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RIDING THE 2016 SR VIPER TURBO 137

RIDING THE 2016 SR VIPER TURBO 137

There were a couple sleds at this year's annual Snowshoot event in West Yellowstone, which we were particularly anxious to get a pull on. One of them was the 2016 SR Viper 137 Turbo with Fox QS-3 shocks.

If you've never ridden snowmobiles at altitude you'd have little appreciation for how soft normally heroic power delivery feels with all normally aspirated 2 and 4-stroke mills.

West Yellowstone sits at 6600 feet and we ride daily to about 8500 feet. The rule of thumb is 10% less power for every 1000 ft above sea level. We've always struggled with this arbitrary measurement however, suffice it to say an 800 feels more like a 600 at 8000 ft.

This reality goes out the window when you add in a turbocharger. The turbocharged 130 HP 1049 Yamaha triple twin cammer delivers its full sea-level jam (175 HP) when the flipper is squeezed - regardless of altitude.

The interesting part of this equation is how seamlessly good an MPI kitted Yamaha sled operates. The 1049 triple loves the MPI blower and responds with even, linear and then "WOW" power when you grab a handful.

The Viper Turbo positively blew all challengers into the weeds in the 800cc segment and was relegated to playing with Arctic Cat's 1100 Turbo for any meaningful comparisons.

The MPI Viper delivers power in the most non-threatening way when massaged gently. Your wife could ride an MPI turbo all day and never need to uncover the monster lurking within, complain of throttle surge or any quirks.

The engine acts like a stock 1049 until about three quarter throttle, then things get serious - fast. Pretty cool.

The new QS-3 Fox shocks on the Viper Turbo we tested deserve a moment in the spotlight. These dampers bring a new and as yet unavailable level of plushness to the Viper and should be considered by every Viper buyer as a must have.

Of course not every Viper comes with these shocks, but after one short ride, you'll wish you had these on your sled and will probably even consider laying down your hard-earned jing for a set.