The big question is this: How much power do you really need?
Sure, a lot of snowmobile shoppers would argue, “If you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound”; meaning if you’ve got your wallet out, why go for a 95-130 horsepower sled if you can spend a few more bucks and get a 160-200-hp one?
The hard truth is this – and it’s challenging to get power-hungry buyers to fully understand what we’re proposing here – not everyone wants or most certainly, needs more than the 130-hp ceiling this line-up offers.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular (and largest selling) trail sleds that fall splat into the middle of the power wars.
Yamaha SRViper L-TX GT: Feels Even More Like A 2-stroke!
Yamaha has stepped up with improvements to the Viper. This model had remained mostly unchanged. The updates are welcome and show Yamaha is committed to the Viper paradigm.
Not that a lot needed changing. This sled always produced nice linear power and the combo of the SR chassis with a 1,049cc 4-stroke triple was about as close to magic as you can get with a 4-stroke.
By remapping the ECU, Yamaha has delivered something that feels broader than the 130-hp the 1049 claims. This change, along with offering only a 137-inch track (no 129), has brought new life to the Viper. QS-3 shocks were added, a heated seat and a brand new pair of skis.
The new Stryke skis are very big news and have virtually eliminated darting and hunting on hard-packed surfaces. More importantly these new skis completely eliminate understeer providing predictable initial turn-in and apex biting control through the center of turns. The Stryke has hit the goal-line dead-on.
Last year the Viper got fresh, new easy-to-remove bodywork and an aesthetic makeover to amp up its appeal.
This sled is a longterm keeper and that 1049 triple has acquired a reputation for heroic durability. There are no complaints about belt longevity or any other mechanical deficiencies.
The main thing is, this is a truly fun sled to ride long distances. It’s quiet while producing a compelling, throaty exhaust cadence.
It’s undeniably good on gas, rides nicely, handles good and has all the benefits a 4-stroke offers in a sled that feels like a 2-stroke.
Keep this in mind as well – there’s no other comparable to it in the marketplace.