Yamaha has the FJR1300 and FJ-09 to cover the sport-touring segment, and its Super Ténéré can add some adventure to a rider’s tour. Then there’s the V Star 1300s for cruisers with some touring amenities. But what’s missing is a luxurious tourer that can muscle in on Harley’s extensive touring lineup or even on Honda’s venerable Gold Wing.

Yamaha’s marketers note that touring customers are often forced into a traditional/emotional choice like a Harley or a modern/luxury mount like a Gold Wing or BMW. “We thought,” said Derek Brooks, Yamaha’s Motorcycle Product Line Manager, “Why not offer both?”

With the imminent introduction of the new Star Venture to the North American market, Yamaha takes a bold step into the luxury-touring category, what it terms as “Transcontinental Touring.” Helping make miles melt under its wheels are a touchscreen infotainment cluster, ride-by-wire cruise and traction controls, scads of stowage space, an electrically adjustable windscreen, heated grips and seats, and an electric motor to help maneuver the bike in parking situations, both forward and reverse.

When you notice the Venture is powered by an 1854cc V-Twin, you might think of the defunct Roadliner/Stratoliner’s air-cooled lump still employed in the Raider. You’d be right and wrong. The bore and stroke remain the same, but the Venture’s 113 c.i. mill is nearly a complete redo. It uses new cases to stuff in a six-speed gearbox and employs a new side-draft intake that creates extra space for fuel, a fairly generous 6.6 gallons.

One of our favorite air-cooled V-Twins gets completely overhauled for duty in the Star Venture, now with side-draft intakes, sound dampers in its primary drive area, ride-by-wire throttle and the option of dialing in Tour or Sport modes. A new slip/assist clutch has an exceptionally light pull for such a big engine.

One of our favorite air-cooled V-Twins gets completely overhauled for duty in the Star Venture, now with side-draft intakes, sound dampers in its primary drive area, ride-by-wire throttle and the option of dialing in Tour or Sport modes. A new slip/assist clutch has an exceptionally light pull for such a big engine.

The overhead-valve motor now uses twin counterbalancers and composite rubber engine mounts (unlike the Road/Stratoliners) to keep vibes from becoming bothersome during long days in the heated saddle. Yamaha notes the engine’s lack of overhead cams and the dry-sump lubrication help lower the mill’s center of mass. Both fifth and sixth gears are overdriven, which results in the 4-valve motor spinning at just 2750 rpm when cruising at 75 mph. Purported peak torque of 126 lb-ft occurs at just 2500 rpm. Hydraulic valves and a belt final drive minimize maintenance concerns. The last time we dyno tested a Star ’Liner was in 2013, and the motor in that state of tune produced a healthy 82 hp and a staggering 103.5 lb-ft of torque at its rear wheel. Due to the Venture’s new intake, that horsepower number is likely to suffer the loss of a few ponies.

2013 World Cruiser Shootout

Attached to each side of the engine is a 375-watt alternator, yielding 750 total watts to power all the doo-dads and gee-gaws touring riders desire. Electric power is also required for the 3.5 inches of windshield adjustment, heated grips and seats, and the “Sure-Park parking assist,” which uses an electric motor to help move the Venture forward and reverse in challenging parking scenarios.

The Star Venture’s styling is likely to polarize opinions. Its sharp lines originated in the USA, along with Yamaha’s design contractor GKDI in SoCal. Yamaha reps note the bike’s lunging forward motion and tensioned surfaces draw some inspiration from a Plymouth ’Cuda muscle car and a P-51 Mustang fighter plane. Lighting is all LED, including the four headlights, the tail-light and the mirror-mounted front turn signals.

The LED fog lights visible in this shot mean this is a Star Venture with the optional Transcontinental package that also includes satellite radio, GPS, dual-zone audio with rear speakers, CB radio and an alarm for a $2,000 premium.

The LED fog lights visible in this shot mean this is a Star Venture with the optional Transcontinental package that also includes satellite radio, GPS, dual-zone audio with rear speakers, CB radio and an alarm for a $2,000 premium.

“This thing punches a hole in the darkness like no other motorcycle I’ve ever ridden,” commented Dan Ruesch, Motorcycle Product Planning. “It’s unbelievable.”

Luxury comes in the forms of comfort, convenience, adjustability, and amenities.

A smart key fob controls electric luggage locks and fuel door, as well as allowing a rider to start the Venture without using the key. It also has a finder feature and arms the security alarm.

Seats are generously sized and are equipped standard with heating elements front and rear. Additionally, the rider backrest is adjustable to three positions and heated, while the the passenger backrest has a heating element and is 17 inches wide for comfortable support.

Both hand levers are adjustable for reach, and the rider’s floorboards are bountifully long; passenger floorboards can be set to one of two height positions. More adjustability is found in the mid-fairing wind deflectors and lower fairing wind vents.

Room for lots of junk in the trunk. A 200/55-R16 Bridgestone Exedra puts down a wide patch of rubber to help support the bike’s 957-lb curb weight.

Room for lots of junk in the trunk. A 200/55-R16 Bridgestone Exedra puts down a wide patch of rubber to help support the bike’s 957-lb curb weight.

Yamaha claims its new touring bike has more than 37 gallons of storage space and that its cavernous trunk can hold two extra-large full-face helmets. Locking saddlebags are augmented by two handy compartments in the fairing and one in the lower-left side fairing panel. Passengers have access to two other compartments on the forward ends of the trunk. Two USB ports are standard, one in a fairing pocket along with a 12-volt port, and one in the trunk.

