2018 Yamaha Star Eluder | First Look Review

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder is a bagger based on the new Star Venture. Shown in Impact Blue. (Photos courtesy Yamaha)

Last June, at the Americade Rally in Lake George, New York, Yamaha unveiled the 2018 Star Venture, calling it “the ultimate trans-continental touring motorcycle.” Blending modern and traditional luxury-touring features and styling, the Venture boasts an impressive list of standard technology and a sporty, muscular look. And unlike Ventures of yore, instead of a liquid-cooled V-4, the new Star Venture is powered by a redesigned version of the air-cooled, 1,854cc (113ci) V-twin from the Raider that pumps out a claimed 126 lb-ft of torque.

Read our 2018 Yamaha Star Venture road test review

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder in Liquid Silver

Today, Yamaha introduced the 2018 Star Eluder, a bagger based on the Star Venture. As defined by Dictionary.com, elude means “to avoid or escape by speed, cleverness, trickery, etc.” and is synonymous with evade. According to General Manager of Yamaha’s Motorcycle Group, Mike Doughty, “With its aggressive styling and infotainment technology unlike any other motorcycle in its class, [the Star Eluder] will truly empower riders to elude conformity while experiencing the thrill of the road.”

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder in Raven

Whatever you’re attempting to elude—but hopefully not the police—Yamaha hopes its new bagger will be your means of escape. It foregoes the top trunk, passenger backrest, Sure-Park System (electric forward/reverse), taller electric windscreen and a few other amenities found on the Venture, but is mostly the same otherwise. Like the Venture, the Eluder features throttle-by-wire with drive modes, belt final drive, a 6-speed transmission, an assist-and-slipper clutch, linked ABS brakes, traction control, cruise control and a 6.6-gallon fuel tank.

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder (left to right) in Liquid Silver, Impact Blue and Raven.

Other standard equipment includes a Bluetooth-enabled infotainment system with a 7-inch, full-color LCD touchscreen, heated grips and seats, rider and passenger floorboards (the passenger’s are adjustable), saddlebags with remote locks and LED lighting. Adding the GT Options Package gets you GPS navigation, CB and Sirius XM satellite radios and an alarm system. Total storage capacity is 83 liters (compared to 144 liters on the Venture) and claimed wet weight is 875 pounds (compared to 957 pounds on the Venture).

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder in Impact Blue with accessories

The 2018 Star Eluder will be available later this year in Impact Blue, Liquid Silver or Raven for $22,499, or $23,999 with the GT Options Package.

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder’s air-cooled, 1,854cc V-twin pumps out a claimed 126 lb-ft of torque.
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder comes standard with a Bluetooth-enabled infotainment system. The GT Options Package adds GPS navigation, CB and Sirius XM satellite radios and an alarm system.

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Specs
Base Price: $22,499
Warranty: 5 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: yamahamotorsports.com

Type: Air-cooled, transverse 48-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,854cc
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 118.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: NA
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ 46mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Semi-dry sump, 6.7-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder has a shorty windscreen and full LED lighting.
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder seat saddlebags
The 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder has 83 liters of storage capacity and has central locks for the saddlebags.

Ignition: TCI
Charging Output: 750 watts max.
Battery: 12V 18AH

Frame: Tubular & forged steel double cradle w/ cast aluminum subframe & steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 67.6 in.
Rake/Trail: 31 degrees/5.7 in.
Seat Height: 27.4 in.
Suspension, Front: 46mm telescopic, no adj., 5.1 in. travel
Rear: Single linked shock w/ remote preload adj., 4.3 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 298mm discs w/ 4-piston opposed calipers, UBS & ABS
Rear: Single 320mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper, UBS & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 18 in.
Rear: Cast, 6.00 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/70-HR18
Rear: 200/55-HR16
Claimed Wet Weight: 875 lbs.

Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gals.
MPG: 91 PON min. (avg) NA


  1. Gee bet NOBODY foresaw this model coming.
    Sorry, I can’t get past the looks of any bike with those side pods that look bolted on as an afterthought. The only thing I can think of is a dying fish flopping around on the ground, it’s gills wide open gasping for life. It’s not just this bike, most other V-twin touring bikes have the same ugly afterthoughts, but this one really emphasizes those gasping gills.
    How about something really innovative, like a nimble lightweight bike that’s well suited to sport touring, complete with hard cases, top case, cruise control, decent wind/weather protection, great comfortable seat, suspension and ergonomics that beg you to ride it on 1000 mile days.

