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RIDE IMPRESSIONS: Yamaha Venture Lite

RIDE IMPRESSIONS: Yamaha Venture Lite

Staff Report

We've had the opportunity to sample this sled on some long trips and came away impressed with its trail riding prowess and its high level of comfort.

Powered by Yamaha's Phazer 4-stroke twin with EFI, it cranks out an honest, torque-blessed 80-horses and, on trails, this engine performs surprisingly well.

Its exhaust has a great sound track and throttle response is truly impressive. You can trail ride with this engine all day and, except on the longest straights, will keep up with more powerful traffic. We can guarantee it's engine and drivetrain will outlive dirt.

Since it has a 144-inch long track under it, the Lite does resist turning on a dime. It probably could be described more appropriately as turning on a loonie.

Although the handling is not super-sharp, ridden at sensible speeds, even with a passenger on board, because of its extreme forward seating layout, it will maneuver adequately in the tight stuff. The key is to be gentle with the throttle.

The Venture Lite's Pro-Comfort suspension's ride quality is right up there with the best touring sleds. Gas cell shocks are used front and rear and there's plenty of rear travel (11.5-inches) to soak up bumps with two on board.

2-up usefulness is increased with the use of a tall, truly warm windshield, a plush passenger seat with handholds and a ton of storage space on its rear rack.

Yamaha's stylists certainly broke the mold when they got approval for the diagrams for this sled. Although it won't be a strong contender in any beauty pageants, the Venture Lite is a comfortable and very competent second ride.

It was designed to be as light as it's possible to build a 4-stroke touring sled and to achieve all that without skimping on touring amenities.

Certainly, the power-loving contingent of the family will shy away from being seen on it, but the rest of the family will learn to love it for its endearing qualities.

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