Quick Read: 2018 Yamaha Star Venture TC

Yamaha Star Venture
2018 Yamaha Star Venture TC. Photos by Kevin Wing.

Editor’s Note: This Quick Read is part of our Luxury Touring Bike Comparison, which you can read here.

Our last comparison test with a Star Venture was back in 2009, when we put a Royal Star Venture S up against V-twin luxury tourers from Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Victory. For 2018, with the Star cruiser line subsumed under the Yamaha brand, the Venture has returned after getting a total reboot. Replacing the V-Max-derived, liquid-cooled V-4 with faux cooling fins and shaft drive is a Raider-derived, air-cooled V-twin with real cooling fins and belt drive. And instead of the derivative, Harley Electra Glide-esque styling, the new Star Venture gets modern bodywork that EIC Tuttle described as “R1-meets-1960s-Americana-muscle” in his October 2017 road test.

Yamaha Star Venture
Passenger speakers, audio controls and storage compartments come with the TC package. Heated seats and passenger backrest are standard.

A raw and rowdy engine may make sense for a flashy chopper like the Raider, but not for a luxury tourer like the Venture. Refinements to the 1,854cc, 48-degree V-twin include self-adjusting hydraulic valve lifters, camshaft and primary drive dampers, twin gear-driven counterbalancers and vibration-absorbing isoelastic engine mounts. The Venture also has two throttle response modes, traction control, a 6-speed transmission, an assist-and-slipper clutch and linked ABS brakes.

Yamaha Star Venture
Having the most cubic inches helps the Venture’s V-twin crank out the most torque, and balancers and dampers help it keep vibration and low-rpm shudder to a minimum.

Standard equipment includes adjustable rider/passenger ergonomics, adjustable levers, heated grips, seats and backrests, Sure-Park electric forward/reverse, an infotainment system (with a 7-inch color touchscreen, voice recognition, intercom, Bluetooth, Pandora and more), keyless ignition, central luggage locks, an electric windscreen, tire pressure monitoring, LED lighting, a 12V socket and two USB ports. Our test bike has the Transcontinental (TC) accessory package ($2,000), which adds LED fog lights, a security alarm, rear speakers, dual-zone audio, passenger storage compartments and GPS navigation, CB radio and SiriusXM satellite radio to the infotainment system.

Yamaha Star Venture
Modern features include an infotainment system, throttle response modes, traction control and Sure-Park electric forward/reverse.

2018 Yamaha Star Venture TC Specs

Base Price: $24,999
Price as Tested: $26,999 (TC package)
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: yamahamotorsports.com

Engine

Type: Air-cooled, transverse 48-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,854cc (113ci)
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 assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: Belt

Electrical

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

Chassis

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 stanchions, 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
Wet Weight: 959 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 412 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 1,371 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gals., last 0.95 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON min. (low/avg/high) 31.7/34.5/36.3
Estimated Range: 227 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,450

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