In the original reviews of the early 2000’s Road Stars, the common complaint was about the rear shock and ride. The shock was listed as one of the first things to upgrade.
A RoadWing is a Honda Goldwing GL1800 mono shock (2001-2017) that has been modified and converted to fit on a Yamaha Road Star (any year). It is the brainchild of Chris Jones (aka Gonzodad on the Road Star Clinic). Chris has provided instructions on how to convert and install a RoadWing and has created a harness to utilize the Honda pump that increases/decreases the preload on the shock. He has also provided the details to make your own harness. Purchase one from Chris here.
The dry weight of the Yamaha Road Star is between 677 – 743 lbs. The stock rear mono-shock is rated at 742 lbs. The dry weight of the Honda Gold Wing GL1800 is between 800-937 lbs. The stock rear mono shock is rated at 920 lbs. So just adding the RoadWing to your Road Star boosts your weight capacity 178 lbs. When you add the preload you boost it to over 1000 lbs. This is advantageous when riding two-up and aids in the handling of the bike, especially in the corners. No more bottoming out.
SIDENOTE: If you intend on lowering the bike then you may still bottom out, even with the RoadWing. A few guys who installed a RoadWing on their lowered Road Star have indicated that they still bottom out. Lowering the bike only gives you about 1/2″ of travel on the shock, which results in a prime condition for bottoming out. I have noticed that when I sit there is about 1″ of travel before the shock supports me.
Most of the Yamaha Road Star owners who have a RoadWing installed on their bike say it is hands down the best upgrade for the Road Star. I installed a brand new take-off from a 2016 GL1800 Goldwing on my 2004 Road Star Midnight Silverado and am thoroughly pleased with it. It provides for a smooth ride when running solo and with a passenger. My first time riding with a passenger I hit every bump I could and it was smooth over every one of them. I have Cobra Lo-Boys and prior to install my pipes would scrape when coming out of certain parking lots around town. After I installed the RoadWing I no longer scrape. I find that the RoadWing is much more firm than the original shock. Some would be led to think that it is bottoming out but you are not. It took some time to get used to since I was only used to the loosy goosy stock shock that easily succumbed to every bump in the road and wasn’t strong enough to support me when coming out of a parking lot without allowing my pipes to scrape.
I produce RoadWings. Reach out if you are looking for one. If I don’t have one I will point you in the direction of a couple other guys who also produce them.