I seriously think Mom Yam just listened to the wrong group of Yamaha riders in her attempt to "turn the touring world upside down" (her words, not mine). After speaking to the "STAR RIDERS" at Americade who Mom Yam did take advice from it was easy to see that, from day one of design, they had no interest in the V-4 V-Max upgrade idea's that we all were convinced was coming. I also believe that the shear size of the Air Cooled, Belt Drive, V-Twin American riders far outnumbered our group so considerably thats the direction Mom Yam went. Years ago, before Mom Yam revealed her failed attempt at producing a new Venture that would "set a new benchmark for all touring bikes in performance, handling and comfort" @Freebird started a thread called "let the discussion begin" here on VR. Many many of our club members responded and most of the club echoed the same "wish list". I am going to post here my response in that thread only because I still stand by it. I, like most here, followed the new Venture from start to finish and I even chased it to the unveiling at Lake George with MUCH excitement. Tweeks, TIP and I went out to Lake George for the unveiling with cash in hand and ready to buy/order that new 1700cc 175 hp shaft drive machine that I was SURE Mom Yam would be unveiling. I know for fact there were others on site that day at the unveiling with the same hope/dreams and intent, I spoke to many of them. @videoarizona was actually on the phone with me (or texting, cant remember) and clearly heard my response as soon as they started the 1st bike (they had two) hidden behind the curtain and I heard the familiar sound of ANOTHER FREEKING HD CLONE V-TWIN. I think my response was something like "ohhh crap". Like many others there, I had no interest in buying one after that. What a shame,, I am 100% certain that had Mom Yam actually completed her promises stated above there would be one in my garage right now as well as MANY others here. At the unveiling I actually heard Mom Yam's competition LAUGH and watched them walk away saying "no competition here thats for sure". I know for a fact that at least 4 of those people who said that were Honda Reps. I was so disheartened,, embarrassed, I had NO INTEREST in even test riding one then BUT, after a few months of reading promotional's, Tweeks/TIP and I did cave in and went to Sturgis that year for test riding and to ask questions concerning some other promises Mom Yam made about the bike. I took my infra red temp gauge and video camera along with a list of questions from fellow club members and we headed out on Tweeks.
At Sturgis I asked the Yam Factory Reps about the question of air cooled V-Twins being HOT and how Yam solved that issue as I could not see any indication of such on the exterior of the bike. I also asked permission to take some temp readings.. They refused to allow me to take ANY temp readings on the Demo bikes and simply said YAMAHA FIGURED OUT THE SECRET TO SOLVING THE HEAT ISSUE WITH AIR COOLED V-TWINS. From that point on I was told to write Yamaha for any more answers to the questions both the club members and I had.
While I still 100% believe the new venture could have been a REAL DEAL trend setter and could have been a real boost for Mom Yam and our sport and they would have sold like Hot Cakes had they of just listened to the faithful Venture riders of which I am one, I am still not quite sure what happened to the (supposedly) huge backing from the V-STAR RIDERS I met at Lake George who stood on the stage there and claimed they had designed the bike. It does not appear that even that group took a liking to the new bike. When they rode the bike up onto the platform at Lake George my first response to Tippy was "I SEE POLARIS VICTORY WRITTEN ALL OVER THAT THING! I WONDER IF ARLEN NESS LEFT POLARIS AND HAD HIS HAND IN THE DESIGN". Strangely enough, it seems the Polaris Victory riders ended up being the main supporter of the new Venture from what I see but even they didnt have the numbers needed to keep the steed in production. Fact is, IMHO, chasing Harley Davidson is/was NEVER a good plan. HD riders are in love with HD,, the sound, the vibes, the ride, the clothes, the QUALITY in both paint and looks.. I have owned and ridden MANY Harleys and LOVED em all so I get it BUT,, its wayyy to late in the game to even think about challenging HD, thats not possible. Their piece of the pie is theirs alone, they somehow survived the ages and have EARNED respect and honor in the Industry for doing so. Mom Yam should have forgot about chasing HD and focused on fulfilling her promises leading up to the unveiling,, I am still very very sad that she didn't.
