Here's Why Yamaha Discontinued This Impressive Touring Motorcycle After Just 3 Years

The Yamaha Star Venture was a well-received touring bike toward the end of the 2010s. The ride didn't reinvent the wheel, but it delivered a comfortable, reliable, long-distance touring motorcycle with all the bells, whistles, and creature comforts expected with a high-end bike of that caliber. took it for a spin and had nothing but good things to report, particularly about the comparatively new on-board GPS and infotainment system and how good the big bike was at accommodating passengers.

Given all that goodwill, it might seem strange that a rider looking for a comfy long distance cruiser can't stroll into a Yamaha dealer today and pick up the latest model. The Star Venture and its smaller sibling, the Star Eluder, were discontinued as of 2020, with the latest model year being the 2021. 

Gerrad Capley, Street Motorcycle Communication Specialist at Yamaha, told SlashGear that "the Star Venture is no longer in our lineup, and there are no current plans to bring it back."

But the story of the Star-branded motorcycles begins back in 1994 (via Timeless 2 Wheels).

Big bikes in a shrinking world

Throughout its history, Star produced several popular models, leveraging the fact that, while Yamaha was a Japanese company, its bikes were designed and produced in California, appealing to riders looking for American-made machines (via Timeless 2 Wheels).

Things were going well, until they weren't. According to Ultimate Motorcycling, the 2008 to 2009 recession saw a massive drop in motorcycle sales, and while the market leveled out over time, touring bikes in particular struggled to reclaim their pre-recession business. Younger buyers came to the dealership with concerns that worked against touring bikes' strengths: lightness, fuel efficiency, and practicality in a city setting (via Yahoo Finance).

Yamaha changed with the times, ditching the Star brand name, and, in 2016, brought its designs back under its umbrella. It still continues to produce a number of bikes, but the Star Venture and the Star Eluder will no longer be counted among them.