Yamaha Venture 600 Specs and Review [1997-2005]


The Yamaha Venture 600 was a popular touring 2up snowmobile powered by a 600cc triple engine. Like its bigger brother, the Venture 700, this sled was also known for its durability and reliability. If you want to find out more about the vintage Yamaha Venture 600, you are in the right place.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha Venture 600 review!

Yamaha Venture 600 Review

Yamaha introduced its Venture series in 1991, which became instantly popular in the marketplace.

The first Venture was based on the iconic Phaser II and came with many innovative features like heated grips and an easy-to-use reverse. So it was no accident that this sled won the “Snowmobile of the Year” prize given by American Snowmobiler in 1991!

After a couple of years of production, the Japanese manufacturer completely redesigned this family in the late 1990s.

The liquid-cooled Venture 600 and 500 both debuted in 1997, while the line was rounded up with the more powerful Yamaha Venture 700 in 1998.

Therefore, the liquid-cooled Yamaha Venture series consisted of four different models, which were as follows:

  • Yamaha Venture 700 (VT700) – (VT700 in 2004) – Manufactured: 1998-2004
  • Yamaha Venture 600 (VT600) – Manufactured: 1997-2005
  • Yamaha Venture 500 (VT500) –  Manufactured: 1997-2001
  • Yamaha Venture 500 XL (VT500XL) – Manufactured: 1999-2000

All of these machines shared the same chassis but as their name suggest, they were offered with different engine options.

There’s no question that the most popular sleds of this breed were the 600s and 700s. These machines were known as “the Cadillacs of the trails” and with good reason!

They utilized a comfortable chassis and long-travel suspensions, and had many convenience features. Powered by a smooth 2-stroke power mill, the Venture 600 triple was one of the best touring snowmobiles at the time.

To be more precise, the engine of the Yamaha Venture 600 was a liquid-cooled, 2-stroke, single-piped triple. The ’97 – ‘98 models featured a 598cc engine rated at 95 HP, although the sled had an engine upgrade in 1999. This new 593cc triple had three Mikuni TM33 carbs and cranked out about 98-100 HP.

Although they provided less HP than the flagship Venture 700 or the more powerful triple-piped Yamaha sleds, these engines still offered plenty of torque and had a really broad power curve.

What’s more, they were also known for their durability, reliability, and excellent fuel consumption.

The Venture 600 utilized a 136” x 15” rubber track that offered stellar traction. However, many owners studded the track on their Venture to get the most out of the machine.

The innovative long-travel ProAction Plus rear suspension provided travel of 11 ½ inches, which ensured a super comfortable riding experience, even with a passenger.

Although the Venture 600 wasn’t built as an off-trail sled, it handled quite well even in deep snow without getting stuck. Therefore, it could break through ungroomed trails without any issues. 

Standard features included the large footrest, grip warmers, electric start, reverse, and a comfortable seat equipped with the “Easy-Adjust” backrest.

But to the greatest regret of many fans, after almost a decade of production, Yamaha ceased the Venture 600 in 1995.

Yamaha Venture 600 Problems

Let’s face it, every sled has its weaknesses, and the Venture 600 was no exception. In a nutshell, the most common problems with the Yamaha Venture 600 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
  • Smart Carb issues
  • Rear suspension was too soft
  • Clutches were prone to getting dirty, causing engine malfunctions
  • Weight was too heavy

As mentioned by Off-Road.com, Yamaha issued an official recall on the 1997 and 1998 Venture 600 snowmobiles due to defective ski columns that needed to be fixed.

Unfortunately, the front suspension ski columns on these sleds proved to be weak due to inadequate weld penetration.

The early Venture 600s had another recall due to a defective starter motor. The starter’s ring gear had a tendency to become loose, which made a characteristic clanking sound.

Also, like many other Yamaha sleds at that time, some Venture 600s were also affected by T.O.R.S. malfunctions.

