Okay, right, we already had this discussion about whether a bike not powered by a rumbly big V-twin qualifies as a “Bagger” shortly before the K1600B blew everybody’s doors off in our Big Dam Tour last February. Instead of a big V-twin, this one’s got BMW’s 1649cc inline-Six, which not only out-torques all the big Twins – 106 lb-ft at 5200 rpm – it also demolishes them in the horsepower department: 132 hp at 8000 rpm is 57 more than the best-bagger runner-up’s 75. Yeah, but it lacks character, some say. Blow me, is the proper retort. Character schmaracter.
From the moment I thumbed the starter button, I knew I was going to like the 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder. The exhaust note just hit me in the right place and made me smile. Now, the Yamaha product development folks would say that it was because the dual mufflers were tuned to slightly different notes so that they would harmonize, creating a more pleasant tone. Whatever, it worked. And then I got to let out the clutch and pull away from the curb.
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).