As we predicted, Yamaha revealed a new touring model based on its new Star Venture called the “Star Eluder.” Essentially a Star Venture without the trunk and a smaller windscreen, the Star Eluder also lacks some of the Venture’s more luxury features, bringing it in at a lower price point at $22,499, with a GT Option package bumping the price to $23,999 (the Star Venture starts at $24,999 with a Transcontinental Option package adding another $2,000 to the sticker).

2018 Yamaha Star Venture Review

The 2018 Yamaha Eluder shares much in common with the Star Venture, including the same air-cooled 1854cc V-Twin engine and six-speed transmission. A ride-by-wire throttle control system offers two modes, touring and sport, delivering power via belt to the rear wheel. Traction control comes standard, as does cruise control which is to be expected on a touring model.

The chassis is also the same, with a main steel frame paired with an aluminum diecast subframe. Up front, a 46mm telescopic fork offers 5.1 inches of travel while a remote preload-adjustable rear shock with 4.3 inches of travel is used at the rear. Dual front calipers grasp 298mm discs while a single 320mm disc is equipped on the rear wheel. ABS is standard, as is Yamaha’s Unified Brake System which dynamically balances front and rear brake pressure for a linear feel.

The Star Eluder comes with a 7-inch LCD infotainment system that is controlled by a touch screen, handlebar controls or voice commands over a connected Bluetooth device. The Eluder also boasts a radio package that can also stream music via Pandora from a smart phone. What it lacks, however, is the Star Venture’s rear speakers. Other standard features include a smart key system, USB ports and a 12V outlet. The GT Option package adds GPS navigation, satellite radio, CB radio and a security alarm.

Beyond losing the trunk and passenger backrest, the Eluder also lacks some of the Star Venture’s other luxuries including: the reverse-drive Sure-Park system, grip heaters, electronically-adjustable windscreen, tire pressure monitor and fog lights. The Star Eluder does have a weight advantage, with Yamaha claiming a wet weight of relatively svelte 875 pounds (877 pounds with the GT Option) compared to 957 pounds for the Star Venture.

“We are very excited to introduce the Star Eluder as we further expand our transcontinental touring motorcycle line-up,” says Mike Doughty, general manager of Yamaha’s motorcycle group. “With its aggressive styling and infotainment technology unlike any other motorcycle in its class, it will truly empower riders to elude conformity while experiencing the thrill of the road.”

The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder will be offered in three color options: Impact Blue, Raven and Liquid Silver.

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  • Old MOron

    There’s just one thing about this “Eluder”:
    I can’t stop hearing “the illudium pu-36 explosive space modulator” in my head.
    http://www.gargaro.com/MaRvInWaVs/goody.wav

    • SerSamsquamsh

      Thanks- Marvin just yelled that out in a meeting I wasn’t paying attention to 🙂

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Or you can buy a Venture and remove the rear rack. There will be a big debate on this on the forums which would be cheaper to buy. The same goes for the HD Street Glide and Limited

    • Stuki Moi

      Is the Venture rack somewhat conveniently removable? Meaning, not like the one on a Gold Wing. On a bike this big, I really want reverse….

      Of course, I don’t really want a bike this big……

      But then again, despite not wanting a bike this big; every time I’ve ridden one, I’ve absolutely loved it (GW, F6B, Valk, E-gliide, Victory…) But I want reverse. And have exactly zero use for a topcase occupying my folding bicycle’s seat.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Reverse would be good for a 875 lb bike.

  • “The Eluder?”

    • Jim

      Not exactly macho, is it. Kind of nerdy, in fact.

  • Don Orton

    Eluder? I guess “Felony Flight” was already taken…?

  • Bubba Blue

    Not too inspired, I don’t think. If it had an aluminium frame and water cooling and 100 less pounds, I’d say maybe they had something. As it is, I’m not a fan of high-zoot stereo on motorcycles, either.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      “exclusive instead of elusive”, that’s good! The Eluder will elude sales and buyers.

    • John A. Stockman

      Those attributes would make it MUCH better. Less weight is always more! Better handling, better suspension travel and performance, etc. They managed to cut 82lbs from the other version, but on a bike like this, closer to 700lbs would be what I’d want. I’m also not fond of these high-wattage systems on motorcycles. Besides, many of the power output claims for the audio set ups are not using the industry standard RMS rating for output power, rather the ridiculously inaccurate “peak power” numbers, which are always much higher. Makes it appear impressive, but the distortion is so high, you couldn’t stand to listen to it. The human ear can detect distortion down to about 1% and peak power ratings have well in excess of 10%. But it looks good on paper. What’s important and relevant is RMS power for each channel, not adding all the channels together to get a huge number, like 900 watts that HD claims for some of their systems. I need to reduce the SPL that reaches my ears during any ride, The levels of road and wind noise are damaging enough w/o ear protection, add in distorted and/or loud music, well, I want to be able to enjoy and still hear music and conversation later in life. A couple weeks ago here in Olympia, WA, I had the distinct displeasure of driving through town next to a guy on his Harley that was blasting some I’m-down-I’ve-been-around country music through his boom audio system. Holy crap, it sounded pretty bad with the distortion. Can’t someone hear how distorted it is, or are they just poseurs calling attention to themselves? On a bike, there’s no windows to roll up. Sure, it’s LOUD, but the quality of the loud is also important. When you get ear fatigue after only one song, I guess it’s not for me.

