In essence, the Stinger is a solo seat, so passenger comfort is a moot point.  Unlike some ultra low-profile solo designs, the Stinger is a long-haul, all-day seat. Ride comfort for the driver is essentially the same as the Dual Tour; typical Corbin - firm and supportive, with excellent vibration isolation.    Seating position is about 1.5" lower than stock.

Custom Dynamics LED License Plate Frame

We used the LED illuminated frame from Custom Dynamics in our rear fender clean-up.  The black frame matches the bike perfectly, and the LED lights take the place of the bulky stock lighting.  Quality is great, and installation was a snap.  This was moved to the left side of the bike when we installed the side mount bracket.

Performance Edge Side Mount License Bracket

This is the first side mount plate bracket designed specifically for the Raider.  Unlike generic brackets which must be jury-rigged to fit (usually somewhere on the swingarm), Matt at Performance Edge designed this part to bolt directly to the frame of the Raider using existing holes and stock bolts.  Instead of a thin piece of stamped metal, the Performance Edge Bracket is laser-cut from a single piece of 10 ga. steel, then powder coated wrinkle black to match the frame perfectly.  The result is a quality piece of incredible strength and durability. 

Installation is simple, and took about 5 minutes.  We also installed the LED license plate frame that we had used previously (also available from Performance Edge), which completed the modification, and illuminates the entire swingarm at night.

Performance Edge Integrated Tail Light/Turn Signals

We used this part for our Stage 2 rear fender clean up.  In conjunction with their side-mount license bracket, the rear of the bike is completely cleaned up.  While there are similar assemblies on the market, Performance Edge is the only company that uses the stock, OEM tail light assembly, assuring original brightness, water tightness, and reliability.  PE adds a circuit and wiring for the turn signals to the brake light, adding a load equalizer to maintain the stock blink rate.

Avon Anodized Air Cushion Grips

For the first couple of years, we rode with the Jardine Billet Grips (below) and loved the style.  On longer rides however, as we packed on the miles, we started to notice some vibration coming through the grips, and went looking for something more comfortable, and these new Air Cushion Grips from Avon Grips (no relation to the tire company) fit the bill perfectly.  This being a Raider, they still had to look cool, and the style doesn't disappoint either.  The grips are manufactured from aluminum and feature Kraton rubber inserts that do an excellent job at vibration isolation, while providing a solid, tactile feel for control.

Available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Jardine Billet Grips

It's a bit of a downer, but Jardine has discontinued making these awesome grips.  Often imitated, each one is carved from a piece of billet aluminum (other brands are plated plastic), with flat rubber O-rings for grip and comfort.  We had a pair on the Mean Streak, and loved the stylish impact and comfort they provide.  On the black and chrome Raider, they're perfect.

Memphis Shades Batwing Fairing

Part of the evolution of our Raider has been its gradual metamorphosis from a lean, stripped-down, high-performance chopper to an long-distance, hot-rod bagger.  The intermediate point in that process was the addition of the excellent Pop Top Windshield below, but the Batwing Fairing, also from Memphis Shades, really solidified the new direction.  The fairing offers even more protection that the windshield, while adding a heavy dose of style.  We elected to go with the 5" windshield (the lowest) available, and found that it offers plenty of protection, though taller riders will probably want one of the higher screens.  The high-gloss black finish worked perfectly with our Raven bike, though it could have been easily painted.  For a little added impact, we applied custom pinstripes from Twisted Chrome.

One added benefit is that if you already have a Memphis Shades windshield, the Batwing Fairing mounts to your existing quick-release hardware.  Like the windshields, the Fairing offers some adjustability, both up-and-down and fore-and-aft.  This, along with the different height windscreens, assures that all riders will be able to find a level of protection that suits them.

Available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Memphis Shades Pop Top Windshield

We originally installed a Deflector windshield from National Cycle, which while good for short, solo rides, didn't offer enough protection for longer trips, particularly at higher speeds with a passenger.  To meet these new requirements head-on, so to speak, we upgraded to a Pop Top windshield from veterans Memphis Shades.  The Pop Top is the smallest of Memphis Shades' Sportshield line, and while it offers a seriously sleek and sporty appearance, at 18" wide and 16" from the headlight cutout to the top of the screen, it provides plenty of protection at highway velocities for both rider and passenger.  Taller riders might consider the other Sportshield models, ranging all the way up to the 20" tall Big Shot, which offers the same sporty profile. 

