2010 Yamaha Snowmobile Line Up

Mar. 24, 2009 By Dan Canfield

Overview

Yamaha 2010 Quick Links
Page 1 Overview
Page 2 Rough Trail
Page 3 Trail
Page 4 Cross Over
Page 5 Mountain
Page 6 Touring & Utility
Page 7 Misc & Summary
Page 8 Photo Gallery

It doesn’t take more than a passing glance at the 2010 Yamaha snowmobile lineup to realize that there is no one in the industry more serious about building a quality 4-stroke snowmobile. Of course that isn’t a surprise; since 2003 Yamaha has arguably been the standard bearer of the 4-stroke motor in the sledding industry.

Some companies might take their position as “leader” lightly, and this year with the economy like it is, one wouldn’t have been surprised if “more of the same” was the mantra a snowmobile manufacture went by. Well, if you were expecting that from Yamaha you have a big surprise headed your way.

For 2010, the improvements and additions to the Yamaha lineup make it clear that the team at Yamaha is a group of snowmobilers that loves what they do and what they do is make some dang cool 4-stroke snowmobiles.

In the sections below we’ll cover the changes and additions in more detail, but one thing that jumps out quick about the 2010 Yamaha lineup is that nearly every model is now fuel injected. That may not sound like a big deal, but trust us, the FI motors make you think you’re on a completely different snowmobile with crisp off idle performance that pulls hard for as long as you want to hold the loud lever open.

So let’s get to the 2010 Yamahas.

Rough Trail (RTX)

FX Nytro RTX - Photo by Yamaha

Yamaha 2010 Quick Links
Page 1 Overview
Page 2 Rough Trail
Page 3 Trail
Page 4 Cross Over
Page 5 Mountain
Page 6 Touring & Utility
Page 7 Misc & Summary
Page 8 Photo Gallery

If you are a rough trail rider or even a smooth trail rider that ends up on rough trails at times, there is a 2010 Yamaha for you. All though at first blush you might not think there is a lot of change in this segment for Yamaha, you would be sorely mistaken if you stuck with that assumption.

The Nytro returns in this segment as the big gun from Yamaha with its butter-smooth 130hp FI 4-stroke engine. If you haven’t been on one of these sleds, you really need to get on one.

There are three FX Nytros to choose from in the rough trail segment: the FX Nytro, the FX Nytro RTX, and the FX Nytro RTX SE. All of them sport the 130FI and all of them get some nice improvements. An 11-degree tunnel change, improved rear suspension calibration, improved handlebar heaters, and boggies with replaceable bearings.

In addition to the general improvements, the RTX gets FLOAT shocks up front. And if you want the ultimate in trail performance the RTX SE gives you the “Racer Replica” look and a shock package both front and rear that is second to none in the industry. With FLOAT X up front and SOQI Reservoir C46 R16 Clicker following along out back, you can dial in a level of performance that will make you think you are running a factory-prepped sled. The shocks give you high and low speed dampening adjustment and full rebound adjustment.

The SE is a limited quantity sled, with over $2,900 in add-ons over the standard RTX for only $400 more on the retail price. We rode it and if you take just a couple of minutes to dial the suspension in, you won’t believe the way this sled handles the tight twisties, rough bumps and of course you get the 130hp for the long straights.

Pick a Nytro - any Nytro - and you can’t go wrong.

2010 Yamaha Phazer RTX Snowmobile
2010 Yamaha Phazer RTX

Rounding out the Rough Trail segment is the Phazer RTX. The Phazer is the lightest 4-stroke sled on the market. It sports an 80hp FI motor and when we rode it at 11,000 feet it felt like it needed more go. Not fair, we know, just walking around at 11,000 feet we needed “more go” ourselves.

When we look at the Phazer we want to criticize it. But you look at it and it is for sure eye-catching. So we get on and ride it and we find ourselves having a great time. Nope, it doesn’t stretch your arms like the Nytro does. But if the trails are tight and twisty it will hang right with the bigger sleds because it is very easy to ride quickly.

And if you have spent any time on a 4-stroke dirt bike you can’t help but smile when riding the Phazer RTX, because it reminds you so much of that dirt bike.

On a scale from 1 – 5 our test crew scored the Phazer RTX at 3.36 overall which is a good score. Comments from the test crew ranged from the Phazer “soaks up the big hits” to “great in the bumps, corners well”. The Phazer RTX doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t, but what it is good at is being a fun, nimble sled.

FX Nytro RTX SE - $11,799
FX Nytro RTX - $11,399
FX Nytro - $10,699
Phazer RTX - $8,299

Trail (GT) and Trail Versatility (LTX)

RS Vector LTX GT

Yamaha 2010 Quick Links
Page 1 Overview
Page 2 Rough Trail
Page 3 Trail
Page 4 Cross Over
Page 5 Mountain
Page 6 Touring & Utility
Page 7 Misc & Summary
Page 8 Photo Gallery

This is where Yamaha loses us a little bit. They break the trail segment down into the standard trail and the trail versatility segments. The two segments sport the same base models, just different levels of trim and suspensions. So we’re lumping them back together.

