An open letter and commentary to Tony (Chief) - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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An open letter and commentary to Tony (Chief)

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...

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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...

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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!

Cheers,

Joe

Last edited by YamahaParExcellence; 02-27-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 04:03 PM
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I can tell you Joe as one that came off of an 08 Wing that I want to love this bike but it keeps fighting me. There are so many things I really enjoy about it but I fear it's reliability. I have a random yet consistent backfire that actually did it to me the other day when I was easing into the throttle going from 5th to 6th. While I have not heard it in a while, I have heard the engine "eating" itself numerous time when cold. The other day on the way home from a 200 mile ride I was about 50 miles from home in the middle of no where and it started making what sounded like a scrapeing noise between 60 - 65 mph in 6th. I could pull the clutch in and it would go away. It has not done it since then so I figure it has something to do with the engine needing to be heat soaked for that to happen. It runs fantastic all the time except for the occasional backfire but the noises it makes keeps me worried, something I never was on the Wing.

Rob - 18 Raspberry SVTC, 08 Pearl White Navi Goldwing
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bucfan11 View Post
I can tell you Joe as one that came off of an 08 Wing that I want to love this bike but it keeps fighting me. There are so many things I really enjoy about it but I fear it's reliability. I have a random yet consistent backfire that actually did it to me the other day when I was easing into the throttle going from 5th to 6th. While I have not heard it in a while, I have heard the engine "eating" itself numerous time when cold. The other day on the way home from a 200 mile ride I was about 50 miles from home in the middle of no where and it started making what sounded like a scrapeing noise between 60 - 65 mph in 6th. I could pull the clutch in and it would go away. It has not done it since then so I figure it has something to do with the engine needing to be heat soaked for that to happen. It runs fantastic all the time except for the occasional backfire but the noises it makes keeps me worried, something I never was on the Wing.
Yes, we both came off our 2008 GL1800's and they are great bikes! Rob...I honestly have no noises other than the spin 'busy' noise of the cams behind their engine compartment. There is a very faint tick at the top, but only what you'd expect from the tapping down upon the heads of the valve stems. We more than not, run our SVTC full-two up, and not a sliver left in all three storage areas. So...a good load of weight is mostly always been asked to be moved by the engine and tranny.

I can only suggest that you try and log whatever you hear abnormally, when it comes to play, and hopefully can have your dealer's tech review the video with you. You might have some anomaly that needs getting attended to. The good news, I hope you read in this post, is that if I do not have any such maladies, so then, that speaks to it is not engineered-specific across the model.

I really do believe that this engine, does need a premium oil, that has a very high anti-friction bearing loud out rating. I know, that you feel this engine should be able to pump through it, anything you wish to run with, and that probably was the case with your 2008 GL1800, but each engine and manufacturer, I have ever owned, has its own unique needs and quirks.

What you are hearing though...I'd certainly take it in...and tell them, you want a factory tech to come in....run tests, run test rides, listen to any videos or sound-bytes you may have successfully captured...and you want a written report that the engine is totally within running spec's. I'd want that for sure. For sure you should have NO backfire...and I have certainly never had a backfire, or burp or miss at idle, or when applying throttle...whether when cold, and running the first few feet off my driveway...or when torquing it out, or into Phoenix, Arizona in August heat.

Since the 600 mile swap-out, I have only run with YamaLube 15W50, and this year, am going to try Royal Purple Max Cycle 10W40, only because American states that his SVTC runs better with a 10W40 than the 15W50, and I am Curious George. I'll run one cycle of that oil...and judge from there, if I stay with it...or run that exclusively in my 2004 Kawasaki ZR-7S, of which 10W40 is specified.

Back on topic...Rob...I'd take it in...and want a total high-level 'bill of health' from a factory rep tech...after you have voiced your concerns on your particular SVTC. I never had an issue ever with the entire 2008 GL1800 either.,..but...having stated that...the same can be said to date, for our 2018 SVTC.

BTW, my normal on-tour Modus Operandi, is to run the SVTC in TOUR mode, but flip to Sport when wishing to highway maneuver, such as passing on two lanes, or wanting to get by , fast, a tractor trailer in the lane next to me. But for the most part, I find TOUR mode more than adequate for our runs, and the bike's load out. I wish you luck, in tracking down what you instinctively feel is not right...should not be there....and hope you get it to where you feel totally confident in all ride, and ownership matters!

Joe

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 06:15 PM
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I've taken it in twice with the dealer telling me both times they could not duplicate, which I believe. I really want to love this bike but every time I start to get comfortable with it noise screeches from the engine. The backfiring I can live with as I believe it is a fuel mixture issue. I will feel much better once I look at the valves on my next oil change. I am blessed in that if this machine breaks down on me I'll go get something else and will not be stuck with a bike I can't trust.

Rob - 18 Raspberry SVTC, 08 Pearl White Navi Goldwing
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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I've taken it in twice with the dealer telling me both times they could not duplicate, which I believe. I really want to love this bike but every time I start to get comfortable with it noise screeches from the engine. The backfiring I can live with as I believe it is a fuel mixture issue. I will feel much better once I look at the valves on my next oil change. I am blessed in that if this machine breaks down on me I'll go get something else and will not be stuck with a bike I can't trust.
Right..one must feel comfortable in the ride...and about the dealer duplicating...one suggestion. Maybe have a spare or second cell phone, always on voice record, or some other such tech...and if and when it happens again, you will have the sound bytes to let them listen to. Then...if the sound(s) allow you to get off the bike, and put the bike onto the side stand, running, you can then with your main cell phone, start a video....moving the camera around the engine at different locations, as the video is also recording any and all sounds. One more suggestion. Have a piece of 1/2 round steel bar stock, with a piece of masking tape on each end...and that if you do hear the sound, you can place one end of the bar directly resting over the part of the engine it is coming from, and the mic hole of your camera at the other end...that will transfer all sounds, very clearly... You know...sticking your ear over the end butt of a flat screwdriver handle as you touch the blade end to the engine noise location. Did that lots of times, to pin-point a sound in the past,...etc. Old trick.... That would certainly amplify and help in the diagnosis, Rob. But...one must remember still, not everyone is experiencing your unique set of circumstances. X number of SVTC's built...some will show isolated problems, as any bike model. It always sucks when it is one that you own....

