The Yamaha XV1900A cruiser was developed to exploit the large displacement end of the market for large cruisers. Yamaha had a well established range of big "Star" cruisers which went up to the Wild Star 1600 cc but there was a need to redesign the engine to meet anticipated exhaust emissions regulations and the opportunity to update the styling, which had remained largely unchanged for a decade.
2010 engine design
The 1,854 cc (113.1 cubic inches) four-stroke air-cooled V-twin engine was purpose-built to deliver maximum torque at 2,500 rpm in the 55 to 75 mph (90 to 120 km/h) range used for motorcycle cruising. Set at 48 degrees, the cylinders have a four pushrod valves, twin spark plug cylinder heads, with forged pistons having an Alumite coating to reduce friction and ceramic-composite-coated cylinders.
With an undersquare bore and stroke of 100mm (3.937 in) x 118mm (4.646 in), the engine has a compression ratio of 9.5:1 and is the first Yamaha cruiser motorcycle to be equipped with the compact Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve (EXUP) four-stroke power valve system previously only found on their line of high performance sports motorcycles.
An unusual feature of the new engine is a special 'Pent-roof combustion chamber', designed to increase the efficiency of gas flow. The engine also has counter-rotating balancers on both ends of the crankshaft to reduce the vibration typical of large V-Twins.
The engine’s output is transmitted via a wide-ratio five-speed gearbox and compact new transfer case, with power delivery controlled by a hydraulic clutch featuring a four-step adjustable lever. For quiet operation together with low maintenance requirements, the Midnight Star is equipped with a belt drive system.
A lightweight long wheelbase (1,715 mm or 67.5 in) frame was designed using aluminum die casting to minimize weight, with a double cradle design to provide the strength. Suspension consists of a die cast aluminum swinging arm and a hidden single horizontal rear shock absorber and large diameter front forks.
Starting in 2008, a custom version was produced in limited numbers featuring a lowered seat, lengthened front forks, a wider 210 mm rear tyre, the widest on any Yamaha motorcycle,
and special black finish to the engine and a range of custom fittings. The Raider was discontinued for 2018.