2012 BEST IN CLASS: BEST 2-UP SNOWMOBILE

WINNER: SKI-DOO GTSE 1200 4-TEC

MARK’S TAKE:

The GTSE offers riders and passengers the most sumptuous perch in all of snow-mo-bil-dom.

The easy-to-operate and dramatically effective air ride adjustable-on-the-fly rear suspension is not just one of, it is the best suspension for big-mile tandem cruising and in fact, it actually rivals many superb one-up rides for best overall comfort.

The 1200 4-TEC is my only vulnerability to Kent’s scathing critiques of my enlightened pick. I’ll say it before he gets out of the gate! Yes, the engine still has throttle lag and for all you Doo-talkers who sent me hate mail last year for telling the truth about this persistent annoyance, get over it.

Even Kent knows the long intake tract on this engine produces sub-5000 rpm throttle hesitation. Keep in mind, he really doesn’t know much so knowledge of this caliber is impressive.

Back to the GTSE. Handling, with the XR platform using a 137-inch sneaker is exceptionally predictable when carrying passengers.

There’s nothing here save a touch of throttle lag for Kent to come back on so I’m completely assured of universal agreement on this pick for the BIC.

RUNNER-UP: YAMAHA VENTURE GT

KENT’S RESPONSE:

Since this award classification has become a gadget-fest, it looks like we should get into a comparison of stuff that’s bolted, glued and roped onto these 2-up cruisers.

The idea with a good 2-upper is to deliver the best snowmobiling experience for two people over the longest time and distance.

Comfort is paramount and then you get into things like adequate power, the delivery of that power and drive-ability of the sled.

I’ll go as far to admit I really like the GTSE, and for that matter I like the Cat and Polaris luxo-cruisers, too.

However, there’s only one sled that has had an unblemished reliability record from the first day it landed: The Venture GT.

At first we were critical of its slightly cramped driver’s compartment. Yamaha has fixed this by repositioning the handlebars and tuning the seat foam to match the adjustment. Excellent result!

Here’s my number one, grand slam turnaround point in favor of the Venture GT over the GTSE. Throttle lag. It’s not present on this Yamaha, Mark and I’d like to remind you of the incident when you and your spouse rode through my garage door.

It’s okay; insurance covered it.

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