2014 Yamaha Snowmobiles Unveiled

February 20, 2013
Filed under Snowmobile News, Top Stories, Yamaha

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2014 Yamaha SR Viper LTX SE

2014 Yamaha SR Viper LTX SE

For 2014, Yamaha will have five snowmobile models assembled by Arctic Cat on Arctic Cat’s ProCross chassis — called the SRV chassis by a Yamaha — but utilizing the Yamaha-built 1049cc liquid-cooled, 135 hp triple-cylinder engine previously only found in FX Nytro models.

The two short-tracked models are the Yamaha SR Viper and SR Viper RTX SE, each with 15- by 129- by 1.25-inch RipSaw II track. The more aggressive Yamaha SR Viper RTX model gets Fox FLOAT 2 shocks up front, performance settings in the rear suspension and a short windshield, while the base Viper gets comfort-tuned suspensions, coil-over shocks up front, a mid-height windshield and a heated seat.

SR Viper LTX and its SE version follow a similar pattern, except they house a 137-inch RipSaw II track and have a longer tunnel. A mid-height windshield, comfort-tuned shocks, heated seat and larger behind-the-seat storage bag come on the base model; performance tuning, Fox FLOAT 2 shocks and a short windshield are on the SE. The LTX models are truly just bump-bridging trail sleds. True crossover riders should be drawn to the SR Viper XTX SE, with a 15- by 141-inch cobra track, wider mountain skis, taller handlebars and performance-based suspension settings. These models will also spin Yamaha’s own clutches.

For 2014, Yamaha also returns with three Apex models, four Nytros, four Ventures, two Vectors, three Phazers, a VK Pro and the SRX 120. So 2014 for Yamaha is not all about the new SR Vipers, but that’s definitely what will drive the chatter.

Five new models are based on the Yamaha SRV chassis and will be built at Arctic Cats' factory in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Five new models are based on the Yamaha SRV chassis and will be built at Arctic Cats’ factory in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

2014 Yamaha SRV Chassis

The base of what Yamaha is calling the SRV chassis is mostly aluminum, though the bulkhead is steel for added rigidity. A stripped chassis exposes a triangulated subframe, with structural crossmembers that connect at the center, just below the handlebars, and reach forward and out toward the corners of the bulkhead, and back toward the center of the tunnel. That tunnel features a tapered design above the driver’s ankles, with large triangular cutouts on the stiff running boards.

Super-tall forged-aluminum spindles create a huge gap between the two A-arms on the front suspension. The spacing of the A-arms and the way they attach to the bulkhead is said to reduce weight, lower the center of gravity and move forces deeper into the chassis, while the geometry controls camber and bump steer.

The rear suspension will be a re-named version of Arctic Cat’s FasTrack Slide-Action, called the Dual Shock SR 129 in a Yamaha. It’s a coupled design, with a front arm mount that floats to control ski lift during hard acceleration. The exhaust dumps out the bottom near the driver’s right foot, in a traditional spot for all other snowmobiles, but not Yamaha four-strokes, which have run the exhaust beneath the seat and out the back.

Yamaha SRV chassis sleds get push-button-activated reverse, a magnesium chaincase, Hayes braking system and a 10.6-gallon fuel tank. The 2014 Yamaha SRV models will also feature a new, two-screen, all-digital gauge and a redesigned seat.

Yamaha Tuner Skis Expand

Yamaha has expanded the use of Tuner dual-keel skis to all three Apex models, both RS Vectors, all four Ventures and the Phazer RTX for 2014. Each keel measures .82 inches deep and each carries a wear bar. There is a 1.3-inch channel between those keels. In stock form on last year’s Nytro, the Tuners came with 2 inches of carbide on the inside keel’s wear bar and no carbide on the outer bar.

The Deltabox chassis that is the foundation of the Apex and Vector models doesn’t have the same tippy problem that affects the FX Nytro machines, but the skis, especially on the Apex sleds, needed attention. When Yamaha added power steering, it got more aggressive up front with the 8HV ski, but that setup found many Apex owners dealing with excess darting.

