It Has One Of the Largest Engines You’ll Find In A Touring Bike

Inside every full dresser is a bagger begging to get out, and for Yamaha’s Transcontinental touring line, that distinction falls to the Star Eluder. Power comes from a massive V-twin lump, and it carries an electronics suite that includes safety-related features under ride-by-wire control plus some ride-quality items that let you dial in for preference and conditions. All that comes coupled with long-distance/cold-weather comfort and infotainment system to round out the Eluder as a potential tourbike and a solid candidate as a commuter.

  • 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1854 cc
  • Price:
    22499
  • Price:

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Design

The icing on the cake has to be the voice-recognition software that gives you control over the infotainment system simply by speaking to it.

A broad front fairing on the Star Eluder leads the way and punches a significant hole in the weather for the pilot. It has a short windscreen to start that boulevard-bruiser look that also ties in with the custom culture. The fairing opens up like the mouth of a whale shark to contain a quartet of recessed headlights that split the night, and in a bid to keep the front end relatively clean, the factory integrated the front turn signals with the standoff-style mirrors. I like that; not only does it look sharp, but it elevates the blinkers where they are more visible to the rest of the traffic.

The fairing extends down the sides and joins with a pair of footguards to protect the your legs all the way down, and each side doubles as a wind scoop to aid with cooling. Inside the fairing, a pair of round analog gauges display speed and rpm with a handful of indicator lights to cover some of the other bases, but the real selling point in this area is the seven-inch color LCD screen that acts as an interface for the infotainment system. Want to listen to music? The system has you covered. Need to field phonecalls under way? A Bluetooth connection handles that, too. Feeling lost or needing to dodge some weather? You’re golden with a GPS receiver and SiriusXM weather service included in the GT option package. Tactile controls include handlebar switches and a touchscreen, but the icing on the cake has to be the voice-recognition software that gives you control over the infotainment system simply by speaking to it.

At the hand-control levers you have a comfort tweak with a five-position adjuster that lets you set up both the brake and the clutch levers to suit your hand size. A massive, 6.6-gallon fuel tank defines a declining flyline that gently falls off to the deep-scoop seat and swoops back up over the rear fender for the pillion. The rider’s triangle puts you in the windsock position with pullback bars and forward foot controls. The pillion enjoys adjustable fold-up footboards of their own to go with a serious set of J.C. handles for her remaining points of contact.

Color-matched, hard-side saddlebags house wide taillights that match the one on the rear fender to help maximize visibility since there’s no structure in back to elevate them as there is up front. Just about everything but the sheet metal has a blackout look across the board, and in the Raven color package, even that is black as well.

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Chassis

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
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You expect the rock-solid tracking and low-fatigue touring on the Eluder and it delivers.

Tubular-steel members make up the main frame on the Star Eluder, but cast-aluminum is the material of choice for the subframe to make it a hybrid structure. The double-downtube/double-cradle sports a set of composite engine mounts in a bid to minimize vibration transfer between engine and frame. Rake and trail measure in at 31-degrees and 5.7-inches long to deliver rock-solid tracking and low-fatigue touring, and the suspension choices and frame geometry leaves the Eluder with a low 27.6-inch seat.

Fat, 46 mm forks float the front end on fixed values with 5.1 inches of travel at the axle, and in the rear, a preload-adjustable monoshock tames the motion of the swingarm with 4.3 inches of travel for a smooth ride that ignores irregularities in the road surface.

The Star Eluder is not, by any standard, a light bike. It weighs in at 875-pounds wet, and the factory kept that in mind when it decided on the brake hardware. A pair of 298 mm discs and Unified Brake System calipers slow the front wheel and share some of the stopping power with the 320 mm rear disc and caliper out back, plus there’s an ABS feature that comes stock to protect from loss of traction due to over-braking. The Bridgestone Exedra hoops and cast wheels round out the rolling chassis with a 130/70-18 opposite a 200/55-16.

Suspension / Front: 46mm telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
Suspension / Rear: Single shock with remote preload adjustment; 4.3-in travel
Rake (Caster Angle): 31.0°
Trail: 5.7 in
Brakes / Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298 mm; Unified Brake System and ABS
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic disc, 320 mm; Unified Brake System and ABS
Tires / Front: 130/70R18 Bridgestone® Exedra®
Tires / Rear: 200/55R16 Bridgestone® Exedra®

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Drivetrain

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
- image 844857
This engine is bigger than either Indian's Thunder Stroke 111 or Harley-Davidson's bottom-tier Milwaukee-Eight 107, and it has the power output to impress.

Big V-twin engines aren’t exactly the first thing that pops into mind when I think of Yamaha, but in light of the Star Eluder’s 113 cubic-inch (1,854 cc) lump, perhaps it should be. This is even bigger than Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 and Harley-Davidson’s bottom-tier Milwaukee-Eight 107, and it is a noteworthy mill, especially when we look at the power output. Said power measures in with a whopping, 126 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque, and while the factory is keeping the top speed numbers close to the vest, it claims a 75 mph speed at 2,750 rpm in top gear which makes for some low-stress cruising indeed.

The 100 mm bore and 118 mm stroke runs with a 9.5-to-1 compression ratio that prevents the bottom-end from beating itself to death, but it’ll have you at the mid-grade pump every time. OHV, dual-plug, 8-valve heads cap the air-cooled jugs, and between the downtubes is a little oil cooler to help draw off a little extra heat and protect the engine’s lifeblood.