The USB ports can also integrate with the Venture’s 7-inch LCD touchscreen infotainment system made by Harman, the company’s first such system for a Japanese OEM. Inputs can be controlled via touchscreen, handlebar switches or voice commands via an accessory headset. The audio package has AM/FM radio and can also play pre-recorded music or stream Pandora from a smartphone via the USB or Bluetooth wireless connection options, delivered through a pair of speakers in the fairing or a headset’s speakers.

Analog dials flank the 7-inch touchscreen. A rocker button atop the left switchgear controls the Sure-Park parking-assist motor.

Analog dials flank the 7-inch touchscreen. A rocker button atop the left switchgear controls the Sure-Park parking-assist motor.

The Star Venture uses a completely new frame, with steel tubing for the main chassis with an aluminum subframe. The subframe doubles as an oil reservoir and is said to help shed heat. As with every cruiser, the Venture features a low seat height: 27.4 inches.

Despite that modest distance from the ground, Yamaha was able to equip its transcontinental tourer with a robust amount of suspension travel. The 46mm fork has 5.1 inches of stroke, while the single shock has 4.3-inches of rear travel with remote hydraulic preload adjustability. No damping adjustments are available. And despite the Venture’s prodigious weight, Yamaha claims it requires 22% less effort to lift off its sidestand than its Motor Company competition.

Vehicular luxury never comes cheap, and so it is with the Star Venture. Credit Yamaha’s product planners for not trying to sell a decontented cut-rate version, instead starting fully equipped at $24,999 in Granite Gray or Raspberry Metallic. The only choice is to decide to tick the box for the Transcontinental option. A 5-year warranty is standard.

A $500 deposit gets earliest deliveries via Yamaha’s Priority Delivery Program, and the Venture will begin arriving at dealers in August. If you’re interested but will need to ride the Venture before committing to it, demo opportunities will be available at several events this summer, including Star Days, Sturgis, AIMExpo, and Biketoberfest. A full list of events can be found here.

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  • Born to Ride

    Boo! No Vmax engine, no love. Try again Yamaha.

    • Kevin Duke

      Yeah, we were hoping for that, too, but that V4 lump is too big to package with big fuel capacity and weighing less than half a ton.

      • Born to Ride

        Doesn’t seem like they tried very hard to keep the weight down…

      • mikstr

        amazing what some clever engineering can do; look how heavy supposedly simple air-cooled v-twins have become – a classic case of NOT paying attention to the big picture weight-wise… do the opposite and the end product could be awe-inspiring (and water-cooled to boot)

      • Goose

        They only missed 1/2 ton by 37 pounds. I usually the guy saying “You can’t ride a spec sheet” but really, 963 pounds? 30 pounds heavier than a (6 cylinder, water cooled, designed almost 20 years ago!) Goldwing? More than 160 pounds heavier than the (six cylinder, water cooled) K1600GTL? With what, 80 HP to the Honda’s 100 and the BMWs 145? Heavier than the heaviest Harley or Indian.
        It may well be that once somebody not paid by Yamaha rides the bike we’ll all find out is is a great motorcycle and the weight “melts away as soon as you are going 5 MPH” but the numbers are not encouraging.
        I was pretty excited about this bike but that excitement has dimmed a great deal. I ride a Harley, a Roadglide, one reason I haven’t gotten a new bike in 11 years is the new ones weight is over 100 more then my bike, with this bike I’d be picking up over to 160 pounds.

        • Tango Alpha

          It’s not like your carrying the bike on your back. What’s the big deal? I’ve owned 2 HD Ultra Classics. I currently ride a BMW RT. As a Road Glide owner, you understand that the key to weight management is good balance and low center of gravity. Harley’s is known for that which is why a guy like me who weighs only 170 pounds who stands 5’6″ with a 30″ inseam can confidently handle such a beast. For me it’s a total non issue. According to the spec sheet, the Venture comes off the stand with 22% less effort than an HD coming off the Jiffy Stand. So where’s the issue with weight? I don’t see that it makes any significant difference personally.

          • Goose

            First, I have no intention of playing who is more manly, please looks for someone else if you want to play that. I’m only 10″ taller and 30 pounds heavier, after all.
            Second, I mentioned I ride a bike that weighs close to 800 pounds.
            Third, weight is a compromise, A superbike needs to be as light as possible, touring bikes are heavier because they need to hold two people, have good wind protection, have roomy luggage and conveniences, etc. But they still need to slow, turn and accelerate and, within the limitation of being a turning bike, do those things well to be fun to ride off the slab.

            My problem, and I believe the others complaining about this bike’s weight, is that I expect Yamaha to design solutions that meet the requirements of touring riders with less weight, not more. If Honda could engineer a bike (the GL1800) that has six cylinders, water cooling, more luggage space and at least as many conveniences 20 years ago why can’t Yamaha at least match that weight? If BMW can build a bike with six cylinders, water cooling, similar connivances and luggage and nearly twice the horse power that is 160 pounds lighter why can’t Yamaha at least match that weight? The Yamaha is only slightly cheaper so it isn’t the old “light costs money” issue.

            After amazing us all with the 900 triple and 700 twin (light, powerful and cheap) it looks like Yamaha’s engineering B team worked on this bike.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            263 lbs heavier than my 2007 Softail Custom. I could add a 2018 KTM 350 EXC-F on top of the Harley and still be lighter than this bike. Moneywise too. $18,900 + $10,000 = $28,900 (only $1900 more than this bike).

    • Mark Vizcarra

      Vmax engine gets terrible MPG, so Im sure they put that in consideration when they planned it

      • Jon Jones

        The claimed 34 MPG this thing gets is notso-hotso.

