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Yamaha Unveils Star Venture Luxury Tourer (with videos)

Yamaha took the wraps off the luxury touring model it began teasing some time ago. The all-new Star Venture is a massive machine (claimed wet weight is over 950 pounds) with every imaginable comfort and touring amenity as standard equipment. Yes, that includes a reverse gear to make parking easier. A full featured “infotainment” system is, of course, part of the package, and should help keep the rider and passenger amused while draining the 6.6 gallon fuel tank.

Here is the full press release from Yamaha:

CYPRESS, Calif. – June 5, 2017 – Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, today introduced the all-new Star Venture touring motorcycle model combining a new level of power, technology and comfort features that will redefine the luxury touring motorcycle market.

JOURNEY FURTHER

Powered by an air-cooled 113 cubic inch (1854cc) V-twin fuel-injected engine, the Star Venture incorporates never-before-seen features on a touring model like forward-reverse ‘Sure Park’ parking assist, dual-zone audio capability, “Drive Mode” settings that adjust throttle response, traction control, adjustable rider backrest, heated grips as well as rider/passenger seats and backrests, a fully featured infotainment system and more. These features set the all-new Star Venture apart, while Yamaha’s renowned quality, performance and reliability plant it firmly on top of the luxury touring segment.

“The all-new Star Venture is one of the most highly anticipated and important new motorcycles to come from Yamaha in years, and everyone here is extremely excited to introduce this impactful new model to the world of touring enthusiasts,” said Mike Doughty, General Manager of Yamaha’s Motorcycle Group. “As the ‘Journey Further’ tagline indicates, the Star Venture will make you want to travel farther and experience more while enjoying the comfort, performance, and technology features you expect from Yamaha.”


ENGINE

The Star Venture boasts a massive and torque-rich 113 cubic inch (1854cc) air-cooled V-twin engine with a class-leading 126 pound-feet of torque providing smooth and responsive power delivery even when fully loaded. The huge torque and relaxing V-twin pulse are complemented by lightweight forged alloy pistons, carefully-tuned twin counterbalancers and advanced composite engine mounts, which combine to deliver a smooth and comfortable ride on long days in the saddle while reducing fatigue. The engine’s semi-dry-sump design lowers the effective center of gravity by allowing the engine to sit lower in the frame. An external oil tank is integrated into the aluminum subframe to centralize mass and reduce weight, and a compact oil cooler is hidden between the front frame down tubes to help maintain ideal engine temperatures.

Developed specifically for the needs of long-distance touring, the Star Venture’s new six-speed transmission features ratios chosen to make the most of the huge low-end torque – from brisk acceleration in lower gears to relaxed highway cruising. At 75 MPH in sixth gear, the Star Venture cruises along at an ultra-smooth 2750 RPM.

The most technologically advanced luxury touring model in history, the Star Venture features a new Yamaha Sure-Park System that provides forward and reverse drive modes simplifying otherwise potentially tricky parking situations, even on rough or poor traction surfaces.

Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®), a ride-by-wire throttle control system, converts the rider’s grip input into calculated throttle control providing precise and refined responsiveness. Yamaha D-Mode allows the rider to choose from two different throttle response settings – an ultra-smooth touring mode, and a sport mode for sharper response, while the traction control system helps prevent wheel spin when dealing with reduced traction road conditions. Yamaha is the first manufacturer to offer this type of system in the full-dress touring class. A finely-tuned cruise control system also comes standard on the Star Venture providing for less fatigue and improved fuel economy.

The Star Venture’s exhaust system features a twin-muffler design with a throaty V-twin exhaust note. To achieve optimum sound quality, Yamaha carefully developed the exhaust tone throughout the entire RPM range in collaboration with the audiophiles at Yamaha Music.

Paired alternators – mounted low and forward in the engine cases – provide ample electrical power for the heated seats and grips, audio system and lighting. With 750 watts of total output, riders can add common electrical accessories and usual heated apparel without taxing the motorcycle’s charging system.

INFOTAINMENT

The all-new Star Venture features a state-of-the-art infotainment system mounted high in the cockpit for maximum visibility. A 7-inch full-color LCD screen displays an array of information. Controlled via touchscreen, handlebar controls or voice commands via accessory headset and mic, the infotainment package gives the rider access to vehicle control and data, a range of audio sources and wireless Bluetooth® communications options. The locking fairing storage includes a USB charging and interface port. By integrating vehicle systems into the infotainment console, running data such as trip computer functions and tire pressure can be easily confirmed on-screen, while elements such as the heated seats can be controlled by the rider.

