Technology
March 5th, 2019
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Yamaha Will Not Produce a 2020 Mountain Sled in North America

In a continuation of its efforts to clean out non-current dealer inventory, Yamaha will not produce a mountain-specific model for 2020 in North America.

Past model year Sidewinder M-TX units will continue to be available for sale in dealerships.

The decision is an extension of one made last year to limit production of MY2019 Sidewinder M-TX units to Limited Edition models sold in Yamaha’s Spring Power Surge sales event.

 

2020 Yamaha Sidewinder

 

After streamlining their entire snowmobile lineup in MY2019, the Tuning Fork company will produce a slightly expanded offering of other models for MY2020. This will include the crossover Sidewinder B-TX model, which is reasonably the next closest model to the mountain-specific M-TX. A sign of good health in a slowing economy, Yamaha will produce three additional utility models and two new “performance luxury” trail snowmobile configurations.

Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX Availability in North America

For mountain riders in North America looking to get into a turbo-powered four-stroke, inventory of Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX models from 2018 and earlier will continue to be available through the Yamaha network of dealerships.

Customers will benefit from sales incentives available on non-current inventory of Sidewinder M-TX models.

In addition, a dealer transfer program will help customers acquire M-TX models through the network, even if their local Yamaha dealer is out of stock.

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Yamaha factory athletes Cody Matechuk (above) and Brock Hoyer (below left and center) are shown testing their MY2018 Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX sleds.
2020 Yamaha Snowmobiles
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2020 Yamaha Snowmobiles-2

A 2020 Sidewinder M-TX will, however, be available in Europe—in the 153” track length, which has better application in European terrain than the 162” that is standard on this side of the Atlantic. The EUR models sports a good-looking two-tone blue colourway that will also be available in other Limited Edition models across much of the 2020 Yamaha lineup.

2020 Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX LE (EUR)
2020 Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX LE (EUR)
2020 Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX LE (EUR)
2020 Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX LE (EUR)

Yamaha Transporter 600

In an unrelated but interesting development, Yamaha will make the Transporter 600 model—a two-stroke, 600 cc utility sled—available in North American for MY2020. The Transporter 600 was available last year in Europe as a MY2019 offering.

What’s interesting about that, you ask? On paper, the new unit is actually spec’d pretty close to a 600-class mountain sled, albeit with a beefy cargo rack on the back and some other utility-type features.

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The Transporter features a substantial 153” x 2.25” lugged Powerclaw track, and its nearly mountain-ready 38” front-end looks rather reminiscent of MY2015-era Arctic Cat M8000 sleds. It uses TEAM clutches and Yamaha Mountain Skis, Mountain Seat and bodywork.

But what about that two-stroke engine? No, Yamaha does not seem to be re-entering the two-stroke game at this time; it’s an Arctic Cat-built 6000 C-TEC2—a well-proven and clean-running powerplant.

While Yamaha says that they’re not focussing on the application of this sled for use out west as a mountain machine, the Transporter 600 does seem to have quite a bit of potential for use in industrial, forestry and recreational applications in these hills.

And the very idea of Yamaha producing two-stroke sleds will certainly have their faithful following considering the implications and wondering about the possibilities.

New Sidewinder L-TX GT and S-TX GT models

The aforementioned two new “performance luxury” models from Yamaha are the Sidewinder L-TX GT and Sidewinder S-TX GT.

The GT stands for Grand Tourer (or Gran Tourismo if you want to be snobby about it), and Yamaha views the designation as the Ducati of snowmobiles: sophisticated, luxurious and sporty.

What’s interesting to us about the GT lineup is that with it, Yamaha is taking a fresh look at how it tailors its models of snowmobile. Rather than simply pigeonholing a model lineup with a particular feature set (such as “performance”), Yamaha is looking deeper to see how different types of riders are actually using their products.

Here’s an example:

Take two very different riders: an older, affluent sledder and a young hotshot. Even though they both might want the “best performance”, the way an older rider actually uses his sled requires a different setup than the young buck. That means a different build for each—the young guy doesn’t want to pay for the bells and whistles and comfort items, and the old fella doesn’t want to wrangle a strung-out thoroughbred with a light switch throttle all day. In this case, there needs to be more than one-size-fits-all “performance” model. That’s what Yamaha has done with the revived GT model. It’s a new way of looking at what customers really want in a sled based on how they actually use it.

We’re hopeful that this approach of looking closely at the needs of customers based on how they actually use the products will help Yamaha successfully re-enter the mountain segment down the road.

2020 Yamaha Snoscoot ES

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The sled that the next generation of mountain shredders will grow up on—the Snoscoot—has another round of updates for model year 2020, including:

  • A butterfly style carburetor offers better starting and improved performance
  • Updated clutching matches improved carb performance
  • New engine mounts reduce vibration
  • Wider handlebars allows small riders better leverage and control
  • Improved steering allows a tighter turning radius
  • New airbox
  • New choke flip level
  • Painted bumpers
  • Electric start and tether are standard

The 2020 Yamaha Snoscoot ES comes in Jet Stream Blue and a “Flashy” hi-viz/orange combo.

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For more info on Yamaha MY2020 offerings and their spring sales event, visit www.yamaha-motor.ca

 

– MS