      • Born to Ride

        Well, they don’t have to deliver it in a 200hp state of tune, but yeah it would suck to have sub-30mpg fuel economy on a touring bike.

    • Tango Alpha

      The VMax engine always has been a great motor. Nobody can argue that. That said, if you look at all the heavyweight touring bikes nearly all of them employ large V-twin motors…the only notable exception being the Honda Goldwing with the 6 cylinder. What makes the Vmax so impressive is the overall package. A lightweight cruiser bike with a hot motor. It’s the essence of a hot rod. That same motor in a heavyweight touring machine would not translate in to the same. So many variables to consider, but I think Yamaha did the right thing. Still….I share your love the V-Max. What a bike!

      • Born to Ride

        The Vmax weighs well over 600lbs. Not exactly my definition of lightweight. Additionally, the original version of this bike utilized a V4 engine, so it would have been a lineal tie to the old bike. I don’t see how having double the horsepower could ever translate to a inferior touring bike. The thing that bothers me is that they have once again attempted to compete with Harley by building a derivative motorcycle. People that want a road glide will buy a road glide without even looking twice at this. I think they have cost themselves a few pure touring riders that would have happily traded in Goldwings and the like for a Vmax powered luxury barge.

        • Derek Brazier

          True…600 lbs isn’t exactly “lightweight” but compared to a bike weighing nearly 1.000 pounds it might as well be.

          I also ride a Harley…a RoadGlide, in fact. I’m what most consider a die hard Harley guy and I did look twice at this bike. I think Yamaha understands the Harley customer much better than you probably realize. I would have considered getting this bike if it were available when I got my RoadGlide. From a pure sales standpoint, Harley sells more touring bikes than Yamaha, Honda and probably Kawasaki and Suzuki combined. It’s understandable why they’d go after HD’s market share. I think it was a smart move.

          The Vrod is great and migjt make for a great power plant choice, that power plant would so change the character of the bike that I think it would push Yamaha more towards the sport touring line which they already have covered with the FJ. This bike and engine choice makes sense from a line up standpoint.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I think you meant to say Vmax not Vrod. Anyway, if this bike doesn’t win any Harley customers, nothing will. Born to Ride nailed it. When companies try to compete directly with Harley, they fail. Look at the Moto Guzzi Freightliner (sorry, I meant to say Flying Fortress). One thing about Harleys is they have a very narrow waist (because of the patented single pin crank design). Most Japanese cruisers seem to be too fat, even if they are V-twin; because of two crank pins the cylinders have to be offset. The single pin crank also accounts for the potato-potato sound that no one else has been able to duplicate. Some Honda Shadow riders remove their baffles but it doesn’t sound like a Harley. These things are important to Harley riders and they will not give them up. If you are going to spend $27,000, might as well get the real thing. Resale value is another thing. This bike’s value will drop as soon as you take it out of the showroom. Harleys keep their value for a long time because of their strong build, easy repair and upgrade,.parts and accessories availability, dealerships everywhere and strong third party support.

  • kenneth_moore

    You never know for sure until you see a bike in person, but from the photos I think this is a great looking motorcycle. Especially in the grey colour. It’s as if an artist in the 1970’s were asked to draw a Harley Ultra from 60 years in the future.

    Yamaha’s still on their epic roll as far as I’m concerned. I think they’ll sell a lot of these…maybe not to HD customers, but to anyone else in this market with an open mind. I think I’ll hit Biketoberfest this year and take a ride on one.

    • Tango Alpha

      I’m an HD customer and this is exactly the kind of bike I’d consider buying. From what it appears, Yamaha studied the Ultra Classic and Road Glide very carefully and I can certainly see some Motor Company inspiration. That’s a very good thing. The fact that they went with a V-Twin (larger than HD’s) and not with a V-4, in line 4 or some other alternative, tells me they know who their audience is and that they want to take market share away from HD. If this bike is as good as it appears, they will most certainly succeed in stealing away business from HD. I love the competition. I’ve owned Yamaha, Honda, BMW and Harley. They’re all great in my book…but seriously, this bike appears to be a very serious contender. Yamaha needed to hit it out of the park and go all the way with high end quality components, feature laden infotainment, impressive hp/torque, comfort, etc. From where I’m sitting, they nailed it!

      • jpath

        I currently ride an Ultra Limited. The fact that this bike has a huge v-twin engine is why I would NOT consider switching to it. If I’m still going to be stuck with a big v-twin I might as well keep the bike I have.

        • Tango Alpha

          The Ultra Limited is a great bike. I’ve owned two Ultra Classic’s and they both served me well. Up until yesterday when I saw this new Venture, I had been in the market to buy a 2017 Road Glide. Now, I’m going to put my purchase on pause until I have an opportunity to ride a Venture. As far as HD goes, my only issue with them during my ownership was the tendency for them to run hot and my inner thigh roasting in the summer months. Aside from that I had no issues. The HD’s proved to be very reliable and trouble free despite what you read on metric forums. All that said, I pretty much love anything with 2 wheels and an engine. The V-twin is definitely a matter of personal choice. I for one love them for many reasons, but I acknowledge that not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. My current ride is a BMW RT which employs the venerable Boxer engine, which like the V-Twin is equally unique in the way the motor produces power compared to an inline 4, for example. Boxer engines & V-twins are probably more similar than they are different in this regard. From a consumer point of view, I think people either love them or hate them. Somebody who was hoping for a silky smooth inline 4 or 6 cylinder from Yamaha probably won’t be serious buyers for this bike. I still maintain, Yamaha had HD in their sight when they designed this bike. Only time will tell how well it is perceived by consumers.

