Yamaha tells us their 137” tracked sleds are easily their best sellers, and for good reason. The added track length is a perfect match for the broad torque delivery of their Genesis 4-stroke engines. Riders have learned over the years that sleds with gobs of power are better suited with enough track on the ground to give them good traction, both for acceleration and for braking. It also helps to keep the tail from passing you, and it gives you added capability if it snows overnight.
Yet it still might be a surprise to see a new SRViper model from Yamaha for 2018. Curiously, sales for the SRViper dropped with the introduction of the turbo-charged Sidewinder models last year, but with most active snowmobilers still buying a new sled about every three years we all know the SRViper will continue to be a popular sled, simply because not everyone wants or needs 200 horsepower, or the high price tag of the turbo. That said, riders do want and need the smooth power delivery of the 4-stroke, along with the long term durability and consistency. 2-strokes are lighter, 4-strokes last longer, it really is that simple. And with so many riders logging thousands of miles each winter, it isn’t that uncommon to see a sled with 10,000 miles after a few seasons. Line up all of the sleds with over 10,000 clicks on them, and count how many are 2-strokes and how many are 4-strokes. Yep, you know what the answer is to that one.
Yamaha wanted to bring to market what they call a “base model” SRViper. While there are the tricked out Spring-only LE versions, then the full-featured in-season SE models and the deluxe DX models, there still is a demand for a base model. Be it a lower priced SRViper, or a sled that has everything you need but doesn’t make you pay for features you don’t, Yamaha expects the 2018 SRViper L-TX to be a sleeper in the line-up – at least until people figure out what a great value it is.
Priced at only $12,799 it is the least expensive SRViper you can get. It only comes in black, so there is no decision to be made as to color or graphics. We still get house-brand high pressure gas shocks all around, nothing fancy but nothing cheap, either, calibrated for trail comfort instead of cross country bashing. Traction is with a Camso Ripsaw II track, giving us flat cornering and versatility in both packed and loose snow. Past that, there are no extras so you can add the accessories you want without paying extra for those you don’t. Nice. At only $700 more than a RS Vector, this is one screaming value from Yamaha.
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