Boasting paired high-performance speakers, the Star Venture audio package features AM/FM radio and can also play pre-recorded music or stream Pandora® from a smart phone via the onboard USB, AUX stereo or Bluetooth® wireless connection options.

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

The Star Venture is built around an advanced hybrid chassis designed for light, agile handling with confidence-inspiring stability. The main steel frame provides optimal rigidity, while the rear aluminum die-cast subframe reduces weight and centralizes mass creating balanced straight-line stability with agile handling on curvy roads.

A 46mm telescopic fork features damping and spring rates selected to offer an ideal balance of bump absorption and high speed handling, all without losing a light and responsive road feel. The rear suspension system features a linkage-type, gas-pressurized, remote reservoir shock to create a compact design for optimized handling. As with the front fork, damping and spring rates were carefully considered to give the Star Venture an ideal balance of comfort and road feel, with convenient rear shock tuning thanks to a remote preload adjuster.

Unbeatable braking confidence is achieved through high-performance, triple-disc brakes featuring advanced electronic control. Yamaha’s Unified Braking System dynamically adjusts front and rear brake force balance in real time to ensure linear braking feel and power, and Yamaha’s refined antilock braking system (ABS) prevents wheel lock-ups when dealing with reduced traction road conditions.

Lightweight front and rear aluminum alloy wheels are finished with machined detailing that highlights the combination of lightness and strength. Up front, the 18-inch wheel features a 130/70 radial tire for light and neutral steering feel, while the rear 16-inch rim mounts a large 200/55 radial for stunning style and road grip.

Both rider and passenger can customize their comfort and ride position. Five-position hand levers and a 3 position back rest with adjustable heat control on both the seat and backrest cater to the rider, while height-adjustable passenger floorboards and a heated seat and backrest keep the passenger comfortable.

Air management is crucial for any long distance touring motorcycle. Providing more air flow in hot conditions and reducing air flow in cold weather was a key element in the development of the Star Venture. A stylish full-coverage fairing provides ample wind protection, and the electronically adjustable windscreen offers more than 3.5 inches of vertical positioning. External visors at the middle of the fairing can be adjusted to direct air towards or away from riders depending on conditions. And ducted vents inside the lower fairing can be opened or closed to further customize airflow for changing conditions. An array of heated contact points, including grips, rider seat, rider backrest, passenger seat and passenger backrest all come standard.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

The Star Venture also includes a class-leading 6.6-gallon fuel tank and all-LED lighting. The side cases, top case and upper and lower faring storage compartments provide a combined total of 37.3 gallons of storage volume. The USB outlet-equipped fairing storage compartment, side cases and top case all feature electric locking lids straight from the factory. Yamaha’s Smart Key system with remote key fob allows for easy access to the luggage system and fuel tank cap, offers an “answer-back” function for locating the motorcycle in a crowded parking area and provides for simplified starting.

TRANSCONTINENTAL OPTION PACKAGE

A range of infotainment upgrades are available with the Star Venture Transcontinental Option Package, including GPS navigation with points-of-interest and route logging to help simplify the planning, sharing and uploading of ride routes from a home computer. A CB radio system can link riders to other road users, while SiriusXM® and SiriusXM Travel Link® provides satellite music, weather and traffic information. With an extra pair of high-output passenger speakers and Yamaha’s exclusive Dual Zone audio control – allowing rider and passenger to select different audio sources, hold private phones calls and more with an accessory headset and mic – the Transcontinental Option Package offers one of the most advanced infotainment systems ever featured on a motorcycle.

Along with the infotainment upgrades, the package includes supplemental LED fog lamps, an additional pair of storage compartments for the passenger and an alarmed security system.

The all-new Star Venture will be available in Granite Gray and Raspberry Metallic at Yamaha dealers beginning in August 2017 with a MSRP of $24,999 for base models, and $26,999 for models equipped with the Transcontinental Option Package. Authorized Yamaha dealers will begin taking orders through a Priority Delivery Program immediately following the model introduction on June 5th, 2017.

To find out more about the Star Venture, visit https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/transcontinental-touring/models/2018/star-venture.



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183 Comments

  1. mickey says:

    I got to sit on one of these beasts today, play with the switches, activate the forward and backward parking assist. It is a big bike and I am not a large person. At 5’6″ with a 26″ inseam I was suprised at how easy it was to throw my leg over the seat, I was able to heft it off the sidestand without getting a hernia, and was able to sit on the seat and flat foot it on both sides. That was amazing. It is a large motorcycle. Ergos felt good and the driver floorboards are long, the seat felt good. I imagine there will be people that will love this bike. Not my style though.

