*updated on 5/6/16 to include statements from Yamaha regarding the Star line.
*updated to remove the STAR logo.
Yamaha created the STAR brand 20 years ago in an attempt to create a separate "cruiser" identity for it's American market and 10 years ago, Star became a separate company with independent management and marketing.
The problem with the branding is it only applied to the US market, and all of Star's models were cruisers sold under the YAMAHA badge in other countries.
This led to a certain amount of confusion among consumers ultimately leading to this decision. Yamaha says it wants to incorporate at least some of its cruisers into its "street heritage" segment, which currently includes the XSR900.
Star's website is now re-directing to YAMAHA's USA website.
Yamaha sent the following letter in March regarding this change.
A Vince Greva forwarded us an email with a response to this from STAR Touring.
So how do these changes affect us at STAR Touring…they don’t! From the beginning, STARTouring has never been brand specific, brand loyal yes, but not brand specific! Star is A Riders Group not a Owners Group. By “embracing the differences” STAR has built its membership on the people, not the bikes! We cherish the many facets that make up this organization, which includes what you ride. So, let’s remember one thing, it’s not about what you ride, its “Embracing the Differences” that makes us strong as a Member organization.