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Our Pop Top was installed with M.S. own no-tool, quick-release Trigger-Lock hardware, which we found much easier to use than the previous hardware we had on the bike.  Rake and Height of the screen are all adjustable to find the ideal protection for your height and riding position.  Another feature we liked is that the entire installation of the hardware and windshield, as well as all adjustments are accomplished with one included Allen wrench.  Memphis Shades actually sends two wrenches - one large T-handle for the garage and a small pocket-sized for the road.

Available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Cobra Bungee Knobs

Well-designed, unobtrusive, nicely chromed knobs that provide attachment points for bungee cords while protecting the rear fender from scratches.  We installed these in under 5 minutes, replacing the stock fender strut bolts with their included hardware.  As shown in the photos, they are barely visible when viewed from the side, and do not obstruct the lines of the bike at all.

Tourmaster Cortech Sport Tail Bag

Working in perfect combination with the Bungee Knobs, the Tail Bag provides an excellent, stylish alternative to saddlebags, or simply strapping something to the rear seat.  While it works equally well with the stock passenger pillion, or an aftermarket seat like our Corbin, the bottom of the bag includes a neoprene pad, so it could be used on the bare fender with the pillion removed as well.

Available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Low & Mean Chin Spoiler

Introduced here at RaiderPerformance.com, this high-quality fiberglass chin spoiler/fairing compliments the aggressive lines of the Raider, and adds stylistic impact to the front end of the bike.  A side benefit of the fairing is that it protects the oil filter from road debris.

Shown here unpainted, we sent it off to paint to match the Raven color of our bike.  The spoiler is one of our exclusive parts.

Available in our Marketplace

Cycle House Shift Linkage Rod

 

 

A small part that makes a major visual statement and installs in about 5 minutes, this shifter rod replaces the generic linkage dowel on the left side of the motor.  Manufactured exclusively for the Raider and available only from Direct Line Parts - more info on our Marketplace page here.

The Rod coordinates with Cycle House's soon-to-be-released brake and clutch levers and kickstands.

 

 

 

Striped Wheels

Inspired by forum member BusaJack, we decided to add a stripe to our wheels, adding some subtle but serious attitude to the bike.  Instead of using pinstripe tape, which limited our color selection, we used a brush and painted the rims by hand, using a GM automotive color called "Sunset Orange Metallic", which will work well with our future paint plans for the rest of the bike.

Blackened Spokes

Talking the wheel coloring beyond stock, and in keeping with the hot-rod/classic muscle look, we did a very simple, minor modification that makes a huge difference.  Masking off the silver rim, we painted over the small silver patches on the spokes with black paint.  The spokes are now a uniform color, and the change in attitude is striking.

When in motion at speed, a contrast can be seen between the silver rim and the disk of spinning black spokes; at slow speeds, the spokes have an obvious "spinning blade" effect.

 

 

 

Arlen Ness Rad III Mirrors

These mirrors add some serious style to the handlebars, and compliment the Jardine grips.  We opted for the Rad III's over the Rad II's due to their larger size and increased viewing area.  Instead of using metric adapters, we used the Harley-type bolts that came with the mirrors, running them through the stock mirror mounts and fastening them from the bottom for a clean installation.

Available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Raw Design Reaper Tips

We're very excited about this next mod.  The simple fact is that Yamaha spent several million dollars developing the exhaust system for the Raider, creating a unique set of pipes that enhances the performance of our big 113 cubic inch motor.  Features including the O2 sensor, EXUP valve and catalytic converters assure that all that power is put to effective use while high-mileage, low-emissions and proper exhaust flow are all maintained.  Within the Raider community, however, there is little debate that the stock mufflers on the system stifle the incredible music the engine composes to the point where we feel like we're riding a sinister looking sewing machine.

Designed and manufactured by Stamford, CT's Raw Design, the Reaper Tips allowed us to remove the stock mufflers, eliminating a significant amount of sound baffling, while keeping all the important performance-enhancing exhaust components in place.  Unlike complete aftermarket systems, which eliminate the EXUP valve and cats, and in some cases the O2 sensor, installation of the Reapers maintains all these parts in their stock locations, assuring that the Raider's ECU maintains control over fuel mixture, exhaust flow and emissions concerns.

