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Top 3 Yamuglies: Yamaha Star 950

Updated on May 7, 2009

I continue my review of the Top 3 Ugliest Yamahas (given that the Raider and VMX17 are already in the Hall of Ugly Fame) with the Star 950.

 I honestly don't know from which lunatic asylum Yamaha has been recruiting its designers lately, but even when crafting a fairly staid, middle of the road cruiser such as the new Star 950, they are falling into such hideous styling traps that you wonder if the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer is actually playing a joke on the world.

Actually it wouldn't be much of a joke since Yamaha's sales are down 43.4% from last year, the biggest dropoff ever. All of the Japanese manufacturers sales are down, with Honda and Kawasaki at almost 70% off last year's pace. But when they insist on foisting motorcycles this ugly on the unsuspecting public can you blame riders for not buying this junk?

Let's start at the gaping hole large enough to fit an arm through that flabbily flops off behind the triple clamp. If the idea was to mimic an old Sportster with a Peanut Tank, this attempt has miserably failed, as all it does is make the entire top front part of the frame look willowy and fragile. The enormous, drooping chrome tank topper looks like it belongs on a Boss Hoss as it's ridiculously oversized for this size of motorcycle. Of course, Yammy couldn't leave well enough alone, so they match it with a chrome side decoration that looks like it escaped from a Ford Edsel. Not ugly enough for you? How about some ersatz flame pinstriping? This is truly a nightmare from motorcycling hell.

I have always despised Yamaha's tendency to hide their otherwise sexy V-twin cylinders with moronically gargantuan triangular air cleaners, and the Star 950 does not break this horrifying trend. But by far the biggest single offender on the entire motorcycle is that absolutely laughable headlight that looks like it has been sitting on the shelf since the last 1969 XS 650 rolled off the assembly line. Could they have made it any uglier... er... well, it is Yamaha, after all.

 Aaaaaaarrrggghhhhh! What in the name of the God of Cantilever is this huge disaster on the left side of the Star 950? This humongous black assembly looks more like something that belongs on a grizzly bear paw trap than anything that should be on a modern motorcycle! Everything about the design absolutely screams Conibear, Foothold, or Body Gripping metal trap. Unless you're off to the Northwest Territories to go bag yourself some prize bear meat, you'd better be aware that if you cruise your local high school on this monstrosity, most of the kids will throw rotten tomatoes at you.

There is absolutely no good reason on this green Earth as to why that hilariously curved matte black I beam has to stretch from just under the seat to the bottom horizontal frame member unless to add to the overall look of a circa 1890 wild animal trap. And please don't get me started on that idiotically undersized squished in sidecover with the crooked Star logo, or that pseudo Wankel round rear crankcase cover with wings that make it look like someone went crazy with the chrome dip on Paul Bunyan's personal set of pliers.

Yamaha has proved once again that they could screw up the design of a paper clip. The Star 950 makes every aesthetic mistake in the book under the guise of "modern styling". No wonder they can't give these steaming piles away.


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    • profile image

      C.F. 5 years ago

      Freaking awesome bike, beautiful, stylish, great bike.

    • profile image

      Starley 6 years ago

      Wow you do a good job at making opinion almost factual but whatever. I have the touring version and the bike and it rides so well that after test riding the other bikes in it's size price and displacement I didn't even consider any of them but every one is different.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      I usually delete non-family friendly terms, including those referring to genital hygiene products, but since it so brilliantly applies to you, I think I'll let it stand. You're not only an applicator filled with vinegar and water, but you also can't read where I've stated repeatedly in my Hubs that I've owned more Yamahas than you have pennies in your piggy bank and loved each one. Now stop spamming my Hubs by placing identical comments on them all or I'll ban your IP and then your comments will forever disappear into the electronic ether. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. I wonder if you ever had one to start with! :)

    • profile image

      Tommy Blue Raider 8 years ago

      Hal, you're a flaming douche bag who's getting paid by a competitor to bash Yamaha. Keep it up.