For the most part the fit and finish are top notch-not the kind of craftsmanship one would expect from what's essentially a budget Touring bike. The paint is well done and smooth and complemented by the mixed use of chromed and blacked out parts. A particularly nice item is the color-matched headlight bucket and chrome accents. Sitting atop the fuel tank is a teardrop-shaped dash with a large speedometer. The analog speedo contains indicator/warning lights, and digital odometer with two trip-meters. A very useful miles on 'reserve' feature pops up in the LCD when the low-fuel warning light shines orange. This helps because it takes a bit of effort to see the low-mounted speedo. Switches on the right bar control cycling between trip-meters and resetting the display. One area that indicates the lower price point of this bike is the prominent seam along the bottom edge of the gas tank. The placement of the exposed horn above the rear brake's master cylinder appears to have been an engineering afterthought. But, those are definitely not deal breaking faults, as there are so many nicely detailed bits present on this bike. Check out the custom-looking two-tone aluminum wheels; the turn signal mounts; and perfectly sized windscreen and trim.
Although the bike weighs in at a bit over 600 pounds it feels much lighter when lifting it off the easy access jiffy stand. That's mostly due to the low center of gravity and relaxed ergonomics. The aforementioned handlebars provide a nice amount of leverage that easily control the frontend at all speeds. A combination ignition/fork lock is located on the top triple tree. After turning the key and thumbing the starter button, the EFI motor comes to life without any external input. A mellow, yet distinctive note comes from the stylish two-into-one exhaust system. Clutch action is smooth and light even in the most congested traffic. A quiet, and nicely geared five-speed transmission feeds power to the rear wheel through a left-side belt and pulley, much like H-D Big Twins.
Sitting still this bike looks great, feels good to sit on, and the controls are naturally laid out. That's only the beginning though, as the 950 Tourer feels like a bona fide Touring motorcycle out on the open road. Getting to put a couple of thousand miles on the clicker during heavy rain, wind, mountains, city, and interstate revealed just how far Star has come since its 1996 inception. There's no tachometer to indicate rpm, but cruising all day above the speed limit doesn't lead to excessive vibration. Even at 85 mph there's still plenty left to accelerate to make a pass without downshifting. All five gears are spaced very well to meet the demands of hectic city or highway traffic. On the dyno the numbers might not seem huge but comparatively speaking it has roughly the same hp-per-pound as a stock H-D Touring bike. So, while it's no tire shredder, it has ample power to climb the steepest grade. All of this is accomplished with very good gas mileage too.