Demo ride of 2018 Yamaha Venture
I got to ride the new Venture today.
My first impressions were it's big - really big. At a weight of around 950 pounds, it's a good 300# heavier than my VStar. The saddle bags are quite sizable. The trunk bag alone could swallow up 2 full face helmets with room to spare.
Yamaha did a great job reigning in all that weight into a manageable package. It's surprisingly nimble. The demo included a few long sweeping turns, and it handled them quite easily. It also handled turns at intersections quite well.
There was more than enough power to push around all that weight, however the annoying part for me was the rev limiter. It kicks in at only 4750 rpm, and feels bogged down at anything less than 2500. This isn't a big window at all. If you're going to accelerate, be prepared for fast shifts.
It is comfortable - with a slight back rest for the driver, and of course a full back rest for the passenger. The handlebars felt a bit close in to my body, however the floorboards were far enough forward to feel comfortable and roomy. For me, I'd have to replace the seat with something that has a more substantial backrest for the driver. (I have an ultimate seat on my bike now, and will likely have them on any and all future bikes I have. I have a really bad back, so I need more support than most)
The screen for infotainment and GPS navigation is barely large enough to be usable. There is definitely room on the fairing for a larger screen, but it's not utilized. I was told by one of the yamaha reps that the touch screen would work well even with gloves on - any gloves you have, no need for touch enabled.
Overall, I enjoyed the ride, but it's definitely not for me. The workable RPM range is something I'm sure I'd get used to, but it seems like something I shouldn't have to get used to. Also for me, although it's designed well and handles the size surprisingly well, it's just too big. However, if I were planning a cross country ride, it's a bike I would definitely consider.
2012 V-Star 950 (Ultimate Seat and Backrest, Cobra Slip On, Cobra PowerFlo Intake, Cobra PowerPro FMS, Klevver clutch, LidLox, Batwing Fairing w/7" windshield, Viking HardSide bags)