When we rode Yamaha’s newest luxury tourer the Star Venture in July, we came away impressed with its expansive amenities list, surprising handling capabilities, and voluminous cargo capacity. However, it seemed like such a waste of a pretty face and a grunty motor to saddle it with all that stuff. Dressers are nice, but baggers are the compromise between convenience and cool.
2018 Star Eluder Introduction From Yamaha:
After the trip, I couldn’t help but wonder what the Star Venture would look like a little bit leaner, a little bit meaner, and a bit more ready to rumble. Less dad bod, more macho man Randy Savage. Well; Yamaha has answered the call. This is the Yamaha Star Eluder.
The Star Eluder shares the same engine, frame, suspension, wheels, brakes, and well, mostly everything with its Venture stablemate. That means the same grunty air-cooled 113 cubic inch (1854cc) V-twin engine. Output is an identical 126 pound-feet of torque to the Venture, and features identical specifications such as twin counterbalancers and composite engine mounts for a character that straddles the line between smooth power delivery and traditional V-Twin rumble. Yamaha notes that the six-speed transmission features all new ratios to take advantage of the abundant low-end torque. I note that that sounds fun.
Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T), a ride-by-wire throttle control system is also carried over, as is Yamaha D-Mode which allows the rider to choose from smooth or sport riding modes. Traction control, ABS, and cruise control are standard.
Brakes and suspension make the trip over from the Venture as well. A 46mm telescopic fork features damping and spring rates selected for the Eluder, however. The rear suspension features a linkage-type system with a gas-pressurized shock also with damping and spring rates were specific to the Star Eluder.
The brakes are identical 298mm dual front units and 320mm single rear and are linked.
What else has been carried over? Nearly the full suite of the Venture’s infotainment package, which is a very good thing. A 7-inch full-color LCD controlled via touchscreen, handlebar controls or voice commands via accessory headset and mic, the infotainment package gives the rider access to vehicle system control and data, a range of audio sources and wireless Bluetooth communications options.
The Star Eluder audio package features AM/FM/WB radio and can also play pre-recorded music or stream Pandora from a smartphone via the onboard USB, AUX stereo or Bluetooth wireless connection options. A USB charging and interface port is located in the locking fairing storage compartment for use as needed. Sampled on our first ride, this system is not only crisp, but suitably loud for turning every traffic scenario a block party.
Passenger and rider amenities such as heated grips, seat, passenger grab handles, and air vent options are also included, and opting for the GT Option Package will add GPS navigation, CB radio, SiriusXM Travel Link and a security alarm. The base MSRP for the Eluder is $22,499, and $23,999 when equipped with the GT Option Package.
So What’s Not Shared?
Good question. The Yamaha Star Eluder leans heavy on black finishes, more aggressive paint packages (Liquid Silver, Impact Blue and Raven), and wheel color to turn the dial from cross country companion to bike night superstar. Does it work? Well, since when does adding black paint not make a bike look good?
To transform the Venture into the Eluder, the top box has been shed, the large windscreen replaced with a shorter unit, and chrome has been replaced with black. Also, the Sure-Park system is not included and will remain exclusive to the Venture.
The Eluder definitely appears more aggressive, and joins the rapidly expanding “Big, Black Bagger Class” that takes a full size tourer, and douses it in attitude. This category includes the Indian Springfield Dark Horse, BMW K1600B, Honda Gold Wing F6B, and the revised Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special.
We liked what we rode on our first outing on the Yamaha Star Venture, so we’re excited how the more street-savvy Star Eluder stacks up in the mean bagger category.