Here is that "wish list"/response to Freebirds thread entitled "let the discussion begin",,, I still wish it!! LOL:
""""""I have been a Yamaha enthusiast for many many years and they have proven to me over and over again that they are TOPS!! Owned a couple early YZ monoshock MX bikes way back and they were AWESOME!! My little RD350 and RD250 (remains still in my basement) were giant killers - proving Yamaha's superiority in R&D!! My 73 XS650 beat across the country with me on its back several times, chopped it and rode it many more miles until sold. Bought a brand new 650 Special, AWESOME "cloned" mini Harley that saw the west too!! My faith in mother Yamaha has been proven 5 times over by my continual riding of the 1st Gen Ventures starting in 1987 until present day with my 83 that has almost 300k on it!! Fact is, folks at Yamaha, I AM READY FOR THE NEXT PHASE!!
All that said, here is my feeble wish list:
1700cc V-4 "V-Max" motor.. Detune it if you must (just like before) but please,, dont do another V-Twin - got enough of em.. You guys can do it,, I KNOW YOU CAN!!
EFI with a tunable tuner - even if its an add on - please provide one so we can tune it!!
Engine guarding and saddle bag guarding.
Adjustable bars like on the first gen.
Factory tank and windshield bags.
Get the same Doctors who advised you on constructing the seat of the 1st Gens (cant remember what you call those guys) to advise you on this one - my kids, wife and I LOVE what they did!! Keep the seat height difference between the rider and passenger no more than 3 inches (2 is great) - raising the passenger higher causes weight imbalance and makes slow speed riding harder.
Ease of removal of the trunk(s) for changing rear tire.
Forward boards with normal foot pegs located rearward so standing up while riding is still possible, shift and brake levers at both locations (no heal toe please).
Key removable rear trunk and bags.
Grease zerks on all main pivot points.
High output stator even though it has LED's.
Double check the gear sets in the tranny and make sure they ramp up solidly.
Oversized clutch to insure NO slippage in high gears with xtra weight.
42 millimeter front fork tubes with progressive springs.
Imbed reflective tape (or use reflective paint) in paint lines (like pin striping) so all profiles of bike light up when grazed by car lights.
Add a large foot onto side stand - tired of bending over to pick up stand plate after parking on loose ground.
Explore which tire sizes are the most common and build around those standards so tire choices and finding them are easy.
Remember those long grips you used on the first gens? Use those, I love bending them back onto my knees.
Enclose the motor well to keep ANY objectional heat off both riders BUT - use lots of venting with plenums to act as heaters when needed.
Windshield it so the rear rider remains in the protective air pocket - functional vents in shield and fairing to adjust air movement if needed (hey,, could be asking for servo operated shield but I dont care for more things to go wrong).
6 speed Over drive tranny.
Use GOOD solder, especially with ECU pins. QC the daylights out of it! DONT go cheap and trust the Chinese!!
Dont short us on wire harness leads so wiring is tight - xtra 1/4 inch really helps!!
Make fairing panels easy to remove but not so they fall off.
Supply printable shop manual disc and printed well written owners manual. Supply GOOD factory tire pressure guage.
Chrome is out for me, I LOVE dull stainless (like the pipes on the "New" V-Max),, matter of fact,, build mine with no rustable chrome and all dull stainless!!
Intercom, CB and radio would be nice.. Keep the tape deck.
OK, if you REALLY are reading this and you like what I am talking,, PLEASE make mine just a little faster in stock form than anyone elses.. Not that I would ever use the extra pazzaazz but I have buddies that I gotta compete with and just KNOWING I have the fastest one would be worth an extra grand to me:big-grin-emoticon:
I KNOW you can do it!! Keep the faith mother Yamaha - I AM!!