It turns out the rumors we were hearing about a two-stroke Yamaha snowmobile for model year 2020 were true.
The rumors just weren’t true in the way we were wishing and hoping they were.
You see, we were thinking about how great it would be for Yamaha to unveil a two-stroke mountain snowmobile. And that thinking was fueled by some random rumors to that effect.
However, when Yamaha unveiled its 2020 lineup, we found out the two-stroke is the new MP600 Transporter, a utility sled with a 153x15x2.25-inch PowerClaw track. So the Transporter, which uses the 6000 C-Tec2 SDI engine built by Arctic Cat, is technically a long track sled.
A mild surprise when looking over the 2020 Yamaha lineup is the complete absence of a mountain snowmobile. The lone mountain sled—the Sidewinder M-TX LE 162—in the 2019 model lineup is gone and isn’t being replaced with any other mountain model.
“Yamaha remains committed to clearing out non-current models to ensure a higher equity for existing customers and profitability for dealers,” a Yamaha official told us. “We have adequate inventory in the market to satisfy customer demand, and for 2020 this includes our M-TX models. Our current model lineup must match our business strategy.”
We told you last year that Yamaha was cutting back its snowmobile lineup to reflect the then current state of the snowmobile industry. The company drastically cut back its snowmobile lineup for model year 2019 to 13 models. That number has increased to 16 models for next season, thanks mostly to new trail models and the MP600 Transporter.
It would be misleading to say the MP600 Transporter is the only “long track” in the MY2020 lineup for Yamaha. Yamaha returns to 2020 with the Sidewinder B-TX LE, which also has the 153x15x2.25-inch PowercClaw track. This crossover sled will appeal to those who want a four-stroke for on- and off-trail riding.
And, from the sounds of it, there are still a few Sidewinder M-TX LE sleds in the pipeline.
Perhaps one interesting sidenote on the MP600 Transporter is that it comes with Yamaha mountain skis, a mountain seat and a 38-inch ski stance.
We’re trying really hard not to ready anything into the Transporter … but is it really far fetched to think that this could morph into a mountain sled in the future?
Moving on, along with a bevy of trail sleds, Yamaha returns next season with two different models of its popular Snoscoot ES. New carbs (improved starting), wider handlebars, new engine mounts, tighter steering radius (20 percent tighter), updated clutching, new airbox, new flip choke lever and painted bumpers are many of the new features for next season.
Yamaha announced it was putting tethers on all its 2020 models as well.