The Star Raider SCL has a holographic tank badge

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In 1989, Upper Deck began producing baseball cards. They were the innovators that brought us high quality card stock, tamper proof foil packaging and most importantly, holographic logos. By 1992, Topps was selling cards that had the player’s name and team stamped in a banner gold foil. Soon enough, the entire card became holographic and you could collect sets of them from such upscale establishments as Denny’s. Shortly thereafter, nobody cared about baseball cards and they (mostly) went away. Could holographic tank badges be a sign of the end of $20,000 toy motorcycles?

Maybe. The 2012 Star Raider SCL is the first (and hopefully only) Star Custom Line bike. What does that mean? Like a holographic 1990′s baseball card, it is produced in limited quantities (500), differs from the base model only in shiny appearance, is more expensive ($5,400 more than the base model) and most importantly, has a numbered holographic tank badge.

Is this the future of the Raider SCL? 8 in stock on, $2.95 and zero likes?

Think about what you could spend $19,990 on. For that money, you could have just about any new motorcycle short of an exotic Italian (MV, RSV4 Factory APRC, Bimota), or a super-tourer. Or 2 SV650s, tires, spares and a cheap truck. Or a V-max for $100 less. Or you could buy an underpowered, overweight toy with expensive paint, chrome rims, “genuine two-tone leather” seat and a holographic tank badge.

  • Mark D

    The price of custom cruisers is becoming uncomfortably close to the cost of actual, surgical penis enlargement.

    This is clearly not sustainable.

    • Sean Smith

      I sure hope it’s not sustainable. Those cards eventually got so ridiculous that everyone stopped caring and it looks like we’re nearing that point with custom cruisers.

    • Rick

      Yeah, what’s UP with that?!?!!?

    • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)


  • BenP

    This bike is a tax on idiots.

    • cromagnon

      +1; Idiots with excess $

      • Adrian

        Indeed. Oi vey!


    and you would still have to spend a few hundred $$ to replace the hideous exhaust pipe.

    • Sean Smith

      I’d estimate it’s closer to a few thousand.

  • doublet

    Lol. I like the way you guys correlate.

  • Jon B.

    So very disappointing.

  • Artful

    Kill it with FIRE.

  • dux

    Do 12 year old boys still buy $20,000 motorcycles?

  • Terry

    Not for all the tea in China, my friends. You couldn’t pay ME 20 grand to own that thing.

    I have been told by at least one Harley aficionado that Metric cruisers are for “wannabes that can’t afford Harleys”. Does that still hold true for a Yamaha that costs as much as my car?

    And where do they get the guys who model these things? I’ve never seen ANYBODY on a cruiser who looked like that… Maybe they pick skinny aftershave models to make the bikes look bigger.

    I’m having bad flashbacks to 2003. *twitch*

    • Ben Incarnate

      Yamaha, if you’re reading this, don’t worry about Terry. I’ll definitely let you pay me $20,000 to own this bike.

      • Sean Smith

        To quote The Steve Miller Band: “take the money and run.”

  • evilbahumut

    You guys are a bunch of haters, that shit is rad!


    • Sean Smith

      I’m not gonna lie, I almost bought one of those eight Jose Canseco cards that are left. $2.95 is a small price to pay for an acrylic mounted piece of 90′s memorabilia.

      • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        “A Jose Canseco bat? Tell me you didn’t pay money for this.”

        • John

          I think of Casey Jones, and that line, every time I see Elias Koteas in a film.

      • Ken

        It’d really cool if you could pair it with Mark McGwire in his A’s uniform. Go 90s!

  • walter

    Tell it like it is.

  • Deep6Dive

    Ill take the 2 sv650s any day over this midlife crisis pos.

    • Jon B.

      Man, I have never understood how suddenly you realize your life is half over, hence the crisis, and something as retarded as this motorbike makes you feel better about that fact.

  • The other Joe

    Like I always say to the Harley guys, “If I could afford a Harley I’d Buy a Beemer.” 20K would buy me a nice K1300S.

    • zato1414

      Sold the Harley, was gonna buy a K1300S,,, got amnesia… bought another Harley. I cry in bed alot.

  • jason

    I am so sick of fat idiots on these chrome big wheels farting around the neighborhood. These things need to die off soon. Motorcycles for people who cannot ride a motorcycle. They should come with training wheels, oh , that;s a trike.

    • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      Get over it.

    • Gene

      Dude. At Bike Week last year on I-4, I saw a Harley with actual training wheels. It was a normal bike with 2 little wheels on outriggers next to the rear wheel. Shame I couldn’t get my camera out.

      • HammSammich

        There was a used Goldwing for sale at the local Triumph dealership that had one of these kits on it.
        Apparently, the correct euphemism for motorcycle training wheels is “trike conversion kit.”

        • jonoabq

          The cruisers technical answer to the Can-Am.

