Yamaha’s top-line Viper, the LE, available as a 129-inch RT-X and 137-inch LT-X, is a more serious version of the SE.
The SE comes with Fox air shocks up front and gas shocks in the skidframe with pre-determined damping settings and no available adjustment other than spring preload. Upgrade to the LE and you get a fully adjustable suspension.
Up front there are Fox EVOL air shocks with reservoirs and both compression and rebound damping adjustability. The skidframe features Fox Zero Pro gas shocks without reservoirs but the good news is there are compression clickers that allow you to set up the suspension for various riding styles and rider weights.
This is a big deal and something not offered by Arctic Cat on its competitive 7000-series ProCross Sno Pro models – at least until you buy into Cat’s RR-series sleds.
Another option available on the LE is a 1.7-inch lugged track. This is a very aggressive track for a trail sled and is designed to add to the sled’s off-trail versatility. We’ve seen Polaris offer a 1.75-incher on its new Pro-X AXYS models in both 120 and 137-inch track lengths, too. It seems customers are asking for more track depth and Yamaha and Polaris are listening.
Even with a 129-incher, when the lugs are so deep, you can venture into pretty deep, dry powder without fear of getting stuck. The 137 would be the best choice if you’re riding off-trail a lot, though.
We’re anxious to sample the ride range the shocks allow for the Viper LE. We’re hoping calibration falls to compliance on the soft side and rideable stiffness on the highest settings.
Word is Cat and Yamaha have conspired on new settings this year for these premium sleds and the suspension calibrations have been softened so you can dial in more firmness as required or keep the shocks softer for more comfort on trails.