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2009 Yamaha RS Venture GT Review


by Marc Cantin ,

Yamaha introduces an all-new premium touring snowmobile for 2009, the RS Venture GT. It's a high-luxury, high-performance evolution from the standard RS Venture, which is still included in the Japanese manufacturer's portfolio. I tested the GT model, though Yamaha also offers the new RS Venture TF, which is similar but features a longer track for improved "flotation" in deep snow.

The RS Venture GT remains agile and easy to handle in tight trails.

With 120 horsepower, all the equipment necessary to ensure rider and passenger comfort, as well as a long-travel suspension offering both front and rear adjustments, the 2009 RS Venture GT represents an attractive solution for performance-minded riders who also demand no less than the ultimate in comfort for themselves and a passenger.

The new Venture GT is as user-friendly as its predecessor while delivering almost Nytro-caliber performance ; as the Nytro engine has been detuned and lost 10 horsepower in the process, but there are still 120 ponies to work and have fun with. Yamaha engineers managed increase torque across the entire usable rev band, from 5,000 to 10,000 rpm, and while there are no official figures on the torque increase, I estimate it to be very close to 10% - a significant jump in my book.

You can experience the true character of Yamaha engines as soon as you take off, not to mention their smooth operation and eagerness to gain revs when you push on the throttle lever. Thanks to a well-calibrated fuel injection system, the engine responds instantly to the rider's command - a delight to drive! Meanwhile, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) keeps engine revs in the relatively low sweet spot, while taking advantage of the added torque at cruising speeds. Keep in mind that lower revs also mean lower fuel consumption and emissions.

As mentioned earlier, the suspension offers generous travel -- an important attribute for effective shock absorption that does not compromises the ride or handling. Spring preload, as well as compression and rebound damping adjustments are available up front, to not only adapt to the weight of the rider (and passenger) but also position the skis at the perfect height. This key element increases or reduces ski grip during transitions while improving lateral stability since the skis track larger than the rear end and limit the risk of rolling over on uneven terrain.

Long front suspension arms, and adjustable spring preload and damping.
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