          • Scott Titensor

            Why wouldn’t Yamaha go after Harley? They sell more touring bikes than anyone. You focus on the leader. Yamaha did a great job. This bike will appeal to serious touring customers that want some traditional style, sound and feel. The Yamaha advantage will be features and quality.

            The Yamaha won’t appeal to those that like to customize there touring bike with apes, tons of chrome, spoke wheels, on and on.

            I prefer a bike that gets the job done right off the showroom floor. The new Yamaha Venture.

        • Tango Alpha

          Arguably if you ride an Ultra Limited you already own the worlds finest touring bike money can buy anyway, so why would you want to get rid of it? My only issue with my two previous HD’s (both Ultra’s) was the heat issue during the hot summer months. My thigh just roasted. They’ve gotten much better over the years and now with the new Milwaukee 8, the heat issue seems to have gone away completely or nearly so.

          • jpath

            I’ll probably never get rid of it (too much money in it). It’s a Rushmore, with the slight water cooling, so there is no heat issue at all. I’m just not a fan of the huge v-twin engine design.

        • Scott Titensor

          As a long time Harley owner, I believe Yamaha has built a better, more durable V-TWIN. Personally, I really like this new Yamaha.

  • Gabriel Owens

    A thousand pounds.

  • mikstr

    Nice for what it is (though likely very heavy). Has lines that are strangely reminiscent of the Victory Vision from the side…

    • JWaller

      I got the same impression with regard to the Vision.

    • Gary Watkins

      Nah, I think it looks like a cross between the BMW six and the Kawasaki

  • Ian

    Very COOL bike. Wrong engine though.

  • Paragon Lost

    Wonder how heat’s gonna be. Part of my ongoing issue with my Road Glide Special is heat down here in the south. It gets so bad that I’m starting to look longingly at Goldwing, though it’s so damn long in the tooth and really needs a total revamp.

    I do like what I’m seeing with this new Venture, I just worry about the potential for heat due to it being air cooled. 🙁 The Victory Vision was excellent at venting heat from the test rides I did on one of them. I really wish Polaris hadn’t torpedoed Victory and the Vision in particular.

  • Shawn Clark

    It looks like there’s a lever on the left side to engage reverse? Like a jet ski?

  • Buzz

    I hope Erik Buell is getting a spiff for his lobster claws.

  • TheMarvelous1310

    I wanna see this without the storage.

  • Ron Hayes

    Yes carrying the Venture name, you would assume a v-four but I have to tell you that the Roadliner/Stratoliner had a fantastic engine except for the vibrations at higher speeds. Adding a 6th gear and rubber mounts should really make it a great cruiser/tourer. Read the tests about the Roadliner/Stratoliner here and they compliment the engine. I hope this one has the same character because it shares the same bore and stroke.

    • Tango Alpha

      Yes, not only rubber mounted, but counter balanced as well. A very wise choice. Can’t wait to ride this beast!

  • allworld

    I love to tour, this is not my style bike, but it would seem to check a lot of boxes for a lot of riders.
    Yamaha has been on a roll lately with products that seem to be spot on for various categories of riders.
    I really can’t help thinking how Polaris shot themselves in the foot with the decision to shut down Victory. I know it’s a dead horse, but certainly there was a short sited Vision.

    • Tango Alpha

      Truth is as great as a bike as the Vic was, it wasn’t selling. At least, not anywhere to the degree that Polaris needed to justify keeping the brand alive. Meanwhile, Indian (who Polaris also owns) sales have been increasing year over year as Victory sales have declined. As far as the Vision is concerned, the bike was seriously due for an update. Even when the model was released several years ago the styling was very polarizing and it hasn’t aged any better. Way to Judge Dredd for my taste, but to each his own. I think Yamaha truly has succeeded in doing something that Victory was never able to do and that is offer an acceptable alternative to the HD Ultra Classic, Road Glide, etc. As a past HD customer myself, I would have never considered a Victory Vision as a viable replacement for my Ultra Classic. However this bike, the Yamaha Venture I certainly would. Yamaha nailed it.

      • allworld

        That is sort of my point Yamaha nailed it, (again). Victory fell short, and was not its own brand but rather a “me too”.
        With Indian, Polaris can go head to head with HD. Victory could have reinvented itself to compete with the likes of Yamaha, Honda, BMW, and Triumph.
        Dead horse I know. Congratulations to Yamaha for building a flagship touring rig positioned above their FJR.

  • Starmag

    Yamaha seems like they are trying to ride the current popularity of fake boobs with their fake scoops on many models.

    I thought they were done with the “Star” moniker. Did they bring it back because of truth-in-advertising laws? That is, because this thing weighs almost as much as a actual star?

    • Tango Alpha

      ….and what exactly is your problem with fake boobs?

      • Starmag

        No problem at all, some of my breast friends have them.

        • Tango Alpha

          LOL! Exactly! 🙂

  • Starmag

    Here’s some truth Ruth

    Please jam your spam

    These aren’t the MOrons you’re looking for

  • Steve C

    It’s heavy man. heavy.

  • blansky

    When I see these type of bikes I always wonder, “why not just drive a car”.

    I guess it’s like when someone pulls a Greyhound bus size motorhome into a campground. Is this really camping?

    • Tango Alpha

      Umm…have you seen the Honda Goldwing? It even comes with a 6 cylinder engine and weights 1/3 as much. I’d prefer this over a GW any day and that’s said without ever having ridden the Yamaha.

    • SteveSweetz

      Same. Whenever a I see a ginormous touring bike – sometimes even towing trailers – all I can think is: you’ve compromised handling so much, how much of a “motorcycle experience” are you even getting? Just a get a Miata, it costs the same!

