I hadn't ridden a bike in almost 20 years and recently decided that, now that the kids are grown, I'm going riding again! For weeks I looked at many bikes from all different makes, I really like the look of the Harley "Fat Boy" with its "Terminator" attitude. Then I saw its price at over 17k and decided to look elsewhere. My kids will be starting college soon and at 43, I really don't care about impressing anyone with a "Hog" logo. The Victory line of bikes were somewhat overpriced and Indian had just announced it was going out of business, again! The new Honda VTX's were nice, as were the new Kawasaki Vulcans but for some reason my wife didn't like the look of either of them. When I went to the Yamaha dealership, they had a Road Star Silverado in char-blue on special for just $10,500! I was sure I could get the salesperson to knock another $500 or so off that and get out the door with a truly excellent deal. I told the dealer I was interested, they marked it "sold" and I went home to think the whole thing over. It was that very night that I opened the classifieds and found my new baby. The ad read: Yamaha 2002 Road Star (Midnight Star) 2k mi, pipes, bars, hypercharger, other custom & performance parts, still in boxes, $8500. I called the number and went to see the bike that was located about 20 miles away. As soon as he opened the shed doors revealing the bike, in better than showroom condition, I knew I had to have it! The bike was in the center of this 12'x12' room with nothing else around it, the structure was purchased just to keep the bike in and nothing else! Nothing else that is all except for the box of yet-to-be-installed custom parts with a calculated value of over $1700! His reason for selling was because he was overextended with family obligations (mortgage, new van, new baby, etc.) and his wife even wanted him to keep the bike! Did I forget to mention he also had a totally stock mint condition classic 454 Chevelle in his garage? He sure had some toys! Anyway, as I was loading the bike onto a trailer to take it home it seemed that every neighbor had to come out for one last look at this beautiful bike. I felt like I was adopting one of his children and nervous that he was going to change his mind. Well, I finally got the bike home, signed up for and took a motorcycle safety course which taught me much and I highly recommend for anyone who rides, I do still need to be around to pay those tuition bills and every little bit helps. At the end of the course I got something I never bothered to get when I was younger, my license! The bike has been awesome! It started out feeling a little heavy; it weighs in at around 700lbs. Now after a few months, it feels very comfortable, like it's become a part of me when I ride. The bike has plenty of power and has no problems keeping up with my friends on Harleys. Even with my 125lb. wife riding on the back and me at 210 the bike hardly feels the weight. I see that the new 2004 Road Star has a 1700cc engine, but I don't care, the 1600 has plenty of power and if my reason for riding was to drag race I would have bought a crotch rocket! This bike is a very solid piece of workmanship and I can't wait for the weather to warm up enough to go riding again, I find myself to be constantly checking the extended weather forecast. I have noticed that whenever we stop somewhere during a ride, from a distance I can see people walking by and glancing at all the other bikes, but they always stop and stare at my Yamaha Midnight Star. The motors sound from the Vance & Hines pipes are smooth and mellow at idle but can rock-the-walls with just a flick of the wrist, this bike can be as quiet or as loud as I want it to be. I know the V&H pipes have nothing to do with reviewing the stock bike, but it's a good example of just what potential the bike has when it's customized. I love this bike and would recommend it to anyone.