From The Pages of Go Snowmobiling Magazine
Last year, Yamaha graduated the Vector to the Apex rider-forward platform and increased the appeal of its most popular model (up to that point).
Despite the upgrade, the Vector was still upstaged by its newest sibling, the razor-edged Nytro. This is a shame because for Ontario long distance trail riders, the Vector was and still is a much better choice. Why? It’s a combination of comfort, ride and great mileage.
Although the Nytro scores high in these categories, the Vector exceeds – and does it all for a lower sticker price.
Only two variations of the 121-inch Vector are available for 2009: The baseline Vector equipped with steel body gas shocks and the slicker painted GT with GYT-R piggybacks up front.
Surprisingly, both sleds use the same shocks and spring rates in the rear. This is all good because the Vector’s dial-on-the-tunnel adjustable monoshock skidframe is impeccable.
It’s really the only skidframe in this class that comes within a hair’s breadth of matching Arctic Cat’s sliding arm setup for all round ride compliance and you can instantly tune it to your liking, if you choose to.
Both models come with electric start and reverse – boiler plate features in this category – and comparable digital/analog gauge packages.
The Vector’s 3-cylinder 4-stroke is Yamaha’s only carbureted snowmobile engine and it’s a good one, making 120 honest horsepower and sending impressive torque through its clutches down to its 1.25-inch RipSaw track.
We’ve never been disappointed with this sled’s power output. Is there a downside to carburetors? In this case, we don’t think so.
Our experience with the Vector engine is that it starts and idles beautifully even in frigid temperatures and has a surprisingly linear and predictable power delivery.
We have yet to hear a pop or sputter as we’ve spooled up the clutches and the engine always seems more than willing to produce an even temperament whether accelerating from launch or when summoned at mid-range.
Gas mileage is among the top sleds we’ve rated at Supertrax and last issue’s MPG Masters comparo put the carbureted Vector among the best in this category, exceeded only by the Ski-Doo 600 E-TEC.
Here’s a consideration: If you’re planning on saddlebagging, the 121-inch Vector may lack the necessary space to comfortably accommodate all your gear.
Its in-body storage is minimal and valuable seat space can be taken up by your add-on tied-down luggage. We’d suggest spending a bit more for the 136-inch Vector LTX.
With the longer tunnel and track you’ll gain even more ride compliance and you’ll have bonus space at the back of the tunnel for loading bags and gear.
We can’t explain it, but we think the LTX, with its longer track, looks way better proportioned, too.
The Vector offers great comfort and enough amenities to fully satisfy Ontario big-milers this winter.