Yamaha Star Venture/Eluder Problems: 4 Known Issues (Explained)

The Star Venture and Eluder are both luxury touring motorcycles produced by Yamaha.

Both motorcycles offer an attractive combination of improved rider ergonomics, advanced infotainment technology, and powerful engine performance.

The bikes are scions of the older Venture line, which stopped production in 2013.

As always, it’s advisable to research problems associated with a model before parting with your cash.

We’ve compiled a list of common problems encountered on the Star Eluder and Star Venture models to assist you.

1. Repeated Whining Problem

Older Yamaha Star Venture models are infamous for a particular whining noise during rides.

The noise is mainly absent on startup and increases as the bike speeds up, reaching a crescendo around 60-75 mph.

Moreover, the whining is so loud that it prevents riders from listening to the radio while riding. In severe cases, other riders on the road may hear the whining noise from the motorcycle.

Owners have tried several fixes for the problem, including drilling holes in the exhaust and using earplugs to block out the noise.

Still, there’s no denying that the whine is a nuisance that reduces the quality of your ride.

Riders in the forums believe the whining is coming from the clutch. Most refer to this issue as the “clutch whine” problem.

Others claim they’ve traced the sound to the final drive.

Possible Causes:

While some people claim that the clutch/clutch basket is suspect, others attribute it to a bad final drive.

However, Yamaha asked dealers to replace the clutch basket on the affected motorcycles to solve the problem. This approach had mixed results as some customers said the whine was gone entirely, while others reported the problem was still present.

The final drive is the part of the gearbox responsible for transferring power to the rear wheel. Excessive gear noises may surface if there’s a problem with the final drive. In some cases, the final drive was responsible for the whining noise.

Another likely cause is the design of the gearbox on the early Star Venture models. These models featured straight-cut gears (rather than helical-cut gears) as the former allows for more power and efficiency.

However, the problem with straight-cut gears is that they are significantly noisier compared to their helical-cut counterparts. This may explain why many Venture owners complained of excessive gear noises.

Possible Solutions:

As said earlier, Yamaha directed dealerships to replace the clutch basket with a newer, improved variant.

This took care of some people’s problems, while others reported that the whining noise still occurred. Have the clutch basket inspected and possibly replaced if you bought a bike or planned to buy a bike with this problem.

It’s advisable to have your final drive chain checked for any problems. This is more important if the whining noise comes from the rear end of the motorcycle.

Also, read our article on 4 Most Common Problems With Yamaha MT-10

2. Carburator Problems (Vintage Venture Models)

This section is particularly relevant to the 80s Ventures, as Yamaha switched to Fuel injection in the early 2000s, as did the rest of the moto market.

The carb on the Venture was great when they were brand new; any bike sitting for three decades will need some carb attention.

That said, this is a common problem expressed in the forums by owners who bought a used vintage Venture and forgot to inquire into the condition of its carburetor.

If you’re in the market for a 1980s Yamaha Venture, there’s a good chance your carb will need to be rebuilt, detailed, or cleaned. 

Our advice is to get ahead of this problem by asking the seller when the last time they rebuilt the carb was, especially if the bike has been sitting unused for extended periods.

Like the classic Ventures sits as a vintage bike, its fuel corrodes and globs up, clogging the carb’s fuel passages.

Symptoms of a Faulty Carb on a Yamaha Venture:

  1. Lacking Engine Performance
  2. Fuel leaks Under the Bike when Parked
  3. Fuel Leaking into your Air Box

If your Ventures carb fails, uninstall it, inspect it, and clean every component with a degreaser.

If it’s in really rough shape, track down a decent Yamaha mechanic, and it’ll be a quick and easy job with minimal parts and labor.

3. Faulty Fuel Pump

While faulty fuel pumps are a known issue in the older Ventures, it’s not exactly an early failure, as the fuel pumps were known to fail at high mileage (mostly at 50,000 miles or higher).

Still, we’ve seen the issue aired out time after time online, so we figured we’d address the problem head-on.

