Despite other changes to the 2020 Yamaha product line, probably the company’s biggest news this year is the 600 Transporter.
This sled is the first viable 2-stroke Yamaha has offered in nearly fifteen years. Yes, we know about the Viking 540, but the Transporter is an all-encompassing sled that reaches into several markets at once, where the 2-stroke VK was specifically aimed at the utility buyer.
What are we talking about? First, the Transporter is powered by an Arctic Cat-derived DSI 600 2-stroke twin – but the story only begins there.
Obviously, the target is lightness and utilizing a 2-stroke provides plenty of deep snow agility without the extra front-end mass of a 4-stroke affecting powder handling. There’s way more to this, however.
Check out the Transporter’s features and dimensions: It comes with a long tunnel and a 153-inch track. Suddenly the picture gets clearer. This long, 2.25-inch-deep Powerclaw track, equipped with lugs, enables the Transporter to perform alongside some pretty formidable mountain sleds.
The skid is articulated for better reversing and improved ride but can be locked down so the whole 153 inches is biting in powder.
Yamaha uses a mountain seat, wide mountain skis, a fairly narrow 38-inch ski-stance and a tall 6.5-inch riser for comfortable stand-up handling.
There’s even a handlebar strap. Yes, this sled is a mountain performer disguised as a utility sled. Sure, mountain experts are going to want 800 power, but there are a lot of boondockers and foothill powder riders who love a 600. This sled is perfect for just that.
At the very least, you could call the Transporter a credible crossover. It uses the SRV trail front end geometry and spindles in combo with the mountain skis and gas shocks and although the 2.25 track is a bit too deep for continuous groomed trail use, it’s fine for short hauls from a staging area to a fave off-trail riding area.
It uses the SideWinder’s quick-remove bodywork and its narrow stance means you can lay it over and pull powder hooks – even sidehill some pretty steep slopes.
The Transporter makes use of a roller secondary and has a built-in belt-height adjuster.
Sure, the windshield is a bit tall for a pure mountain sled and there’s a utility style rack at the rear of the tunnel but if you’re riding slopes, it’s a perfect place to bungee down extra gear and a gas can.
So there you have it! The Transporter is presented as a utility sled, can double as a vert sled and even be used to ride freestyle or used as a crossover.
Yamaha riders are gonna love it and we’re betting next year Yamaha will offer this sled with even more goodies and maybe, an 800. Better yet, it has that “YAMAHA” logo on the body – and can play in the powder with the best of them!