“You can never see the world like you can on a motorcycle.” – Jerry Mefford, Royal Star Tour Deluxe owner.
Yamaha wants you to go farther for longer with its transcontinental touring-ready Star Venture (starting at $24,999). The machine appeases motorcyclists desiring the traditional heritage of a V-Twin full dresser and provides all the modern amenities of a luxury touring motorcycle. You name it, the new Star Venture’s got it, with the Tuning Fork brand releasing what may be the most advanced heavyweight touring bike ever made.
The Venture is powered by a purpose-built and twin-spark-equipped 113 cubic-inch (1854cc) air-cooled V-Twin engine. Four-valve cylinder heads in an overhead valve configuration contribute to a broad spread of low-end torque and complement the Twin’s aesthetics. Yamaha claims that the engine is capable of delivering a whopping 126 lb-ft of peak torque at 2500 rpm.
The engine boasts fuel-injection and Yamaha’s Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T) which replaces mechanical steel cable throttle body actuation for electronic sensors. This offers more precise engine response when the throttle is twisted and facilitates the use of adjustable throttle mapping (D-Mode) and traction control, as used on Yamaha’s sport-oriented motorcycles like the FZ-09 and YZF-R1S. The rider can tweak the engine’s running character based on preference with both ‘sport’ and ‘touring’ modes available.
The exceptionally compact 48-degree Twin is mated to a six-speed gearbox that transfers power to the huge 200-series Bridgestone tire via a belt final drive that’s on the right side of the motorcycle. In top gear, Yamaha claims the engine spins at 2750 rpm at 75 mph.
For tight parking maneuvers, the Star Venture is equipped with Yamaha’s convenient Sure-Park System. This is basically an electric motor that allows the motorcycle to roll forward or backward at the push of a button on the handlebar.
Engine harmonics and the exhaust note are important to V-Twin riders. As such, Yamaha spent considerable time in its acoustics lab to carefully tune the tone emitted from the dual exhaust pipes.
The powertrain rolls on a hybrid chassis that uses a steel main frame that links to a die-cast aluminum subframe. A large-diameter 46mm fork offers just over five-inches of travel while the linkage-equipped and spring preload adjustable shock has 4.1 inches of movement. Machined aluminum wheels are shod in Bridgestone’s excellent Exedra rubber and include real-time pressure monitoring sensors. Linked triple disc hydraulic brakes, with ABS, ensure capable stopping power for this 957-pound trans-continental touring bike.
Bristling with technology including full LED lightening, electronic hard case locks, ABS, traction and cruise control, as well as heated everything (grips, seats and backrests), the seven-inch touch screen color LCD serves as the command center. It’s flanked by a pair of classic, instrument-looking speedo and tachometer gauges.
Of course, the system is Bluetooth compatible so you can pair a smartphone and remain connected, and or play music through the two-speaker sound system during rides. There’s also two USB and one 12-volt power points to charge devices. Due to its large power demands, the engine has a pair of alternators capable of producing 750 watts of power output.
The exterior of the Star Venture blends elements of traditional V-Twin styling with a modern twist. Yamaha says it logged thousands of hours in its wind tunnel to ensure a calm pocket of air for both rider and passenger. Furthermore, the windscreen is electronically adjustable with three-inches of adjustability. More air management comes from the mid-fairing deflectors and lower fairing wind vents.
In fact, adjustability was one of the areas of creature comfort Yamaha focused on. The rider’s backrest is three position-adjustable. The passenger floor boards have two-way adjustability and both the front brake and clutch levers can be moved toward or away from the handlebar in five increments.
You can’t go touring without a lot of storage and this bike offers three lockable hard cases and five combined rider and passenger storage nooks capable of swallowing over 38 gallons. An important note is the top case’s ability to accept two full-face helmets.
Riders seeking the most premium riding experience can dish out another two grand for the TransContinental Option Package which includes onboard GPS navigation, Sirius XM satellite radio, dual-zone audio, CB radio capability, an extra pair of rear speakers, LED fog lights and an alarm system.
Like what you see? A $500 deposit at your local Yamaha/Star dealer ensures earliest delivery with units arriving at US dealerships in early August, 2017. Additionally, the Star Venture will be on tour this summer and available for demo rides at big rallies like Sturgis and Star Days in Red Wing, Minnesota.