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Discussion Starter #1
I have just purchased a new to me 2012 Road Star, with only 3500 miles. Mechanically, the bike is completely stock. This is the largest displacement bike I have ever owned, and I have several questions (that have probably been asked 1000''s of times before). Thank you in advance for any replies.

1. Fuel octane. This is always a topic that seems to be confusing to me. I can't find much on searches about the recommended octane on the fuel injected models. Carb models can apparently run 87 just fine instead of the minimum of 91. I am wondering if I can do the same.

2. Handlebar risers. I have never had to install risers on any bike, so this will be my first. I just need the bars brought back to me about and inch or so, and I do not want to have to change out all the cables. Will any risers fit any bike, or do I need to look at model specific risers? Also these handlebars are rubber mounted, will I lose that feature if I change risers?

3. Luggage Rack. I have seen many luggage racks on many bikes, but the one on this bike is at an upward slanted angle. Is that the norm? I've only ever seen flat (horizontal) racks before. Why is it slanted? Is it designed like that to help keep a tour bag in place?

4. Stock exhaust. I have read about a stage one mod for the stock mufflers, basically drilling 4 holes in the end of both pipes. This is very popular among the v star 650 world, but is this safe on the Roadie?

5. Owners manual. If anyone can tell me where to download a free pdf of this bikes owners manual, without having to join this or do that, I would greatly appreciate it.

6. Tires. I am a short fellow, and I was wondering what the best rear tire size would be to lower the back end about a half an inch. I can get a flat foot down on level surfaces, but just barely. Unlevel surfaces are a bit scary, but if I can get the bike down another half inch I believe I would be fine.

Any and all information is appreciated. These questions are probably "same old crap, different day" to most of you, but I was raised to believe the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask. This bike is fantastic, I have only had it for 2 days, and even with work, I have put over 200 miles on it. It is a wonderful bike, now i just have to tweak it for me. Thanks guys.
 

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Congrats on your new bike. My one caution...it is very easy to lock up the rear wheel when using the rear brake hard.

Here are answers to some of your questions:

87 octane is fine for your year bike. Yamaha states if you get pinging, experiment with a different higher octane.

You can make a variety of two piece risers work. I prefer to use risers that specifically state they will fit the bike. These are the risers I use on both my bikes.

Aeromach 4 Inch Pullback Risers - AM-4150C - Phat Performance Parts

There are several aftermarket bushings that will fit and work well.

Are you referring to the luggage rack that sits on the fender and replaces the passenger pillion or the rack that sits behind the passenger backrest?

Personally I’m not a fan of drilling out the exhaust. It has the potential of creating certain problems. If you must change the exhaust, I’d recommend a full aftermarket exhaust. Both my 03 Roadstar have full aftermarket exhausts and air cleaners. Since mine are carbureted, I had to re-jet and mess with the mixture. Can be a pita. Just be aware that if you alter or change the exhaust, you may need to remap and change controllers. Your bike so you get to do what you want.

Usual way to lower the bike.

http://www.baronscustom.com/catalog/display/1121/index.html
Or
http://www.baronscustom.com/catalog/display/563/index.html

I’m not aware of any tires that will lower your bike to your desired height.

Owners manual:

https://dd5394a0b8ca8e97ba29-abf76f3d91a2125517d6c7c409f095c7.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/content/common/manuals/2012/2012_RoadStars_LIT-11626-25-28_1999.pdf
 

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That is a great bike

the owners manual Afay linked will have the fuel octane requirements listed. There is no reason to run higher, unless your pistons are carbon coated and raising your compression. This can happen if a previous owner lugs the bike around and never runs the engine hard, or if they only take short trips when the engine is running cold and rich all the time.

Have to ask the obvious question on the handlebars: have you loosened them up and pulled them back? Some people think they must run straight up in line with the forks, but you can put them anywhere you want as long as they dont hit your knees or the tank.

The luggage rack might be from another bike, I see what you are referring to in your photo, the back end is a bit high.

I would put a few thousand miles on the bike before messing with the exhaust. When you get on it WFO its going to sound very different. Ive owned a few cars that I put aftermarket mufflers on that were a bit louder, and I was always sorry, esp on long road trips where it just drones at a steady 75mph. The intake and exhaust is carefully tuned at the factory with all the expensive exhaust sniffer equipment, if you change it you will never get it tuned that well again, and it may end up louder with less HP and the engine running rich or lean.

There are ways to lower the suspension on the bike, and the other way to do it is to get some riding boots with a taller sole and heel. You should be able to find boots for about $100, and then if you feel more secure and you like the way you can plant your feet, then maybe alter the suspension to lower the bike. Changing the profile on the rear tire will alter the traction balance between the front and rear wheels, and might make the bike squirrley when braking or corning near its limits.