      • sgray44444

        In other words, a big WHO CARES. It’s a motorcycle, with wind noise. Audio is a total waste- just another way to annoy people along with loud pipes. For the record, I design and build audio equipment, so it’s not like it’s unimportant to me.

  • Gabriel Owens

    Yamahas take on the f6b.

    • SRMark

      My thoughts exactly

      • Buzz

        More like a Street Glide copy.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Looks nothing like a street glide. Closer to a road glide maybe.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Yeah, they are trying to out-glide the Road Glide. Looks like a Honda Civic from the front. The rear end looks lame. And $24,000 is not pocket change. Only 34 mpg vs 40 mpg for most big bikes. Doesn’t say how big the bags are. Nice bike but who is going to buy it? Certainly not the Street / Road Glide crowd.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Correct, this is aimed at the Goldwing market imho.

    • DL Nielsen

      I was just thinking the same thing, too. Nice looking bike.

    • mikeinkamloops

      Didn’t Honda cancel the F6B?

      • Gabriel Owens

        Yes. 2016 was the last year.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Same fate for this bike?

          • bladerunner750

            Most likely.

          • Douglas

            Well, Y might steal some Vaquero riders, and take in on trade lotsa F6b’s & whatever Victory’s “bagger” was….

      • David Kraft

        I could never figure that one out. They must have fired the designers who pencilled that one.

  • SteveSweetz

    Who the hell came up with that name? Do the marketing execs at Yamaha USA still think it’s the 80s and all do coke?

    • David Kraft

      I thought this would be the V4 version which it should have been in the first place. Eluder should mean speed with two more cylinders.

  • Tim Sawatzky

    Name and weight aside, this is a great looking bike to me. I’m not usually a silver fan, but this bike looks great in Silver. And like my old Meanstreak, sometimes good bikes have really stupid names. At least it’s not alpha-numeric gibberish.

    • Tim Sawatzky

      Of course, here in Canada the website only lists it in black. Boring. They really should have just used the Stratoliner name.

  • sgray44444

    It’s elusive to me due to the sticker price. I think they did a nice job on the styling- kind of a good middle ground between retro and modern. Much better than some of the fugly naked bikes they’ve been releasing lately.

  • Buzz

    As predicted in the previous thread.

    Harley haters can weigh in now and just substitute Yamaharharhar for Hardley Ableson

    • Old MOron

      Nice try, Buzz. But you predicted the opposite: “Harley haters will be silent when Yamaha introduces…”
      http://disq.us/p/1ltcro1

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Yeah, but Harley lovers will not be silent.

        • Old MOron

          They never are 🙂

    • mikeinkamloops

      I’d be eluding that porky-pig too.

  • Don Orton

    This is one model that would be better called by its alphabet soup corporate designation, whatever its going to be – “XVS18BLKC” or whatever.

    • denchung

      Close: XV19B.

      The Star Venture is XV19F, for those who are curious.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    “relatively svelte 875 pounds” ha, ha, ha! And does it really take 105 pictures to show off the bike (which is essentially the same as the Venture except for the missing top case)?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Funny how they are specing the engine in cubic inches (113-cubic-inch) so people can compare it to the new Milwaukee Eight engines (107 and 114 cu in).

    • sgray44444

      Ironically, it’s the motor that will probably kill a lot of interest. In a somewhat modern looking design, the V4 would have fit much better and made for a unique motorcycle that isn’t an H-D wannabe. Seriously, why would anyone buy this over a Road Glide? I can see two types that will reject this bike: the Goldwing crowd wants a smooth and modern multi-cylinder liquid cooled motor, and the cruiser crowd will want what H-D has to offer: style, sound, cool factor, resale value, and heritage.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Well this is a H-D wannabe (specifically the Road Glide), that’s why it has a air-cooled V-twin, belt drive, forward controls, downward pointing headlight in a frame mounted fairing, etc., etc. They want to capture some of the Harley bagger money and they can’t do it with a V4 or inline 6. It is a good looking motorcycle and will get enough sales from people who want performance over brand name. I think they did a pretty good job. Yamaha quality and Harley looks.

        • sgray44444

          I’m surprised you like it that much. I think it’s decent looking, but I don’t really see it as competing with the RG. Do you really think it will outperform the Harley? Even if it did stock, there is such an aftermarket for the HD to get whatever you want out of it.
          You know Sayyed, sometimes when I read your post I think you’re disagreeing just to be disagreeable.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I have to say it like it is. I understand all the after market support for HDs but there are plenty of people who don’t want to associate with the HD “culture”. For them this is an ideal bike. I have been riding my 2007 Suzuki Bandit and can see how well built it is. So I am sure the Yamaha bagger is also well built and reliable. Japanese don’t do anything halfway. Its stereo system may not compete with the RG but the rest of it is probably better than the HD.

