2013 Snowmobile New Model Preview
2013 Yamaha Snowmobiles
The 2013 model year marks the second decade Yamaha has used four-stroke powerplants in its snowmobile line. Heading into the new model year, the marketplace has changed and presents a growing four-stroke presence from the competition. While competitors jump between two- and four-stroke engines, Yamaha has shifted to a four-stroke-only snowmobile company. Yamaha claims that its sleds use less oil, are more fuel efficient, and tend to be both more reliable and durable than two-strokes.
Yamaha reports that recent market surveys show that snowmobilers consider ride comfort and dependability ahead of acceleration and performance as considerations when buying a new sled. The issue of sled weight factored in to the overall survey, but came in at 15th in order of importance. The concept of power-to-weight struck home with riders ahead of overall weight considerations. There is little denying that four-strokes weigh more than traditional two-stroke powerplants, but when a Yamaha Apex delivers 160-plus horsepower, it offers a very respectable power-to-weight ratio.
For 2013 Yamaha seeks to bring in new riders at a younger age. That’s its focus with the all-new 2013 Yamaha SRX 120, a Yamaha-blue kid-sized sled. Powered by a 123cc Yamaha four-stroke motor, the SRX 120 gives Yamaha a family presence at its dealerships and revives a famed model name in the SRX.
If the SRX 120 seems a bit familiar, it should. The product is a joint effort between Yamaha, the engine supplier, and Arctic Cat, the chassis supplier.
Yamaha isn’t focusing purely on the kiddies, though, as it also worked to create a crossover model for serious on- and off-trail riders in the Nytro XTX 1.75. This new 2013 model puts all of the latest “option” pieces like the 1.75 track, tuner skis, and super-slick hyfax into one model. Along with sharp graphics and the performance Genesis triple common to all Nytro models, Yamaha expects the Nytro XTX 1.75 will cross over in appeal to both on-trail and off-trail riders.
The Nytro XTX performance series is designed to appeal to the rider who wants the everyday reliability of Yamaha power combined with an extended-length chassis and track to get in and out of fresh snow. The Nytro RTX, with its premium shocks and features, appeals to the true big bump rider who seeks out pitted trails and pushes hard into the turns and deep moguls. Yamaha offers the base Nytro with the hard-hitting three-cylinder common to all Nytro versions for a value option in the line.
Headlining Yamaha’s line is its Apex model. The high-revving, one-liter, four-cylinder motor is based on one of Yamaha’s all-conquering street bike engines. Not only does the electronic control center read settings for the fuel injection, but it sets performance for Yamaha’s unique-to-snowmobiling EXUP internal/external exhaust system. And the ECU monitors steering inputs for the exclusive-to-Yamaha electric power steering. Yamaha also produces more than 160 hp from the powerplant without turbocharging! For 2013 Yamaha continues to offer the premium Apex in a base short track version, a stretch track XTX model and the premium SE version.
Backing up the quad-powered Apex is the triple-cylinder powered Vector, which gained electric power steering last season. This is the “fit” for the 125-hp category where it slams head-to-head with Arctic Cat’s various base 1000cc four-strokers as well as Ski-Doo’s 1200 4-TEC models like the GSX or MXz. None of those offer power steering, though.
Not much changes with the Vector and it comes in the base model with EPS and a luxury cruiser LTX with elongated track.
Borrowing from the Vector is the 2013 edition of the two-up Venture GT, complete with power steering and the same power system as the Vector. There will be two other Venture-inspired versions for the new model year. The base Venture uses the older carbureted Vector-based triple. But, the new for 2013 Venture TF is fitted with the EFI triple, power steering and a 151-inch long track. While new to the US market, this sled was sold in Canada this past season and is a combination touring/utility model.
Another Canadian import into the US market is the Venture MP, which bears DNA coding from both the Venture Lite two-up and the Phazer MTX. Fitted with the 500cc, 80-hp twin, the new Venture MP (multi-purpose) is kind of a pickup for the snow and suited for small utility chores. It features two-up versatility and a 16-inch wide by 144-inch track.
Other Phazer-derived models include the stretched out two-up Venture Lite, perfect for rental or two-up touring, and the Phazer MTX, a light duty powder sled. Both models return for 2013 with negligible changes.
The short-tracked 2013 Phazers include the bump-rated Phazer RTX and the groomed trail sportster Phazer GT.
Last year, Yamaha deep-powder models featured promotion for Nytro MTX 162 and 153 tracked sleds. The 2013 powder Yamahas will also have a very limited, specially priced “Spring Only” purchase window.
The standard Yamaha Nytro MTX will be offered all season long. The sled will have features including the two track lengths and an all-air suspension on the MTX with 162-inch tracks.
Yamaha continues to offer exclusive test rides at select locations so be sure to visit YamahaDemos.com for more information.
For first impressions of the 2013 sleds, visit our sister site at Snowmobile.com - 2013 Snowmobile First Impressions