    Saturday I will be attending Yamaha demo days and will be riding an FZ-10 and an FJR and probably a Bolt Scrambler ( ypu are allowed to ride 3).
    They are more my style.(standards).

  2. Dirty Bob says:

    Can’t believe it another want-to-be Harley. Why not buy the real thing. Air cooled? Maybe they are old hd trade-ins.

  3. slipjoint says:

    Yamaha has been the most in touch with the market manufacturer in the last 10 years. So this was due. This will not fill a niche, it will not take market share from anyone. It will be not be a success other than it could unseat the Edsel as the undisputed King of vehicle dissapointment.

  4. Norm G. says:

    new Venture debut last weekend at Americade…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaGKETTT_qU

  5. RandysVoice says:

    I understand Yamaha’s intent to keep loyal patrons from jumping ship to HD or Indian. But, is Yamaha trying to invade the HD/Indian market and ride WITH them or independent OF them? Does Yamaha see any defection from HD/Indian TO the new Yamaha? The infotainment system looks like one of the best yet. Actually, the whole package seems appealing to me, albeit for two areas. 1) No electronic windscreen and 2) no liquid cooling.

  6. foster says:

    No mention of whether a chain, belt or shaft final drive? Not that I’d want this heavy beast, just curious. I’m sure Honda will come up with something new for the sport touring crowd . . . . soon??

  7. Ryan Craig says:

    What a freakin’ barge. Definitely not to my taste. Looks nice enough for people who like such things, though. I hope Yamaha sells a bunch of them and ploughs the profits into something more interesting.

  8. J Wilson says:

    I can understand that in Yamaha’s product portfolio, this sort of bike has a place, in light of that market being filled by GW’s, the various H-D big baggers, and the successful onrush of similar rides from Indian: They’d like a piece of that pie. After the decline of the easy credit money pulled down the sales rates on the R6’s and R1’s, they’re looking to replace those dollars in a less volatile and more lucrative end of the market. I get all that.

    I’m certainly not into these things, and I’m a huge Yamaha fan, but so help me, this thing looks like it needs to be Safety Yellow with ‘Caterpillar’ decals, or Green and Yellow in a cross promotion with John Deere. But don’t get all shook up, I think the same thing about GS BMW’s. I just don’t understand motos that cost over 20 grand, weigh almost a thousand pounds, and get worse gas mileage than a Toyota Corolla.

    But, that’s just me . . . . .

  9. Ron says:

    I had a look at one at Americade last week. Oddly the bike looks better in photos than it does in person, not that it’s bad looking. The exhaust note is very quiet with a bit of a “chirpy” sound to it. The engine has a lot of visual mass. Yamaha didn’t have any in the demo fleet so I wasn’t able to ride it.

  10. Artem says:

    Fat motorcycle.

  11. takehikes says:

    I love how every other line of propaganda mentions lightweight or weight saving…..and it still ends up weighing half a ton. I suppose someone rides these but it snot me and I own a Yamaha.

  12. Choco says:

    The air cooled big v twin was targeting the Harley crowd for sure. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out. Now it’s time for Honda to up the styling and horsepower on the Goldwing. Hop up that flat six and make it lighter and sharper and continue to sell lots of them.

    • Paul says:

      I think the 1800 Goldwing is more than powerful enough, plus it still has superb reliability and handling. They could look at weight reduction, though.

    • todd says:

      The 1800 Gold Wing is lighter and more powerful than this already so why would they need to add more performance to compete with it?

      • mickey says:

        they don’t need to but owners and fans have been begging for a refresh for awhile now..2000cc, 6 speed, adjustable windshield etc

        • todd says:

          Ok, but Yamaha just suggested people are begging for an air-cooled v-twin with more weight and lower performance.

          I’m thinking that Yamaha feels it will be easier to take sales away from Harley than to cut into the Wing Nut market.

        • Carl says:

          Only in America is BIGGER better for everything. Why would anyone need a 2000cc goldwing?? How many cars run on a 1600 to 1800cc motors just fine with all that weight. Why not just buy a Boss Hog with a 454 big block. I want a light motorcycle!!

          • mickey says:

            Obviously you have never ridden across the U.S.A. two up with luggage, where there are large day long expanses of nothing, and 80 mph speed limits.

            You want light? Buy a CBR or Ninja 300

      • Bob says:

        Fun fact: this Yamaha makes more torque than the Wing.

    • Gary says:

      The ironic thing is that new Harleys have water-cooled heads.

