The VR's are great. I've had my '89 now for 3 years, and I've totally enjoyed it. I've got a little more than 70K miles, and I've only done mostly regular maintenance like brakes, tires, and a new stator. I've done a few small upgrades, like aftermarket battery cables to improve crank over at starting, and a heavier front fork brace to give her a more solid feel on the front end. Both good upgrades!
Someone mentioned about the 2nd gear problem on their '88... when Yamaha switched to the 1300 ('86 I believe) they fixed this problem. I haven't read anything about the 1300's having this gear problem.
Thankfully, a previous owner had spent well on accessories for my bike - Lots of chrome, lights, backrest, etc. because I haven't found anywhere where you can buy new. My recommendation is to keep checking e-bay for items, that's usually where you'll find used accessories.
Just bought a 92 VR. Love it. Intermittently, the instrument cluster goes blank and shows no indication and the blinkers quit working. Comes back on just whenever it wants to. Any ideas??
My Venture was the worst bike I have ever owned. Bought it with less than 5K miles, and sold it with just over 30K miles, basically for scrap metal. Glad they stopped making these.
Both my buddy and I have VRs. His is an 84 and mine is an 89. The first bagger to go by him was me after cleaning my carbs. He had me by his back wheel for 123, but 4 was all mine. Now at my back wheel, 5th, here he came, but only to even, and at 185 kmh or 115 mph, we decided that was enough, and are currently putting around like old farts looking for victims. What a bike. My buddy's 84 has collector plates and was told that I could get them too. Is this true that I could get 15 dollar a month plates for my 89?
I have a 1984 model (manufacture date of 10/83) with a 1988 1300cc engine in it, that has only about 7000 miles on the motor. I shimmed the carb needles to run leaner and hotter, replaced the R/R with a Mofset Shindengen model, new Odyssey battery with an Argus Battery Bug to monitor the status.
This is one smooth riding machine, and the sweet spot of the power band seems to be between 4-6K RPM. You can literally lift the front wheel off the ground if you shower down on it.
As annual maintenance, I do remove and grease the final drive splines. Like others have said here, ride it regularly and all you have to do is change the oil and maybe a carb tune once a year.
Lost the stock cruise control a while back, but I just put on a Vista universal cruise, which works great. I have thoroughly enjoyed this First Gen. VR!!
There are some very good comments here regarding the Yamaha Venture. I saw one post about them being junk, but I can only assume that the bike was poorly maintained if bought used, or he actually just got a bad one.
I've seen several of these bikes with over 200,000 miles with no major work done on them. There are some things that wear out after more than 20 years, but most are very easy to remedy. Cold solder joints on the computer modules, worn out springs, etc.
There was also a second gear problem on the '83 - mid '85 models that would usually show up at around 60,000 miles or so.
Otherwise, the V4 engines in the Venture are just about bullet proof. You can find a ton of information about the bikes at http://www.venturerider.org. By far the largest site in the world that is dedicated to the Yamaha Venture. A great group of folks that are always willing to help out with your questions.
Has anyone thought of taking some molds off of your good fairing pieces and making some out of fiberglass as replacements? It sounds like there could be a market out there for them. I'm still looking for my first VR. My Vulcan will have to do for now.
I owned a 1983 VR between 1997 and 2002, my first and only touring bike so far. Took it from NY to Alaska, though turned around 200km south of Prodo Bay. Than rode down to California and back to Ottawa ON in 3 days. Sold it with 60K miles. Very reliable bike, except for the air suspension computer. I switched to smaller STs for a while, but now looking to get a full dresser again, and will probably buy another VR 1300 this time.
By the way, I rode a GL1500 as well, and the VR is much faster, though the GL handles better due to lower CG.
Picking up a 1989 Venture Royale tomorrow with 14000 miles. My wife and I are excited, this is our first big cruiser. My last bike was a 82 750 Magna, which is nice, but rode the Venture last night, and holy crap this is a nice bike.
What do I do to stop the air from leaking out of my front forks? It bangs when I hit the right bumps. Would like to fix it, but don't know where to begin. Help me please.
I just purchased an 88 Venture, and was getting the E1 & E4 error. I removed the controller from my bike, and took it to work with me one morning, and had one of our electronics guys take a look at it. He ran a meter on the electronics, and it checked good at all points. He then took an magnifying glass and looked at the main contacts, and saw some cracks in the solder. He re-soldered the main points, and I reinstalled the unit on my bike and it worked perfect.
I rode a 91 Venture Royale until July 16th 2011, when I hit some stupidly resurfaced road work, where the highway department left reflectors on the lower level, and left slits about 4 inches wide and four feet long around every reflector. Caused a high speed wobble that demolished the bike and sent me sliding 240 feet and to the hospital.
This was undoubtedly one of the best bikes I've ever owned, but nothing was as good as the original 1983 to 1985 Ventures... the finest motorcycle ever made by the hand of man.
Voltmeter will start showing a lower level. A voltage test across the fully charged battery terminals, showing less than 13.0v on a running engine, is indicative of stator failure.
I have one too, and have had the same problem. What I do is open the cover and hold the wires where they connect to that panel, or move them a little, and you will see it come back to life. Hope this helps.
Well I finally bought my first Venture, still have the Vulcan as well. If it would just get here from West Virginia, I would try it out. It has been a long month waiting for it. With only 27000 miles on it, I am expecting it to be fairly trouble free. The only problem I can foresee is my wife's displeasure in my buying it. She can get over it.