A ten-year-old sled, if you can find a really good one, represents good value and can provide comfort and reliability at a fraction of the price of a new sled. If you’re looking for used iron, here’s a few suggestions in no particular order:
It seems like this particular Yamaha Venture has been around for eons. It first appeared in MY2005, hence its sit-down-style ergonomics harvested from the RX-1.
Normally, we’d poo-poo that riding position but we feel it’s far less important on a 2-upper and this sled still delivers a high level of comfort for two riders.
Just for the record, we also strongly recommend the 2009 RS Venture GT, the rider forward version of the Venture, but the original Venture is a good choice for a couple of reasons.
First, these sleds were bargain priced when they were new (at least $1,000 less than the GT). Although you may pay a slightly higher buck now because it’s a Yamaha 4-stroke, you’re liable to grab a deal because it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the newer model.
Second, this sled is still being offered new at dealers today (up to MY2018). It has seen almost no changes in 14 years, so the used one you buy will look and behave the same as a new one.
The RS Venture is powered by a triple carbureted 120-hp, 973cc version of the more recent 1049cc triple used in the, Viper, Venture GT and the Vector and has a 144-inch long by 1.25 deep track. Seating is roomy but storage space is useless; ride is excellent, handling is so-so.
Other than loud track noise, we haven’t heard of any recurring mechanical or electronic issues with this sled and your biggest challenge may be prying it from an owner’s cold, clammy hands.
We give it a 4 out of 5.