Yamaha’s commitment to 4-stroke technology has created a performance trail market that molds power and performance with comfort and handling. When it comes to constant-changing snow conditions, the Sidewinder X-TX 146 may just be the flagship of the 4-stroke line for on- and off-trail riding.
Although mountain riders are a little more weight-conscious that flatlanders, we also appreciate power and performance when we straddle it. The X-TX 146 has all the grunt you could ask for with its Turbo 4-Stroke 998cc engine.
This thing is fast; it’s quick and the power just doesn’t end. So rather than just wasting all these impressive performance features on a trail sled, Yamaha threw on Yamaha Mountain skis and an aggressive 146x15x2-inch Camso Challenger track so the X-TX could wander off-trail and adapt to terrain. It’s Versattack uncoupled skid allows the needed weight transfer for mountain riding.
When we hopped on the X-TX and headed out from the trailhead, the first thing that caught our attention was how smooth it handled in the choppy bumps usually associated with high-traffic trail areas.
The Fox 1.5 Zero QS3 coil-spring, high-pressure gas shocks on the front independent double-wishbone suspension sucked up the chatter and kept the front end level and under control. On the rear, the Fox 2.0 QS3 shocks are designed to shock-pivot the energy generated by the bumps through the uncoupled front arm for smoother transfer and handling. Combined, the front and rear work in tandem to keep the X-TX flat and always moving forward through the rough stuff.
That’s all great for on the hardpack … but what about when you leave the trail to explore new terrain?
True, this is no mountain sled, so you shouldn’t be delusional in thinking you can bust trail through the deepest of snow. But the Yamaha Mountain ski offers good flotation and the 2-inch Challenger track provides enough forward thrust to allow you to maintain forward momentum to prevent you from getting bogged down.
To further enhance the X-TX off-trail capabilities, Yamaha has included its Mountain Steering System (tall steering post) and 5.5-inch handlebar riser to allow you to ride in the upright position. It also has the lightweight mountain seat that is a little taller with a narrow profile for easier transition from sitting to standing.
Finally, the SRC high performance clutch system features primary and roller secondary clutches calibrated for durable, cool operation. It takes a special clutch to transfer the massive torque produced by the Genesis Turbo and smoothly deliver that performance to the track, all while minimizing drive belt wear.
So the Sidewinder X-TX manages to exploit the best features on Yamaha trail sleds with the best features on the mountain sleds to perform well in a wide variety of snow conditions. Now that’s 4-stroke performance at its best.