"...My one caution...it is very easy to lock up the rear wheel when using the rear brake hard. ..." Ditto me on this, it only took me a week and a couple deer running across the street for me to lock up the back wheel on my Royal Star (rear disk brake). Practice locking up the rear wheel when you are stopping and no one is behind you, so you get a feel for it - the brake sensitivity is very different going from rear drum to disk. When you lock up the back wheel, KEEP it locked until the bike stops, or it may throw you over the handlebars if you release it and the bike snaps straight. Have to say: if you lock up the front brake release it instantly, or you will drop the bike. Thats why we practice this when stopping (below 20mph) and no one is behind us.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am referring to the passenger backrest luggage rack, I apologize for not specifying. The reason I am curious about lowering the bike with an alternate rear tire size is because I changed the rear tire size on my 950 and it actually lowered the bike about a half inch (although it was not needed on that bike). So I imagine the same result is possible on this bike. I do not want to spend all the money it would cost or put in the effort needed to install a lowering kit just for a mere half inch. A different tire size with a shorter sidewall would surely do that.
 

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One thing I forgot to mention, on any bike you get used, check the air cleaner - some people never change them, and if its not nice and white it will affect the HP output of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
KCW, I have adjusted the handlebars as much as possible to suit me, but I still find that I am having to lean forward just enough to cause tension in my lower back. I wear thick soled work boots when riding now, always have. If the sole gets any thicker, they will practically be platforms. The exhaust will have to be altered due to personal preference. I have always had louder exhaust on all my bikes, which makes this one so quiet I can hardly stand the wind noise. I would much rather hear a rumble from my exhaust on the interstate than all that wind. Some would probably just suggest a radio or something of the like on the bike. I have tried this before, but found out quickly that my musical taste causes my ears to adjust the throttle. As for cornering near its limits, I don't ride that hard. I have scraped some footboards in my time, but I take that as an early warning sign to ease up. Lastly, the rear brake pedal has been adjusted on this bike to require quite a bit of take up before actually engaging, a sign of the previous owner learning the 'lock up' facts no doubt.
 

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I am referring to the passenger backrest luggage rack, I apologize for not specifying. The reason I am curious about lowering the bike with an alternate rear tire size is because I changed the rear tire size on my 950 and it actually lowered the bike about a half inch (although it was not needed on that bike). So I imagine the same result is possible on this bike. I do not want to spend all the money it would cost or put in the effort needed to install a lowering kit just for a mere half inch. A different tire size with a shorter sidewall would surely do that.
I suspect the rear luggage rack is designed with that slight angle to better support a load. In the 15 years I’ve owned Roadstars and being on a variety of forums, I’ve personally never seen that question or discussion on specific tire height. Usually it’s pursued with a change of seat or suspension, but there may be a tire guru out there with this answer. Good luck!
 

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the brake pedal may have been adjusted just so the rider didnt have to lift is foot so high to step on it

I took my bike to be inspected once and the mechanic adjusted the rear drum brake freeplay to where it "should" be. I had to lift my toe about three inches off the floorboard to step on it, and the brake engaged within 1/2 an inch.

I put it back where is was. As long as I can lock it up when i want to, its good.
 

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Your onboard computer will safely handle you drilling out the exhaust, aka Mod 1. I've owned a fuel injected roadie and you only have to put a fuel controller on if you switch out the exhaust. Even slip ons your onboard computer will handle it. After making the switch/modification and riding, if you are experiencing anything unexpected as to backfiring/popping, park the bike, disconnect the negative battery terminal for 12 minutes or so, re-connect, and re-test. That resets the bike to factory so it can "re-learn" the exhaust mods you've done within its limitations.

I'm VERY leery of aftermarket exhausts as through my own experience and reading many others, they're all just way too loud for me. I'm an older rider though at 56 years and like my hearing and what I have left of it. I do the Mod 1 on my bike and don't even go the full 1/2" holes, I go 3/8" and am perfectly happy with that. Four holes equally spaced penetrating the inner wall and the outer wall of the exhaust which just so happens to be long enough for a standard drill bit to deal with.
 

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I just put these Rox Speed pivoting risers on my 950 and love them. Just what I needed.
They have a wide adjustment range up or tilt back that lets you get your controls right where you want them. I did not have to change cables.
They have a chart on their website that will tell you if you need to change cables for your specific bike.
They come in different heights and will fit 7/8", 1", or 1 1/4" handlebars.
Their website has a listing of scratch and dent items that are half off price.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZZ4KTCG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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