Finally the wait is over as Yamaha has officially announced its 2022 snowmobile model lineup. Yamaha is the last OEM to unveil its line for next season, which includes five new trims.
For mountain riders, the Mountain Max LE 154 SL is a welcome addition for deep snow riding. The SL trim of the Mountain Max 154 is the lightweight version. The electric start has been removed to save over 20 pounds of weight on this two-stroke snowmobile.
But the big news is the addition of electronic power steering (EPS) available on the GT models, including the Sidewinder GT.
Yamaha simplifies its four trim definitions. The LE trim is for extreme riders—the younger riders who like to climb higher, jump farther and pound the bumps. For the Midwest crowd, the SRX trim is for those who like speed. The GT trim is for the sophisticated rider with the money to spend on all the luxury performance features. And finally, the SE trim is for the snowmobilers who want a good basic product that is reliable … but without the bells and whistles that adds to the cost.
So how does EPS play out on the GT trim?
For the past decade Yamaha has developed this steering assist technology for the very top of its top-of-the-line luxury sleds like the Apex and Vector. This technology reduces steering effort and increases steering precision. The newest generation reduces weight by over three pounds and incorporates a brushless DC motor.
The new generation of variable assist EPS utilizes a magnetic torque sensor to measure steering input based on torsion or twist of the steering post resulting from handlebar input and ski resistance. The integrated control module signals the brushless servo-motor to assist the steering through its powered worm gear drive.
The EPS system also provides engine rpm and vehicle speed data to the control module which calibrates for increased assistance at lower speeds and then tapers off as the vehicle accelerates giving a more balanced, natural feel or connection to the terrain. When the skis encounter an abrupt force against the steering input, the torque sensor alerts the control module to apply additional assistance to counteract or resist the negative input. This effectively reduces steering effort required while enhancing predictability for greater rider comfort and less fatigue.
In recent years Yamaha has made a big push to clean out the pipeline of carry-overs (non-current models) that have a tendency to keep retail prices low and used snowmobile prices even lower. By allowing this inventory to dry out, combined with the increased interest in outdoor recreation caused by the world pandemic, Yamaha and all snowmobile manufacturers are now in a good position with strong sales. Although prices are up for consumers, increased sales in new models means OEMs become more competitive with more innovations (like EPS) and more technological advancements.
This also leads to more new models being produced (which actually reduces manufacturing costs) and allows OEMs to be much more competitive with pricing. Although Yamaha is careful to not over-build, the company is working toward replenishing dealer inventory and incrementally increasing production to meet demand in 2022.
Yamaha’s 2022 model lineup will include nine model lines—RSVenture TF, VK, Transporter, SRViper, Sidewinder, Mountain Max, SXVenom (midsized sled), and youth models Snoscoot and SRX120R. Several lines have multiple trims which provide 23 distinct models.
Yamaha has also made it easier to purchase its new models with a four-step online deposit. You pick your model, pick your dealer, enter your purchase information and deposit $500. Then, when the model arrives at the dealership, you pick up your snowmobile and complete your financial transaction.
Yamaha offers models and trims covering from the 120 cc youth models all the way up to the full-size muscle and performance models. Here’s a quick look at what’s available for the Yamaha 2022 model year.
Sidewinder LTX GT EPS—This is an all new trim that has EPS and dual rate front springs and unique ski shims for improved handling as new features for 2022. Now you can add more ski pressure without making this unit harder to steer. It corners like it is on rails. This sled is still loaded with quality features from last year’s design, including 1.5-inch QS3 front shocks, a 1.5-inch HPG center shock, 2-inch QS3 rear shock, 137-inch coupled rear skid, 1.25-inch Ripsaw II Track, 42-inch ski stance with ARCS front spindles, heated seat, RCA heated shield outlet, 20-inch tunnel bag and goggle bag.
Sidewinder STX GT EPS—This is also an all new trim with EPS and unique ski shims for improved handling. Although most other features are similar to the LTX, the STX comes with a 1.25-inch Ripsaw I track. This two-up sled also has a heated driver and passenger seat and an auxiliary fuel tank that draws first from the tank located at the rear of the sled.
Sidewinder SRX LE—For 2022 this trim features the addition of a Retro C&G based on 1977 SRX, a raised gold SRX Model badge and a custom stitch seat with SRX emboss. It has a few subtle differences that make it better. It features a fast, flat ride.
Sidewinder LTX LE—For the aggressive trail rider, this trim features improved handling for 2022. The rear suspension of this trim features a QS3-R 1.5-inch Kashima front and center shock, and QS3-R 2-inch rear shock. It also has a premium painted Frost Silver hood and custom stitch seat.
Sidewinder LTX SE—This sled’s focus was on graphics for 2022. This trim comes with an Ice Blue/Jet Orange color-way, premium painted hood and Jet Orange seat stitching.
SRViper LTX GT—This trim will feature dual rate front springs for improved cornering confidence of 2022.
Sidewinder XTX LE— The focus was on graphics for 2022. This trim comes with a premium painted Frost Silver hood and custom stitch seat. The XTX LE has a 146-inch uncoupled suspension and comes with a heated mountain seat.
Sidewinder XTX SE—The focus was on graphics for 2022 on this cross-over trim. The XTX SE comes with an Ice Blue/Jet Orange color-way, premium painted hood and Jet Orange seat stitching.
Mountain Max 800 LE 154 & 165—This trim comes with changes to the primary and secondary clutches. Also, this trim comes with a premium painted Frost Silver hood, custom stitch seat.
Mountain Max 800 LE 154- SL “Super-Lite”—This new trim offers changes in the primary and secondary clutches, a single rail rear suspension, a shorter seat and gas tank, a 154x3-inch lug track, short style heat exchanger and a small tunnel bag. This sled will not have electric start (thus the super-lite designation). It also will come with a premium painted Frost Silver hood and custom stitch seat.
SXVenom/SXVenomMTN—This three-quarter size sled with its mountain trim version is a great intro model for new snowmobilers or step-up model for youth. It will feature a premium painted Frost Silver hood and Yamaha Racing Blue race windshield for 2022.
Snoscoot 200—This youth model sled has no changes for 2022. It’s always a “hard-to-find” model since it sells out quickly.
SRX120R—This youth model sled features new suspension rails and new torsion springs for ride improvement.
Transporter Lite—There are no changes for 2022 on this utility sled.
Transporter Lite 2UP—This new trim comes with a two-up passenger seat, overload springs, a 40-inch front end with sway bar and a new rail profile 146-inch straight rail.
Transporter 800—This trim comes with a 794cc SDI two-stroke engine and features changes to the primary and secondary clutches, plus premium painted hood and smoked medium windshield.
VK540—The only changes here is the Impact Blue painted hood.