          • HammSammich

            Hahahaha! My favorite comment in their testimonials, “Now I even ride my bike to work sometimes!”

            There are so many things wrong with that statement that I don’t even know where to begin…

            • Gregory


        • Bronson

          Those things are so fucking retarded! When I see one I laugh… and then I make sure the loser who is “driving” it sees me laughing.

          • nick2ny

            A lot of the guys who ride those have physical issues that prevent them from riding a normal motorcycle. If I somehow lost the ability to ride a motorcycle I’d sure as heck be getting a sidecar. Trikes don’t appeal to me but you probably shouldn’t be laughing at the guys on them.

            • HammSammich

              I’ll make fun. They’re spending $4,000+ on training wheels pure and simple. Most of the people buying these who have “medical conditions” are usually older folks with replacement knees and the like that simply can’t hold up an 800-900lb Chrome dipped tractor anymore. I don’t feel too bad for them. If they want to ride they should go buy a reasonably sized motorcycle for their physical condition. For people with genuine disabilities, there are lots of other options that make way more sense. including sidecars, Piaggio MP3, Can Am Spyder…is yamaha building that Tesserect thing yet? These outrigger kits rank up there with the “Babe-Cage” in their uselessness.

              • Sean Smith

                If I couldn’t ride because of a physical condition, I’d buy another sports car. Or, if I had massive piles of cash, I’d see about purchasing a Monotracer and modifying it to work well in traffic.

                • HammSammich

                  That’s actually my plan. If I make it to a ripe old age, and feel uncomfortable on two wheels I’m going to trade ‘em in for a Caterham.

                  Or whatever hover car equivalent there is by then. ;)

                • Sean Smith

                  Catamaran sounds like a good idea.

                • HammSammich

                  Sorry, I’m slow today and can’t tell if you’re joking about the catamaran vs. Caterham? Definitely some beautiful boats on that website…But they wouldn’t satiate my go-fast desires on twisty mountain roads like I suspect one of these would:

                • JVictor75

                  Meh. I want one of these NOW



                  Besides, I’m rapidly approaching being exactly the person that Jeremy Clarkson was talking about when he gave his initial review on Top Gear UK (the original BEST version) of the original version of the Atom a few years ago.

                • Sean Smith

                  Ha, I want both. The boat is definitely an old rich dude toy though.

        • Gene

          Nope. That is *not* what I am talking about. Those look much better than what I saw.

          Not “trike” – these were training wheels. This was 2 wheels on bare metal stalks attached to the rear of the bike somehow. Think “cheap Harbor Freight one-bike trailer” style. Unbelievably ghetto.

    • nick2ny

      People who can’t ride a motorcycle…? Like someone who had their legs damaged while riding a motorcycle?

  • Nik

    It’s a big dick thing, ya’ll wouldn’t understand.

    • Nik

      I’ve been compared to a horse, but I still don’t understand?

      I also don’t understand how two people can post under the same handle.. It’s making my head hurt.

      • Nik

        I’ll be Nik 1 you can be Nik 2 or something.

        • another Nik

          situation addressed.

          • Nik

            Perfect solution doodbro

        • Kentaro rides a NRS and a GSA

          Haha. This was funny.

        • Ryan

          I just flashed back to Army of Darkness. Good Ash, Bad Ash. :)

  • Myles

    Meh. Interesting article and all, but it’s not great to throw stones in a glass house.

    There are people who spend 60-70 thousand dollars on an m3? How about people who spend 100k+ on a Poor Sha SUV? Those things are ridiculous and stupid. No motorcycle is ridiculous and stupid. I’d rather be on any motorcycle than in any car.

    • Sean Smith

      I’ll accept your challenge and counter with this: I would much rather drive a car than ride the ten worst bikes from the AMD world championship.

      • Myles

        I wouldn’t if I could modify the seat, bars, and pegs (and three wheelers were excluded).

        I understand your sentiment, but hold my position.

      • always_go_big

        I’d rather be hit by a car than ride this…or is that just tempting fate ?

  • Scott-jay

    I’m gonna wait for a Midnight Special version.

  • Liquidogged

    Slow news day?

    • Sean Smith

      Wes is in Italy and the OEMs are doing stuff like this.

  • Brendan

    Might genuinely buy that Jose Canseco card.

  • keith

    love the baseball card comment, once all the ridiculous inserts started coming in, that was it for card collecting. I still remember as a kid putting sets together from packs in the 80′s just before that crap started.

  • jason

    Sorry to all if I am a bit irritated, but all that I see are the two wheel equivalent of Buicks out there. Wonder why USA never sees the newer stuff the rest of the planet does? Lack of interest. Those of us who are interested, well, unless you can get overseas, tough. Not to mention the very negative public impression the ass pirates leave on everyone.

