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Last week I received an email invitation to visit Mid-State Motorsports in Cookeville,Tn some 70 miles northeast of us. It's been raining everyday for two weeks and the Demo rides were today and tomorrow.
Me and the Misses rolled the dice and drove up there and much to our pleasure, the sun popped out with clear skies. Yamaha had provided the dealership with one of only two of the new Ventures that recently debuted. I sat on it along with the misses and I gotta tell you, this thing is a beast! The sales manager showed us all of the new technology down to the reverse assist. The model we sat on was the Inter-Continental and it was loaded to the hilt. It weighs in at 971 pounds. The sound system and security system were impressive. I've watched nearly every video that's come out on the new Venture, however seeing it in person and sitting on it is totally different from watching it on YouTube. For me it's just too big and pricey, yet I can see if one can afford it and travels a lot, it'd probably be worth the investment, just my opinion though.
We signed up for the ride demo and I chose the 1300. I really enjoyed riding it, very similar to my 950 but with a good bit more oomph. It felt very torquey and had excellent brakes. I liked the flow of the saddlebags and rear fender and the blacked out front end look. You'll see in the provided pics it was grey metallic color with two tone stripes. It had factory gps, abs brakes, and a decent sound system and iPod connections. It was the 2016 model with 2500 miles on it. I've always felt if I ever chose to sell my 950, the 1300 would be my next choice and this demo ride cemented that.
I also spoke to a Bob Cohenour, Northeast Region Field Support Manager for Yamaha Motor Co. Super nice guy and I shared with him some feedback we get from you the members. I told him as a moderator on our forum and a member that Yamaha should listen to the grass roots riders and have more dealerships get involved with carrying aftermarket items for Yamaha's and not to discontinue the Vstar line completely as I've seen more older riders get back in the saddle after a layoff and many don't want to ride a crotch rocket. I hear ya he said. He stated he'd worked for 30 years for HD, and is seeing the same thing in the industry. The manager of the dealership overheard our conversation and announced that by the end of August, they'll have an entire section dedicated to aftermarket parts available off the shelf. Bob also mentioned Yamaha's Yamalube program available to new owners within 240 days after purchase. He said that if Yamalube fails to protect the internals of Yamaha's engines, they'll replace the motor at 100% their cost. In closing I wanted to share today's experience with everyone and sorry if I got long winded. I was very pleased with how organized this was and how the Yamaha reps were willing to listen. Cory was our demo run guide and drove the Bolt, that is one quick ride! If anyone gets the chance to go to Yamaha's Demo Rides days, I highly recommend it. Hope the pics turned out good! IMG_3509.JPG IMG_3507.JPG


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Always a sucker for a 1300, especially for a deluxe. That'll be my next bike, just waiting to afford one.
 

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I hear ya 07, was hoping they'd have a deluxe tourer model we could've test ridden, however the demo was a sweet ride. Very good brakes and road manners.


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Let us know your impressions, and if the new Venture will be on display.


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That's great to hear @Keith Post.

My local Yammy dealer acts like test rides are a gift from God. Must be scheduled in advance after you've been to the dealer and 'proved' you're a 'serious buyer'... and you have to provide more ID than an immigrant applying for citizenship, plus a credit card. I've been in there a dozen times, had my bike serviced and worked on, chatted up the sales folk while I waited, and both times I actually indicated an interest in test-riding something it was "Well... maybe three weeks from next Tuesday" and all but "If you guarantee you're going to buy it if the test-ride goes well..." I went through the rigamarole ONCE just because I wanted to try out a Bolt... and the salesman literally called me the next day saying he might be fired if I didn't buy since "I vouched for you on this..."

I hate to bring up an awkward subject but the local HD dealer has it all over them in that regard. Walk in say "I wanna try a ____" and one photo ID and signed waiver later, you're on the road. Truth-time: Yeah, I've taken advantage of that for joy-riding and never bought one from them... BUT I've probably "sold" a half-dozen for them telling friends "yeah, just go in and ask to ride..."

Wish I could do the same for my local Yamaha dealer, but probably kinda the opposite I fear.
 

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I was pleasantly surprised at how willing they were for demo rides. All they requested was a valid motorcycle endorsement drivers license and you signed a liability waiver. Every hour on the hour there was a scheduled demo ride with 8-10 different models Yamaha has to offer. The Reps were super nice and we're appreciative that so many turned out. There was no pressure to make a purchase. The sales staff went into detail over the new Venture model we all got to sit on. Again it was a really well structured event. There were several HD, Honda, and Triumph owners that came out to test ride one of the Yamaha models.


