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First Impression: Something Very New From Yamaha

First Impression: Something Very New From Yamaha

Here's the deal. We're sworn to secrecy… sort of. Actually, we can tell you we rode a completely new Yamaha over the Christmas break but as of this writing we cannot publish any pictures or disclose technical details... yeah right, if we had any.

The reason: We didn't really see it – even though we rode it and the staff present for our 140 mile tour patently refused to answer any specific questions about it, beyond verifying it was painted red.

Of course those who follow Yamaha's product carefully will no doubt be able to fill in some blanks, just as we did. While we came away impressed and have pretty solid hunches we know what's going on here, nothing is etched in stone because the Yamaha brain-trust will simply deny this ever happened.

Our impressions are pretty significant after a minus 15C all-day pull to Whitney, Ontario on some of the sweetest, freshly groomed, table-top smooth trails we’ve seen in years.

The sled steers easier and offers more intuitive feedback through the handlebars than any snowmobile, particularly any Yamaha, we’ve ridden to date.

Inside ski-lift, something Yamahas have struggled with, is markedly decreased and we suspect what looked like a new ski profile combined with the aforementioned light and responsive steering feel are reducing this unwanted trait in a pretty dramatic way.

The sled lays down power in the typical Yamaha 4-stroke linear way but there's something different here.

The engine is buttery... no, velvety smooth beyond any 4-stroke engine we've plied to date. How many holes does it have? Dunno for sure, but we think maybe four.

Rider ergonomics are much improved with a taller, more upright rider-forward seating perch that immediately improved comfort and control allowing the pilot to easily perform gymnastics in twisties or make sitting-to-standing transitions through trail junk.

Ride quality is consistent with what Yamaha has become legendary for - exceptional. That's because the monoshock skid looks pretty much the same as what we’ve come to know and love here at Supertrax.

Trail trash, craters, and jigglers are erased completely with this set-up. We also felt traction – particularly when exiting turns or pulling away from rest was better than any previous 121-inch Yamaha. Hmm, wonder why?

We'll have more on this new Yamaha later this month – including some pics we were allowed to take but had to surrender when the Yama-staffers demanded a body cavity search after the ride.

Thankfully, after they found them they didn't want to keep them. We will put them up for your viewing pleasure soon.

Yes, most definitely, stay tuned.