For the American market, Yamaha has announced the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture tourer, which brings the uber-tourer game up a notch, surpassing the bar set by the benchmark in this segment, the Honda Gold Wing. Priced at 24,999 USD (RM106,347) for the base model, and 26,999 USD (RM114,855) for the “TC” – traction control – version, the Yamaha Star Venture is a strange mix of traditional and high-tech.

Carrying a 1,854 cc air-cooled OHV V-twin 4-valve engine derived from the Yamaha XV1900 cruiser, the mill is fed by fuel-injection and features ride-by-wire, which allows for traction control and ride modes as well as electronically controlled cruise control. Yamaha omits any mention of a power figure, but torque is rated at a stump-pulling 171 Nm at 2,500 rpm.

Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox driving a shaft, and all-up weight for the base model Star Venture is claimed to be 434 kg, while the TC model weighs in at 437 kg. Air for the twin-spark engine is taken from a central intake on the front fairing, which also features an electrically adjustable windscreen.

The high-tech part of the Star Venture is contained in its infotainment system, displayed on a seven-inch colour touchscreen. This allows for the rider to control many of the systems on the bike, including the audio and navigation systems, vehicle information display, heater and electric screen, as well as the communication systems for telephone, radiotelephone, passenger communication and receiving messages.

New for Yamaha is the Star Venture’s “Sure-Park”, which uses an electric motor to drive the bike both forward and back at 1 km/h, easing parking manoeuvres. Seat height for Yamaha’s touring machine is set at 695 mm, making it easy for the rider to swing a leg over.

As can be expected for this level of touring bike, the Star Venture features electrically heated seats, and locking for the trunk and panniers is electronic. ABS is standard on the Star Venture, and the handlebar levers are adjustable for reach, with heated grips.

In Malaysia, the only real luxury touring machine in this class being offered is the 2017 BMW Motorrad K 1600 GT. This German touring motorcycle retails locally at RM159,900, including GST, but excluding road tax, insurance and registration.