Yamaha’s Star Venture Is Back For 2020

The massive touring bike gets a new color but remains otherwise unchanged.

Last week, Yamaha dumped such a huge pile of new-model-year releases on us that we're still trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Naturally, we missed a few fairly important carryover models, and one of the bigger ones (literally) was the Star Venture. In our defense, there are exactly zero changes to the big-boat luxo-tourer for 2020, but it's still returning to the tuning fork company's lineup next year—and with the price unchanged, we can all agree that's a good thing. The massive "transcontinental tourer" heaves back into Yammy's touring category with its entire raft of onboard amenities and comfort features intact, the only change being the addition of a new color, Impact Blue.

2020 Yamaha Star Venture on road.
Yamaha is bringing back its mondo mile-munching tourer for the 2020 model year.Courtesy of Yamaha
2020 Yamaha Star Venture on beach.
The long-haul Yamaha Star Venture is back this year, virtually unchanged. You can get the tourer in a new Impact Blue color option; all models will be in dealerships by November.Courtesy of Yamaha

When it made its debut for the 2018 model year, the all-new, freshly designed Venture reemerged into the Star lineup—after a four-year absence—bearing a V-twin motor, rather than the previous V-4 arrangement it shared with the VMAX. Tongues wagged and cynics claimed the whole exercise was just a money-saving ploy; Yamaha would be using the same 1,854cc air-cooled pushrod engine as the Star Raider (in the lineup then), and it seemed like a cost-cutting move.

2020 Yamaha Venture’s 113ci (1,854cc) air-cooled V-twin engine.
Developed specifically for long-distance touring, the Venture’s massive 113ci (1,854cc) air-cooled V-twin engine is designed to deliver a comfortable ride at low revs. A six-speed transmission makes the most of the huge low-end torque.Courtesy of Yamaha

Not so fast: There were other reasons for a V-twin, namely a narrower form factor and things like more relaxed engine character (read: not high-revving), which is what Yamaha’s research showed touring types wanted. And unlike the Raider’s setup, the Venture’s counterbalanced engine is rubber-mounted in an entirely new chassis, while modern electronics get packed into every cranny of the dresser, positioning it as a class-leading contender in the luxury touring arena. The biggest bike in Yamaha’s lineup is now the only model besides the Eluder bearing the “Star” nameplate in the reshuffled lineup too, both of which slot into the company’s Transcontinental Touring category.

2020 Yamaha Star Venture headlight.
American muscle-car styling meets Japanese crafted, wind-tunnel-tested, frame-mounted fairing. You have to admit that bank of quad LED headlights looks super badass. The shield is electrically adjustable, and visors and vents in the fairing can be adjusted to direct airflow.Courtesy of Yamaha

The changes for 2020 are minimal; in fact, there’s just a new color option. That’s it. Even the pricing is the same as, uh, 2018 (there was no 2019 model). All the other high-zoot features from the previous year are back, like cruise control, traction control, linked ABS, the largest rear tire in the class, Sure-Park parking assist, infotainment system, drive modes, an adjustable rider backrest, heated seats, and more. With a feature set like that, you can see why Yamaha wants to position it at the top of the luxury touring segment.

2020 Yamaha Star Venture trunk.
Pack rats, rejoice; you get a mind-boggling 37.3 gallons of storage between the saddlebags, Touring Trunk, and upper and lower fairing storage compartments. The Transcontinental Option Package serves up another pair of passenger compartments, boosting capacity to more than 38 gallons.Courtesy of Yamaha

You can go even more bell-and-whistle crazy with the Transcontinental Option Package, which adds LED fog lights, a range of infotainment upgrades like GPS navigation with points of interest, a CB radio system, and a SiriusXM and SiriusXM Travel Link feature. An extra pair of high-output passenger speakers and Yamaha’s exclusive Dual Zone audio control allow the rider and passenger to select different audio sources, and hold private phone calls with an accessory headset and mic.

2020 Yamaha Star Venture dash.
The Star Venture comes with a 7-inch full-color LCD touchscreen display as standard equipment. The infotainment within is controlled via touchscreen, handlebar controls, or voice commands. An audio package with high-output speakers is included, and the Transcontinental Package adds additional features.Courtesy of Yamaha

You can get the 2020 Yamaha Star Venture in two colors: Granite Gray and a new Impact Blue, both which have an MSRP of $24,999 for the base trim. If you want the Transcontinental Option Package, it’ll cost you $26,999. Neither price is an increase over the first year, and models begin arriving at dealerships in November.

2020 Yamaha Star Venture riding on road.
At 957 pounds wet, the Venture is a lot to push. Luckily that engine’s got 126 pound-feet of torque on tap to propel the whole package, resting in a steel frame with a die-cast aluminum rear subframe.Courtesy of Yamaha
2020 Yamaha Star Venture riding on road.
A plush 46mm fork smooths the ride upfront with a linkage-type rear system with gas-pressurized shock holding down the bacl end. Linked brakes with ABS are standard, as is traction control and TPMS.Courtesy of Yamaha
2020 Yamaha Star Venture in parking lot in front of mountains.
The Venture is available in Granite Gray and Impact Blue for 2020, starting at $24,999.Courtesy of Yamaha
2020 Yamaha Star Venture with rider.
A distinct blend of modern lines and traditional cues, the Venture definitely does not ape the look of any other dresser out there.Courtesy of Yamaha