The Yamaha Star Venture is a touring behemoth

The Yamaha Star Venture, unveiled today at Americade, is aimed directly at the North American touring cruiser market.

While the other Japanese manufacturers have seemed happy to let their cruiser lines remain more or less unchanged for the past few years, Yamaha seems to still retain some interest in its big V-twins, developing the Bolt platform and now this behemoth.

The location of the bike’s unveiling was a big clue to Yamaha’s intentions, and V-twin fans were not disappointed with the result. Instead of building a touring bike around its parallel twin or inline triple platforms, Yamaha has built a machine that ought to challenge Harley-Davidson and Indian at their own game. The Star Venture is definitely built in the mold of the Great American Cruiser.

Like the competing bikes from those manufacturers, this machine has massive luggage capacity (around 140 litres), full fairing and on-board entertainment system (with 7-inch screen, controlled by touchscreen handlebar toggles or voice command). There’s also a new “Sure-Park” system, which helps you move your bike forward or backward at slow speed for parking-lot maneuvers.

The bike also has ride-by-wire throttle, which means Yamaha was able to include cruise control, traction control, riding modes, and all the other modern electronic bells and whistles that riders have come to expect. There’s a key fob system that allows for remote bag unlocking, an electronically-raised windscreen, heated grips and seats, and adjustable seats, backrests, and floorboards. Fuel capacity is 25 litres, and range is expected to be over 300 km. The Star Venture has a belt final drive, and hydraulic assist-and-slipper clutch.

The Star Venture uses Yamaha’s 1854 cc air-cooled V-twin (with six-speed transmission)—even the US-built competition is moving towards liquid-cooled touring bikes these days. However, this bike will face the same challenges as any other Japanese cruiser: It does not have the all-important “made in America” tags that so many riders are looking for.

Although the US market will see two versions of this cruiser, Yamaha’s Canadian website only lists the Star Venture TC model, with a $31,999 MSRP,  available in red or black. Find more details there.

10 thoughts on “The Yamaha Star Venture is a touring behemoth”

  1. Not having “Made in America” stamped on it is a big plus imo. I ride a 2015 R1200RT, all the comforts & performance minus the weight.

  2. Not to nit pick… heat management is a problem with big twins. I think they were economising by using the roadstar vtwin. But. Ya gotta sell what they’re gonna buy (cough.. dn 01)

  3. Thirty-two thousand bucks!
    Yeah right. I just bought my brand-new Nissan automobile for $9998…
    And it’s a fantastic car too.

  4. I don’t know Yamaha, I’m thinking your focus groups might have missed the mark on this one. Just because they say this is what they want doesn’t mean they’ll actually buy it.
    I thought the trend was towards smaller more managable bikes but obviously that is not the case.
    I wish them the best with it.

  5. Just saw this – I actually got excited by those “rads” thinking it was the new home of one of my fav. engines – the V4 from the VMax, unneutered naturally! But no…yet another air cooled entry – just without the dealer network and aftermarket support. Huge missed opportunity Yamaha!

    With 700hp sedans & SUVs available out there, why not a 200hp 2 wheeled luxury barge?

    1. Yup – that’s what the old Venture Royale used, the L/C V4 from the old VMax.
      And this new air-cooled sled looks like about ~900 pounds heheh… or what?

  6. It has some pretty cool features, like an electrical engine (forward and reverse) for parking maneuvers!

    Not my kind of bike but it’s nice to see Yamaha still upping its game!

    Now for a 145HP FJ-10 please!

Join the conversation!