Yamaha Venture 500 Specs and Review [1997-2001]

The liquid-cooled Yamaha Venture 500 was a popular entry-level touring snowmobile manufactured from 1997 to 2001. Like its bigger brothers, the Venture 600 and 700, this sled was also legendary for its durability and reliability. If you want to find out more about this iconic sled, this post is for you.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha Venture 500 review!

Yamaha Venture 500 Review

Yamaha introduced its widely-popular Venture snowmobiles in the early ‘90s. These innovative models had many advanced features like adjustable heated grips and reverse with a beep warning.

Thanks to their outstanding comfort, these high-end Yamaha Venture sleds instantly became popular in the marketplace.

Almost a decade after the first Venture hit the market, the model line was totally revamped. By 1997,  Yamaha had revealed the innovative liquid-cooled Venture 500 and 600, followed by the Venture 700 in the next model year.

Therefore, the Venture family consisted of four different models around the Millennium, which were as follows:

All of these models shared the same platform, but they had different engine options. Unlike its more powerful counterparts with triple engines, the Venture 500 utilized a twin power source.

To be more precise, the engine of the Yamaha Venture 500 was a liquid-cooled, 494cc, 2-stroke, 2-cylinder engine. This single-piped power plant featured two flat slide Mikuni TM36 carburetors, and a CDI ignition, cranking out about 88 HP.

Although it cranked out less HP than tripe engines, it was still more than enough for touring. Besides its excellent overall performance, this liquid-cooled twin was also known for its outstanding reliability and durability.

All Venture models came with the long-travel ProAction Plus rear suspension that offered 11 ½ inches of travel. Since this suspension provided a very comfortable riding experience, even with a passenger, the Venture series was considered to be “the Cadillacs of the trails.”

The Venture 500 was propelled by a 136” x 15” x 0.75” rubber track, which offered decent traction on trails. Although this sled wasn’t designed for off-trail riding, it could go through really deep snow without getting stuck.

Standard features included large footrests, grip warmers, 11.7-gallon fuel tank, comfortable seat equipped with a convenient adjustable backrest.

Although the Venture 500 had many fans, the sled was dropped from the model line for 2002.

Yamaha Venture 500 Problems

Every sled has its weak points, and the Venture 500 was no exception. The most common problems with the Yamaha Venture 500 were as follows:

  • Defective front suspensions ski columns (Recall on the ‘97 and ‘98 models)
  • Defective starter on the early models (Recall)
  • T.O.R.S. malfunctions
  • Suspensions were too soft

Yamaha issued a recall on the 1997 and 1998 Venture 500 models due to their defective ski columns, Off-Road.com reports. This recall affected the 600s and 700s models as well.

Early Venture 500 models had another recall because of their defective starter motor. The problem was caused by the ring gear, which was prone to becoming loose and making a clanking sound.

What’s more, like many other Yamaha powersport vehicles at that time, some Venture 500s also suffered from T.O.R.S. malfunctions.

Another complaint against the sled was that the rear suspension was too soft. Although it offered plush rides, the shock easily bottomed out. Because of this, many Venture owners replaced the entire skid on their sled.

Finally, the Venture 500 was a pretty heavy sled, so it was hard to handle on rough terrain or even to throw around by hand.

Apart from these minor issues, the Venture 500 was one of the most reliable touring twin snowmobiles at that time.

Yamaha Venture 500 Specs Chart

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the Yamaha Venture 500 specifications into these charts:

Yamaha Venture 500 Engine Specs

Engine typeLiquid-cooled, 2-stroke, 7-port
Cylinder arrangementParallel 2-cylinder
Engine stroke2
Cooling systemLiquid-cooled
Bore x Stroke (“)2.68 x 2.68
Displacement (cc)494
Horsepower88 HP (Approximately)
Idle speed (r/min)1600 +/- 100
CarburetorMikuni TM36 x 2
Engine oil typeYAMALUBE 2-cycle oil
Fuel typeUnleaded gasoline. Pump octane (R+M)/2; 88 or higher
Starting systemElectric and manual with recoil starter

Yamaha Venture 500 Dimensions

Length (“)116.9116.9116.9117.7
Width (“)
Height (“)
Ski tread (“)
Fuel tank capacity (gal.)11.911.711.711.7
Oil tank capacity (qt.)

