Without question, the Viper is the big story for Yamaha right now – and rightly so. In all versions, the sleds are selling like hotcakes.
We’ve had a full winter with the new Viper and are really sold on it. Yes, there are a few tweaks we’ve noted it could use but Yamaha has responded strongly with some pure Yamaha changes we think will make this great sled even better.
One change we welcome is the transition to a Viper-exclusive version of the recent Yamaha Tuner dual runner ski. The 2014 Viper used a single runner, deep keel ski that was prone to darting in some snow conditions. The new Tuners are actually 5mm deeper but the extra runner will put an end to the twitchy behavior.
Our experience with Tuners has been these skis don’t actually compromise much as far as turning precision goes. They will appear on all Viper 129, 137 and 141 versions.
A new model called the STX-DX has been added to the 2015 mix. This Viper-based model utilizes the spartan 141-inch skidframe with no couplers, sliding arm or torque links.
It comes with a 1.35-inch Cobra track, steel rear rack, a tall windshield, a heated seat and is available with an accessory 2-up seat and a hard shell touring bag. Coilover gassers are used on this model.
We had alluded to new Yamaha Viper LE models in our last report. Available as 129, 137 and 141-inch upgrades (besides the MTX LE), these gorgeous looking blue-orange sleds actually offer substance.
The 129 RTX-LE comes with a 1.7-inch track and an upgrade to Fox EVOL X front shocks. The race-targeted skidframe uses reinforcing doublers on the rails for added strength. The 137-inch RTX-LE has Fox Airs up front but comes with a 1.75-inch track. The 141-inch XTX-LE is clearly targeted at the freeride market and uses a lightweight uncoupled skid but has a mountain-style tall steering post, mountain seat and skis and a 2.25-inch lugged PowerClaw track.
Orders for the LE series Vipers are only available from February 11 to April 15, 2014 with a deposit. You will not be able to get one in the late summer or fall.
Those who order early will be able to choose between a 3-year warranty, an MPI accessory turbo kit (for the discounted price of $2000) or a performance damper kit (we’ll explain tomorrow).
We’d gamble we’ll be seeing a lot of the new LE series Vipers on the trails next year. These may be the best looking sleds we’ve ever seen!