The Yamaha VK 540 III is a synthesizer that was released in 1999. It’s one of the most popular keyboard synthesizers to date, and it has been used by artists such as Daft Punk.
In 1999, the Yamaha VK 540 III succeeded its popular predecessor, the VK 540 II, as a classic utility snowmobile. This capable workhorse was known for its heavy-duty features and dependable fan-cooled 2-stroke engine. This article is for you if you want to learn more about this antique sled.
This Yamaha VK 540 III review from PowerSportsGuide has all you need to know!
Review of the Yamaha VK 540 III
Yamaha only produced tiny utility versions in the 1980s as a response to the Ski-Doo Tundra. However, after doing market research, the Japanese company discovered that there was a considerable need for more powerful utility sleds.
Yamaha developed the VK 540 in 1988 to please its consumers, and it is still in production today. This sled has gone through many model modifications throughout the years, including the following:
- Yamaha VK 540 I – Years of production: 1988-1991
- VK 540 II Yamaha VK 540 II Yamaha VK 540 II Yamaha VK 540 II Yamaha VK 540 II Yamaha VK
- Yamaha VK 540 III — Years of production: 1999-2005 (still available in Russia and Scandinavia)
- Yamaha VK 540 (IV) – Starting in 2017, the Yamaha VK 540 (IV) will be available.
Yamaha sold the first generation VK 540s all over the world for almost two decades.
The third-generation VK 540 III debuted in 1999 and was sold in the United States and Canada until 2005. Despite the fact that this sled was only moderately successful in these countries, it did very well in Russia and Scandinavia. Why?
This is because the Yamaha VK 540 III was built to withstand harsh weather. The machine was powered by a 535cc, 2-stroke, axial fan-cooled engine that generated approximately 55 HP and could withstand low temperatures.
Yamaha’s 4-stroke snowmobile engines were launched in the early 2000s, however they didn’t perform well in the cold Russian winter. This is why the VK 540 was still built with a two-stroke power mill.
In addition, these sleds had a manual start, which was a huge plus in a chilly environment. Even though this engine was difficult to start in sub-zero conditions, it could be started.
Because, let’s face it, an electric start with a battery isn’t the greatest option in such weather, the VK540 III was only available with a manual start.
Despite the sled’s modest 55 horsepower, it could pull and carry large loads even over rough terrain.
The VK 540 III has a 156” long, 20” broad track that provided good flotation in thick snow. As a result, it was ideal for breaking and grooming tracks, particularly when fitted with flotation skins on its steel skis.
A high/low gear selection, reverse, CDI ignition, big underseat storage, 2-up seat with backrest, heated grips with thumb warmers, a tow hitch, and a steel front bumper were all included as standard equipment.
The heavy-duty VK 540 III may be utilized for a variety of tasks because to its sophisticated features and long-lasting engine.
Despite the fact that it wasn’t designed for touring, the machine performed well on trails. It got about 18 mpg with a decent riding attitude.
The machine’s simplicity was also praised by owners, resulting in better dependability and reduced maintenance costs.
In 2005, Yamaha withdrew this reliable workhorse from its North American lineup, although it was still available in Europe and Asia.
The good news is that an upgraded VK 540 was reintroduced in the United States and Canada in 2017!
Problems with the Yamaha VK 540 III
Every snowmobile has flaws, and the VK 540 III wasn’t any different.
One of the Yamaha VK 540 III’s greatest difficulties, according to several owners, was engine overheating. Even at temperatures below zero, its fan-cooled power supply was prone to overheating. When the sled was carrying a weight and moving at slower speeds, this was much more frequent.
Fortunately, increasing the airflow by adding a second fan under the hood may alleviate this problem.
Another frequent criticism of the VK 540 III was its shoddy rear suspension, which resulted on rough rides over rutted terrain. But, let’s face it, this machine was designed as a utility snowmobile, so it’s understandable that it couldn’t be compared to trail sleds.
It’s also worth noting that the VK 540 was a hefty machine, weighing in at almost 650 pounds dry. When this sled became buried in thick snow or slush, as you would expect, it wasn’t simple to get it out. As a result, a jack and a shovel were required equipment for this sled!
Finally, it’s fair to conclude that this sled wasn’t among the most attractive versions available. The VK 540, like all previous utility models, had a strange and uninteresting design.
Specs for the Yamaha VK 540 III
We’ve put the Yamaha VK 540 III specs into these charts for your convenience:
Specs of the Yamaha Venture 600 Engine
|Type of engine
||2-stroke, axial fan cooled, 7-port
|Arrangement of cylinders
||2 cylinders in parallel
|The engine’s stroke
|System of cooling
||Axial fan was used to keep the room cool.
|Design of the intake
||Reed Piston Valve
|(“) Bore x Stroke
||2.52 x 2.87
|| 55 Horsepower (Approximately)
|(r/min) Idle speed
||1200 (plus or minus 100)
||1 Mikuni B38-34
|Type of engine oil
||2-cycle oil YAMALUBE
||a single hose
||Gasoline that is unleaded. 88 or higher pump octane (R+M)/2
|System for getting started
||Both electric and manual recoil starters are available.
