Tony...in anticipating some great adventures aboard Charlotte in the next coming months...I wanted to put my thoughts to print..in an open letter to you...and anybody else that decides to read along as well...
Tony...in private conversation with you...and our discussing some of the forums that are not Yamaha specific...but host other V-Twin categories...and what we are seeing being spoken about...regarding the SVTC...whether it be dead, or alive as a model or just some cheap shots taken by some that don't even own one.......here are my thoughts upon that, that I wish to share in an open forum...
Tony...there are a lot of people that would love this bike...but no matter how much one might see it discounted...simply can't afford one. So...the most easy thing, (for some...) is to create such a negative impression of it...that they feel 'lucky' not to own one. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia was wonderful. Maine, was wonderful, The North Shore of Lake Superior, was wonderful, Seeing family down back in Phoenix, Arizona was wonderful....touring all of Michigan, including mid-Ontario, was wonderful....and all on Charlotte, and YamaLube 15W50 as her life's blood. All wonderful. All in the 2018 riding season...(for one living near the Great Lakes).
Sure..there were a few that came out of the factory with issues. HELL....look how many countless Harley's came out of the factory....with the owner dead on the side of the road, on the way HOME from the dealership on pick-up day....oil transferring to different parts of the engine....warped heads, skipping primary chains...and on the latest M8 engine! I have to hand it to the Harley crowd, though...even when they talk openly on their forums...they still laud their rides as the best thing since sliced bread!
You probably saw that I deleted my scathing (yet truthful) condemnation of Yamaha for their (to date) ignoring us. I did so, Tony...because I see that it did no good....I thought honestly that it would prod...conjole, a response from somebody in that organization. You saw that it produced nothing of the kind. So...I didn't want to keep a post such as that, indefinably up there. I deleted it. I am only going to post in future, what is so good about our bikes...and yes...if, and I hope not...(crossing fingers) that I also don't have a cam/lifter face issue with Charlotte....but if I do...I'll need only to remind myself to take a ride over to any Harley Fanatic forum...and read that if the engine fell onto the ground at a red light...the guy or gal riding the bike...would pick it up...take the bike and motor to the nearest Harley dealer...and have them put the engine back into the frame...and then RIDE TO THE NEXT LIGHT....lol.
Yamaha will warranty and fix it...and we ride on...(but that has not cropped up, to date).
Tony...my wife and I love the bike...and HAVE no user-rider complaints. We have power, comfort, carry capacity, unbelievable entertainment options, communication options with each other, or through Blue Tooth, anywhere on the planet....we have no complaints.
We have not had one engine or other system malfunction from dealer delivery. Not every SVTC will have the cam-lifter episode. If some do...as we have seen, they will be warrantied by Yamaha...and whatever parts are being re and re'd...obviously handle the job thereon after.
Tony...it's now the end of February/19....and have either I or you seen any new download of the Entertainment or Navigation Software? Even anything on their Navigation Map Site...? Nothing...I check daily. The same version is there...and at this time...I don't believe, honestly believe that we will see any new updates for the bike. Quietly, (I will not publicly after this one post) I will not state my mind, whether the bike is an end run...dead end at this time. To you...I believe it is so....for the 2020's are simply production end run stock, painted in what....the same paint as the 2018 Eluder....so...what did that cost them?
For Dee-Dee and myself....AND...acknowledging what one of our forum members said, on a contributing post...Tony...no matter what, the model's future or sales future is....THIS IS the V-Twin...that I would ONLY want....this has been, the touring bike, that in riding it....both my wife and I, would have yet, picked again, to replace our 2008 GL1800....so....as he said....if it cost myself $32,000 Canadian dollars to buy and accessorize it.....(and he makes a great point......>) think of HOW much...it would have cost you or I,...to go to Yamaha.....to show them, what you or I wanted in a V-Twin design,...and have them BUILD the one model for you or I. Tony...he is right...and that is my new Mantra......It would cost well over a million or more dollars to scale up...engineer...and to build in the shop to fruition. So....whatever you and I, paid for our 2018's....we GOT A GREAT DEAL....we both love the bike...have no intentions of trading or selling it...only to see 100,000 or more miles on the odometer....so...every time (and I do this...once a week) I take a peek into the garage....I walk up to sleeping Charlotte, pat her saddle...pat Kawa's saddle....and am a happy man that I own the two bikes that will see me into Dust-Ville. Can't-hold-them-up-any-longer-ville....