The 2014 Yamaha Phazer XTX is a new crossover model with a 144-inch track.

The 2014 Yamaha Phazer XTX is a new crossover model with a 144-inch track.

2014 Yamaha Phazer XTX

Yamaha is adding a crossover XTX to go along with the returning Phazer RTX and Phazer MTX. Like the XTX siblings (Nytro and Apex), the Phazer XTX will come with 144-inch track, but it gets its rear suspension with HPG shocks from Yamaha’s mountain lineup. From the Phazer line, it gets the 80 hp, 499cc four-stroke twin-cylinder engine and a 14-inch wide Freeride track. The Phazer MTX and Phazer RTX return, with ther RTX getting Tuner skis for 2014. g

2014 Yamaha And Arctic Cat Snowmobile Partnership

Rumors have been floating for awhile about a possible Yamaha and Arctic Cat partnership. Yamaha officials stressed, however, that this is a supply agreement only — the companies are not combining the majority of their snowmobile efforts, there’s no stock swap or other behind-the-scenes, high-finance mumbo-jumbo.

In fact, Yamaha officials said this is the start of a bold new future for Team Blue in the snowmobile market, not the end of the line.

“Today is just the tip of the iceberg of where we’re going and of our long-term plan,” said Peter Smallman-Tew, the vice president of Yamaha Motor Canada and the lead North American snowmobile contact to the parent company. “We’re more committed today than we ever have been in the snowmobile business. We’re here, and we’re going to be in the snowmobile business for a long time.” Promises of new chassis and emerging, Yamaha-specific technology were hinted at, as several different Yamaha officials stressed that this is not a sign of weakness for the brand, but rather a sign of a new strength.

2014 Yamaha SR Viper LTX SE — Yamaha power in an Arctic Cat chassis

2014 Yamaha SR Viper LTX SE — Yamaha power in an Arctic Cat chassis

Yamaha has been an engine supplier to many companies — including Ford, Lexus and Toyota in the automotive market. In the ATV market, Yamaha has supplied ATV engines to competitors and had some competitors build low displacement ATVs for it. Even in the snowmobile market, if you look back to the 1970s, you’ll find Yamaha engines in competitors’ equipment.

But one does have to look back into the 1970s and early 1980s to find this level of partnership between brands in snowmobiling — other than the Cat-built, Yamaha-powered SRX 120 Yamaha introduced last year. That arrangement was the start of this new ProCross/SRV chassis and Nytro engine sharing relationship, Yamaha officials said. Snowmobile Product Manager Rob Powers said he knows exactly how some Yamaha snowmobile customers are going to feel when they first hear the news.

“I mean, we’re a proud company. You can imagine the feeling in the board room when this was brought up. It takes a little time to digest this,” Powers said.

Click the link to see more, larger images of 2014 Yamaha snowmobiles.

Comments

18 Responses to “2014 Yamaha Snowmobiles Unveiled”

  1. Steve Zieno on February 20th, 2013 9:42 pm

    I’ve owned a snowmobile since 1996 and they have all been Yamahas but I think Yamaha has just lost a customer. If I wanted and Arctic Cat I would just buy an Arctic Cat. I think this shows a complete of understanding of their customer base on Yamah’s part and a lack of understanding of the snowmobile culture altogether. Think about it, what other group of people can anyone think of that are as brand loyal as snowmobilers are? Wrong move Yamaha.

  2. Mike Austin on February 21st, 2013 6:36 pm

    I was 85% sure after 37 years if rinding yamaha and nothing else I was going to buy a new Skidoo. I love the 4 stroke and clutch reliability. I just don’t break down like all of my riding buddies, (I’ve towed many cats) but I’m getting tired of the wieght and the price. I thought they were going to take a diet on both with a new announcement. I haven’t seen the spec’s on the wieght however the price still requires a fat walllet. this may not be a fair comparison, but today I can go purchase a new 2013 skidoo for $3K-$4k less.