      • Tango Alpha

        I could never understand towing a trailer behind a motorcycle to be honest with you. Not my cup of tea, but different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

  • Ronald Vennell

    I like the look. I like the amenities such as the infotainment system and the heated everything. For touring I like the torque heavy V-Twin. IMO they should have stepped outside the box by liquid cooling it. With liquid cooling they could have run higher compression for more power and efficiency.

  • John B.

    963 Pounds? Hell na!!!

    • Born to Ride

      I agree that it is far too heavy and massive for me to consider. However, I have been doing some quick googling and it turns out that none of the frame-mounted fairing, big V-twin, touring bikes weigh under 900lbs. Yamaha just appears to be far more forthright about the weight. The Road Glide without the top box weighs 927lbs, the vision used to scale in low 900s and depending on accessories more. In fairness, this bike offers waaay more luxury than the Harley for only marginally more weight. We just wanted something different.

      • John B.

        I am sure you are right. In fairness, this class of motorcycle never appealed to me even though I like to ride long distances.

      • Kevin Duke

        Thanks for being reasonable, BTR! Yep, give a bike 38 gallons of luggage space and a 1.8-liter engine, and you’ll end up with 900-plus pounds.

        • Born to Ride

          I still don’t forgive them for omitting the V4 engine. The last generation had one, and it would have made their bike a unique offering rather than a derivative design.

          • Kevin Duke

            I know what you mean. Keep in mind, tho, that the last Star V4 was kinda lame and was heavy, and the latest Vmax motor is way bigger and heavier and harder to package.

          • Gary Watkins

            I think you’ll find the newer V-Max motor weighs less than the old one.

        • John B.

          I’m feeling contrarian today….

          Socks, T-shirts, and jockeys cost like three cents a pair at Walmart; casual shoes cost $1.10. As such, with a $20 clothing budget, I could take a three week motorcycle excursion with something like a quarter liter of luggage space, a travel vest, and a couple ziplock baggies. Who other than Evans needs 38 gallons of storage on a motorcycle? Even Noah’s Ark had less storage than this bike.

          Also, the average rider who will purchase this bike was born way back in the 1900s, and has lost substantial muscle mass since 9/11 (don’t ask how I know). What happens when a 60 year old rider (who is NOT Arnold Schwarzenegger) tips this bike over at a scenic overlook on his way to Grand Staircase Escalante? Does it come with a hydraulic jack?

          OK; I’m just kidding. People who like touring motorcycles should give this motorcycle a look. Yamaha makes perhaps the most reliable motorcycles in the industry, and I’m sure this motorcycle compares well to other motorcycles in its class. Buying disposable clothing at Walmart is a genuine touring tip, however, I may have understated the prices a bit for dramatic effect.

          • Kevin Duke

            That might be reasonable for a guy solo touring, but calculations change whenever bringing along a significant other. Besides, you need the extra space for bringing home souvenirs like jewelry and Groms…

          • Gary Watkins

            Precisely why I’ll stay with my Venture Royal Star, It never breaks. I’ve replace the only two things that ever go bad, the clutch spring (replaced with Barnett kit) and the shock (with a rebuild-able Hagon unit) and its only got 58,000 on it (I’ve seen the v-4 with 200,000 miles on them). I personally think Yamaha went the wrong way. They built a modern-looking bike with an old-school air-cooled V-twin motor. Their previous effort was a higher tech (yeah, I know the four was actually an older motor) water-cooled V-4 and retro looks. I thought it was a great way to go, Harley retro-looks, a smooth, performing motor, yet with a great sound (like the Wing lacks) I would have started with the second generation V-Max motor and built my tourer around that. My 2000 Venture is listed at 804 lbs, but weighs somewhere in the 880’s. They’re pegging the new bike at 956 lbs, which I am pretty sure mean it weighs over a half-ton. I think it looks like a cross between the BMW-6 and the Kawasaki, neither of which move the meter for me.

    • Paragon Lost

      You don’t really notice the weight, unless you have a habit of dropping the bike.

      • John B.

        As Born to Ride noted above the weight is similar to other bikes in the category, but I don’t buy the notion you don’t notice the weight unless you drop the bike. Physics is physics.

        • Paragon Lost

          Don’t know what to tell ya then, except that maybe you could go to one of those demo days and try a few of the various touring bikes. I’ve owned a few bikes over the decades and rode more.

          I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I didn’t notice the weight on most touring bikes while riding.

          • John B.

            I have a Kawasaki Concours that weighs 688 pounds. Above a few miles per hour managing the weight is no problem, but it doesn’t handle like a 450 pound motorcycle. Also, pushing the bike around the garage I sure notice the weight, and when maneuvering at slow speeds around parking lots. I’m sure this motorcycle is competitive with other bikes in its class, but I do not agree weight does not impact a motorcycle’s dynamics, or that 963 pounds is something I wouldn’t notice.

            The more something weighs (i.e., the more mass it has) the slower it accelerates. Acceleration = Force / Mass, so the more mass you have the less acceleration a given quantity of force can generate. Yamaha can’t change that.

          • Born to Ride

            They sure could have doubled the Force vector by choosing the right engine!!

          • APrider

            Exactly… The best performance mod that I ever bought for my Aprilia Futura, was a 2011 Victory Vision. Got the Vic for long distance riding with my wife.. Now when I get on my 15 year old Aprilia, it feels like a damn rocket ship, and flicks like a mini bike!

          • John B.

            Four years ago, I lost 43 pounds in 56 days. I swear it made my motorcycle more agile and improved my gas mileage. A motorcycle in this class is going to be heavy (it has 3 motors), but losing weight is the best way to make things more exciting.