I do intensely hope for another 'one more time' navigation and entertainment update from Yamaha...but, if it doesn't come...what both you and I have....is usable, and doesn't cripple the all-round use of the bike....not at all. In closing this post, Tony...I think that the MORE miles this engine gets charted to it....the BETTER and BETTER it will run, sound,...and it has to date...and..., I think, the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture Trans Continental, is the best version on this planet, of a large displacement, V-Twin motorcycle engine, frame, and amenities, out there...in all its tech and design. Yes...we seem to have seen an issue with the present cam face/lifter face...but Tony...look how MANY OTHER issues plague the Harley M8 engine...too many to list here. There has not been one other mention of the SVTC 113. C.I. component that has failed....head warping due to heat....tranny issues...final drive issues...NOT ONE...from me...from you...from Rich...from Rob, from anybody....not one. We have a great machine....and as long as there are parts...supplied from Yamaha...I am good. I don't sweat any bad press and E.O.L. event from Yamaha to impact the value of this bike. I/we don't intend to sell it. If I am lucky to still be alive, or at least to still be able to take her off the side-stand....I would only spend the money to rebuild what needs to be rebuilt....and then carry right on, towards 200,000 miles and beyond. Tony...after owning a 2018 SVTC...what the heck, OTHER V-TWIN would I need to want to sell my SVTC for? What?!? Nothing....just keep her polished....keep her in good repair...and enjoy....and have the miles melt away from behind us....
I'm sure I have you (and if your wife is reading over your shoulder) smiling. Thinking....yep...Joe's preaching to the Choir here, Hon...! Tony...(and wife)...I bet that I am....lol!
I wish you and your wife, thousands of care-free, adventure filled miles aboard your SVTC, as I know you both wish the same for myself and my long-married, co-rider! One final closing thought and hope...I do hope that when our bike finally goes off warranty in year six....that someone out there...some 3rd party machine shop, will come out with a cam roller upgrade package for our rides. Eventually, every 'left over' 2018 and pseudo(new) '2020'...will be sold. There will be a market for such an upgrade. I do have one suggestion to you though....take a look at whatever accessory that you would like to buy for the bike...such as the rear tank bib...and I would suggest you buy two or three, (with a thinking of getting 3-5 years out of each...sun rot, cleaning wear...pant-thigh wear) so you will have one to merely remove from the packaging, and replace the worn out one. That's what I did...I bought three of Show Chromes/Big Part Parts rear tank bibs..just for that reason. If they stop producing that bib...I am good for the next 15 years of using one. Stuff like that....I already bought the wider and taller Tour windshield, also for that reasoning. A few other things as well. So...we are good to go with Charlotte for the rest our lives. We won't wear this bike out...before time wears the both of us out, Tony....and every time I ride her...that sense of strength and purpose-of-design tells us that....we chose a full winner, to replace our great 2008 GL1800...and the runner's torch is burning brightly! Long live the 2018 SVTC....a full-featured...fantastic and comfortable....truly----->TRANSCONTINENTAL....luxury motorcycle! Yamaha had a great concept...to marry traditional with modern....and they succeeded in their mission. That is...the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture T.C. They failed and stumbled in the production of....RTM-timelines....and communicative support of their flag ship after sale,....the company failed...not the motorcycle they produced.... I am still hoping to see a major upgrade to the Navigation Software...and I hope...that Yamaha has the class to still want to offer that to us...we, that invested with them...
Tony...Dee-Dee and I can't wait for late March to come....for a few days of rain to wash away any trace of winter road salt....and man-oh-man...do we have some great plans for long distance touring this year, other than what I posted about Boise, Idaho! Man...do we....
! Charlotte's massive capacity take-all, storage compartments are begging for a full load out!
And...come mid April...we are going to feed those compartments to the gunwales!