When you first sit on a Phazer you’ll notice feedback strangely similar to a YZF motocrosser. The narrow and tall seat delivers a dominating feel looking over the trail and puts the rider in the perfect position for a stand up ride similar to the YZF.
The deep tunnel and low hung running boards let you pinch the mid-section of the seat with your knees and pull the Phazer around in deep powder when playing off the trail.
The front section of the Phazer has more Vector and Apex influence with the use of injection molded body panels popping outward, mirroring the shape of the engine and driveline components they cover. This makes the Phazer look more concept than production and really catches your attention.
The boiler underneath this little steam cannon is a 2-cylinder 500cc liquid cooled, fuel injected 4-stroker. The mill is based on the single cylinder YZF250 motor and they strapped two of those 250s together to make a stump pulling torque monster of an engine fueled by a 43mm Keihin dual throat EFI throttle body.
This sophisticated engine uses an Apex-like remote primary drive to drop crank revs from near-12,000 RPM to 8,000 RPM at full whack, thus ensuring belt reliability.
The power characteristics of the Genesis 80hp mill are similar to other Yamaha 4-strokes: they make potent power down low. The torque generated by this 499cc reactor is incredible and propels the Phazer up to cruising speed quickly.
The Phazer creates what could be called the best, stock factory exhaust note, period. This little gruntmeister barks horsepower commands to the 14-wide by 121 inch track and lets you know it’s bred from the same line of engines strapped into the YZF MXers.
Squeeze the go stick and an angry 4-stroke thump reverberates out the rear exiting exhaust and plays a tune sweet enough to win American Idol.
The all new Phazer-specific Pro-Active rear suspension delivers a plush ride in the harshest conditions. Using a Polaris-like double coupled drop link and an Arctic Cat-ish Torque Sensing Link on the rear arm plus what appears very similar to Ski-Doo’s SC-4 accelerated front arm shock set-up, Yamaha has melded the best ideas in the biz here placing a full 16.1 inches (at the rear axle) of whoop-whipping travel at your beckoned call.
The dual A-arm front suspension is equally as competent, using a small spaghetti-like sway bar similar to that on an MXZ 440 Ski-Doo snocrosser. The bar attaches to the lower A-arm via forged dog bones and effectively counters front end roll under hard cornering conditions.
Holding the A-arms to the skis are a sweet set of extruded aluminum spindles, hollowed out to the max, looking more like an aftermarket part than a production piece.
When it comes to choosing between the GT or FX package the most significant difference is in the suspension department. The rear end of the GT comes with two Kayaba IFP gas shocks.
The front arm shock has a threaded preload adjuster allowing for an even wider range of adjustability versus a snail cam collar found on many competitive sleds.
Out back, square torsion springs can be adjusted to one of three preload settings. The front end of the GT uses two aluminum KYB shocks with threaded bodies. The adjustability of a threaded body provides for preload is a huge benefit over snail cam collar adjusters found on most low cost snowmobiles these days.
We predict the biggest problem Yamaha will face is consumer perception of this new generation snowmobile. To combat this, Yamaha has geared up promotions that include a set of Phazers on a trailer with matching jackets and helmets for a ridiculously low monthly payment. Smart.