For the touring enthusiast who appreciates form as much as function, Yamaha introduces the 2018 Star Eluder. A stripped-down bagger version of the just-released Star Venture TC luxury tourer, the Star Eluder takes Yamaha’s new flagship touring platform and gives it a dose of attitude.
At the heart of Yamaha’s latest model is a 1,854 cc (113 cubic inch) air-cooled, 48-degree V-twin mated to a six-speed transmission. The engine produces a brutish 126 ft-lbs. of peak torque, offering the right motivation for any situation with the timeless pulse of a V-twin engine. Yamaha Chip-Control Throttle (YCC-T) provides smooth, accurate throttle response, while two selectable Drive Modes are available depending on riding conditions. The twin-muffler exhaust system emits a throaty V-twin note developed in collaboration with the audiophiles at Yamaha Music.
As with its sibling, the Venture TC, transcontinental touring is the foundation of the Star Eluder. Case in point is the comfortable, heated one-piece rider/passenger seat. Additional long-distance amenities include a 25-litre fuel tank, cruise control, 70 litres of storage and a comprehensive infotainment system, which features a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, handlebar controls and voice control, stereo system, Bluetooth and vehicle data. GPS navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio are optional. Both rider and passenger can customize their comfort and ride position. Five-position hand levers cater to the rider, while height-adjustable floorboards cater to the passenger.
With all due respect to its touring DNA, the Star Eluder is, after all, a bagger. As such, style is at the forefront. The Eluder’s sleek lines were achieved by removing the top case from the Star Venture TC, which opens up the view of the motorcycle’s sculpted rear section. A shorty windscreen was brought in to accentuate the bagger vibe while still offering wind and weather protection. The result is a motorcycle that blends the lines between luxury touring and cruiser cool.
Shedding some of the equipment from the Venture TC translates into a motorcycle that’s 40 kg (nearly 90 lbs.) lighter than its stablemate, with a lower centre of gravity that makes the Eluder easier to manoeuvre at slow speeds and better handling on twisty roads. A semi-dry-sump design allows the engine to sit lower in the frame, further improving handling while centralizing mass and reducing weight.
The chassis is comprised of an advanced hybrid steel/aluminum frame mated to five-spoke aluminum mag wheels via a 46 mm conventional front fork and linkage-type rear system with a gas-pressurized shock and remote, hand-cranked preload adjuster. The result is a plush, controlled ride with straight-line stability and curvy-road agility.
A head-turning full-coverage fairing provides ample wind protection, while air vents can be opened or closed to customize airflow for changing conditions.
Safety is paramount in a touring motorcycle, so the Star Eluder comes standard with traction control, ABS and UBS (unified braking system) to offer safety and peace of mind in the dynamic world of riding. An attractive bank of four LED headlights offer plenty of night visibility while making the vehicle more visible to oncoming traffic. Yamaha’s Smart Key system adds another layer of security and convenience.