OK, so here we are, year five into this 4-stroke thing. Yamaha is 100% 4-stroke for 2007, so there’s no looking back. They’ve fully EPA-compliant, now and forever from what we can tell. While the other sled makers are seeing sales slide, Yamaha continues to grow year after year.
It’s the 4-strokes.
Riders are starting to appreciate the fuel economy, smooth operation, wide powerbands, lack of injection oil (cost and smell) and the all-around consistency of the turn-key operation.
And how about that weight thing? Consider this; take the big iron from everyone, an Apex, a Mach Z, Fusion 900, ZR 900, equip similarly, fill with gas and oil and they all pretty much weigh the same. Yep. At least when you add the features to the 2-strokes that come standard on the 4-strokes, like electric start.
Point is, in this class, weight is no longer a disadvantage. Sure, compared to 2-stroke small-block twins (600s and 700s) it’s a different story, but up here in big-power land the issue is moot.
2006 brought us the rider-forward Apex platform and the fuel-injected 150 HP version of the Genesis Extreme engine, along with the cushy MonoShock rear suspensions, with styling to match.
2007 sees the return and enhancement of the Apex ER, the Ohlins-equipped premium Apex GT, and the tricked-out Apex RTX. All of these share the same 150 HP fuel-injected four-cylinder 1000 4-stroke. About the best way to describe the engine is “locomotive”, with the hard-pulling broad throttle response that requires respect and careful application. While linear in response, the engine pulls so hard for so long that you simply smile. The fact it does so with such consistency and economy and reliability is also amazing, as about all you do is add gas and go. The EFI takes care of all running issues, with a level of electronic sophistication that is also the envy of the industry.
Each Apex model also shares the rider-forward Deltabox II chassis. This platform is stiff and rigid, making for precise response and no flexing through the bumps for accurate suspension tuning. The second-generation a-arm front suspension with link-style sway bar delivers fairly flat cornering, but make no mistake, the steering is rather heavy yet very positive. The steering effort can be an issue some days.
Overall, the engine is solid, as is the chassis. Durability and consistency is outstanding. They handle well, but with effort. Great tracks, fair skis, fair wind protection. Actually a bit loud (exhaust) with zero intake noise. Needs reverse, tough to move around without. The (MonoShock) ride tends to be on the soft side with a narrow range of calibration (weight), requiring a spring change. Thus, the 2007 Apex RTX.
The Apex RTX is the sled choice for a rider who likes to aggressively ride through rough trails and mogul fields with 150 horsepower at his (or her) beck and call. This is the lightest sled in the Apex family, with a serious cross country racing suspension package. Instead of simply being an Apex with Fox Floats up front (as in 2006), the RTX for 2007 takes more of a Nytro approach for true cross-country riding. The rear suspension has been upgraded to the torsion-spring ProActive CK, introduced on the 2006 Nytro. Yamaha identified this package as being better suited for knarly riding, and we totally agree.
After extensive testing in both the R&D program and on the gruelling cross country racing circuit, the ProActive suspension delivered the best performance for charging hard through the moguls. The “CK” designation is for its clicker-adjustable remote reservoir shock in the rear with 20 clicks of compression damping adjustment. With the torsion spring design, riders can preload the suspension at the base of road approaches or moguls and pop over them with a little squirt of throttle.
With 11.5”of vertical travel, the CK also features the unique three-position anti-bottoming stopper on both rails along with a pair of tri-cam spring preload adjusters and a fully-adjustable control rod.
Combined with the Fox FLOAT Airshox up front, this is the most bump-capable Apex in the line. The MonoShock RA suspension proved to be less capable in the rough than the CK, and riding in this element it shows. The CK won’t be a cushy as an ER or GT, say through the stutters, but catch some air and you’re on the right sled.
The Apex RTX is the top of the line, and retails for $10,299. Add reverse (Apex RTX ER) and it goes for $10, 599.
Yamaha’s Apex GT returns for 2007 in continued limited supply. “This is our top-of-the-line, premium-quality model,” said Snowmobile Marketing Manager Rob Powers. “Our GT package is all about comfort, convenience and conveying an elevated status. With its suspension upgrades, it delivers premium comfort and handling in the bumps, but it is really aimed at the aggressive rider who spends the majority of time on the groomed trail.” What sets the Apex GT apart from the other Apex models is its Öhlins® Mono Shock™ EC rear suspension, which makes tuning the shock rate as easy as pushing a button on the left hand grip, and the GYT-R™ dual clicker front shocks. Set the spring preload for your weight (be sure to do this!) and then you can tune the shocks till the cows come home.
New features for 2007 include a restyled snow flap with a guide line for trimming, should you want to make it slightly shorter. And since this is a “trail sled”, a functional mid-height windshield replaces the stylish yet worthless at wind protection low-cut windshield of the 2006 model.
Two graphics packages are being offered, as the Apex GT is highlighted by its distinctive Yamaha Black and chrome graphics package. Yamaha also offers a Candy Red graphics package on the GT for 2007. Either one will run you a cool $11,199.
Priced at $10,199, the Apex ER is the value-priced 150 HP 4-stroke but isn’t short on performance or features. Gone are the GYT clicker front shocks and Ohlins rear shock, but replaced with very capable aluminum body HPGs and the “RA” (remote adjust) dial on the side of the tunnel. This allows you to fine-tune the rebound and compression damping of the Mono-Shock RA, providing excellent ride quality for trails and bumps.
“We designed this sled to be the ultimate trail sled,” explained Powers. “It’s our baseline model in the 150 horsepower class and is aimed at a very large market segment: the 135+ horsepower trail model. It has been very popular through its first season, earning high praise from our consumers and the snowmobile media.”
And rightly so. The Apex ER is the total package, providing the same engine performance with a trail-oriented suspension that riders everywhere have discovered. No wonder Yamaha is on a roll.