Video of the tips at idle and drive-by can be found here and here.

Of course, next to style, the biggest concerns with any exhaust modification are sound and performance.  The Reaper Tips provide a deep, mellow, visceral rumble at idle that increases into a powerful yet still deep bellow under hard acceleration.  Think big V8 and you get the idea.  Never obnoxious or high-pitched, the sound settles into a very sedate, comfortable volume at highway cruising speeds.  Performance of the stock system is maintained, with all the important components left in place, and no fuel injection calibration is required.  Backfiring is minimal, reserved only for those circumstances where we would expect it - namely coming abruptly off the throttle after running wide open.  We actually experienced more backfiring when we drilled our stock baffles.

The Tips are fabricated from steel which has be lustrously chromed to match the stock heat shields perfectly.  During installation, they can be rotated to fit your individual styling preferences, leading in subtle differences from one bike to another, as shown in the second photo above.  Installation itself required removal of the rear portion of the stock system only, leaving both head pipes, the collector, O2 sensor and EXUP valve in place.  The stock mufflers have to be cut off and the Reaper Tips spot welded onto the Catalysts - a simple job that can be performed by your local muffler shop in a matter of minutes.  You can expect the entire installation to take between one and two hours, and is a very straightforward and uncomplicated process.

Note: as of 2014, Raw Design no longer manufactures the Reaper Tips.

Low & Mean Reaper Fender

This addition to our portfolio was a long time coming.  Complimenting the L&M Chin Spoiler, the Reaper Fender wraps way around the back of the front tire, eliminating that little lip on the back of the stock fender that drove us completely nuts.

We installed the standard version on our bike.  There is also a Long version which extends a couple of inches further over the top of the tire, as well as Full-Wrap and a new Shorty version.

All versions can be found in our MarketPlace.

Lowered Suspension

In the course of the Hot-rod Bagger conversion, we went looking for a way to lower the suspension of our Raider.  There are many different solutions available at this point, from lowering bones to air-ride, covering the gamut in costs from a little over 100 dollars to a couple of thousand.  We wanted to lower the bike a little, simply to ease the reach to the ground and improve the handling and ride.  Lowering bones would have brought the back of the bike down more than we wanted, and did nothing for the front of the bike, while an air-ride was out of the question due to cost and complexity.  In the end, the best solution was offered by Progressive Suspension, in the form of their 465-series 1"Lower rear-shock assembly, and their Drop-in Fork-lowering kit for the front.

The rear-shock assembly comes from Progressive ready to install in place of the stock unit, and is actually sold by Yamaha as a replacement shock, which added to our confidence that it would install and fit correctly, which it absolutely did.  Designed to lower the rear by 1" out of the box, we also installed the optional Remote Preload Adjuster (installed under the right fender strut) which allows for additional fine-tuning of the ride height without crawling under the bike with a wrench.

Progressive's Drop-in Fork Lowering kit allows you to take between 1 and 2 inches out of your forks by simply cutting a plastic spacer.  It was one of the easiest installs we've ever done, taking under 30 minutes.  We opted for the 1" drop to keep it balanced with the rear of the Raider.

The additional benefit to lowering the Raider with Progressive Suspension components is the dramatic improvement in handling and ride.  Both the front and rear of the bike feel significantly more controlled, and the chassis handles bumps, irregularities and curves even better than we expected.  Two-up comfort is also improved dramatically, especially for the passenger.

Available in our Aftermarket Catalog

Tsukayu Patrol Hard Bags

After another season of experimenting with hard saddle bags where we rode with the Hard Street bags below, we went looking for something a little larger and more custom-looking.  Knowing that we were changing the exhaust system from the larger 2-into-1 to the short custom 2-into-2 also influenced our decision to once again change the bags, and we decided on the Patrol Hard Bags from Tsukayu.

 

Offering significantly more storage space than the Hard Street bags, the Patrols offer the classic slanted custom look featuring the flat, angled lid that we're so used to seeing on custom baggers.  These bags feature HD-style locking hardware and a fully carpeted interior.  The included stainless hardware is of exceptional quality and made installation relatively easy.  We supplemented the appearance of the bags by installing a carbon fiber accent panel on the sides of the bag, and installed our license plate flush on the rear of the left side.