          • sgray44444

            I can respect that, even if we don’t always agree. I’m one of those people that doesn’t want anything to do with the HD culture, but I would still consider buying one (if I had the cash- not until my kids are out of school). The more I look at HD vs. all the Japanese cruisers, the more I see how short the imitations fall. There is something to be said for the character of HD motorcycles, and I think it’s a big part of the appeal for me. Regardless of what anyone thinks, no other bike has that exhaust note and the style is always original. The Japanese bikes always seem contrived, which is getting back to why I think they should have put the V4 in this bike. It would have been original then.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You don’t have to convince me about Harleys. I have owned them for over 30 years. There is nothing else like them.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    I finally figured out why it is called a “Eluder”. As Mike Doughty (GM of Yamaha’s M/C group) said “it will truly empower riders to elude conformity”. He means riders who want a bagger but don’t want to buy a Harley or Indian can buy the Yamaha instead.

  • bladerunner750

    I am not excited, Mike Doughty. This bike does anything but ‘elude conformity’. And it’s easy to throw around words like ‘transcontinental’ but seriously, for most owners that ain’t never gonna happen.

  • Mark Harral

    I can’t wait to trade in my ’12 FZ8 for the Venture. The “eluder” pisses me off because it comes in blue but no sure park. I’m only 5’7″ and need that electric helper. Come on Yamaha. 😤

  • Tim Sawatzky

    As I have been thinking about it, it seems like a missed opportunity. I realize they have to do a big V-twin to conform to the cruiser crowd. But the styling seems too modern for that crowd anyway. It’s too bad they didn’t make a large triple, aka Rocket 111 and big brother to the FZ-09, for this bike. Seems like they could have got the weight down but kept the torque and HP by doing a 1200-1500cc triple. Then it would have been unique and lighter and “elude” conformity. But what do I know?

    • Kawasaki did the same think with the Voyager. I am in a few Vulcan orgs and no one from Kawasaki asked any of us what we wanted in the Voyager. No one. I think they should have added 50-100ccs to the C14 and added real luggage and amenities. It would have done everything better than what they have now.

  • The Quaaluder…Makes the K1600B seem like a rational choice.

  • TheMarvelous1310

    I would have a hard time choosing between this and the new BMW bagger… But I would probably still take a Road Glide over either one.

    • Bubba Blue

      It eludes me why they wouldn’t have used a modern, liquid cooled V-4 instead of an air cooled V-2. I’m still thinking about the V-4 Venture Royale they had a few years ago, if I can find a nice one.

  • cage free

    So which name is worse Eluder or Vaquero? Both bikes trying to unseat HD with cheaper looking copy’s of the original. Not a big HD fan but what they do they do well.

    • ….the Anal Vaquero just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

      • Maybe they should have named it The Maricon.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    This bike would’ve had more impact with the VMax’s V4 (retuned for even more torque) … and with a less weird name.

  • Capt. Blackadder

    Well, it’s not a bad-looking bike, especially in silver, but oh my bob… that name. The “Eluder”? Is that even a word? Whatever market might exist for this bike just shrank by 90%. That’s 18 months of R&D completely undone by 18 seconds in the marketing department. Whatever mook thought up that dumbass moniker was only outdone by the clueless moron who approved it.

  • Junker

    Wow, name aside, Yamaha seriously missed on this one and the Venture. Just looked at both at AIM Expo in Columbus OH today. Plasticy crap. I thought I might be interested until I stood beside one. Yammy was on a roll, but these are a serious misfire at this price. You could get a very nice HD and lots of respect (or lack of grief) for less.

    You know, I think this puts into perspective everything about the FZ series that I read. Based on the internet you would think FZs were the hottest bike on the road. Yet, every non-yamaha dealer seems to be stocked with 2 year old used ones. The reviewers love them for 50 miles, but living with them is a whole other thing, I guess.

  • Bubba Blue

    In other words, it’s for eluding the police. I get it. It’s like VIctory when it came up with the 8-Ball. The problem was that no one wanted to be an 8-Ball. It’s not cool. No one wants to elude the police either. It’s stupid and sure death.

    Actually, what I’d prefer is a version of this model in more of the tradition of a standard, or even a Road King.

    But a standard with just a wind shield and not all the bags and highway bars and not the rock music or satellite radio or CB radio and not the GPS or other electronics. I don’t listen to radio on a motorcycle. I have ear plugs in my ears and the wind blows all the bass away any way. And besides, since I’m riding a motorcycle I have other, more important, things to concentrate on than a radio dial or TV screen. If I want music, I can blue tooth or cable my cell phone Pandora to ear buds in my ears under my Mack’s Wax Ear Plugs.

    And Then I don’t have to pay thousands of dollars extra for electronics that don’t make motorcycling more enjoyable anyway. An analogue compass would be nice. One of those balls that float and roll and tell you what direction you’re going. Other than that, I too busy looking at the road to watch television on a motorcycle and to try to conform my actions to Siri’s voice rather than to the highway signs..

  • DAVID

    OMG close to 1,000 lbs 2-cylinder and air cooled for 25K, they must have taken a page out of the HD !!!!! BMW for this price no brainer.