2018 Yamaha Star Venture TC
Yamaha’s first new tourer since the Royal Star venture was discontinued in 2013 shows much more allegiance to the American brand of two-wheeled luxury land yacht than a traditional Japanese or even European interpretation.
Big in every way
For one thing, the engine is a ginourmous 113 cubic inch (1,854 cc) V-twin, so remarkably Harley-like that its 48-degree included angle between cylinders is but three degrees off the Big Twin’s 45 degrees. Not only that, the four-valve heads are combined with pushrod actuation in very Milwaukee-Eight fashion. And like Harley’s latest behemoth, there’s a mountain of torque at low speed, 126 lb-ft at a low, low 2,750 rpm. Indeed, so prodigious is the low-end grunt that Yamaha says that both fifth and sixth gears are overdrives and the Venture TC lopes along at 2,750 rpm cruising at 75 miles per hour.
It needs all that grunt because in its $26,999 Transcontinental version — there’s a $24,999 base version as well — the TC weighs an imposing 963 pounds. Yes, it’s a heavy motorcycle. But Yamaha says that its ultra-low 27.4-inch seat height makes the touring Venture 22 percent easier to lift off its sidestand than similar bikes. Additionally, Yamaha’s Sure-Park system uses an electric motor to allow easy back up of the big Venture. It will also move it forward for more confidence-inspiring ultra slow speed parking maneuvers. Nonetheless, this is a big bike that you definitely don’t want to drop.
Equally huge is the cavernous luggage with 37.3 gallons of cargo capacity between the two saddlebags and topcase. Said topcase is especially commodious, said to swallow two large XL-sized full-face helmets with ease. The electrical system is likewise gargantuan with 750 watts of alternator output to accommodate a wealth of accessories. Even the tires are huge by touring standards, the rear 16-inch radial measuring 200 millimeters — nearly 8 inches — wide.
The full luxury package
Comfort wise, the windshield is electrically adjustable, the fairing has numerous adjustable vents to keep the rider cool during hot summer rides and the seat, grips, backrest and even the passenger’s armrests (at least on the Transcontinental version) are heated. That extra $2,000 for the Transcontinental also buys a GPS navigation system with home computer integration, CB radio, Sirius radio, a dual-zone function for the audio system, LED foglights and a security system. In other words, the Star Venture TC is one of the best-equipped touring motorcycles on the market.
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