 

HardStreet Slimbags Hard Bags

After a season of riding with the Saddlemen soft-side saddlebags below (which worked great), we made the decision to install hard bags during our Raider-bagger transformation.  We chose HardStreet's Slimbags due to their slim, low-profile styling, and flexible mounting options.  Another factor which influenced our selection was that HardStreet actually manufactures the hard bags for Yamaha/Star that come as original equipment on bikes such as the Stratoliner.  The Slimbags were designed to fit hot-rod style metric cruisers, and the Raider in particular with it's higher mounted pipes.  With the Vance and Hines pipe, the bags fit extremely well.  Hardstreet Slimbags include locks for security.

The Slimbags are designed with a flat back to accommodate a variety of mounting methods, including the Ghost Brackets we used previously, to rigid, permanent brackets.  For our bagger project, we decided to go with HardStreet's Raider-specific mounts, which were engineered to work with the bike's unique fender struts, holding the bags nice and close to the frame.  The Slimbags come from the factory in primer/read-to-paint, matte black and gloss black painted.  We opted for the primer finish, and painted the bags ourselves using Color-rite paints for the factory-perfect match.  Note that Yamaha sells these bags as a factory accessory, color-matched to the Raider colors, but you will certainly pay a premium.

 

Quick-Release Saddle Bags and Brackets

So, we all know the deal.  One of the big reasons that we bought our Raiders is because of the low, long, wicked custom styling.  Another reason was the outrageous power and great handling.  The second point also makes the Raider a great touring bike, the first reason, well, not so much.  What do you do when you want to keep the chopper aesthetic of your Raider, but occasionally what to carry more than a cell phone?  The answer is Ghost Brackets.  Ghost Brackets attach to any rigid-backed saddlebag, and attach to the bike with a couple of "keepers"; small knobs which bolt through the fender strut.  This completely eliminates the need for unsightly saddlebag supports, and allow you to connect and disconnect your bags in a matter of seconds.  The Ghost Brackets include a lock to the keepers when the bags are mounted.

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We chose the Jumbo Cruisin' Slant bags from Saddlemen.  Their clean, minimalist styling goes great with the Raider, and their rigid plastic backing made a great attachment area for the brackets, and helps the bags maintain their shape.

Both the Bags and Brackets are available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog

Cobra FI2000R PowerPro

I've worked with other FI tuners in the past, and this is the first time I was literally blown away by the performance increase.  Throttle response off the line is instantaneous, so even rumbling around town, you'll notice the difference.  The real transformation occurs the first time you whack open the throttle.  The Raider's engine was a beast from the factory, but with the PowerPro, it's like you turned on the torque faucet.  Along with the power increase is a smoothness that we actually did not expect.  No pops, no backfires; just pure, linear acceleration.  You want a new Raider?  Install this module.

Equally impressive is the ability of this tuner to instantly adapt to other modifications.  When we initially installed the FI2000R PowerPro, we were running the Big Radius 2-into-1 pipe.  We subsequently installed the FP Sharp Curve Radius and the PowerPro immediately adjusted to the new pipe with no input, tweaks, or effort from us; performance was just as mind-blowing.

This is another one of those mods that not only works exactly as advertised, but also installs a lot easier than anyone would expect.  In the past, with other FI tuners, between either downloading maps or constantly adjusting mixture screws, to splicing wires and performing dyno runs, the idea of installing and setting up a Fuel Injection module was an time- and cash-consuming proposition.  The PowerPro installed in less than 45 minutes (installation description and photos), and works the instant you fire-up your Raider.

What makes the FI2000R PowerPro different from the FI modules that a lot of us are used to is that it features what Cobra refers to as Continuously Variable Tuning (CVT).  Reading data from the Raider's O2 sensor and ECU, it constantly and instantly adjusts to whatever the riding situation demands, eliminating the need for dyno runs, maps or adjustments.  FI2000R PowerPro costs about twice as much as a traditional tuner, but the money saved in installation and tuning more than pays for the difference.

The Cobra FI2000R PowerPro CVT module is available in our Aftermarket On-Line Catalog.

Brain's Airbox Mod

In our incessant search for better performance, we repeatedly ran into the question of how to improve the intake.  All of our research into the matter suggested that the Raider's airbox already flowed more than enough air for the engine, so we felt that the installation of one of the many Big Air Kits available was overkill.  Furthermore, installation of such a kit required removal of the airbox and relocation or outright elimination of some key components such as the mass airflow sensor.  Apparently, we were not the only ones with this opinion.