  2. Has Yamaha Motor Corp taken a stance against commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary? If not, then they give their tacit approval to this barbaric behavior that the government in Japan states is a cultural right. I suggest that buyers look elsewhere until something is finally done to abolish these acts as the World Court has so ordered. I really like everything about the Star Venture line but I cannot in good conscience buy one. I’m not a tree hugger or a rabid environmentalist, I just have to say something about this wholesale slaughter that’s going on, we all have to take a stand for something and this concerns me greatly. Until their illegal slaughter starts to hurt them in the pocket book then it’ll continue unabated and that’s tragic.

  3. A copy of an HD Street Glide is really “eluding conformity” Yamaha you should be embarrassed. We all thought that you were better than this.

    • It would compare better with the Road Glide (frame mounted fairing) than the Street Glide. The Road Glide is cheaper ($21,299), lighter, and I really don’t see what the new Yami has that it doesn’t. When you factor in the tremendous factory and aftermarket support that Harley offers (if you can think of it, someone makes it) and the fact that there’s a dealer in every town, it’s going to be hard to compete with them in this price range.

      • Items like,heated seat,grips and backrest for passenger,power windshield, traction control, 4 led headlights,electric forward and reverse,5 year warranty,cb radio,xm radio,alarm system

        • Bob, the Eluder does not have heated grips, power windshield, or the electric parking assist forward/reverse, and most of the other things you list are not on the base model.

          • The only thing he listed that the Eluder doesn’t have is the parking assist. On the $24,000 model, you are getting way more stuff than the Road Glide Special, and at a substantial savings. Comparing the Eluder to the base model Road Glide is laughable at best.

        • True Bob. Some, not all that stuff is available for the Road Glide and the Street Glide. You just have to pay extra for all of it. Compare apples to apples and the Yamaha offers a LOT more than the Harley does for the price.

    • Not quite… the F6B is a six cylinder, which was copied by BMW. If anything, I would say that Yamaha is just trying to copy the Vulcan Vaquero which was also copied by HD with their CVO Road Glide…

  4. What I’d like to see is a refined & refreshed 80″ that will be good for everyday use, with removable hard bags &
    Windshield along with optional removable front fairing for those infrequent long hauls & added protection.
    This needs to be an everyday rider with less weight but adequate power for two when needed. Keep it at a reasonable price point not the price of a car. Yamaha’s reliability speaks for itself but to go into a limited production with high tooling costs to capture a small audience at $23,000 to nearly $30,000 makes no business
    Sense or rider sense.

  5. What we asked for:
    A light, nimble, sport-touring bike, based on the FZ-07 motor; something affordably-priced that might even lower the barrier to entry into the sport-touring market. A baby-brother to the FJR-1300 that can be pressed into service as an everyday commuter.

    What Yamaha heard:
    Yamaha, please give us a bloated, two-wheeled, road-boat that doesn’t know whether it wants to be a Gold Wing or a Chieftan. Oh, and make sure its REALLY ugly– also, please price it in a range where the only people who can afford it won’t even look at it, because months ago they’d already decided to buy Indian’s newest bagger.

    Seriously. Yamaha breathed new life into the sport-touring category–a category on life support, being propped up only by the old-model Concours.–at least until 2003 when they brought out the FJR-1300 (at least to the USA). Why on Earth would they make (much less over-hype) a stab towards the tired, uber-bagger segment? Really, Yamaha, it’s covered–saturated even.

    PLEASE for-the-love-of-all-things-on-two-wheels Yamaha, INNOVATE! Develop a capable sport-tourer at a price-point that Joe Everyday can afford. We might just see more riders–and that’s a good thing for all of us.

    • I think they make something called an FJ-09 . . . . which may not fulfill your plea to innovate but meets all your other points.

  6. This is what I posted on Yamaha’s Facebook page:
    My wife and I have bought seven new Yamaha / Star motorcycles in the past six years and I’ve been riding Yamaha motorcycles for almost 40 years.
    Currently in our garage is a 2013 V-Star 1300 Deluxe, a 2016 Kawasaki Ninja KRT, and a 2017 Harley Softail Slim.
    So the BIG news is Yamaha is introducing its own FB6. WTF!!
    My local Honda dealers can’t give those bikes away. One of the main complaints against the FB6 is its lack of reverse. Yamaha really screwed-up leaving the Sure-Park System off this 875 pound bagger.
    Does this bike really NEED reverse? NO.
    Does it NEED features that sets it apart from a HD Street Glide? YES!
    Also, the name is downright stupid. Again, WTF!! My wife has a degree in English and she got the meaning of “Eluder” in about one second. She thought it was, to quote her, “cute”. Cute does not sell baggers!
    If the MBAs at Yamaha think they are going to steal much bagger business from HD with a bike that:
    A. Cost more money than a Street Glide.
    B. Has little that sets it apart from a Street Glide feature wise.
    C. Is an homage to Honda’s sloooooow selling FB6.
    D. Has a goofy as hell sounding name. “Eluder” sounds like a 1982
    Kawasaki 250…NOT a big, bad 2018 bagger.
    E. Has historically low resale value.
    ……those MBAs are smoking some serious weed!