The fuel pump directs fuel from the tank to the engine. Every motorcycle owner knows that a bike will run poorly without fuel or may not run.

Thus, problems with the fuel pump often affect overall performance.

Symptoms of a Faulty Fuel Pump

Here are signs you have a problematic fuel pump:

  1. Bike surges while riding: A faulty fuel pump may be responsible if the motorcycle’s RPM fluctuates without rider input.
  2. Bike refuses to start: Just as humans need blood to function, bikes need fuel to run. A failed fuel pump cannot supply fuel to the motorcycle’s engine. As such, you won’t be able to start the bike.
  3. Engine stalls for no reason: A faulty fuel pump will restrict fuel flow to the engine and increase the engine’s chances of stalling.

Possible Solutions

The real solution here is to replace the entire fuel pump unit.

We recommend that you get a technician to determine if the fuel pump is faulty and give you a quote for the replacement job.

4. Worn Electrical/Charging System (Vintage Venture Models)

Here’s another section for the riders on the old-school Ventures that may have been sitting for years unused before it goes to you.

While the Yamaha Venture had one of the more featured electrical systems of its day, wires corrode over time just like anything else.

Again, this isn’t indicative of a flaw in the Venture’s design as a typical issue on vintage bikes that are especially important on an old bagger with electronic perks.

Possible Causes:

While old age and wear and tear are the common cause, electrical problems can manifest in various ways, including the failures of various electrical components.

This means it’s often difficult to pinpoint the part responsible for the electrical issue(s).

Here are some things to look out for when attempting to diagnose electrical issues on a vintage Star Venture models:

  1. Faulty relays
  2. Bad regulator/rectifier
  3. Loose or corroded battery connections
  4. Bad ignition switch
  5. Faulty stator
  6. A defective or worn-out battery
  7. Upgrades and Accessories
    • e.g., auxiliary lighting, LED glow lights, trailer light harness, GPS, anti-theft alarm, etc. If any of these are left running, they may drain the battery.

General Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Star Venture and Eluder:

Here are some of the merits and demerits of the Yamaha Star Venture and Eluder motorcycles:

Pros of The Yamaha Star Venture & Eluder

Here are some of the merits of these motorcycles:

1. Impressive Rider Ergonomics

The Yamaha Star Venture/Eluder offers all the comfort and rides quality associated with touring machines.

Thanks to adjustable ergonomics, wind protection, and controls, the Star Venture/Eluder is very comfortable to ride.

Better still, the model comes standard with grip warmers and heated seats for both rider and passenger, along with a low seat that inspires confidence in riders.

2. State-of-the-art Infotainment System

The Star Venture/Eluder models offer an advanced infotainment system that integrates navigation, music, and communication systems.

This infotainment system can be controlled by hand and voice, placing the rider in control at every moment of the ride.

3. Innovative Engine Design

The Yamaha Star Venture and Star Eluder come with a massive, torquey 113 air-cooled V-twin engine that produces a best-in-class 126 pound-feet of torque.

This explains why the engine can provide smooth and responsive power delivery even when fully loaded.

Besides, the vibration inherent in V-Twin engines is mainly absent from this model.

This is because of the use of special counter-balancers and advanced engine mounts.

Cons of Yamaha Star Venture & Eluder

Here are some of the shortcomings of the Yamaha Star Venture and Eluder bikes:

  1. Repeated Whining Problem
  2. Bike May Overheat
  3. Faulty Fuel Pump
  4. Multiple Electrical Problems

What Do the Reviews Say?

“With a fantastic chassis and wonderfully responsive motor, the Star Venture is simply a great ride. Longest distance riders will want to personalize it, while those who keep the daily mileage down to a couple of tankfuls will find very little to distract from pure touring enjoyment.”

[Source: Ultimatemotorcycling.com]

What Is the Resale Value On the Yamaha Star Venture/Eluder?

Year Mileage Price($)
2018 3,744 16,999
2018 2,839 18,999
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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.