1981 Yamaha Venturer

Finding the KZ400 a bit small for two up, we bought this rather rare bike. This was Yamaha's first attempt at building a touring bike. They sold two versions, one based on the XS1100, and this one based on the XS850. Unlike the later V4 tourer, these were called Venturers, not Ventures. The picture on the right was taken on a trip up the Oregon coast in 1981.

1981 Yamaha Venturer

It wasn't always bad weather with this bike, but this was the worst. On another trip to Bass Lake in early spring, the weather turned nasty. On the left, it's parked in front of my uncle's lakeside cabin. It got so cold I couldn't get it started so we had to warm it up in the garage. Then I had to drive it up a very, very steep driveway that was covered in snow. I think I ended up putting about 24k on this bike.

Yamaha Venturer Ad
Yamaha Venturer ad from Rider Magazine, 1981

XS850 Links