Last edited by YamahaParExcellence; 02-26-2019 at 06:28 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bucfan11 View Post
I've taken it in twice with the dealer telling me both times they could not duplicate, which I believe. I really want to love this bike but every time I start to get comfortable with it noise screeches from the engine. The backfiring I can live with as I believe it is a fuel mixture issue. I will feel much better once I look at the valves on my next oil change. I am blessed in that if this machine breaks down on me I'll go get something else and will not be stuck with a bike I can't trust.
Rob let me know if you want my video that I believe is the same sound you are experiencing. I had this same metal gear skipping noise at start and then while running thru the gears or slowing down. On a cold morning the engine would have a louder then usual chunk noise and then run ok until the back fires. Anyway after the rebuild, still too soon to really make a good statement, the engine is running and sounding way stronger not sure sounding any better than first bought. No back fires and touring mode is as powerful as the very first month I owned it. Toward the end the engine would stall when starting off as if there wasn't enough power, now I we know that was the case. Anyway I really hope no issue or worries your way.
I still have a hard time listening to this motor as I go thru the gears but as I have been told and read on this forum that this noise is normal. I will know more once I can get miles on it. To date from delivery after rebuild I only put on just over a 100 miles. ☹️
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 04:58 PM
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Right..one must feel comfortable in the ride...and about the dealer duplicating...one suggestion. Maybe have a spare or second cell phone, always on voice record, or some other such tech...and if and when it happens again, you will have the sound bytes to let them listen to. Then...if the sound(s) allow you to get off the bike, and put the bike onto the side stand, running, you can then with your main cell phone, start a video....moving the camera around the engine at different locations, as the video is also recording any and all sounds. One more suggestion. Have a piece of 1/2 round steel bar stock, with a piece of masking tape on each end...and that if you do hear the sound, you can place one end of the bar directly resting over the part of the engine it is coming from, and the mic hole of your camera at the other end...that will transfer all sounds, very clearly... You know...sticking your ear over the end butt of a flat screwdriver handle as you touch the blade end to the engine noise location. Did that lots of times, to pin-point a sound in the past,...etc. Old trick.... That would certainly amplify and help in the diagnosis, Rob. But...one must remember still, not everyone is experiencing your unique set of circumstances. X number of SVTC's built...some will show isolated problems, as any bike model. It always sucks when it is one that you own....
Would love to record but the "engine eating itself" noise is very rare and only lasts at the most 1/2 second. I have not heard that one in a while. I can get it to backfire now almost anytime if it is completely cold, which I believe the dealer remedy would be to warm it up for 30 seconds, which if I do it is ok. The other noise I could probably record on my next long ride. I have to have over 50 miles without stopping for it to start making that noise.

Rob - 18 Raspberry SVTC, 08 Pearl White Navi Goldwing
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 05:02 PM
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Rob let me know if you want my video that I believe is the same sound you are experiencing. I had this same metal gear skipping noise at start and then while running thru the gears or slowing down. On a cold morning the engine would have a louder then usual chunk noise and then run ok until the back fires. Anyway after the rebuild, still too soon to really make a good statement, the engine is running and sounding way stronger not sure sounding any better than first bought. No back fires and touring mode is as powerful as the very first month I owned it. Toward the end the engine would stall when starting off as if there wasn't enough power, now I we know that was the case. Anyway I really hope no issue or worries your way.
I still have a hard time listening to this motor as I go thru the gears but as I have been told and read on this forum that this noise is normal. I will know more once I can get miles on it. To date from delivery after rebuild I only put on just over a 100 miles. ☹️
I would love to take a look/listen to your video, hopefully, I will not recognize any of the sounds.

Rob - 18 Raspberry SVTC, 08 Pearl White Navi Goldwing
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Would love to record but the "engine eating itself" noise is very rare and only lasts at the most 1/2 second. I have not heard that one in a while. I can get it to backfire now almost anytime if it is completely cold, which I believe the dealer remedy would be to warm it up for 30 seconds, which if I do it is ok. The other noise I could probably record on my next long ride. I have to have over 50 miles without stopping for it to start making that noise.
If some sounds only occur after travelling 50 miles, but not before, or lasts only for a half second...I am thinking more that there isn't a mechanical problem, Rob...but perhaps, your engine/frame simply has ***arthritis***? That sound of only half a second, could be some 'joints' popping, like I get in my right knee (!)....and oh...that 'engine eating itself', could be stomach upset...just give the gal, better gas...LOL! That might be 'bad gas'....LOLOLOLOLOL! Oh...oh....and the 'backfires?'.....just perhaps some occasional flatulence.... !!!!

Yeah...that's it....from now on...you should put a blanket over the bike...at night...just to keep the dampness away, and watch her diet...!!!!! Poor gal! Tummy upset....
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Last edited by YamahaParExcellence; 02-28-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 06:28 PM
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I would love to take a look/listen to your video, hopefully, I will not recognize any of the sounds.
I hear ya. I will upload and post the link.
Here it is. The first sound is less than a minute into the video than the louder noise shortly after the first sound stopping at the top of the hill. You can faintly hear it again shorthly after I take off from the stop.

Last edited by GARider; 02-27-2019 at 06:44 PM.
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