We’ve been busting to tell you what Yamaha has been up to and believe us, our heads are still reeling even though we’ve known about the 2014 model line-up for a few weeks now.
Yamaha is the big story this year and it will change the industry rules in a significant way.
If you’re looking at the photos, you no doubt have noticed the 2014 Yamaha Viper looks a lot like an Arctic Cat. You’re not mistaken.
The new Yamaha snakes are being built in Thief River Falls, Minnesota and do share a lot of the technology with Cat’s ProCross series of sleds.
However, there are significant differences. First, all the new Vipers will have the rock-solid 1049cc Yamaha 4-stroke triple underhood – the one we’ve grown to love in the Vector, Venture and Nytro.
This bulletproof engine mounted in the Viper has a modified exhaust that instead of running under the seat and out the rear of the sled in typical Yamaha style, runs back under the front of the seat and exits at the right side front in a conventional exiting manner with the muffler located behind the right side engine panel.
There’s still a cooling effect with the front half of the 3-into-one pipe exposed to the air and snow inside the tunnel.
All Vipers will be using Yamaha’s 8.3-inch diameter primary and external helix secondary clutches. These tried and true clutches have a proven history of delivering incredible belt life and have been specifically tuned to suit this sled.
Look closely and you’ll notice there are cosmetic changes to the hood, side body panels, digital gauges and the windshields are definitely Yamaha-specific. All colors are reminiscent of current and past Yamahas – and the name Viper, for those who remember nearly a decade ago, was one of Yamaha’s most popular and best-selling marques.
Vipers will be offered with Yamaha-specific tracks in 129-inch lengths as well as a 137 and a 141. The 137-incher is designed for the trail-focused end of the crossover market and uses a fully coupled sliding arm style skidframe as does the 129. The 141 uses Cat’s very light mountain version skid without couplers, rate adjusters, torque links or a sliding front arm.
The sleds are being built to Yamaha’s exacting specifications. Suspension, drive system, fuel delivery, assembly calibrations and settings are being overseen by Yamaha engineers.
Shocked? There’s way more!