I still think The Yamaha Venture Royale of the mid 80's, Like 83 - 87 was the best Venture they built. That bike was way ahead of it's time. Wish Yamaha listened to their customers and built a venture like the Royale,and at least kept the V4. Even the last Gen. Royalstar Venture ? wasn't bad. At least it had the V4. The new one... No thanks. It's a HD clone.
I’m continually amazed that we had such a good cadre of of luxury touring bikes in the 80s and such a dearth now. The few we have all seem to have missed a couple of important attributes.
The Wing missed on luggage capacity, seat comfort, and fuel capacity, and, one could argue, weight since it is several years newer than the K1600 yet weighs more and has less power, storage, etc.
The Venture nailed it on comfort, passenger in particular, and storage, but dropped the ball completely on the engine.
The K1600 GTL missed the passenger comfort boat and also has a clunky transmission and drivetrain when riding in the lower gears in town.
The K1600 GA probably comes closest, although is probably tied with the Wing. The Wing is much smoother, particularly at lower speeds in town, and has more passenger comfort, save the seat, but lacks the fuel range and luggage capacity of the GA.
I think the R1250RT has much the same comfort limitations as the GTL and an even less comfortable passenger seat and backrest.
If Yamaha replaces the engine on the Venture, I’d buy one tomorrow. That was my main complaint after my test ride. Similarly, if Honda adds some luggage capacity to the Wing, it would be a contender even with the too small fuel tank.
I probably will never buy a K1600 as it is just unnecessarily complex and hard to work on. The R1250RT has much to recommend it, but I just don’t see Linda being happy on it for long rides.
I believe at least one company is offering wider side case lids for the new Wing and if someone also offers a larger trunk, that would probably be the winning choice in this luxury touring market.