So trail riders, listen up. You know who you are. You spend your weekends in search of the perfect stretch of fast, groomed trail. You aren’t afraid to ditch bang once in a while, but nothing puts a smile on your face like a 20-mile stretch of freshly groomed trail through the woods with just the right combination of twists and turns as well as a healthy dose of fast straights. Yamaha also knows who you are and they have come up with a recipe to fill you plate with just the right combination.

At the top sits the Apex. The Apex benefits from the refinements made across the Yamaha line-up including improved handlebar heaters and the replaceable bearing boggie wheels. The Apex also gets a simple, but welcome addition of an RCA-style plug to power your heated helmet visor. If you have ever installed one of these yourself you’ll appreciate the fact that the factory is going to do it for you.

The Apex sports the 150hp FI 4-stroke motor we’ve come to know. It also is available in models ranging from entry level (but for sure functional) all the way up to the LTX GT with all the bells and whistles.

2010 Yamaha RS Vector GT
Yamaha RS Vector GT

The biggest changes in the trail segment for Yamaha come in the RS Vector GT. Gone is the carb-ed motor and in it’s place sits the 120FI 4-stroke. Trust us when we say this is a BIG improvement.

We got a chance to ride the new 2010 Vector and the ’09 carb-ed Vector side-by-side. We thought something was wrong with the clutching or something on the ’09, until the Yamaha rep told us that it was the new motor we were experiencing. It’s not even the same machine.

The 120FI is crisp and strong right off idle and is spot on in virtually all conditions. We rode it on a trail that had over 2500 feet of elevation change and the Vector was perfect all the time. The new motor along with the other components that go with it give the 2010 RS Vector GT 5 hp more than last year and an additional 15 ft lbs of torque. And you can feel it in the seat of your pants when you crack the throttle.

All of that and a 5% increase in fuel economy over last year’s RS Vector. Every test rider that got on the new Vector commented that the motor was “smooth and crisp” with “gobs of pull out of the corners”.

And lest you think it’s all about the motor, the 2010 RS Vector GT gets a new Mono Shock II RA rear suspension that improves durability and ride. The new rear suspension moves the track adjuster in to the tradition forward facing rearward location making adjustability much easier too. New extrovert drivers take care of the power delivery and the whole thing is wrapped with a Camoplast Rip Saw 1.25” track.

And finally the RS Vector GT gets new styling, a new gauge, changes to the seat to decrease moisture absorption, the improved bar heaters and the RCA-style visor power plug that the Apex also has.

With all the changes to the RS Vector GT for this year we can’t help but wonder why Yamaha didn’t introduce it as a differently named model. Perhaps it’s because the Vector has enjoyed a good reputation for a quality trail sled and they just wanted to kick it up a notch… or three.

RS Vector LTX GTRounding out the trail lineup for Yamaha is the Phazer returning again this year. No big changes over last year, still the lightest 4-stroke trail sled on the market.

The LTX versions of these sleds really are the top of the line machines. They sport remote adjustable rear suspensions and 136” tracks to smooth out the bumpy trails and offer you the trail riding pleasure you want. We scored the RS Vector LTX GT at 3.44 with high marks in suspension, handling, power and braking.

 

 

RS Vector LTX GT

Apex GT - $12,399
Apex - $11,399
RX Vector GT - $10,499
Phazer GT - $8,099
Apex LTX GT - $12,699
Apex LTX - $11,699
RS Vector LTX GT - $10,699

Crossover (XTX)

Yamaha FX Nytro XTX

Yamaha FX Nytro XTX

Yamaha 2010 Quick Links
Page 1 Overview
Page 2 Rough Trail
Page 3 Trail
Page 4 Cross Over
Page 5 Mountain
Page 6 Touring & Utility
Page 7 Misc & Summary
Page 8 Photo Gallery

If you haven’t noticed, the crossover segment has become a big deal in the snowmobile industry. Chances are you or someone you know is riding a “crossover” model of some sort. If you are a crossover rider you want the best of both worlds… light weight with good off trail performance but smooth trail handling and ride comfort.

Yeah, the proverbial “have your cake and eat it too” thing.

No problem. Yamaha has a proven recipe here, the FX Nytro XTX. Why mess with success? The XTX is the #2 selling model in the whole industry. Well, because if you are Yamaha you are always looking to improve.

Yamaha Nytro XTXSo for 2010 the XTX gets updated handlebar heaters and replaceable bearing boggies. With the 130FI motor it gets great fuel mileage and will take you off into the boonies exploring and playing all day long.

We scored the Nytro XTX at a solid 3.44 on our eval scale. Highlights from the test rides were the Nytro’s brake, one of the best for feel and performance in the industry.

We did notice some nose diving when playing off trail, something a wider ski might well fix. The highlight is for sure the motor on the Nytro with the fuel injection giving it great feel from off idle all the way up to full honk.

