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.
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.
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.
2018 Yamaha Star Venture TC Specs
Base Price: $24,999
Price as Tested: $26,999 (TC package)
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
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
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 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
Wet Weight: 959 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 412 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 1,371 lbs.
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