Yamaha unveiled six new snowmobile models for 2014 at its North American dealer meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Minneapolis.
In a major announcement, Yamaha officials said that five of the 2014 sleds will be assembled by Arctic Cat on Cat’s ProCross chassis. The SR Viper, RTX SE, LTX, LTX SE and XTX SE all will feature Arctic Cat’s ProCross chassis and Yamaha’s 1049cc engine.
"Yamaha has always had awesome products — great, reliable products, but it wasn't easy to throw around the sled, so hopefully the new Viper covers that now," Ryan Roxworthy, finance manager at Hammertime Sports in Belvidere, Ill., told Powersports Business after the unveil.
“Today is a bold step forward for the Yamaha snowmobile division,” commented Chris Reid, National Manager, Product Planning & Research for Yamaha Motor Canada. “The ‘Viper’ name is legendary among snowmobilers, so we couldn’t bring it back for just ‘any’ snowmobile. Our new Viper family offers snowmobilers the performance and versatility they crave with the reliability they deserve!”
The Viper series is powered by the high-performance, three-cylinder, four-stroke Genesis, the same engine found in the popular FX Nytro series. Renowned for its throttle response and reliability, the fuel-injected three-holer is complemented with Yamaha’s YVXC clutch system for added durability and performance.
Housing the Genesis in every Viper package is the SRV chassis, Yamaha’s name for the ProCross. The triangulated design forces load into the strongest parts of the chassis, increasing rigidity and lessening flex. Combined with the Genesis high-performance engine, it makes for a dynamic duo, Yamaha officials said.
Other highlights of the Viper series of snowmobiles are the SRV front suspension, dual shock SRV rear suspension and push button reverse, along with stylish decals and colors.
But Yamaha didn’t stop with the Viper family. A new incarnation of the Phazer also was unveiled. The 144-inch-track-equipped Phazer XTX adds Yamaha Tuner skis to go along with a 500cc engine.
The usual suspects are back for Yamaha as well, with most of the Apex, Vector, Nytro, Venture, Phazer, RS Viking and SRX 120 models in the lineup for 2014. Only the FX Nytro X-TX, FX Nytro R-TX, Phazer GT and Venture Lite have not returned.
The expanded supplier relationship between Yamaha and Arctic Cat has already benefitted both OEMs, according to Peter Smallman-Tew, vice president of Yamaha Motor Canada who also overs marketing and product development for North America for the parent company.
“We’ve both learned a lot in the process,” Smallman-Tew told Powersports Business of the relationship that began in 2009. “They make great product, and some of the processes I think we’ve helped them with. At the same time, we’ve learned from them speed to the market, and being able to react to things quicker. It’s nice to have fresh eyes. It’s pretty exciting.”
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