Top 3 Yamuglies: Yamaha Stratoliner
Rounding out the Top 3 Ugliest Yamahas behind the inconceivable, rip your eyes out of your sockets Raider and VMX17, here comes the Stratoliner. Grab your barf bags!
There are some (albeit precious few) styling touches that Yamaha has incorporated into their current line that you can justify by some measure or another. Maybe you can talk yourself into believing that motorcycles in 2009 should feature some gonzo futuristic hyperbike styling that looks like it belongs in McG's Terminator Salvation movie being ridden by a shiny metal bot. I can't, but to each his own. The bottom line remains that ugly is ugly is ugly, and when we look at the Yamaha Stratoliner, we are looking at ugly to the power of infinity.
Let's start at the atrocious front fender. Starting from the forward tip, see how it approximates the curve of the tire beneath it until it reaches the fork junction. From that point on, it straightens out and actually diminishes its radius for a time, creating an awkward compound curve which makes the tire look like it actually has a flat spot at one o'clock! And what is that horizontal blade stabbing back from the axle to the fender, is it a sword, or did Wolverine lose one of his adamantium claws?
The ickiness of the compound multi-lamp headlight is atrocious enough, but it can't be conclusively shown to be any more disgusting than the one on the standard Kawasaki Vulcan 2000, so I'll let that one slide. The extreme teardrop turn signals, though, do not escape my wrath. Far too elongated and pointy, they look like they belong on a Chinese 250 cruiser and they are completely out of proportion to the gargantuan hyperthyroid chrome headlight enclosure.
There is nothing, nothing, no, nothing at all that can describe how patently idiotic the Art Deco triple chrome stripes look when they continue onto the side panels of the frame behind the triple tree. Overlaying a styling cliche from the tank (where it can be argued that it can theoretically "fit") onto a black matte metal frame part simply betrays the fact that the Yamaha stylists have completely and truly lost the plot.
I have stated in other Hubs that I absolutely love the Road / Wild Star derived engine. It's aesthetically perfect almost to a fault. It's the rest of the Stratoliner that deserves to be crushed into toasters and Hot Wheels cars.
This is a family safe site, so I have to very carefully weigh my words when I describe the muffler of the Stratoliner. Let's see if this description is clinical enough: The muffler of the Stratoliner terminates in a rather accurate chromed approximation of an erect uncircumcised human penis. Although I trust that there are some out there who appreciate this look, I'm not one of them. I find the matte black glans quite distasteful. In fact the entire rear end of the bike is a total eyesore.
The worst offender has to be the extremely awkward rear fender tail that looks like it got hung up on some car's bumper and bent upwards, and don't even get me going on those silly flame pinstripes that look like they were added on at the last minute. As for the rearward pointing teardrop turn signals, they are just atrocious and look like they were drawn up by someone who flunked out of the original Flash Gordon spaceship design class. One of the greatest smears on a part of this bike that is chock full of them has to be the side reflectors that look like Yamaha bought them at Pep Boys for 59 cents a pair and just krazy glued them onto the side of the license plate mounting bracket. They look like they belong on the side of a Schwinn.
Yamaha... what were you thinking?
Read The Entire Yamugly Series!
Top 3 Yamauglies: Yamaha MT01
Top 3 Yamauglies: Yamaha Star 950
Top 3 Yamauglies: Yamaha Stratoliner
Don't miss the incomparable Hall Of Ugly Fame pair of Yammies:
Yamaha VMX17: The Wrong Bike At The Wrong Time
Honda Fury vs. Yamaha Raider: Perfection Meets Grotesquerie
And check out all of the Ugliest Motorcycles of all time!
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