Exclusive Report By: Motorhead Mark Lester
Probably the worst kept secret this season was the much-predicted arrival of an X-Over Nytro for model year (MY) 09.
What wasn’t known was the length Yamaha chose to stretch their potent 130 plus HP Ditch Rocket.
With all current Yamaha “LTX” crossover models wearing 136-inch sneakers (and pretty much everything in the industry in MY 08) we assumed the big “Y” would throw a 136 under the Nytro, but Yamaha took the XTX to a higher level of flotation – IT’S A 144!
The new XTX floats on a 144-inch, dual shock, bent rail skid wrapped in a 1.25 lug Camo-boot.
The idea here is not new – add extra length to gain flotation and mobility in deep cream but bend the last few inches of the rail up a couple degrees so on hardpack the sled won’t know it’s spinning a long sneaker.
The real issue with the new XTX – as far as our Crew was concerned – is handling. The current MY08 Nytro is an aggressive if not slightly nervous handling piece, which has netted a love/hate response from buyers. Simply put, if you like edgy handling, here’s your ride.
If you want something less tightly drawn, you’ll be glad Yamaha made significant geometric changes to the Nytro’s lower A-frames, spindles, tie rod mounts and sway bar for MY 09.
The result is an exponential improvement in on-center feel and stability as well as dramatically softened initial turn-in. This alone takes a significant bite out the Nytro’s predisposition to get up on one ski on turn entry.
Along with the longer track and skid comes a svelte and more visually appealing tunnel. From a side profile the effect of this change is quite dramatic.
Ride quality with the 144 bent rail is superb – the best among all Nytro’s and the mogul bridging effect apparent on a 136 is even stronger this 144. The combination of the new longer track, superb skid calibration and new front-end angles is so convincing it seems unfair to compare this latest Nytro to the 08’s.
The power from the Nytro’s crisp and edgy 1050 triple is immediate and exactly what buyers in this segment want. There’s ski-lifting grunt at engagement followed by a 2-stroke-ish surge that doesn’t let quit until you do.
The question we’re asked most about the XTX relates to understeer. Most 144’s have a measure of push – even with bent rails – on certain snow surfaces.
In this case – yes – there’s a little push on semi-soft white top. However, given the Nytro’s aggressive and edgy persona, you won’t notice it a bit.