WE RIDE YAMAHA'S 2017 SIDEWINDER
Supertrax had a chance to put some good miles on various versions of Yamaha's new Sidewinder a week ago and came away impressed - not just with the new turbocharged sled but with Yamaha's formerly quiet business demeanor now replaced with a genuine go-for-it mentality. Horsepower is now officially king at Yamaha.
We rode Sidewinders in 129 R-TX trim, a 137 L-TX and a new 141-inch version called the B-TX. We're told the "B" in B-TX stands for Backcountry riding. The sled features the new 998cc counterbalanced triple based on the 1049 Viper engine (but in no way the same) equipped with a roller secondary clutch - a first for production Yamahas.
Regardless of which track length you choose, the Sidewinder rocks. There's a claimed 180-ponies in the corral and this sled feels like it every time you dip into the throttle. The power comes on low and never feels laggy as it accelerates voraciously up to its redline.
Smooth? You bet. This mill thinks it's running on electricity - no vibes in the footrests or at the bar ends - just velvety acceleration until your brain hits the panic overload button and you ease out. Crazy fast, and the new roller secondary responds intuitively to track loads, backshifting perfectly every time.
In fact, to compliment the roller, Yamaha is also using a new version of its stellar YXRC primary clutch. We didn't hear much about it (still in final calibration) but we suspect it will be physically larger and beefier to handle the excessive horsepower of this bullet. We heard it will be called the YSRC but will confirm later.
In the conditions we rode, we got to sample how the sled handles in hard, frozen conditions and in powder snow. We liked the handling in the loose stuff better but found suspension calibrations to be very good in all models. Yamaha has definitely taken a step up in this department with all of its sleds this year.
Also, many Viper models are now using Fox QS-3, 3-position shocks up front in lieu of air shocks. We love this trend and it has made a world of difference not only to how these sleds ride but also in how they handle.
LATEST VIDEOS View All
BEST TEST RIDE OF 2017
April 18, 2017
We've evaluated a ton of sleds this season and now we want to know which test ride YOU liked ...
TEST RIDE: 2017 Yamaha Sidewinder R-TX SE
March 30, 2017
In the final edition of Test Ride for the season, Mark Lester zooms over the frozen lake on ...
2017 Revolutionary Advanced Design Award
March 29, 2017
AJ presents the winner of the 2017 Revolutionary Advanced Design Award to the technology that ...
2017 Real World Sled of the Year
March 28, 2017
Our pick for 2017's Real World Sled of the Year in a final showdown between Yamaha, Arctic ...
Top Gear View All
Ask Motorhead View All
March 30, 2017
SNOWMOBILE EXHAUST MODS
It is disturbing that you promote illegal exhaust modifications. The Ontario Motorized Snow Act makes it illegal to modify the exhaust ...
Press Releases View All
March 30, 2017
X-TEAM DOMINATES AT JACKSON HOLE
SKI-DOO X-TEAM HILLCLIMBERS TAKE NINE TITLES AT JACKSON HOLE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tourism View All
February 3, 2017
CAMP CONEWANGO RE-OPENS
Conewango in Redbridge, Ontario Canada is back and under new ownership.