The term “mountain sled” now describes a far wider variety of snowmobiles than it ever has. Back ten-fifteen years ago a mountain sled was far more versatile, able to work well in a wide range of conditions. These days a mountain sled can be as extreme as having a track length over 160” inches with lug heights of 3+ inches, giving the sled incredible deep snow flotation and capability, but in tighter boondocking in firmer snow conditions it is far from ideal.
There continues to be huge demand for shorter-tracked mountain sleds, ones that are far more maneuverable and more tolerant of varying snow conditions. Not everyone gets to pick and choose their riding days to be only when the couple of feet of fresh powder has just fallen, so we have to ride when we can where we can. That usually means set-up snow, or fresh snow that just doesn’t require the longest track with the deepest lugs. Or, maybe we are more into the acrobatics than climbing and jumping instead of high marking, a riding style that is now called “freeriding”. In that case we want a shorter track length with better suspension capability.
This is why we are seeing a return of some specialized mountain sleds in shorter track lengths. One such beast is the new 2016 Yamaha SR Viper M-TX 141” SE. This track length used to be called a Crossover sled, but add some taller lugs with more durability and capability and we have a sled that more closely matches up with the likes of a Polaris Assault, Ski-Doo Freeride or Arctic Cat HCR.
The Yamaha SR Viper M-TX 141” SE is fitted with a sway bar for added stability and bump capability, along with a 40” ski stance for the same reasons. This is actually a wider version of Yamaha’s new SRV-M front suspension, so it maintains the key elements of a deep snow sled but gives you the agility and capability to float the trees, drop into the bowls and play in the chutes. The wider stance and sway bar give you the ability to manage the big hits and drops like a champ.
Out back we find a capable Camoplast (Camso) Power Claw lug pattern with 2.25” lug height, a perfect all-around western track that defies its shorter length in the fresh snow, yet claws and climbs aggressively in the firmer pack. The fox FLOAT air shock gives you great bottoming resistance, and can be easily upgraded for even greater performance demands.
Speaking of a “champ” that could describe the High Performance Genesis 1049cc Engine. The 3-cylinder Genesis engine has been regarded as the industry’s best four-stroke engine. Featuring a sophisticated closed-loop fuel injection system and 4-valves per cylinder, the 1049 delivers a class-leading 135 horsepower, instant throttle response and a thick torque curve that propels you on top of the deep snow in a blink of an eye. All with great fuel economy and a reputation for bulletproof durability, along with the ability to be boosted for the ultimate in power and reliability at high elevation.
The 2016 Yamaha SR Viper M-TX 141” SE retails for $13,199 and comes in your choice of White with Yamaha Blue accents or Heat Red with White accents. Think of it is the “4-stroke Boondocker’s Special”.
From the November 2015 issue of SnowTech Magazine. (September, 2015)
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