2018 Yamaha SideWinder X-TX SE 141

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Yamaha answers the call of dual-purpose usage with some pretty aggressive off-trail equipment this year.

A couple of years ago we would have steered you far away from a 141 if you were an avid on-trail user who only occasionally rode powder. Now, the last two years, both Yamaha and Arctic Cat have done a lot of tuning to deliver a 141-incher with really good trail compliance.

The SideWinder X-TX SE 141 comes with a 1.6-inch Cobra track that we think is downright perfect for both applications and the adjustable 42-inch ski-stance makes a lot of sense for circuitous trail riding.

The sled uses Fox FLOAT 3s up front and on its rear suspension arm. There are no torsion springs or even coil-over springs back there but a gas shock with a coil-over is used on the front arm. These details are all satisfactory for a sled that can perform double duty but there’s much more to the X-TX’s skidframe than meets the eye.

Although not the same length as the Switchback, the skid uses a considerably longer front arm than it did a couple years ago and fine-tuning has been done to the pull rods and their length and angle in relation to the front arm.

The mounting points where the front arm greets the slide rails are higher and when a rider is seated, the front arm is nearly parallel to the slide rails.

All of this geometry tweakage is capped with some pretty advanced shock calibration to get the ride mighty close to what you’d experience with a coupled suspension.

At the same time you get the unrestricted climb-out in powder mountain sleds possess and full advantage of the track’s ability to bite.

Flat-out, the Sidewinder weighs more than a 2-stroke and although it’s less noticeable on a pure trail sled, when you’re in deep powder and the threat of getting stuck looms over you, the extra weight of a 4-stroke triple, turbocharger and all the plumbing at the front can be impossible to forget.

The fact is, whether you’re into freeriding or trail riding, Yamaha only makes 4-stroke sleds. There are no Yamaha 2-stroke choices in this segment so it’s pretty obvious you’ve already decided you want a 4-stroke freerider and are willing to put up with some compromise.

Without a doubt the Sidewinder makes enough power and torque to get you out of many unexpected deep snow jams. It takes an aggressive rider who is looking ahead and planning exit routes and who may not be afraid to take out some foliage to clear a path when things get hairy.

Although the X-TX doesn’t supply the same level of confidence in the deep as a lighter 2-stroke, with some forethought and aggressiveness you can have a blast on it.

With that in mind, the X-TX 141 promises adventure and drama and a big-time doses of adrenaline.

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