  13. Michael Haz says:

    Twenty six grand and no electric windshield adjustment?

    Uh, no.

  14. austinzzr 1200 says:

    Now that I have had a day to think about it, this seems like a total cash-grab from Yamaha. The motor is already amortized, air-cooling means cheaper assembly costs..so I gather that Yamaha’s cost for this bike is ~60% of what a new s6 or v4 would cost. So, essentially they are playing Harley’s game: invest in the look, keep the equipment primitive and rake in the bucks. Hopefully this windfall (from bloated, diabetic boomers with room in their garages) will subsidize some ground-breaking machines from our tuning-fork friends.

  15. Davr says:

    Seems like more of the same. I am sure that it is a great bike. Are there really enough people in this market for another overweight touring cruiser? I know they are popular but I am not interested in a 950 lb motorcycle

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “a 950 lb motorcycle”

      admittedly given the gross tonnage it could use a set of electric bogey wheels that drop down/retract up in to the superstructure.

  16. mechanicus says:

    You strong-legged young bucks go for it. Too much for my spindly old-man legs.

    • Bob says:

      Sit on it before you dismiss the mass. After sitting on the bike at Americade, the CoG is really low and the bike is not nearly as heavy as you might think. It’s still a pig, but not a big fat one.

  17. Tom R says:

    Wow, a lot of bias here against air-cooled engines, and praise for liquid-cooled ones.

    My buddy’s 2012 BMW opposed-twin BMW has just surpassed 180,000 miles (he’s retired and REALLY likes to ride), and it has never been apart.

    Another buddy’s liquid-cooled Honda ST1300 really bakes one’s legs when temps reach the 90s (those darned radiators).

    My experience is that the blanket statement of “liquid-cooled, good” and “air-cooled, bad” is a gross over simplification.

  18. Gil Anderson says:

    I was interested, almost excited, until I got to the ‘air cooled V-twin’ part. I saw the name Venture and thought that this thing was a liquid-cooled V4 like the original. This looks really good, like a lot of offerings from the now-defunct Victory brand, but it seems that everybody has to build a Harley me-too. Ugh! Indian is the only brand that will truly give Harley a run for the money and owner loyalty for that type of bike. I don’t particulary care for either, nor this bike for that matter.

    • Don says:

      Almost makes me cringe, I own a fz7 and fz9 and they come out with a air cooled tank.. Wow.. What are they thinking?
      One thing right, they did put a analog type tach on it.

      • Curly says:

        But why must they only build bikes you and I want? They already built you a 7 and a 9 and some other versions of those bikes (I’m waiting on an XSR700 myself). This one is clearly for other folks and from what I hear it’s a really good riding bike. Not one I’d buy either but there are people that will.

  19. CrazyJoe says:

    Remember when 74 cu inches was an adequate power plant for a tourer? How are the other manufacturers will respond to this? Is 1000 plus pounds going to be the new norm? Is an 8 cylinder goldwing in the works?

  20. Harold Klassen says:

    Wow speechless as to why they would bring out a bike like this. Over 950lbs.! Very disappointed with Yamaha.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Wow speechless as to why they would bring out a bike like this”

      if i were to hazard a guess, i don’t think it’s so much to INTERCEPT people who were already riding or going to buy Harley’s, but to fully flesh out the line-up and keep those who are already IN the Yamaha fold from leaving. you know like when they want to upgrade cause i’ve seen this kind of “inadvertent defection” many times in the past, customers (who would otherwise be loyal) go off to another brand just because you outright LACK something in the class they want. from a manufacturing standpoint post recession, we have evidence Yam’s clearly been trying to cover their bases in terms of new model entries.

      • mickey says:


        “inadvertent defection” many times in the past, customers (who would otherwise be loyal) go off to another brand just because you outright LACK something in the class they want.”

        You mean like Honda ST 1300 owners needing an upgraded model only to be ignored by Honda buying FJRs and R1200RT’s

      • blitz11 says:

        With this I agree. Since I was a kid, i’ve been a Yamaha fan. I try other brands, but always come back. Ride a super tenere now, love it. easy to maintain, easy to ride, room for my 6’5″ body, and once you’re underway, it seems to lose weight. Doesn’t break like my brother’s KTM adventure. That POS ruined my trip to the Barber Museum.

        I am not ready for a touring rig, but my guess is that Yamaha DOES know what they’re doing, and with not a HUGE investment in R&D, can meet the needs of their (aging – i am not turning any younger either) existing customer base. I think that austinzzr 1200 has it fundamentally correct – providing something for your customer base to keep them in the fold. They make enough $$$ for the business case, which is all that they are after.

