Yamaha Motor Corp. has jumped into the Harley-Davidson-dominated touring market with a new machine it says will “redefine the luxury touring motorcycle market.”
The new Star Venture, revealed here for the first time, is an 1850cc air-cooled touring bike designed to carry the long-distance rider and passenger in maximum comfort.
Deep on rider protection and on-board storage capacity, the Star Venture is also equipped with a panoply of technological appurtenances.
Among them are a unique “Sure Park” system that Yamaha says will simplify forward- and reverse-gear maneuvering into and out of parking spaces, and a variety of riding “modes” that will adjust throttle response, traction control and other elements to maximize riding safety and pleasure.
Yamaha has already played in the touring-bike segment, long controlled by Harley-Davidson but recently challenged by Indian Motorcycle.
The Japanese giant currently sells the FJR1300 “supersport touring” bike, priced from $17,000, and the V Star 1300 Deluxe, a “casual full dress” bagger, priced from $14,299. In the 1980s, Yamaha also sold an earlier version of the Venture.
But the new Star Venture is the company’s first attempt in decades to penetrate the full-fairing, full-price, big bike segment.
With its 113-inch engine, full fairing, standard cruise control, on-board entertainment system, grip warmers and massive top bag and hard-sided saddle bags, this is Yamaha’s answer to Harley’s Road Glide Ultra or Ultra Limited, or Indian’s Roadmaster.
At $24,999 for base models, it’s a couple of grand cheaper than the huge touring bikes made by its North American rivals.
To be delivered to dealers starting in August, in granite gray and raspberry metallic, the Venture comes standard with a class-leading 6.6-gallon fuel tank.
Storage on the bike, between side bags, top case and fairing cubbies, totals 37.3 gallons.
The rider seat and backrest are heated, and adjustable, as are the passenger seat and backrest. Passenger floorboards are adjustable for height, too.
A 7-inch infotainment screen anchors the Venture’s dashboard. The rider can toggle through menu items using touch screen, handlebar controls or voice command.
The twin-engine Venture’s exhaust system, the company says, was developed in conjunction with Yamaha’s music division, to ensure “a throaty V-twin exhaust note.”
Yamaha is not the only new player in the bagger market. BMW will be coming to America soon with its 2018 K 1600 B, a full-dress touring bike that will have a reported MSRP of $19,995.