Developed by Clayton "the Brain", an engineer and Star Stratoliner owner, Brain's Airbox Mod (BAM) improves intake performance on the Star XV1900 engine by simply lifting the lid of the airbox 3/4", effectively enlarging the intake openings at both ends, and flowing more air through the filter and into the airbox.  All stock intake components are maintained in their correct locations, and installation of the BAM is as easy as changing the air filter.

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Kit - Spacers and Screws

 

The kit is a simple, well-engineered solution comprised of rubber spacers and screws, which installs on the stock airbox lid.  Best of all, it's very affordable at well under $100.

Brain's Airbox Mod is currently available directly from Clayton here.

Dyno Testing

After all the installation, evaluation and testing of numerous different accessories and modifications, we really felt our Raider was making great power and performing well beyond showroom stock.  After all, we call ourselves Raider Performance and that's what we've been pursuing since day one.

Yamaha doesn't publish horsepower or torque figures for the Raider, but based on verifiable research from a few reputable outlets, the stock Raider makes between 80 and 85 HP, depending on testing conditions.

On August 17, 2013, we went to Flemington Circle Powersports in Flemington, NJ, to see what real-world performance numbers we are getting, and the results were amazing.

The Freedom Performance pipes, Cobra FI2000R module and Brain's Airbox Mod worked together to produce a significant increase in both horsepower and torque (10+ in both measurements).  There's a rich spot in the A/F ratio from about 2500 to 2800 rpms, but it appears that the Cobra PowerPro functioned correctly and stabilized the ratio quickly, and there's no noticeable deficit in performance or rideability.  Click here for video of some of the dyno runs. 

Hogtunes

During our Hot-rod Bagger conversion, we definitely wanted to see if we could integrate some tunes into the equation.  As shown above, we installed the Memphis Shades Batwing fairing with great success, so the Hogtunes MSA-1 was of particular interest.  The MSA-1 was designed specifically to work with the Memphis Shades Batwing, and as such is engineered to install quickly and relatively easily.

The unit itself packs the entire audio system into one single "pod" that mounts front and center with the speakers angled towards the rider.  The included volume controller has a large hook-n-loop fastener pad to hold your MP3 player, and is designed to mount to your handlebars.

Performance wise, the 50 watt amp and two speakers manage to crank out enough juice for rider and passenger to enjoy up to around 70 mph, at which point wind, road and engine noise tend to overpower it.

Now the (not-so) fine print.  The Hogtunes will work great if you have the stock handlebars.  Due to the shape of the LAC Big Radius T-Bars, the Batwing Fairing had to be moved into its highest possible position, and even then the audio unit still made contact with the handlebar risers.  We had cut out a portion of the bottom of the Hogtunes unit to enable it to clear the handlebars.  In addition, the 1 1/2" radius of our bars means that we couldn't mount the audio controller, so we had to Velco it to the fairing in a somewhat inconvenient location.  In conclusion, after one season we uninstalled the unit and broke it down, and will most likely integrate the amp and controller into a more customized sound solution.

Custom Vinyl Decals

If you share our feelings, nothing is worse than the stock decals that manufacturers insist on putting on your ride.  As proven in numerous forum discussions, not to mention the maintenance section of this website, one of the first things that we do is grab the hair dryer and some WD-40 to remove them.  At the same time, we want to express our own twist on things and say something unique with our bikes, but don't have the resources to hire a custom painter.  Once we removed the Star Logo stickers from the engine covers, we went with Do It Yourself Lettering, and designed our own Logos for the covers.  In our particular case, we wanted to duplicated the look of custom hand-painted, hot-rod style lettering.

Powder Coated Brake Plate

This is one of those small mods that makes a big difference in attitude and appearance.  The look of the rear brake rotor cover plate has long been a thorn in the side of Raider owners everywhere.  From the factory, the plate is raw, unfinished metal.  This scar on the otherwise fine details of the Raider has led many owners to invest in chrome plating or in some cases, simply remove it entirely from the brake rotor.

Fellow Raider owner and enthusiast Rick (click to email) runs a Powder Coating business, based in Virginia, and did a beautiful job on our rotor cover, finishing it in black to match the rest of the bike.  It's a fine detail that bring the wheel together, and ties in nicely with the front brake rotors as well.