        I signed up to ride one. We’ll see. I did ride a new Harley last year, and it was better than i thought, but still not good enough. At least i’ll have something against which to compare.

  21. Lee Williams says:

    The styling is fine, but for Chrissakes, put the friggin’ VMax engine in it!!!

  22. Montana says:

    Air-cooled is heavier and hotter than liquid-cooled. An air-cooled V-twin in a touring sled is a ridiculous choice except to the Harley cognoscenti. Reaching out to that crowd with a Yamaha label is also ridiculous. If you want one, wait a year and get them for 1/3 off.

    Yamaha has many fine engines better suited to the job of powering a touring sled. They are also capable of much more refined designs than a throwback to the Eisenhower era. I agree with Cylcemotorist, the FJR1300 is a superior machine — in every way.

  23. 5229 says:

    If your into long distance touring just hop on a Gold wing and go. For those of you that have never rode one I suggest you take one for a spin. Talk about a smooth torquey engine. Extremely comfortable and handles surprisingly well. Also the K1600 BMW too.
    An Air cooled V-Twin with belt drive is no match for a six cylinder shaft driven machine.
    Particularly when it comes to long distance touring.

    • ron says:

      sorry i think you are wrong, ive owned fj,fjr,1rst and 2nd gen of venture, goldwing, now a k1600, 1600 is a great fun bike, just when your touring and a semi goes by it pushes it side to side, the goldwing did not, love yamaha stuff, but air cooled.

  24. paul246 says:

    Personally, I think Yamaha should limit production to 500 units and just cut their losses. Hopefully they can sell those.

  25. Sportourpa says:

    $25,000 for a 950 pound 1854 cc motorcycle.
    I’d prefer a $12,500 475 pound 927 cc motorcycle.
    I guess that would be the FJ9.

  26. John says:

    Lol the front of this looks like an ’13+ CBR600RR with the hooded head lights

  27. Norm G. says:

    for a cruiser Norm G gives a thumbs up on the styling.

    Q: omg why…?

    A: hello Mcfly, those side pods are a total styling throw back to the Wayne Rainey/Eddie Lawson Y-ZED-R 500’s…

    https://tinyurl.com/y7y4ra77

  28. todd says:

    Ok, they give you enough information to determine performance in 6th gear. If you’re turning 2750rpm at 75mph, that means you have an overall gear ratio of 2.62:1 assuming a 24″ tire diameter. So there’s 126 lb-ft x 2.62 = 330 lbf of thrust to move 950 + 200 lbm of bike and rider. That’s 0.287 pounds of thrust per pound of vehicle.

    A GL1800 spins 3300rpm at 75mph, that’s a 3.14:1 ratio. I’ve seen that the bike produces as much as 123 lb-ft and that it weighs around 800 lbm. So, there’s 386 lbf of thrust to push 1000 lbm of bike and rider. That’s 0.386 pounds of thrust per pound of vehicle.

    That means the Gold Wing has about 34% more acceleration than the Yamaha – this is assuming that the tires are similar diameter, both bike’s weights are accurate and that they are close to their claimed torque at those speeds. Still, until there’s a shootout, my money is on the Honda in a top-gear roll-on test.

  29. Auphliam says:

    I like it. Has cool lines, looks comfy as all hell, all the modern amenities and gadgetry, and very unique yet graceful looks. It would definitely get close consideration were I in the market.

    Not a huge fan of the choice to go air-cooled, but it almost looks like they’ve built in the capability to go wet in the future with those side inlets. Pop a couple radiators in there and Bob’s your uncle. No chassis overhaul or redesign needed.

  30. Cyclemotorist says:

    I like the styling. There are about a million ways to make a touring bike unattractive but Yamaha has managed to escape all the pitfalls.

    On the power plant choice my guess is most U.S. riders surveyed want an air cooled V-twin. Most riders aren’t too well informed. Yamaha went with the survey.

    American riders don’t understand the advantages of liquid cooling. If asked they would respond, “Just more stuff to go wrong.”

    Personally I would go with the very refined FJR1300.

  31. Don says:

    Geez air cooled… can’t hardly believe it..

  32. todd says:

    How is this any more advanced than any other touring bike available currently? Personally, though I prefer Yamahas, I still feel like the Honda-six and BMW-six are more technically advanced than this. This does provide another option for the “v-twin or nothing” crowd though – because there weren’t enough options already.

    I wish they’d provide some sort of performance metric. How am I to know if this thing will accelerate any harder than a King or a Wing – or a CX500 for that matter?

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