What’s more, a few of them also suffered from smart carb issues. Yamaha Smart Carbs were “auto-adjust” carburetors designed to compensate for changes in temperature and elevation.

Although most of these carbs worked well without any issues, some of them were real lemons, which caused many headaches for owners.

Regarding the riding experience, some riders found the rear suspension of the Venture 600 too soft. Although its long-travel rear suspension offered plush rides, it easily bottomed out, especially with a passenger.

This is why you can find aftermarket rear suspensions on many Venture models. As an example, M-10 rear skid from TeamFAST was commonly used on these sleds.

We also have to mention the clutch issues on these vintage Yamaha sleds. Due to their design, the clutch bushings on these models were prone to getting loaded with belt dust. Once they gummed up, the dirt prevented the clutch from operating properly.

Symptoms?

The dirty clutch typically caused the engine to rev up to 9000-10000 RPMs, but the sled couldn’t reach its top speed. Fortunately, this malfunction was easily preventable with proper clutch maintenance.

Finally, don’t forget that the Venture 600 was a pretty heavy machine, so it was hard to throw around by hand or ride on rough terrain. And if it got stuck, digging out the machine was great exercise!

Apart from these minor issues, the Venture 600 triple was one of the most reliable touring sleds around the Millennium.

It wouldn’t be a complete Yamaha Venture 600 review without mentioning the specification of the machines. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and drill deeper into the numbers!

Yamaha Venture 600 Spec Charts

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the Yamaha Venture 600 specifications into these charts:

Yamaha Venture 600 Engine Specs

Year1997-19981999-2004
Engine typeLiquid-cooled, 2-stroke, 7-portLiquid-cooled, 2-stroke, 7-port
Cylinder arrangementParallel 2-cylinderParallel 2-cylinder
Engine stroke22
Cooling systemLiquid-cooledLiquid-cooled
Bore x Stroke (“)2.94 x 2.682.56 x 2.35
Displacement (cc)598593
Horsepower95 HP (Approximately)98-100 HP (Approximately)
Idle speed (r/min)1600 +/- 1001600 +/- 100
CarburetorMikuni TM36 x 3Mikuni TM31 x 3
TurbochargedNoNo
Engine oil typeYAMALUBE 2-cycle oilYAMALUBE 2-cycle oil
Fuel typeUnleaded gasoline. Pump octane (R+M)/2; 88 or higherUnleaded gasoline. Pump octane (R+M)/2; 88 or higher
Starting systemElectric and manual with recoil starterElectric and manual with recoil starter

Yamaha Venture 600 Dimensions

Year1998199920002001-20032004-2005
Length (“)116.9116.9116.9117.7117.7
Width (“)47.247.247.247.247.2
Height (“)51.251.252.452.450.4
Ski tread (“)42.142.142.142.142.1
Fuel tank capacity (gal.)11.911.711.711.711.7
Oil tank capacity (qt.)2.53.23.23.23.2

Yamaha Venture 600 Weight Chart

Year1998199920002001-20032002-200320042005
Dry Weight (lbs.)569595569562567564569

Yamaha Venture 600 Track Features

Track typeMolded rubber, fiberglass rod reinforced
Track dimensions ’97-’01 (“)136 x 15 x 0.75
Track dimensions ’02-’05 (“)136 x 15 x 1
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 600 Transmission

Year19981999-20032004-2005
TypeAutomatic centrifugal engagement, infinitely variable 3.8:1 ~ 1:1Automatic centrifugal engagement, infinitely variable 3.8:1 ~ 1:1Automatic centrifugal engagement, infinitely variable 3.8:1 ~ 1:1
Sheave distance (“)10.5710.5710.57
Sheave offset (“)0.780.780.79
Engagement speed (r/min)400040004100
Shift speed (r/min)780085008500
Drive chainSilent chain enclosed in oil bathSilent chain enclosed in oil bathSilent chain enclosed in oil bath
Reduction ratio39/22 (1.77)39/20 (1.950)39/20 (1.950)