    I will admint I’ve been waiting 7 years for yamaha to change their body style so I could ride something more current.

    The Snow show is a month a way and I may hold my decision off until I see one in person.

  3. Mike Payeur on February 21st, 2013 10:25 pm

    I agree with Steve. I’ve been trying my heart out to accept this marriage until I read that AC will actually be assembling these models. One has to now question the quality build component of these sled. Yami owned that field (sorry AC). For years, Yamaha was touting that they built/controlled most every aspect of their sleds. Additionally, I have not been reading reviews on the Cats that are mind blowing. I just can’t wrap my little mind around this “new deal”. Time will tell but I am sitting on the sidelines for a couple more years. Sorry Yamaha!

  4. Bruce Bryant on February 22nd, 2013 7:04 am

    I spent allot of time in the sled industry & have been many engine & platform switches. Somehow this one takes me by surprise as we are down to four manufactures. Would think this decision would help only Polaris & Bombardier.

  5. joe on February 25th, 2013 6:43 pm

    Times are changing for everyone, if the suzuki cant make money selling engines to cat anymore, than ac has to look to a the most reliable powerplant.
    In the 70′s there was some 30ish different sled builders, they all closed here doors, for the same reason $$$$, if it doesnt make cents, you have no choice
    I think this is the biggest complianment you could make to all yamaha owners, that our proven motors are being found in other chassis,

  6. Shane on February 26th, 2013 10:31 pm

    wow! what a disappointment… I to have been waiting for something fresh out of the most reliable sled maker and this is not it. Nothing against cat, they have there own huge fan base! Three years ago I bought my wife a ski-doo because yamaha doesn’t make a nice light machine for a women to throw around. We put big miles on and since that sled has been trouble free and I find myself riding it alot I am getting another one… sorry yamaha but I’m gone to.

  7. Derrick on February 27th, 2013 12:28 pm

    I know you Yamaha guys are not ready to accept this yet, but I think this is a great move, not only for Arctic cat, but for Yamaha as well. You have quality concerns, and Yamaha has already addressed this concern stating that all production of their products in Their River Falls will meet Yamaha quality, reliability, and dependability standards. Yamaha also stated that they will be innovating and introducing their own models in the future. When you buy a so called “Yama-Cat” you are getting Yamaha dependability, in a light weight, agile, and capable chassis, the one I’m sure many of you have been waiting for. This is a business move for Yamaha, they are bringing production, development, and operations closer to the vast majority of their market, instead of doing it from half way around the world. If Yamaha loses some its fan base its a real shame. I’m sure there will be plenty of others jumping brands to take your place.

  8. jeff on March 1st, 2013 4:20 pm

    I have owned 3 yamahas 1 rx1 – 2 apex 06 and 08 very good sleds 9000 miles on 08 time for new sled , not going to be a cat . I watched a 2012 cat fall a part within 500 miles last year . I im not dealing with it . going to ny sno deo next week . was hoping yama would do something with fazer and put motor in it . oh well looks like skidoo here i come . p.s not paying over $ 10,000 and thats a lot for what you get

  9. Harry on March 2nd, 2013 12:11 pm

    I just got to say iam sick to my stomach and very pissed off!! this is a sad day for arctic cat and espicially yamaha fans. there is noway i would buy a arctic cat nowing it was built by another brand at there factory.so i dont no how yamaha can expect this from there fans. No matter what you ride 90% of snowmobilers are brand loyal and will not except this. I certanly will not three weeks ago bougth a 2013 f8 sno pro only has 152 miles on it time for a trade in. ive riddin arctic cats for 25 years will not go another.hello polaris and ski doo.

  10. Chris on March 3rd, 2013 7:55 pm

    Look at the bright side yamaha and cat fans. I believe that snowmobilers are loyal ,so for you guys this is a good excuse tho switch to ski-doo or polaris, and you can finally enjoy snowmobiling!