Yamaha Venture 500 Weight Chart

Dry Weight (lbs.)558547540

Yamaha Venture 500 Track Features

Track typeMolded rubber, fiberglass rod reinforced
Track dimensions (“)136 x 15 x 0.75
Track deflection (“)0.98-1.18 / 100 N {22lbs}
Length on ground (“)37.2
Suspension typeSlide rail suspension
Drive sprocketQuadruple polyethylene, 9 teeth

Yamaha Venture 500 Transmission

TypeAutomatic centrifugal engagement, infinitely variable 3.8:1 ~ 1:1
Sheave distance (“)Approx. 10.57
Sheave offset (“)Approx. 0.78
Engagement speed (r/min)*Approx. 4000
Shift speed (r/min)*Approx. 7800
Drive chainSilent chain enclosed in oil bath
Reduction ratio39/21 (1.86)

Yamaha Venture 500 Electric Features

Ignition systemCDI
Spark plug typeBR9ES (NGK)
Spark plug gap0.028 – 0.031 in (0.7-0.8 mm)
Battery CapacityYM16AL – A2/12 V 16Ah
Battery maximum charge rate1.6 Amperes/hr for 10 hrs
Headlight12 V 60/55 W x 1
Tail/brake light12 V 8/23 W x 1
Meter light12 V, 1.7 W x 2
Indicator light12 V, 1.7 W x 3

Yamaha Venture 500 Features and Accessories

Primary DriveBelt
Drive chainSilent chain enclosed in oil bath
Front suspension typeIndependent double wishbone
Suspension typeSlide rail suspension
Break typeHydraulic disc brake (ventillated)
TrackMolded rubber, fiberglass rod reinforced
Break operationHandle lever (left hand)
Throttle operationHandle lever (right hand)
Chassis materialAluminum
Body MaterialPlastic
Rider capacity2

Yamaha Venture 500 Top Speed

The top speed of the 1997-2001 Yamaha Venture 500 was about 80-85 mph on radar or GPS.

Source: Yamaha Owner’s Manuals. These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Yamaha Venture 500 For Sale

The vintage Yamaha Venture 500 is still a popular choice of many beginner riders and for good reason.

These old sleds are more affordable and easier to maintain than any of the newest models.

If you’re considering buying one, you can find a Yamaha Venture 500 for sale on Craigslist, Snowmobiletrader, Snowmobilesoup, eBay, Sledswap, and other dedicated snowmobile ad sites.

Also, you may want to visit some Yamaha snowmobile forums and FB groups! Besides some potential deals, you can find a lot of valuable info about these sleds there.

Takeaways – FAQs About the Vintage Yamaha Venture 500 Twin

What year did the Yamaha Venture 500 come out?

Yamaha introduced the Venture 500 in 1996 and marketed it from the 1997 model year.

What years was the Yamaha Venture 500 made?

The Yamaha Venture 500 twin was manufactured from 1997 to 2001.

What size was a Yamaha Venture 500?

The ‘97-‘00 Yamaha Venture 500 was 116.9 inches long and 47.2 inches wide, while the ’01 model was slightly bigger, as it was 117.7 inches long. The height of this model varied between 51.2-52.4 inches, depending on the model year.

What was the track size on the Yamaha Venture 500?

The stock track size on the Yamaha Venture 500 was 136” x 15” x 0.75”.

How much did a Yamaha Venture 500 weigh?

The weight of the Yamaha Venture 500 varied between 540 and 585 pounds depending on the year.

What kind of engine was in a Yamaha Venture 500?

The ’97-’01 Yamaha Venture 700 was powered by a single-piped, 494cc, 2-stroke, twin engine that featured liquid cooling, two Mikuni TM36 carbs, CDI ignition, and electric start.

How much horsepower did a Yamaha Venture 500 have?

Thanks to this lively twin engine, the liquid-cooled Yamaha Venture 500 had about 88 HP.

How fast did a Yamaha Venture 500 go?

The top speed of the Yamaha Venture 500 was about 80-85 mph on radar or GPS.


Yamaha Motorsports – owners manuals


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