Yamaha Venture 600 Electric Features

Years1998-20012002-20032004-2005
Ignition systemCDIDC-CDIDC-CDI
Spark plug typeBR9ECS (NGK)BR9ECS (NGK)BR9ECS (NGK)
Spark plug gap0.028 – 0.031 in (0.7-0.8 mm)0.028 – 0.031 in (0.7-0.8 mm)0.028 – 0.031 in (0.7-0.8 mm)
Battery CapacityGM18Z-3A/12 V 20AhGM18Z-3A/12 V 20AhGM18Z-3A/12 V 20Ah
Battery maximum charge rate1.6 Amperes/hr for 10 hrs2.0 Amperes/hr for 10 hrs2.0 Amperes/hr for 10 hrs
Headlight12 V 60/55 W x 112 V 60/55 W x 212 V 60/55 W x 2
Tail/brake light12 V 8/23 W x 112 V 8/23 W x 112 V 8/23 W x 1
Meter light12 V, 1.7 W x 212 V, 1.7 W x 214 V, 50mA x 6
Indicator light12 V, 3.4 W x 312 V, 1.7 W x 314 V, 80mA x 2

Yamaha Venture 600 Features and Accessories

ClutchCVT
Primary DriveBelt
Drive chainSilent chain enclosed in oil bath
ReverseNo
Suspension typeSlide rail suspension
IgnitionCDI
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 600 Top Speed

The top speed of the 97-05 Yamaha Venture 600 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 600 For Sale

Surprisingly, the vintage Yamaha Venture 600 is still popular on the used market. These old machines are far cheaper and easier to maintain than any new model on showroom floors.

If you’re considering buying one, you can find a vintage Yamaha Venture 600 for sale on Craigslist, eBay, Snowmobiletrader, Snowmobilesoup, Sledswap, and other snowmobile ad sites.

Also, you may want to visit some Yamaha Venture snowmobile forums and FB groups!

Takeaways – FAQs About the Vintage Yamaha Venture 600

What year did the Yamaha Venture 600 come out?

Yamaha introduced the Venture 600 in 1996 and marketed it from the 1997 season.

What years was the Yamaha Venture 600 made?

The Yamaha Venture 600 was manufactured from 1997 to 2005.

What size was a Yamaha Venture 600?

The ’97 – ‘00 Yamaha Venture 600 was 116.9 inches long and 47.2 inches wide, while the ‘01-‘05 models were 117.7 inches long and 47.2 inches wide. The height of them varied between 50.4 – 52.4 inches depending on the year.

What was the track size of the Yamaha Venture 600?

The stock track sizes of the Yamaha Venture 600s were as follows:

  • 1997-2001 Yamaha Venture 600: 136” x 15” 0.75”
  • 2002-2005 Yamaha Venture 600: 136” x 15” 1”

How much did a Yamaha Venture 600 weigh?

The dry weight of the Yamaha Venture 600 varied between 564 and 595 pounds depending on the model year.

What kind of engine was in a Yamaha Venture 600?

The ’97 – ‘99 Yamaha Venture 600 engine was a liquid-cooled, single-piped, 598cc, 2-stroke triple featuring three flat side Mikuni TM36 carbs, electric start, and CDI ignition. For the 2000 season, this engine saw some minor changes, and its displacement was downgraded to 593cc.

How much horsepower did a Yamaha Venture 600 have?

Thanks to these powerful triple engines, the ’97 – ‘99 Yamaha Venture 600 offered about 95 HP, while the ’00 – ’05 models produced approximately 98-100 HP.

How fast did a Yamaha Venture 600 go?

The Yamaha Venture 600 reached a top speed of 80-85 mph on radar or GPS.

References:

Yamaha Motor- Owners manuals

Off-road Magazine

Inspired Ink

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