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Let us know your impressions, and if the new Venture will be on display.


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The Venture was on display. No ridding that bike though. I was impressed. It was the red one. Beutiful bike.
It was super hot out there. I wanted to ride the FJ09 2nd, but I was there in the morning and it would have been 3 pm so I bailed.
What I did ride was the V Star 1300 Deluxe. Didn't really feel heavy compared to my Bolt. On the freeway even at an indicated 80 it wasn't buzzy at all so that concern was completely eliminated. Lots of attractive lockable storage. Had a lot of trouble finding neutral when at a stop, but no problem while it was moving. Never did the heel toe shifting before. I could get used to it quick. On the downside, it was boring compared to my Bolt. Granted I have an intake and Ivan's flash on the Bolt, but at least stock the Deluxe felt like it had no "soul". Very ho hum. Seems like a good trip bike compared to my Bolt for a long trip with freeways involved though. Having the Yamaha leather saddlebags without locks on the Bolt is not practical for many situations. Anyhow I've crossed the 1300 off my list. The Raider remains on the list though. I just need to ride one. Pretty sure whatever I buy it will be a Yamaha. I like the Yamis.
 

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I was able to ride the Venture at Star Days in Treasure Island on Thursday. Rode two up with the wife. I normally ride a 1300T. I thought they would give you a little time with the bike but a few curves going out of the parking lot and away we went. My bike was in the Sport mode and it was really responsive like a crotch rocket almost. I think the position of the handle bars and how they steer is different, but got use to them. I was surprised at how fast the bike would rev out. My wife liked the grab handles and the back support. We did not have much time with the bike after the ride, 22 mile ride then turn around for next group.
 

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I'd read where the new Venture would quickly rev out and that it was quite responsive. Glad you got to ride it. Thanks for sharing with us.


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Tom HB, our guide rode the bolt and it was very quick and nimble looking. We rode the 1300T and it didn't feel much heavier than our 950T. It was a bit more torquey but bone stock and our 950T isn't. I did like the fairing and accessories that came on it, however at 14k, I'm good with the 950T that's paid for.


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One good thing Keith I see my test ride made me appreciate what I have more. The fun to ride factor is extremely important for me. And yes, my Bolt is paid for too. : )
 

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Granted I have an intake and Ivan's flash on the Bolt, but at least stock the Deluxe felt like it had no "soul". Very ho hum..
I used to own a 950, had all the intake, exhaust fuel tuners etc. I felt the same ho-hum way when I picked up my 1300. Then I put the pipes, intake and fuel tuner (has the flash now) and bam! The 1300 smoked the wimpy 950 balls to the wall power and torque. When I took my first ride on the 1300 with the mods, a huge smile came across my face. The 1300 is aggressively de-tuned and even leaner that the 950, because of the water cooling.
 

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Hmmm, intresting baron58. Maybe I should put the Deluxe back on my radar?

When I traded my 950 in for my 1300 I had all the power mods on the 950. On the way home with the 1300 I was a little disappointed in the punch and power or lack of as I was assuming with the bigger engine I would have more, even though the 950 wasn't stock. I wasn't too worried as before I even bought the 1300 I was going to do all the intake exhaust and fuel tuner etc. A week after I had them installed, bam! I was loving the bike. They had a bigger impact on the 1300 than they did at least from what I felt on the 950.

The final icing on the cake was the Ivan Flash. I mean you can hit it hard in 2nd gear and be at 75 MPH and it doesn't feel like it's coming apart. Not trying to advocate for the 1300, everyone has to make their own decision. But I see why the 1300 is their better selling cruiser. Not too heavy, not too small meaning tall and short alike fit just fine, plenty of power for 2 up freeway use and or around town as it is very nimble.
 

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The mileage dropped about 5 MPG as expected when you increase HP since you need more fuel to do so, but definitely worth it. The bike (1300) now gets about 42 - 43 mpg which is exactly what Yamaha estimates on the gutless lean engine.

A lot of people see the mileage drop a tad more due to the twisting effect meaning the power and punch that is added is addictive, it is fun to abruptly twist the throttle.

The biggest change you can make is the air intake system, exhaust mods add very little if any at all, they are all looks and sound. Factory exhausts systems actually have to be pretty efficient since the engine is being de-tuned with fuel air and ignition. The factory mufflers have a tad more restriction than aftermarket due to the cat and sound dampening baffles.
 
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