SIDEWINDER TURBO IMPRESSIONS

With the great snow conditions we’ve been enjoying so far this winter we’ve had a chance to put some miles on various SideWinder models.

Here’s some impressions:

ENGINE:

This mill is a rocket. So far we’ve observed zero turbo lag and really can’t believe how immediate the throttle response is.

Basically, it feels like a naturally aspirated (EFI) engine with gargantuan power. Delivery is very predictable and smooth and the difference between this power package and the old Suzuki Turbo is night and day.

CLUTCHES:

The new primary and roller secondary really work in tandem with the no-lag engine to tip-in power at any throttle setting.

The backshift is very evident and there’s no “rubber band” hesitation as the clutches decide what the ideal RPM is going to be when you’re dialing in more thrust. The power response feels directly connected to your right thumb.

We can’t comment on reliability or belt wear because we don’t have extreme miles on any of our SideWinders yet.

TRACKS:

We’ve found the ideal track length for trail riding is 137 to 141 with a maximum lug depth of 1.75 inches.

Why? In certain models where a deeper lug is offered (2.0 or 2.25), the compromise is just too great for trail riding. We think a 1.5 or 1.6 is absolutely ideal but the 1.75 works nicely when there’s some snow cover over hardpack.

Our 129-incher (R-TX) also rides really nicely and is a great sled even with a 1.25 but that engine just Osterizes the shallower track.

You’ll definitely need some studs. Careful though: In some cases Yamaha will void your track warranty if you add them. Check with your dealer.

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