HISTORIC YAMAHA: A Look Back at The Nytro

- Advertisement -

Do you ever wonder where all the old sleds go? Are they in the dark recesses of damp, dilapidated garages? Or are they under tarpaulins at remote hunt camps across the North American snowbelt?

Frankly, I marvel at this question on a regular basis. Even though I don’t see many Yamaha Nytros on the trails anymore the Nytro is not that far back in the rearview mirror. The first Nytro arrived in 2008 and remained in production until the 2014 model year. That’s a seven year run for this very unique snowmobile.

Make no mistake about this – Yamaha targeted the Nytro to compete against 2-stroke ditch bangers like the REV and REV XP. In fact, Ski-Doo was in the cross hairs of the Nytro ahead of all other ditch weapons. The Nytro’s calling card was its light weight when compared to any past Yamaha 4-stroke sled.

The Nytro debuted its skeletal styling that saw every chassis element paired down and rationalized in the battle to achieve the title of “lightest 4-stroke”. The 2008 Nytro and its sister, the Phazer 500 4-stroke, would be among the last pure Yamaha models designed and built in Japan.

The Nytro did display lighter weight than any previous Yamaha 4-stroke model in the 130-HP class. At the same time the competition – Ski-Doo – were on the main jet in pursuit of lightweight 4-stroke supremacy. When they (Ski-Doo) landed the new REV XP chassis with an 1170cc Rotax 4-stroke for power they rained on the Nytro’s short-lived parade by delivering even lighter weight. This happened in MY 2008.

Yamaha Nytro R-TX - Fast

The Nytro popularized the now legendary 1049cc Genesis triple 4-stroke and no matter what you thought about the Nytro’s boney looks there was no disagreement about the effectiveness of the Nytro’s mill. Even though Ski-Doo’s 1200 powered XP was lighter, the Nytro’s 1049 with three throttle bodies and three injectors flat out-classed the Rotax 1200’s single throttle body induction system. The term “throttle lag” was born in an effort to describe the Rotax 1200’s response to loud handle adjustments.

In as much as the Nytro attracted a following in the 00’s the sled was somewhat misunderstood and difficult to pigeon hole into an existing market segment. The Nytro’s designed and built-in-Japan chassis suffered from unusual handling quirks – which for all the world felt like the sled’s engine was too high in the chassis – creating unpredictable inside ski lift.

If you were a throttle jockey or a certified ditch banger the Nytro’s handling was of little issue. However, mainstream Yamaha trail riders went back to their Vector and Apex. Both of these iconic Yamahas delivered predictable – if not rock-solid handling – and delivered ride quality still legendary today.

The aftermarket delivered myriad geometry modifying front suspension kits which in combination with aftermarket skis settled the Nytro’s jumpy cornering posture. These ski and spindle kits were effective – however the price was not inconsequential.

The Nytro marked an important place in snowmobile history. The first year of domestic Yamaha snowmobile production was 2014 and so was the last year of Nytro production.

The Nytro will be remembered by a herd of Yama-groupies who loved the 1049 Genesis and the Nytro’s inherent lightness. The 1049 lives on today in other Yamahas and in a 999cc turbocharged variant – the standard by which all other sno-mo-turbos must be measured.

Mark Lester
Mark Lester
Mark Lester is Co-Publisher of SUPERTRAX Magazine and a regular Host on SNOWTRAX TV, which can be seen on Sportsman Channel across America and in Canada on OLN, Sportsman Channel Canada, Wild TV and REV TV and globally on our YouTube channel.

Trending Now



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Comments