  • Old MOron

    I love you MOrons, but I can’t wait to read what edmunds.com says about Yamaha’s new vehicle.

    • Kenneth

      Is there another Yamaha vehicle coming? I saw photos of a sporty concept CAR from them some time ago; is that what you’re referring to? Is that vehicle more than a concept?

  • Craig Hoffman

    Yamaha sure is not messing around. This looks to be an awesome addition to it’s class.

  • Jon Jones

    Can’t help but be interested…

  • Alexander Pityuk

    I tend to not like cruisers and I definitely don’t like Heavyweight cruisers. But I like this one. It looks mean, it looks modern, doesn’t have too much chrome on it. In terms of electronics and comfort features it’s close to leading edge. But given the choice I would take GTL any day.

  • Auphliam

    I dig it. Love the lines. She is heavy, but they’re all heavy in this class.

  • me

    why is everyone whining about the weight and air cooled engine. the wheight is pretty much in line with other large touring bikes and i like the feel of a big twin. the whieght adds to the stability and comfort. if you can’t handle the wheight get a dual sport . this is an awesome looking bike with just about every bell and whistle standard and will leave other manufacturers scrambling to catch up. it’s great to see an import not settling to be a scaled down H-D. honda created a cult following by doing the same with the wing and you can bet this bike is scaring them. yamaha pulled all the stops out and we can agrue that i like a 4 cylindar or a vmax motor better or it would be nice to have programable suspension or it needs more cup holders but in a side by side comparison with simalar models this will beat them a large percentage of the time. i don’t particulaly like the looks from the back or the oversized trunk but that wont keep me from buying one. and quit whining about perfomance. its not a crotch rocket, the torc this thing produces is more than enough foir a luxury tourer. went from a road glide to a vulcan voyager and i can’t wait to trade up to one of these.

    • Paragon Lost

      I have no issue with weight personally. Having tried out most of the touring bikes and currently owning an HD Road Glide Special, I tend not to notice the weight. The Indian Roadmaster as an example was very nimble and light feeling and that thing weighs a lot.

      Where I do take issue and I don’t consider it whining, is with air cooled engines. Don’t know where you live, but currently I live down in the southern states and I’ve found that air cooled bikes suck ass down here. My Road Glide struggles in heavy traffic overheating and I struggle as well.

      The Victory Vision was the only air cooled touring bike where I didn’t notice a lot of engine heat while sitting in traffic as an aside. So yeah for me I’m all for looking at a BMW or Goldwing if they ever revamp it simply for the fact that I’ll be getting away from air cooled.

      • Born to Ride

        Not all air cooled bikes are poorly engineered and run hot. Not all water cooled bikes improve the heat transferred to the rider. I replaced a liquid cooled Sprint ST as my touring bike with an air cooled 1100cc Multistrada primarily due to insufferable engine heat from the Triumph. Harley’s are poorly engineered from a thermal design perspective. The V angle is too shallow and doesn’t allow for flow around the heads. Additionally the bikes are running extremely lean from the factory and when idiots slap straight pipes on them without tuning, it causes the fuel mixture to lean even further. Resulting in overheating issues.

    • Tango Alpha

      I agree. I made the same observation as you. Those who are concerned about the weight are riders who probably aren’t interested in a heavyweight touring bike anyway. All the bikes in this class weigh about the same. This is the luxury touring class and the entry point seems to be around 900 lbs from what I’ve observed.

    • Born to Ride

      A bike doesn’t need to be a “crotch rocket” to benefit from a superior power plant. It’s not exactly as if we are complaining that it doesn’t have the revvy R1 motor in it. Going from a 1800cc twin to a 1700cc four with double the power and almost the same amount of torque is not going to compromise the touring capability of the bike one bit. But it would provide a major upgrade to the appeal of the bike to those who enjoy riding something with unique character and performance. YMMV

  • SRMark

    There is a wee hint of the hideous BMW 1200CL in that front end. From the bars back it’s a decent looking bike. The comments about the Victory and Buell certainly apply too. I like Yamaha and hope these sell well. But yuck.

    • Born to Ride

      Looks like a like an old R1 with the aspect ratio set to 20:5.

  • Tango Alpha

    OMG! Yamaha hit it out of the park! They went head to head with HD. Before the unveiling of the Venture, I thought maybe Yamaha was targeting the Goldwing, but it’s clear that they weren’t necessarily trying to be a Goldwing competitor. Nope! A huge 113 cu in V-twin with the perfect blend of classic and contemporary styling. Looks like to me, they went after the boys in Milwaukee and set out to top HD in every single category. I’ve been riding over 30 years and have owned all the major brands and for the past 15 years I’ve been riding mostly BMW and HD. I’ve owned two HD Ultra Classic’s in that time, the last one of which I recently sold before switching back to BMW. I am going to take a very SERIOUS look at buying this new Venture. I love everything I’m seeing so far.

  • Derek Brazier

    So now that Yamaha has thrown the gauntlet down, it will be interesting to see what Kawasaki does with their Voyager which appears to be ready for an update. And what about Suzuki who has been MIA from the touring action since the passing of the Calvacade? Could this be the beginning of a heavyweight touring machine renaissance? One can only hope.

  • Kevin Diepenbrock

    I have been riding Goldwings and BMW’s for the last 10 years I had a 2002 VTX 1800 that if I remember right was putting almost a 100 HP to the ground (maybe that was after my pipes and intake and power commander don’t remember for sure) a little disappointed in the power aspect but it looks pretty sharp and looks to be better electronics then Honda one thing I love about my BMW was the ability to take off the trunk when not needed.

