Fuel injection, counterbalanced crankshaft, lightweight
rear-exiting exhaust, magnesium chaincase cover … this sounds like one of those
high-prized performance snowmobiles.
Well, you got half that right. The 2008 Yamaha Phazer MTX
certainly fits the bill as a performance sled … but it doesn’t come with an 11
grand sticker price. At a MSRP of $7,399, this state-of-the-art four-stroke
features an economy price tag that certainly deserves a second look.
The Phazer is literally in a class of its own—too big and
liquid cooled to be in the fan class and not enough ponies to be in the 600
class. The Phazer is closer to a 500 liquid (it has a 499cc engine), so that’s
what we’ll label it—a 500.
Based on the highly successful YZ250F motorcycle engine
(actually two of them engineered together), the Phazer MTX puts out in
impressive 80hp that makes it quick, responsive and fun to ride.
Although it won’t get accolades for being a highmarking
mountain sled, don’t be fooled by the four-stroke misinformation. It will go
through the snow, it can float through powder and it does hold its own in
The Phazer features a Genesis 80FI powerplant with a
five-valve head that makes peak power at just over 11,000 rpm. It’s counterbalanced
crank and fuel injection provides crisp throttle response, even if you’re using
a lower octane fuel. A lightweight rear-exiting exhaust keeps exhaust heat out
of the engine bay, eliminating heat buildup.
The Phazer has a practical design—not added plastic for
cosmetics. Every part is engineered for the sole purpose of making it perform
in the snow better. A 144-inch Camoplast Maverick track with two-inch lugs
allow the Phazer to power through deep powder.
A rider-forward position, similar to what’s found in other
off-road motorsports, allows you to stay on top of things for aggressive
riding, great balance and improved ergonomics. This allows you more control for
Yamaha engineers take advantage of “controlled flow” casting
techniques that allow them to mold various structural pieces on the chassis
through a molten metal process under a vacuum. This allows for stronger parts
without stress bends, made from much thinner, stronger material.
Just like most 11 grand sleds, the Phazer has a suspension
package that rides like a million bucks. A ProMountain rear built with a
cantilever system that allows the track tension to remain consistent through
compression travel is designed to improve efficiency while reducing friction.
The Phazer’s double wishbone front suspension features KYB gas cell shocks to
absorb the bumps and tame the trails.
A tall, narrow seat that facilitates the rider-forward
position is designed for comfort and balance. Wide running boards are built
with traction holes that allow you to move about while keeping a secure
foothold on the sled.
The Phazer features large LCD digital gauges that allows you
to see what’s happening at a quick glance. And warning lights within the gauges
will alert you to anything that may require your immediate attention.
Once you add up all the bells and whistles (including
electric start and reverse) you see that you have a great price value at well
under 11 grand.
With an outstanding engineering track record, Yamaha has led
the way with four-stroke technology. The Phazer is just another sled in an
impressive arsenal that has been designed to bring added pleasure to winter.
Mfgers represented Yamaha
Average MSRP $7,399
Estimated average horsepower 80
Track range—length 144
Track range—depth 2
Weight range 515
Details in which issue January,