YAMAHA’S NEW MID RANGE SLED

We recently commented in Supertrax about the shelf lives for certain Yamaha models approaching their stale dates. One particular target is the Phazer with its high-strung 500cc powerhouse and incredibly unique styling.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to ride a 4-stroke Phazer, you know how much fun the sled is and how well it performs, particularly on trails.

It’s been around for quite a few years and, frankly, its price is pretty high compared to the competition’s mid or entry level 2-strokes. Sure, it is a 4-stroke but with sleds like Cat’s 4-stoke ZR5000 and Ski-Doo’s 900 ACE, from the showroom window it’s difficult to justify old technology versus new.

We think Yamaha may have a Phazer replacement in the works and we have a hunch what it might look like… It begins with a 129-inch ZR chassis using gas cell shocks and a 1-inch deep track. Power would come from the new 998cc triple used in the SideWinder, certainly naturally aspirated (no turbo) and using single throttle body EFI. Power would be detuned into the 95 to 100-horse range – just enough to one-up the ACE 900 (90-hp) and justify a price increase over the competition.

This power output would separate it nicely from the Viper and keep pricing lower than that sled but likely higher than the Phazer. Think we’re crazy? Maybe, but this engine-chassis combo with a number of cost-downs would be a big hit with the same type of customer who loves the ACE 900.

It’s tough to deny the ACE 900 has been a huge success for Ski-Doo and there are plenty of riders out there who like the idea of a 100-hp 4-stroke snowmobile.

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