Yamaha actively encouraged us to bring a passenger for the two-day Star Venture press ride, since passenger opinion often drives the purchase decision in this category, Yamaha says. Standing at 5-foot-8, Stephanie barely tolerates the backseat of my personal BMW R1200GS adventure bike. Compared to that baseline, the Star Venture’s cavernous backseat represented the height of luxury, she reports. The ample, 17-inch wide passenger backrest kept her securely seated and passenger floorboards anchored in the lower of two available positions left her plenty of room to stretch her legs. And compared to the GS where she towers over me and is brutally buffeted by unshielded windblast, she says that all but the upper third of her helmet is protected here, and what air does come over and around the fairing is smooth and easy to tolerate. The only criticism Stephanie leveled was regarding heat management. Unsurprisingly, the air/oil-cooled V-twin does throw off considerable heat, especially from the rear exhaust header that runs right below the rider’s left thigh and the passenger’s left foot (and to a lesser extent, the oil tank located just below the rider’s seat). Temps hovering near 100 degrees during both days made it hard to assess fully, but early indications suggest that heat management could be a pain point on this bike.