Some of you have asked us what the various alpha-numeric names associated with Yamaha snowmobiles mean and how you can determine what models have what features.
Here’s our best stab at interpreting the jargon:
TX: As near as we can figure, “TX” means “Yamaha snowmobile”. It is used in every segment, accompanied with other letters, to signify model categories.
R-TX: The “R” stands for “race” … kinda. What it really signifies is the sled’s track length and the fact it is most likely to be used for aggressive, quick-turning trail riding. All “R” models feature a 129-inch track and a coupled suspension.
L-TX: The “L” designation means “long track” and the L-TX is a trail-targeted sled with a 137-inch track and a coupled suspension. Basically, it’s an R-TX with a longer track.
X-TX: The “X” stands for “X-Over” or crossover. These Yamahas are intended to be dual purpose sleds that can be driven on trails competently and also work very well in flatland powder and the foothills. Most use a 141-incher (all SR) but some have a 144 (Phazer) or even a 146 (Apex). All X-Series use an uncoupled suspension.
B-TX: The “B” stands for back country. These Yamahas are close to being mountain sleds and are very serious for freeriding in powder snow. They feature more aggressive tracks than the X-TX series and have some fairly sophisticated shock packages. Suspensions are good but their deeper lugged tracks (1.75 & 2.25) tend to limit their trail use.
S-TX: When we interpret the “S” in S-TX, We’re thinking it means “standard”. These more basic track and shock equipped Yamahas are usually accompanied by the term “DX” which usually stands for “DeLuxe”. However, this probably refers to the type of ride and comfort you get (higher, warmer windshield and more ride compliance) and not a deluxe performance shock package.
M-TX: The “M” is for mountain. Nuff said.
LE and SE: There are significant differences between models designated with the LE and SE nomenclature. The LE stands for “Limited Edition” and is usually a limited availability, order early model with special track and shock features. We think SE stands for “Standard Edition” which is the baseline, in-season snowmobile offered in that particular segment.
SR & RS: These signify the type of chassis the snowmobile is built on. The RS is the original rider-forward, built-in-Japan chassis used on the Venture, Vector and Apex. SR signifies Yamahas built on the Arctic Cat chassis like the SideWinder, Viper and new SR Venture DX 2-upper.
VK: VK is short for “Viking” – nearly all utility models carry the VK designation.
BAT: This means “Best Available Technology” and is used on the RS Venture TF for use in public park areas where snowmobiles would ordinarily be banned. These sleds, usually rentals, have the ultimate approval and equipment to certify with the EPA for squeaky-clean emissions.
TF: This is basically, a regular 144-inch RS Venture with a longer 151-inch track. We’d like to think it stands for “Two–FER”.
MP: This term, meaning “Multi-Purpose” is used on the 500cc Venture MP which doubles as a touring sled and a utility sled.
There you go. If there are any we’ve missed, let us know and we’ll guess along with you.