    • nick2ny

      Maybe it’s the boring roads that cover nearly the entire USA. Tree? Cut it down. River? Build a bridge. Mountain? Cut right through it. Okay, road is done. Enjoy it, it’s arrow straight and so safe you don’t even need to pay any attention when you’re on it! You can even text and will get away with it most of the time.

      • Charles

        Nick – if you live in New York, you need to get to the Catskills sometime. Every state outside the upper midwest has its fair share of great roads; take a look on Even dead-flat Brazos County TX has Route 3090 out of Navasota.

      • Gene

        Bingo!! The very few roads in Florida that weren’t draftsman-ruler straight have been made so. The Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando used to have a few nice curves. Not any more.

  • holdingfast

    remember when that (expletive) tool threw a GSX-R off some building? this should have been THAT bike..
    Just sayin.

  • carter

    What’s sad is that this kind of garbage is their real money-maker. Check out this article in CW.
    Compare the non-critical, boring, lapdog journalism of CW to HFL’s coverage of the same bike. “Bargain basement?!” sheesh.

    • HammSammich

      Thanks for that link…the contrast is hilarious. The same things being mocked here, are being extolled as virtuous in the CW article…

      Also, they use the phrase, “Chrome Performance Machine wheels.” I’m sorry, but the word “Performance doesn’t belong anywhere near this hulking behemoth.

      • Sean Smith

        Performance Machine is the company Roland Sands dad started way back when. They mostly produce bling parts for harleys.

        • HammSammich

          I didnt know that, but I still stand by my statement.

    • Gene

      Yes, the 2nd paragraph in that article makes me cry.

      On the other hand, if you show ANY legit interest in a bike at a HD dealership, they’re all over you like white on rice. They’ll deal, they’ll spin, they’ll chat, they’ll take shitty trade-ins, they will even do TEST RIDES. Their salespeople WORK for a living. They might sell crap bikes, but they sell the hell out of ‘em.

      In comparison, when I was buying my FJR, I walked into Orlando Yamaha with downpayment in hand and the reaction was “meh. wot eva.” – I couldn’t even get him to talk to me, and I eventually bought the bike in Tennessee where the salesman at least had a pulse.

      • Sean Smith

        I walked in to Bert’s Mega Mall looking for a GSX-R one day. The sales team didn’t pay attention to me for 15 minutes and when I said I would pay 10 grand, right now, he laughed. That’s the story of the time I bought a bike from Del Amo Motorsports.

        • JVictor75

          Had a similiar experience buying the RC51 I just got.

          I found a 2006 RC-51 with 10500 miles on it, garage kept, Sato exhaust, etc. It was located at a dealer that is part of a local network here in Arizona called “RideNow” (Cue the groans from those in the know.)

          I had cash in hand, was willing to deal, even willing to talk to them about a trade-in of my existing motorcycle as a partial trade. They were completely and totally unwilling to budge on the price in any way.

          So I found a 2004 Nicky Hayden with less miles and in better condition overall for a touch over $2K less than the dealer wanted. And it came with roughly $1500-$2000 worth of extra parts and accessories.

          Sorry to say, but I’ve had similiar experiences when I speak to ANY new vehicle dealer, whether it be a car, truck, or (I imagine) either a plane or a boat.

          Just going to TALKING to people at new vehicle dealerships makes my teeth ache and my head hurt. I’d rather spend the time hunting and pecking thru CycleTrader, FleaBay, Craigslist, (and derivatives) etc and finance my purchase with my existing bank (if I can’t buy outright).

          And if find something AT the dealership that I just GOTTA have, I prefer talking to the sales manager, not the peon.

          As to people getting all “offended” at the idea of this bike, I feel that it serves three purposes:
          1) It makes the person that buys it and rides it (probably putt-putting between bars around your local equivalent of Scottsdale on a Saturday afternoon) easily identifiable as a person interested more in the image of riding it than the comfort or technical ability it provides. If they were a “true” Pirate, it would be the same bike for twice the cost, festooned with either fringe or $4,000.00 in chrome bullshit and being ridden by a scowling d00d wearing HD everything.
          2) It also serves as a finger in the eye of certain well known Amurrican motorcycle makers because this thing, as expensive and silly as it is, STILL costs less than half the HD or Victory equivalent and gets better performance and satisfaction reviews from everyone that tests it neutrally.
          3) It also, to me anyway, puts the HD and Victory guys on notice. The average Japanese bike maker can do it better for less money and not even break a sweat.

          I sincerely believe that if it weren’t for cruisers (like this one) being made by manufacturers from the Empire of Nippon, we would have never seen anything like the V-Rod come from Milwaukee.

  • Ratlanta

    Its no more ridiculous than spending 20k on a race-rep too uncomfortable to do a 500 mile day on.

  • oldblue

    I’ll take the 2X SV650′s, tyres, spares and truck option, thanks.