    I’m NOT a HD fanboy picking on Yamaha “rice”.
    I LOVE the Yamaha brand. Your outboard motors, pianos, and motorcycles
    are just a few of your products that I’m familiar with.
    The new “Eluder” is a huge letdown…feature-wise, name-wise, price-wise, and weight-wise!!

    • First off, its F6B
      And “sloooooooow” selling, maybe in your area. I’m a Honda dealer, we have averaged, since 2013, 40 a year. The biggest gripe against the bike was cruise. It now has it. People want more features but don’t want to pay for them. To add reverse to the F6B would be worthless. And besides, you really can’t talk, none of your bikes have it either. They are targeting a younger demographic. I’m 38 years old, and I’d own one of these Eluders, 100%. I’ve had an F6B since 2013, and every year after (job perks). Its an amazing bike! When you speak of resale value, how well does your vehicle hold value? You could even go 1 more step…have you seen how well a street glide holds its resale? They are the only USED that are selling. A new “me too” bike is $24000 (2016), we’ve been selling used 2016’s for $16,000 with no more than 9000 miles on them. You can that resale value? Even though you’re brand loyalty speaks volumes, you can’t bash Yamaha for the direction they are going.

      • “To add reverse to the F6B would be worthless. And besides, you really can’t talk, none of your bikes have it either.”

        Yeah, none other than the Venture.

        • The Venture is not a bagger…. and for the record, the Australian F6B has reverse. My guess is that it is to make up for the fact that everything downunder is trying to kill them… 😉

      • Hey “Not Tim Quinn”
        Why don’t you use your real name?
        What dealership do you work at?
        40 a year…an average of 3.3 a month. That’s not what I’d call setting the market on fire.
        I personally like the FB6. Especially at these prices:
        Are you selling 40 a year at MSRP or with $5,000 to $7,000 discounts off MSRP?
        I also feel the Gold Wing is, by far, the best touring motorcycle n the world. My brother’s Wing has over 175K miles on it and it still runs great!
        Yes, Yamaha resale values are in the toilet.
        None of my bikes are “luxury touring motorcycles” either.
        As far as brand loyalty goes, I’m really big on Honda and Yamaha products. They have the best quality in the business. Hell, my lawn mower is a Honda!
        I’m no big fan of the Street Glide either. If I were a fan, I’d own one. In my neck of the woods, I can’t ride 10 miles without seeing 5 black Street Glides. As you said, they’re too “me too” for my taste.
        My wife and I like Harley motorcycles, but we hate the Harley lifestyle!
        As far as Harley resale values goes, I’ll just say this: I had a 2015 Sporster Forty-Eight with 1.5K miles on the odometer that was garage kept and looked better than new…..I COULDN’T GIVE IT AWAY!!
        AS far as “value” for the money goes, the best deal on the market is a new 2014 Honda CTX 1300. I almost bought one last year. New ones in my area are selling for almost $7,500 off MSRP brand new with zero miles on the odometer.

      • “First off, its F6B”
        You’re totally correct. As a motorcyclist, there’s no excuse for me not knowing that.
        I’ll write, “F6B” 100 times till I get it right.
        BTW, “First off, its F6B” is not correct.
        “First off, it’s F6B” is how it’s correctly written.

      • Since you work at a Honda dealership, I’ll ask you this:
        Why should I purchase a new Star Eluder over a new Honda F6B?
        The F6B looks better, it already has a great reliability record, and dealers are offering discounts on them that make the price point pretty damn hard to resist.
        Saying I’d take a F6B over an Eluder ought to make you happy.
        BTW, the Eluder is getting crucified, by current Yamaha owners, on the Yamaha forums I frequent.

        • On the boards that I frequent, people are loving the Eluder (except for the name) and want one. I guess it depends on the crowd.

          • I’m on several Indian boards. Opinions are somewhat split, but surprisingly I think the people that like it are edging out the ones that don’t.

        • Because the Eluder has the F6B beat in the looks category handily, doesn’t have multiple control panels that look like they came out of the 1970’s version of the Starship Enterprise (or a late 80’s Chrysler product), and has a V-twin motor that (might be one of the most underrated motors ever produced) can at least stir your soul to some extent when you twist the throttle unlike Honda’s soulless sewing machine.

  7. What a letdown. The teaser mentioned “all weather”…yes it has a fairing, and yes it has heated seats/ handgrips. But where is the traction control? Where is the stability control? You do NOT want a bike that heavy and with that much torque stepping out on you in slippery conditions, because you will not recover. At this price point, I feel there should at least be a “rain mode”, which would be very simple with the ride by wire throttle, and I do not think it is too much to expect traction control either. I ride a V Star 1300 and feel that Yamaha makes some of the most reliable and best looking cruisers on the market, and I actually love the new Star Venture, but the Eluder is a miss in my book. I was looking for something groundbreaking, and instead they offered a Venture with fewer amenities for nearly the same money…just stupid.