A ride-by-wire throttle control sends its signal to the YCC-T system that helps bridge the gap between demand and what the plant can smoothly deliver. The factory doubles down on the ride control with its proprietary D-mode feature that lets you dial in power deliver to suit the prevailing conditions. Traction control adds another layer of protection for the rear contact patch, and there’s a slipper-type clutch between the mill and the six-speed transmission for yet another layer.

Engine: 113-cubic-inch (1,854cc) air-cooled OHV V-twin; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 mm x 118.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection with YCC-T and D-Mode
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate assist and slipper wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Pricing

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
- image 844861
MSRP runs $22.5k on the Star Eluder.

For $22,499, you can score a 2018 Star Eluder in Impact Blue, Liquid Silver, or Raven. For another $1,500 across the board you can add the “GT” option package that gives you a CB, upgraded GPS and SiriusXM radio, as well as the security option.

Warranty: 1 year limited factory warranty (with option for additional 4 years Yamaha Extended Service)
Colors: Impact Blue, Raven, Liquid Silver
Price: $22,499 (w/ GT option: $23,999)

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Competitors

2018 - 2019 Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing Tour
- image 742329
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
- image 844885
The DCT gearbox is probably the biggest selling point the Gold Wing has over the Eluder, but if you need a wimpshift, Honda has about the only game in town.

No doubt, the Star Eluder is built with the American touring market in mind, so rather than hitting up a domestic product, I went with another import that’s vying for business; the Honda Gold Wing. The “GW” brings much the same bagger look to the table with a full front fairing and a pair of large, hard-side bags below an otherwise clean rear end.

The Honda rides with a 29.3-inch seat height, and while that’s only a couple of inches taller than the Eluder, it’s enough to make a difference to riders with a very short inseam. In spite of the taller seat, the center of gravity is still relatively low on the GW, and the family has a reputation for sport-like handling and an eagerness to dive into the corners.

Honda takes its infotainment up a notch with Apple’s CarPlay music system that networks with your smartphone, and if cords ain’t your thing, you can get the Bluetooth option for a wireless headset connection.

Rather than taking the V-twin route, Honda powers the GW with a flat, opposed-six engine to deliver smooth power to the tune of 125 pounds o’ grunt to just about break even with the Yamaha lump. I would like to point out that, of the two, the Honda is the one which does not keep its engine protected within the confines of the frame/body, but instead lets its heads stick out into harm’s way , so there’s that to consider.

You can score a Gold Wing for $23,800 with the manual, six-speed transmission, and if automatic shifting sounds good to you, then you can expect to shell out a total of $25,000. The DCT gearbox is probably the biggest selling point the GW has over the Eluder, but if you need a wimpshift, Honda has about the only game in town.

He Said

“Wow, what a chunk o’ bike Yamaha has here. It looks comfortable and stable, even when sitting still, and is sure to give the Wing-Dingers a run for their money in the import tourbike market. Of course, both of those marques have to overcome stiff competition from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Indian Motorcycles, and are actually fighting over the narrow slice of buyers who want an American-style tourbike without buying an actual American-made model.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This is about as awesome a touring bike as you’ll get without going for a full dresser. Even without a top case, you have somewhere in the neighborhood of nine gallons of dry storage. The ride is smooth, there’s a truckload of torque down low in the rev-range, and seating is so comfortable, your butt could possibly last in the saddle for a whole tank’s worth of fuel. The adjustable vents up front also make for a more comfortable ride. Close the vents to let the heat from the engine wash over your legs when the weather is cold and open them to let cool air through when the weather is warm. As with the Star Venture, however, I’m not a fan of the styling. I think for the money you’ll spend to get the Eluder, there are other touring baggers out there as awesome performance-wise and better looking.”

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 113-cubic-inch (1,854cc) air-cooled OHV V-twin; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 mm x 118.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection with YCC-T and D-Mode
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate assist and slipper wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Chassis:
Suspension / Front: 46mm telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
Suspension / Rear: Single shock with remote preload adjustment; 4.3-in travel
Rake (Caster Angle): 31.0°
Trail: 5.7 in
Brakes / Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298 mm; Unified Brake System and ABS
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic disc, 320 mm; Unified Brake System and ABS
Tires / Front: 130/70R18 Bridgestone® Exedra®
Tires / Rear: 200/55R16 Bridgestone® Exedra®
Dimensions & Capacities:
L x W x H: 98.0 in x 38.4 in x 50.2 in
Seat Height: 27.6 in
Wheelbase: 67.3 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 4.9 in
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gal
Fuel Economy: 34.0 mpg
Wet Weight: 875 lb (w/ GT option: 877 lb)
Top Speed: TBD
Details:
Warranty: 1 year limited factory warranty (with option for additional 4 years Yamaha Extended Service)
Colors: Impact Blue, Raven, Liquid Silver
Price: $22,499 (w/ GT option: $23,999)

Further Reading

Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing Tour

2018 - 2019 Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing Tour
- image 742336

See our review of the Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing Tour.

2018 Yamaha Star Venture

Yamaha Star Venture
- image 719611

See our review of the Yamaha Star Venture.

Yamaha

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 788830

Read more Yamaha news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com. honda.com

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