America sells somewhere around 500,000 new motorcycles every year, and around half of those are v-twin cruisers. A lot of American riders won't buy anything else. So it makes sense for Yamaha to base its new touring flagship on a platform it knows the USA likes: a whopping big twin.
The Star Venture is specified to compete with some of the best bikes Harley makes: its Road Glide Ultra touring machine. Yamaha's 1854cc v-twin engine sits just under the displacement of Harley's largest 114 ci (1868cc) Milwaukee Eight motor.
To make up for its lack of 'Murican freedom points, the Star Venture integrates a slightly larger 7-inch screen on its infotainment system than the Ultra's 6.5-inch job. It also gets a park assist feature so you don't have to push its monstrous 434 kg (957 lb) bulk around in the shed. This electric Sure-Park drive system slowly moves the bike in forward or reverse directions at about 1 km/h (0.6 mph).
Otherwise, it's got everything you'd expect, from LED quad headlights, adjustable windscreen and central-locking saddlebags and top trunk, to four-way heated seats and grips, adjustable backrests, tire pressure sensors and a full set of electronic driver assist gear (ABS, TC, cruise control and riding modes). Not to mention the obligatory huge stereo system.
Bump it up with the TransContinental (TC) touring pack, and you can add on built-in GPS navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, dual zone audio control, fog lights, additional storage and a security system with an alarm.
The big gal's got a bit of visual presence, with its giant side air scoops making a signature impact. I suspect they'll be easy to recognize on the street.
It's a Yamaha, so it will be a quality product. All that remains to be seen is how the Star Venture is embraced by American distance riders. Retail is US$24,990, or US$26,990 with the TC Touring package.
Lots of photos in the gallery, enjoy!
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