The team at Moto123.com decided to pit two dual-seat, 4-stroke powered snowmobiles against each other. It's the Yamaha RS Venture GT versus the Arctic Cat TZ1; the queen of the class against the fresh newcomer. Both machines target about the same customer, one who looks for a premium dual-seat sled designed to swallow hundreds of kilometers day in, day out.
|It's the Yamaha RS Venture GT versus the Arctic Cat TZ1; the queen of the class against the fresh newcomer.|
Since coming to market in 2005, the RS Venture has never been surpassed in the 4-stroke touring category. It offers a traditional riding position with a very low, long and soft seat. One of the strengths of this snowmobile is the incredible amount of room for the rider and passenger. Last year, the RS Venture also received two small levers allowing you to adjust the height and angle of the backrest, which significantly improves passenger comfort.
Thanks to an ultra-low center of gravity and a generous overall length, this Yamaha sticks to the trail like a true sports sled, especially through long corners at mid- to high-speeds. It offers remarkable stability, even with a passenger behind you. With a grippy track, the RS Venture GT delivers exemplary riding dynamics; it's also very predictable and easy to get used to.
In addition to being one of the most user-friendly snowmobiles on the market, the RS Venture GT offers a smooth, comfortable ride thanks to ultra-high quality shocks with fully-adjustable piggyback reservoirs. In just a few minutes, you can easily find the settings that will suit you best -- no tools required! During our trail test, we managed to improve ski grip by simply firming up the compression of the front shocks.
Yet, despite many notable features, I have to say that the RS Venture GT is overmatched in terms of ergonomics. Compared to newer models, it does not offer the appropriate riding position for aggressive solo rides. The seat is too soft and too low, forcing the rider to exaggeratingly bend his/her knees to properly lean into corners. Its chassis configuration places the rider too far back, which results in less ski grip under acceleration. Furthermore, this traditional riding position requires additional effort when you want to go from sitting to standing up, particularly on very bumpy trails.
|Thanks to an ultra-low center of gravity and a generous overall length, this Yamaha sticks to the trail like a true sports sled.|