    • Where’s the traction control? Where’s the “stability control”” Really? You need those things to ride a bike? You need those things for a bike to be a good/great traveler? My God, what wimps have we become? I ride a 2003 VTX1800. I love it! IT has no amenities, no traction control, no stability control. Hell, it doesn’t even have ABS, only linked brakes. And with careful riding in all kinds of weather, using my right hand as my traction and stability control, using my left hand and right foot as my ABS, do you know how many times I’ve regretted not having those ridiculous features that todays riders expect. NONE!
      I ride my bike. My bike doesn’t control me or how I ride it. I tell the bike what to do!
      Grow a pair guys! If you can’t ride without fancy gadgets, maybe you should go back and take some lessons. Safety features are great, but you still have to know how to ride a bike if they fail.

    • Oh, and as for a reverse gear, it’s simple. If you can’t back up a bike using only your own two legs and upper body, then the bike is too big for you. Downsize!

  8. Like that they made it look so different from everything else out there. Side scoops look good, instead of traditional lowers. Reminds me of an F35 lightning or a Buell. Reviews are describing the handling as nimble, that’s impressive with all that weight. Makes sense why they went with the v-twin. I have their v-4 and thats a lot of weight sitting up high.

  9. As a current victory cross country owner, I’d be interested if it was liquid cooled. It still seems really overweight and I doubt it will handle anything like the victory

    • From what the reviewers are saying, it seems pretty nimble for a big bike. Since the Victory is no longer available, it may be the next best thing. A big bike that handles like a Victory, with 126 ft/lbs of torque sounds like a winner to me!

    • No, it probably handles better. Yes, I have ridden the Victorys, all of them, repeatedly. To this day the best handling big cruiser I’ve ever ridden was a Star Stratoliner. That was more than a few years back, and I’m sure they haven’t gone backwards in chassis development.

  10. This is by far a better bike than any victory or Harley has made! It rides like a sport tourer and it does over 100mph anyday of the week in 3rd gear! No harley I know of can do that and I’ve owned a Harley Vrod and a yamaha R1 for almost 10yrs!!! Now I can have the eluder and sell the Harley and put the R1 in the garage!!! Thank you Yamaha!!!

  11. This all sounds the same as the Victory forums. Vic came out with so many knock offs on the same theme the party faithful got very disappointed because they were expecting something new…

    I seen this coming. It was very obvious they would market a stripped down ver of there very pricey Venture.
    I believe Yamaha and every other company wants a piece of the Harley market. They are number one in sales.

    I bought my Victory Cross County because there was nothing from the Japanese that even came close. And don’t even think the Kawasaki Voyager even comes close to a Victory Cross Country. In a similar category yes , but the Vic with it’s all cast aluminum frame and upside down front forks are hard to beat.

    So I can see why Yamaha came out with the Venture. Especially since Polaris pulled the plug on the Vic line.
    And if you want a VTwin with ultra comfy ride with reliability and all the bells and whistles……….This is really the only Japanese option….
    Honda has the Wing
    Kawasaki has the not impressive Voyager
    Suzuki puts its money into the Sport bike line

    Then comes Yamaha with the Venture and the obvious next step, the Yamaha Venture Baggers

    My only GRIPE
    They are way over priced….

      • Wrong. Water cooled motors need electric fans to move air across a radiator. Where does that extremely hot air get blown? Right back at the rider! I own 2 large air cooled V-twins and 1 watercooled I-4 and I would rather ride either of the V-twins here in the Arizona summer than the I-4.

        • With proper design and a little attention to the Tupperware on a bike, the heat from a water cooled bike can be mostly routed around the driver. (The Kawasaki ZX6-636R from 2013 model onward is a good example of doing it right)
          The point is,v the bike isn’t going to overheat itself and do damage, regardless of how hot it is out or how far you go slow. The same cannot be said of an air cooled engine, not to mention the energy efficiency lost due to the looser tolerances required for air cooled engines.

          • I’ve lived in Arizona my whole life, most of the bikes I’ve been around are air-cooled V-twins and get ridden all year ’round and see more miles than most people will achieve on 10 bikes. I’ve never known a single person to have any motor related issues due to lack of cooling/overheating, and none of these people were riding Japanese V-twins with the quality of this Yamaha motor. This is just a weak argument thrown around by people that want to find something to complain about and knock a product. If an air cooled V-twin can do Patriot Guard parades in the Phoenix summers, it will be fine wherever you will be riding it.


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