    • Tango Alpha

      I had a VTX 1800 also and currently ride a BMW RT. I like the ability to remove the trunk as well and for that matter, my saddlebags as well should I decide to ride the bike that way. Very convenient. I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before the aftermarket or Yamaha will come out with a quick release docking kit. I used to do that with my first (’03) HD Ultra Classic. Then 3 years later, HD introduced the Street Glide model which mimicked what me and my buddies had done to our Ultra’s. This bike looks good. Looking forward to seeing and riding it in person.

  • vandaldog

    To each their own but I, personally, think it’s not only ugly but at over 950 pounds it’s a pig, as well. Thanks but no thanks, I’ll stick with my K1600.

  • Chocodog

    ……”overhead valve,” is there any other configuration other than old Briggs and Strattons and old Harley Davidson’s? It’s air cooled push rod, motor, aimed at the Harley crowd.

    • Tango Alpha

      Well…obviously the choice of a V-twin is not going to please everyone. Just reading some of the early criticism on this forum with the bike just having been unveiled, never having been seen, much less ridden by those same critics serves to illustrate that point. That said, Yamaha with all their technological know how and history of manufacturing world class, high performance machines could have opted for something different, but…they didn’t. That fact alone should give folks a moment of pause to wonder what does Yamaha know that the rest of us don’t? I think you are very close to the answer by saying this bike was aimed at the HD crowd.

      Let’s face the facts…HD is the most successful motorcycle brand outselling all other major brands and a company who’s been in continuous production for the past 114 years. HD may not be to everyone’s taste, but the reality is for the time being they still are the benchmark in this touring category that all other brands are judged. I should also mention that HD’s tend to cost more than most of the other major brands, so if you’re gonna sell a touring bike costing upwards of $30,000, then you better design a bike that appeals to that audience. Yamaha is not a niche, exotic, custom build or boutique motorcycle manufacture. They are a volume production operation and build bikes for the masses. The masses seem to prefer V-twins. Over half of all the bikes sold in the U.S. are V-twin. That says a lot and obviously HD isn’t the only one selling V-twins. Virtually every single notable, manufacturer, with very few exceptions offer at least one or more V-twin models in their lineup.

      V-twins are here to stay. Look at BMW with their Boxer (twin) motor. That motor has evolved throughout the decades and still is in production, just like the venerable V-twin. Fortunately for you and the other riders who prefer something else, there’s a lot of great alternatives. Some very sexy and exotic machinery, in fact. I love anything with two wheels and an engine. I’ve pretty much owned all the major brands over 30+ years of riding and have experience with with all the different motors. I love a big rumbling V-twin as much as I enjoy a silky smooth, high revving inline 4. They’ll all great as far as I’m concerned, it just depends on what you’re using it for. Engines are like tools with a specific use and application.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Well they have at least one (potential) buyer in this forum: Tango Alpha.

    • Tango Alpha

      True. I will definitely give this bike serious consideration. I’ve been in the market again, looking at buying a new HD. I’ve owned two HD Ultra Classic’s (full dress touring bike), but this time around I have my eyes on a a Road Glide. At this point, I will put off my purchase until I have an opportunity to see the new Yamaha in person and take it for a test ride. In my neck of the woods, that means I will most likely have to wait until November when the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show comes to Long Beach, CA for a demo ride. In the meantime, I have a BMW RT sitting in my garage to keep me occupied, so it’s not as though I have nothing to ride or complain about.

      I will tell you that as a person who’s ridden for over 30 years and who’s owned, Yamaha, Honda, BMW, Harley-Davidson, etc. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing all kinds of different bikes in all their various forms and configurations. I love virtually everything with an engine and two wheels. Sitting right next to my RT are two mini-bikes! Every bike is built for a particular purpose and to appeal to a certain rider. All that said, as someone who considers himself incredibly fortunate to buy whatever bike I choose, Harley’s in general seem to suit me best. I really enjoy my BMW, but truthfully….I cannot lie, every single time I pass a pack of guys riding Ultra Classic’s, Street Glides, Road Glides, etc… I find myself wishing I was riding with THEM! BMW makes a great bike, but it doesn’t stir me emotionally like my Harley’s did. If you’ve never owned one, you wouldn’t understand. A lot of people who judge and criticize HD have never owned one and really don’t understand the power of the brand and everything it offers. About the only other bike I’ve connected with that has garnered any significant love from me would be the Indian Roadmaster.

      So back to the topic of this beeeeeautiful Yamaha Star Venture. As a Harley guy….would I buy I one? The short answer is, YES! Assuming that is it meets my expectations. From what I can see online, it appears that Yamaha nailed it.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        You will still wish you had bought the Harley. I own a Harley Softail, a KTM 1190 Adventure R and a Suzuki Bandit 1250s. As you said each bike has its purpose and appeal and I enjoy them all. A few weeks ago I rented a BMW F800GS in Alaska and while it did the job, it was functional but not exciting. I was missing all my bikes back home. Nothing stirs you like a Harley. I also enjoy the fast, smooth and quiet Suzuki. The KTM is good for off-road adventures.