Dimensions of the Yamaha Venture 600
|(“) ski tread
|capacity of the fuel tank (gal.)
|Capacity of oil tanks (qt.)
Weight Chart for Yamaha Venture 600
|Weight (dry) (lbs.)
Track Specifications for Yamaha Venture 600
|Type of track
||Rubber molded with fiber glass rod reinforcement
|Dimensions of the track
||156′′ x 20′′ x 1′′
|Deflection of the track
||100 N 22lbs / 1.38 – 1.77 in. (35-45 mm)
|Dimensions on the ground
|Type of suspension
||Suspension of the slide rail
|sprocket for the drive
||9 teeth, triple polyethylene
Transmission Yamaha Venture 600
||Infinitely variable automatic centrifugal engagement 0.95:1 3.8:1
|Sheave distance (“) is a term that refers to the distance between two points
|Offset sheave (“)
|*Rate of engagement (r/min)
|Shift speed in revolutions per minute (r/min)*
||In an oil bath, a triple roller chain is encased.
|Ratio of reduction
||Low: (28/22 x 28/22) x (39/17) = 39/17 (2.29), High: (28/22 x 28/22) x (39/17) = (3.72)
Features of the Yamaha Venture 600 Electric
|System of ignition
|Type of spark plug
||BR9ES BR9ES BR9ES BR9 (NGK)
|space between spark plugs
||0.028–0.031 inches (0.7-0.8 mm)
|Dimensions of the battery
||A2/12 V 16Ah YB16AL
|Maximum charging rate of the battery
||For 10 hours, 1.6 Amperes/hr
||1 × 12 V, 60/55 W
|Brake and taillights
||12 Volts, 8/23 Watts x 1
||12 volts, 3.4 watts x 1
Features and Accessories of the Yamaha Venture 600
|Type of Clutch
||YXRC, Hi/Lo with Reverse, Variable Ratio
|The Main Drive
|Suspension in the front
|Shocks in the front
|Front-wheel drive (“)
|Suspension in the back
||Quick-Adjust Proaction Plus
|Shocks in the back
||W/Gas Cell Hydration
|Backwards Travel (“)
|Type a break
||Mechanical disc with caliper style self-adjustment
||Rubber molded with fiberglass rod reinforcement
||Left-hand-operated lever handle
|Operation of the throttle
||Right-hand-operated lever handle
|Type of Fuel Gauge
||Tube of Sight
|Capacity of passengers
Top Speed Yamaha VK 540 III
Under ideal circumstances, the Yamaha VK 540 III’s maximum speed was about 95-98 mph, with a cruising speed of 65-70 mph.
Yamaha Owner’s Manuals are the source for this information. These graphs are solely for educational purposes! Please refer to the manufacturer handbook for precise details.
Yamaha VK 540 III For Sale Vintage Yamaha VK 540 III For Sale Vintage Yamaha VK 540 III For
On the secondhand market, the fan-cooled VK 540 III is still quite desirable, and with good reason. When compared to newer versions, this vintage utility sled is much less expensive and has a considerably simpler design. As a result, it’s a lot simpler to work on!
You may locate a vintage Yamaha VK 540 III for sale on Craigslist, Snowmobilesoup, eBay, Snowmobiletrader, Sledswap, and other specialized snowmobile ad sites if you’re interested in purchasing one.
You can’t go wrong with some Yamaha snowmobile Facebook groups or forums, either!
Takeaway – Frequently Asked Questions About the Vintage Yamaha VK 540 III
When was the Yamaha VK 540 III released?
The Yamaha VK 540 III debuted in 1998 and was available starting in 1999.
When was the Yamaha VK 540 III manufactured?
On the worldwide market, the Yamaha VK 540 III was sold from 1999 to 2005. Although sales in North America were discontinued in 2006, it is still available in Scandinavia and Russia. In 2017, the VK 540 made a return in the United States and Canada.
A Yamaha VK 540 III was what size?
The Yamaha VK 540 III was 122.8 inches long, 44.5 inches wide, and 53.1 inches tall from 1999 to 2004, while the 2005 VK 540 III was 123 inches long, 44.9 inches wide, and 53.1 inches tall.
What was the Yamaha VK 540 III’s track size?
The Yamaha VK 540 III’s official track dimensions was 156″x20″x1″.
What was the weight of a Yamaha VK 540 III?
The Yamaha VK 540 III has a dry weight of 642 pounds from 1999 to 2004, and 637 pounds in 2005.
The Yamaha VK 540 III has what type of engine?
The Yamaha VK 540 III’s engine was a 535cc 2-stroke twin with a single Mikuni B38-34 carburetor and axial fan cooling.
What was the horsepower of a Yamaha VK 540 III?
The Yamaha VK 540 III generated approximately 55 HP when powered by its fan-cooled power supply.
Owners manuals for Yamaha Motors