  11. Brock on March 4th, 2013 7:53 pm

    This is by far the greatest move by any Manufacturer in the industry in recent history. Yamaha has always built quality products but could never get the ride and handling that Cat has had since the original Zr. I sold and serviced both these brands for many years and all brand slamming aside this will help the long term survival of both brands.

  12. Bob on March 6th, 2013 8:23 pm

    WOW!!!! I thought ,finally! Yamaha has a hot looking sled! Then to find out it is a “ditch pickle” in Yammy skin. CRAP. Ain’t buyin” that! Back to the Polaris Switchback.

  13. Jon on March 6th, 2013 8:39 pm

    I tested a new SR Viper last weekend at the NH SnoDeo and wow, I can’t say enough about this sled. Amazing. Solid feeling chassis and great 4 stroke (what did I expect, its a Yamaha, of course its a great engine). It took me a little bit to come around to the Cat/ Yamaha marriage but I did. The only thing I hope is that Yamaha has their own employees on site at the Arctic Cat factory for the quality. All considered, I will not hesitate making this my sled this year or next (depending when my budget can handle $13,000 USD).

  14. shane wilson on March 17th, 2013 2:52 am

    Ive been yamaha brand loyal for years. as for yamaha and cat joining forces who really benifits? not the buyer we all had that choice for years. Where is yamahas direct injection 2 stroke 600? I think they should of put some R@D into making their customer happy,and put a hot 2 stroke back in their line up,

  15. james marc cantlin on April 8th, 2013 9:03 am

    well sounds like a bunch of wine babs that say there brand loyal but there not ! because if thay were thay would trust in yamaha ,, thay will make shour the job gets done right !! and thay will stand behind what thay sale ! thay always have !! I just drop off my 2012 apex xtx and snow check my new 2014 sr viper xtx se ,,, I,M all blue blue blue i,m blue but not you ,, you are traders !!! that have no trust ! O, O, HAY YOU TRADERS I WILL KEEP A YEL ADD WHI TOW ROPE TO MATCH YOUR SLED WHEN YOU GET TOWED IN BY THAT NEW YAMAHA NEXT YEAR !!!!! PS, injoy your she doo yes thats right I said seh she doo when your mortor takes a shit befor 3,000 miles and your dog airass yes dog airass that gets 10 miles to the gal and takes a crap be for 5,000 miles ,, and the yamaha with 20,000 miles still going on the same mortor , well said anuff you no I,M RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Jesse on April 11th, 2013 11:04 pm

    This is bull! So let me get this straight Arctic cat gets an 8 year old slow motor that is hard to copy or duplicate & Yamaha gets the best chassis with those tall revolutionary spindles that they could easily reverse engineer & continue to produce after the partnership is over. There are tons of reliable engine makers out there. There’s only one Procross chassis! Arctic Cat should have went to ultra reliable Honda & they’d have the best of both worlds!

  17. james marc cantlin on April 26th, 2013 2:20 pm

    yes thats right 8 years and in that 8 years no one has even come close to makeing a motor thats is good as this one not even honda or thay would be makeing one !!!! this is good arctic cat makes the best chassis and yamaha makes the best motor !!! THIS IS A GOOD MATCH BEST OF THE BEST CANT WATE TO PICK MINE UP ! p.s. most of these winer,s wine because this sled is out of reach ,, this means you dont have the money to get one , so thay talk shit !!!

  18. solarvic on October 24th, 2013 8:34 pm

    I can,t see why all you crybabys are worried about Artic building some Yamaha sleds. I think it is good for both companys. Got a new Subaru last spring and learned Subaru also builds Toyota Camrays in the same plant in Indiana. That helps Subaru to make use of their manufacturing facility and helps Toyota to have more cars to sell. With artic and Yamaha working together on building sleds it should be good for both companys. I also had a Ford SHO with the Yamaha built v6 motor that way out performed tthe later built v 8 Ford Sho. Also operated an old Toyota fork truck that I
    was told had the engine built by Yamaha.

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