        • Tango Alpha

          True. Once a Harley guy, always a Harley guy. I ordered an ’08 Ultra Classic with ABS and all the new goodies that came out when the new model was released in mid ’07. After purchasing the bike, I added approximately $5,000 in upgrades and other goodies. I rode the bike for 5 years and as my stable had continued to grow, I decided to sell off 3 of the bikes (HD and 2 Honda’s). As I mentioned in my last comment, currently my main ride is a BMW and I actually thought I would enjoy the bike much more than I have. I rationalized when I sold the 3 bikes that it was just time for a change and I could always buy a new Harley if I wanted, further I concluded that a new model would have all the latest upgrades. After all, it’s not as though Harley has gone out of business. So that was my thinking at the time. But as the old adage goes, it would’ve been cheaper to keep her. I loved that big heavy brute and it was always faithful to me. Such a great bike. It was a mistake….a HUGE mistake to sell it. Now I regret selling it. As for the Bimmer….I like it. I just don’t love it. As you said, the BMW is functional….but not exciting. Don’t get me wrong, the bike kicks butt in the corners and has blistering acceleration for what it is (sport-touring bike). But to me the relationship between me and the bike is different. It’s a piece of property that I own, maintain and insure. My Harley….well, that was like a love affair. My mistress, as it were. Very exciting. Non-Harley people totally would not understand that statement at all.

          So…will the Venture have what it takes to excite me and push me over the edge in to buying one over a new Road Glide? Don’t know. Only time well tell, but I will say this…I’ve read every single blog, watched every single video I could find and salivated over every picture I could find on the internet…so Yamaha seems to have hit a nerve with me. All kinds of bells are going off in my head and I’m becoming increasingly impatient to demo ride this bike. This is similar to what I went through with my last 2 HD purchases. I hope this bike lives up to everything I think that it is. So far from what I can tell, there isn’t anything to fault them on. The components appear to be high quality and not just the standard fair, run of the mill typical parts bin switches, controls, etc… I’m sure the fit and finish is going to be great. Heated EVERYTHING…including back rests was the right move. Park Assist, traction control….just so many great features. Those would have been handy to have on my Ultra.

  • Bubba Blue

    An air-cooled V-Twin! Why didn’t I think of that? (face palm).

    • Bubba Blue

      It’s better looking than a VIctory, but it’s sure not better looking than a Scream’n’ Eagle Ultra Road Glide Electric Classic.

      Also, I’d prefer a water-cooled – water cooling is the latest thing, you know – Bandit 1250S with some luggage and pillion backrest.

      • Tango Alpha

        The Scream’n’ Eagle is pure sex on wheels! 🙂

  • Tango Alpha

    I guess my thoughts and excitement about the Yamaha can be summed up this way. I love all motorcycles. Yamaha was my very first experience in two wheeled freedom. My parents bought me a Yamaha Riva (50cc) scooter during my High School years and later after graduating, I bought my first full fledged “big bike” which was a 1982 Yamaha Seca 650. Loved that bike. Still do. Wish I had it today. That said, I’ve owned all kinds of bikes over the past 3 decades of riding and anybody who’s read any of my posts would know that I have a special love for Harley’s. At this stage in my life, I’m mostly a touring rider, although I pretty much always have been, it’s just that I didn’t know it at the time and many of the bikes I owned weren’t of the touring variety. About the time I hit my 30’s. That was the moment, when I began craving a Harley. First I wanted the Heritage Softail, then my lust turned to the Road King, then the Road Glide…and in the end, I decided to skip past all those and just go with the king of the hill and buy an Ultra. 5 years later, I bought another Ultra to replace the first. So now having established my deep love for Harley’s, you might find it odd when I tell you that I’ve been anxious to ride something other than a Harley. Huh? Yes….true. As much as I love them, Harley’s are pretty much in a class unto their own. So when Indian came back on the scene I became very excited about the prospect of maybe switching brands. The Roadmaster held a lot of promise and I do like the way the bike handles and I especially love the silky smooth transmission and the easy clutch lever. That said, I don’t care for the styling of the bike that much and I really dislike the infotainment setup. To me eyes, it’s like having an enormous I-Pad strapped to the dashboard. To huge and unsightly for my eyes. It’s functional and I’m sure many riders who have joined the over 40 club with slight vision problems might find it more useful. It’s just not my taste. So I ruled out the Indian and again set my sights on another Harley, only this time I thought I’d buy a Road Glide (Ultra). I like Honda’s very much, but to be honest I’m just not a Goldwing guy no matter how hard I try to like them. Great bikes…just not for me. I already own a BMW (my second) and clearly it hasn’t been able to hold my interest, so what’s left? Well….in terms of big luxo-touring bikes, the answer is, Nothing! That is until, now.

    Many of the younger riders in this crowd probably are too young to remember the big touring barges of the 80’s, but I do. The Honda Goldwing,the Suzuki Calvacade, the Kawasaki Voyager and the Yamaha Venture. It was an all out war between the big 4 Japanese brands to see who would become king of the hill. In the end, Honda won the war and the Goldwing has remained as the undefeated champion since. Suzuki no longer offers a big touring barge, Yamaha and Kawasaki both has been on/off with production of the Venture and Voyager line, but without much notoriety or success. This new bike from Yamaha truly has the potential to turn the (V-twin) touring segment upside down. There are plenty of other riders like myself who want to see a healthy and robust competition in the touring segment again, like it was back in the day. Think of it this way…the 600cc sport bike class is probably by far the most competitive segment across all the major brands. The Ninja, the CBR, the R6, the GSX-R….these bikes are legendary. They also cost half as much as the bike were’s discussing. So it stands to reason that at this price point, the competition should be fierce. Statistics show that the touring category is the most popular among all the bikes HD sells and that segment has continued to grow overall. I think Yamaha did their market research, saw the opportunity and went for it. The current Goldwing is aging rapidly, the Kawasaki Voyager is getting a little dated also, now approaching 10 years in it’s current form. I think the timing was about as perfect as it could get for Yamaha to bring out this new model. I look forward to reading the reviews and long term ride reports comparing this bike to the rest of the touring segment.