he 2018 Yamaha Star Venture is a motorcycle that is long overdue. The last time we had anything resembling an all-new Yamaha luxury touring motorcycle was back in the 20th century, and there’s been no bike at all available in the class for a few years. The new Yamaha Star Venture ends the drought.
1. It’s an all-new Star Venture, and an all-new Yamaha. Unlike the original Royal Star Venture, which shared its motor with the V-Max, the new Yamaha Star Venture features a powerplant that recalls the current Star Raider, but is new for the Venture. Also, the chassis is completely new and there are plenty of modern electronics added to the mix.
2. The Star Venture is a return to the luxury dresser market for Yamaha. 2013 was the last year for the liquid-cooled V4-powered Royal Star Venture dresser. With the new Star Venture and its big air-cooled pushrod V-twin, Yamaha takes a more traditional approach to the genre. Still, it has four-valve heads and an oil-cooler, so it is a sophisticate power package.
3. With 126 ft/lbs of torque on tap, the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture is ready to move mountains. That’s a good thing, as the claimed wet weight of the Venture is less than 50 pounds short of a half-ton. It is truly a full dresser with a steel frame (forged and cast parts), plus a die-cast aluminum rear subframe.
4. The six-speed transmission has both 5th and 6th as overdrive. The torque is there, so the Star Venture’s motor turns over at just 2750 rpm at 75 mph in top gear. There’s a primary shock damper for smooth power transmission, and the clutch has assist-and-slipper functionality.
5. Yamaha boasts that despite its weight, the Star Venture is easy to handle. Due to mass centralization, Yamaha claims “the Venture requires a massive 22 percent less effort to lift the sidestand than similar models in its class.” Seat height is also approachable at 27.4 inches. Yamaha also goes on to tell us that the Venture will have “agile, confidence inspiring” handling.
6. An electric motor is there for tight parking situations. Yamaha calls it the Sure-Park System, and we’re anxious to try it. Other bikes have electric assist to help back the bike up. Yamaha expands on that by also using the electric motor to move the Venture forward.
7. Traction control, linked ABS braking, cruise control, two power-modes, and a smart key/fob ignition all work with the ride-by-wire system. While these are expected features on high-end sport bikes, this array of electronic wizardry is less common on big tourers. We welcome them all.
8. The frame-mounted fairing is customizable for different riders and conditions. The windscreen has a three-inch range of vertical adjustability, and it is moved via an electric motor. Your hands are used to adjust the mid-fairing deflectors and lower fairing vents. According to Yamaha, the large fairing is designed for “a calm rider and passenger cocoon.”
9. Thanks to huge saddlebags, you may be able to bring the kitchen sink. Your passenger, especially, will be happy to hear that the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture has over 37 gallons of storage volume, and that is upgradable.
10. The passenger is well-taken care of by the Star Venture. The back seat is roomy, both seats and backrests are independently heated, the handholds are generous, and the rear floorboards are two-position adjustable.
11. If you don’t like stopping, you’ll love the 6.6-gallon fuel tank. Match that to an estimated 34 mpg, and you have a theoretical range of 224 miles—perfect for that Ely to Tonopah run.
12. Yamaha gave the Star Venture a basic infotainment system. There’s a seven-inch color touchscreen to operate the infotainment system, which also has voice control capabilities. A high-output audio system integrates with your smartphone via Bluetooth or a USB port. There are two USB ports for charging (trunk and right fairing compartment), plus a traditional 12-volt power port.
13. If you want to upgrade the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture, there’s a Transcontinental Option Package. Pay an extra $2000 and you get GPS navigation with home computer integration, CB radio, SiriusXM, and Sirius XM Travel Link. If you like to crank the tunes, there is an additional pair of features. Riders with passengers will like the Dual Zone audio control system—the rider and passenger can listen to different music, and each rider can have private phone conversations. The Transcontinental Option Package also has LED fog lights (the main lights are LED on both version), as well as additional storage space, and a security system with an alarm.
14. The 2018 Yamaha Star Venture hits the showroom floors in August. If you want to be an early adopter, Yamaha wants a $500 deposit. The standard version has an MSRP set at $24,999.
2018 Yamaha Star Venture Specs
- Type: V-twin
- Displacement: 113ci (1854cc)
- Bore x stroke: 100 x 118mm
- Compression ratio 9.5:1
- Cooling: Air
- Valve train: Pushrod actuated overhead valves; 4 vpc
- Fuel delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection w/ YCC-T and D-Mode
- Ignition: Transistor-controlled
- Transmission 6-speed
- Clutch: Assist-and-slip wet clutch
- Final drive: Belt
- Front suspension: Non-adjustable 46mm fork; 5.1 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: Linkage assisted shock w/ remote spring-preload adjustment;
- 4.3 inches of travel
- Front tire: 130/70 x 18; Bridgestone Exedra
- Rear tire: 200/55 x16; Bridgestone Exedra
- Front brakes: 298mm discs
- Rear brake: 320mm disc
- ABS: Standard, w/ linked braking
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 67.6 inches
- Rake: 31.0°
- Trail: 5.7 inches
- Seat height 27.4 inches
- Fuel capacity: 6.6 gal
- Estimated fuel economy: 34 mpg
- Wet weight: 957 pounds (Transcontinental: 963 pounds)
2018 Yamaha Star Venture Colors:
- Granite Gray
- Raspberry Metallic
2018 Yamaha Star Venture Prices (MSRP):
- $24,999 (standard)
- $26,999 (Transcontinental Option Package) MSRP