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Even more new technology –       We could almost classify this as one of the bigger surprises for 2016 – all of...

Even more new technology –

      We could almost classify this as one of the bigger surprises for 2016 – all of the new technology found on the new Apex sleds from Yamaha, including the top-of-the-line Apex LE (Limited) and Apex models.

     Look closely and you will see an all-new rear suspension in the Apex, replacing the MonoShock design that has been offered for many years. That’s right, Yamaha has an all-new rear suspension for 2016! Called the SingleShot rear suspension, it is being offered in 2 lengths: 129” and 146”. It is ONLY found on Yamaha’s Japan-built models, and is not being offered in any of the USA-built SR Viper models.

     The engineering target was to further reduce vehicle and suspension weight without compromising ride quality. SnowTech test riders have already been riding this new suspension, and we can validate the design goal of no-compromise to the ride quality. In fact, our riders all agree it is an improvement in ride quality and performance, so when combined with a significant weight reduction and added simplicity and adjustability, it is a winner in every respect.

     The 129” SingleShot is an incredible ten pounds lighter than the MonoShock suspension. This is significant! The SingleShot suspension features simplified front and rear arms with a revised drop-link suspension linkage and new geometry, and goes back to familiar coupler blocks on both sides of the rear arm where it mounts to the rails for weight transfer control and rail angle management. There’s also a pull-through track tensioner, replacing the outboard track tensioners found on the MonoShock skid. The Fox Mega FLOAT has also been retired with the introduction of the SingleShot suspension. What we now find is a new Fox 3XV shock absorber, designed specifically for this application and duty, with increased air volume and a compact design.

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     Spring Power Surge Apex LE sleds also will come fitted, from the factory, the Yamaha Performance Damper package. This consists of two small chassis dampers, one mounted up front under the hood and one mounted to the rear of the chassis, which help to dampen the resonance and vibration frequencies of the chassis. The concept might be difficult to get your head around, but the premise is valid and the effects are truly noticeable in certain conditions. It helps to settle the chassis vibrations, and while subtle it is something that high-mile riders appreciate at the end of the day.

     But let’s step back for a moment and look at the big picture. Some snowmobilers wonder why Yamaha would invest in a new rear suspension for their Apex and Vector models. They are rock-solid performers and have reliability that the other sled makers are envious of. But here is the secret that even Yamaha doesn’t tell you – it is all about the rider position, more specifically the angle of your knees. Think about this for a moment. Aging snowmobilers do not like to have their knees bent. They like to have their knees open at a 90-degree angle, or even more than that. Many of them want their feet out in front of them, not underneath them. We have been calling this a “traditional” riding position, but when we look at the ergonomics of the Apex and Vector sleds, it is a matter of how open your knees are and where your feet are. This dictates how much bump energy is going into your knees, and as riders get older they typically do not like to be beating on their knees. Yamaha has not talked much about this, as it is their secret weapon as to why so many snowmobilers keep buying and riding their Japan-built 4-strokes. Rock-solid reliability, with the riding position they prefer.

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     Snowmobilers who rack on the big miles know that two-stroke engines just do not last very long when compared to a four-stroke engine from Yamaha. This is one of the key advantages Yamaha has been offering for over ten years. The Apex four-cylinder powerhouse has peak horsepower right there with the 800cc two-stroke twins, but the Apex puts out such a broad torque band that it gives you wicked strong power at most any and every RPM. When you crack the throttle this thing gets up and goes. Power and torque are generous, as is the longevity and durability – this engine will easily outlast every two-stroke there is. You don’t have to worry about rings going and losing compression. You don’t worry about rebuilding a top end. You don’t worry about crank bearings. You just don’t worry about the engine. Instead, you worry more about things like hyfax, wear bars and where your next stop for fuel is going to be. As it should be.

     The Yamaha Apex just keeps getting better. Out on a groomed trail you will be hard pressed to find a better machine. The new SingleShot rear suspension enhances the ride quality and bump capability to the next level, now with a Fox 3XV air shock. Yes, the Apex is more of a trail cruiser and lake racer, but you can now take you right up to the point of cross country style riding.

     From the EXUP exhaust that broadens the powerband to EPS power steering to the dual-keel dual-runner Tuner skis, the Apex is full of unique features that only Yamaha offers. If you would rather go riding instead of having your sled in the shop, look no further. The Spring-only Apex LE retails for $14,999; the in-season Apex lists for $14,299. The LE comes with the Yamaha Performance Dampers, Fox FLOAT 3 shocks up front and a distinct red LE trim on Liquid Silver & Red coloration. The Apex gets KYB coil-over shocks up front and sports Matte Silver & Blue coloration.

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