The Best 4-stroke Mountain Sleds Ever Offered?
It is almost shocking to see the improvements being made Yamaha’s SR Viper MTX sleds, in only their second year. Not that the 2015s worked poorly, quite the contrary, but the 2016s ramp it up aggressively and really make the 4-stroke mountain sleds demand even more respect.
When we get to real-world differences on the snow, it is perhaps the new front suspension for 2016 that provides the largest improvements. The MTX models inherit the same front end changes as found on the 2016 M-series Arctic Cats, but from our experience we believe they have a more dramatic effect on the Yamaha version. With the new spindle, a-arms and narrow front end (36” width), this sled is much easier to throw on its side when aggressively maneuvering in tight terrain. The new spindle is laid back and does not dig into the snow. Along with a new ski profile for 2016, we were surprised by the amount that rider effort was reduced and welcome this change as it makes the sled more responsive and agile.
The 3” Power Claw track option works extremely well on the SR Viper MTX platform. It provides a substantial improvement in traction and lift, which is a great fit for this sled’s 4-stroke engine. After riding both the 2.6” and the 3” tracks, we couldn’t really find many places where the 3” didn’t outperform the 2.6”.
We really like these sleds equipped with the Mountain Performance Turbo kit offered through Yamaha. Scratch that, we love it, and for many Viper MTX riders this will be the only way to go. With the turbo kit installed the horsepower is pushed to a level high enough to overcome the negative weight penalty of the 4-stroke engine. This combination allows us to carve through some of the nastiest terrain found in the West and can provide the horsepower to get you out of trouble (or into even more). Definitely, we would want a 162” x 3” Power Claw track when riding a Viper with a turbo as the extra horsepower can require added traction in most conditions.
For the few who chose not to add the giggle maker (turbo) we would stick with the 153” length unless the average riding conditions are waist deep or better at which time we would bump to the 162” x 3” setup. The 153” x 3” track feels more agile than the 162” and takes less rider input to make the sled react. We see this sled being perfect for the rider who wants the rock-solid reliability of the Yamaha 4-stroke engine and wants to mountain ride, but may not have the desire to slay the nastiest backcountry.
We can easily state with confidence that the 2016 Yamaha SR Viper MTX models are the best 4-stroke mountain sleds ever offered, especially when you fit one with a turbo (the Spring program pricing on this is incredibly good). Yes, they weigh more than a lower-powered 2-stroke, but the power-to-weight ratio is overcome with the boost giving you more power at all elevations. But, at the end of the day, it is the consistency and reliability of this engine package that seals the deal. Two-stroke motors can only dream of making this kind of power with this kind of reliability. 4-Stroke mountain sleds keep improving, lasting far longer with far more power. Now they handle even better as well.
More 2016 Yamaha info:
2016 Yamaha – Working It From All Directions
2016 Yamaha Apex XTX 146”
2016 Yamaha SR Viper S-TX DX 137”
2016 Yamaha 1049cc Engine
2016 Yamaha SRV-M Front Suspension
2016 Yamaha Lightweight SingleShot Rear Suspension
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