FX Nytro XTX - $11,049

Mountain (MTX)

2010 Yamaha Phazer MTX

Yamaha Phazer MTX

Yamaha 2010 Quick Links
Page 1 Overview
Page 2 Rough Trail
Page 3 Trail
Page 4 Cross Over
Page 5 Mountain
Page 6 Touring & Utility
Page 7 Misc & Summary
Page 8 Photo Gallery

So you want to go ride in the mountains? You sure about that? If so, you’d better be ready for big hills that tower above you and dramatic descents that make your ears pop. For 2010 Yamaha brings back the Apex and Phazer pretty much unchanged.

The Phazer remains a fun sled to toss around in the mountain meadows and the Apex… well, let’s face it, if you are looking for the ultimate sled to force feed air then the Apex is probably at the top of your list.

Our test crew actually scored the Phazer MTX the highest of any of the Yamahas we rode, at 3.60. That isn’t surprising because the Phazer MTX delivers pretty much exactly what it says it will deliver. It’s a really fun boondocking sled for playing off trail… yup, pretty much just what Yamaha said it would be.

But for 2010 Yamaha took a no-holds-barred approach to refining the Nytro. Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the FX Nytro MTX SE. You can get it in either a 153 or a 162 and let’s cut right to the chase. The new 162 is 17 lbs lighter than last year’s 153 and the 153 for 2010 is 21 lbs lighter.

Yes, you read that right. But, but, but… HOW? Well where do we start?

First off the new Nytro gets what Yamaha calls an FXG2 front suspension. It’s a new front end that was redesigned to match the rest of the Nytro. You get Fox FLOAT 2 shocks to reduce weight and improve performance.

Big changes also come in the rear suspension. Basically Yamaha yarded the old suspension and started new. They call it the ProMountain Air Rear Suspension and it sports FLOAT 2 shocks, a shallower approach angle (18 degrees instead of 24 degrees) and 2.8 degrees of rear rail tip up. It is also equipped with ice scratchers for those days when you are forced to ride the hard stuff to get to the soft stuff.

The SE also gets a new tunnel with 11 degrees of taper instead of 9 degrees. And the whole machine rides on a Camoplast Maverick track in 3” pitch and single ply.

The standard Nytro MTX gets many of the same improvements other than the FLOAT shocks, but let’s be honest, the SE is the big news. The decreased weight is for sure noticeable when riding in the powder. The FLOAT 2 suspension under the Nytro is one of the best riding mountain sleds, both on and off trail we have been on. It eats up those nasty trenches that your buddy left when he turned out as you go over them to set the new highmark.

Yamaha did a lot right with the Nytro MTX SE. All the improvements are great additions to the machine.

We aren’t a fan of the bar position and wish Yamaha would do something about that to make it easier to ride standing up. And Yamaha added something like 5 degrees of trail to the spindles which makes it difficult for smaller guys (under 200 lbs) to ride it easily through the trees. But the SE impresses and is for sure Yamaha’s best mountain sled yet.

The test rider crew scored the SE at 3.22 which is pretty good and it would have been higher if it weren’t for the heavy steering and bar position.

Apex MTX - $12,299
FX Nytro MTX SE 162 - $12,599
FX Nytro MTX SE 153 - $12,199
FX Nytro MTX - $11,199
Phazer MTX - $8,099

Touring

2010 Yamaha Venture Lite

If you are a touring sled rider or want to be a touring sled rider then you likely have at least stood in a Yamaha showroom and day dreamed about being on one of the Yamaha Venture snowmobiles. Touring is all about comfort, dependability and features. For 2010 Yamaha has you covered here.

Let’s put it this way, if you want to take a road trip through your favorite part of the country in the summer time you can do it in just about anything, but if you really want to enjoy it you do it in a luxury touring car. The same holds for touring on a snowmobile. And if you want the luxury touring car version of a snowmobile then the Venture is for you.

Don’t be fooled by the lower cost of the Venture Lite. With its 80FI engine it’s a super fun, light weight touring sled that gets you there in comfort.

Yamaha Venture GT

Of course, the step up is the RS Venture with the 120 4-stroke engine. This is one of only a couple of sleds still in the Yamaha lineup that is carbureted. It’s a good touring sled, with proven ride and comfort.

But honestly, if you are looking for the top end touring sled then the RS Venture GT is the whipped cream on your cherry pie. It sports the 120FI motor which gives it better fuel economy and more power than the carb version. Yup, it retails for $1,000 more, but in our opinion, especially if you are 2-up touring, the added performance of the fuel injected motor is well worth it.

RS Venture GT - $11,299
RS Venture - $10,299
Venture Lite - $8,999

Work / Utility

So here’s the formula, take a 120hp carbed 4-stroke motor with all the benefits of reliability and fuel economy and power, stick it in a chassis with plenty of storage and cargo space, and sit the whole thing on a 20”x156”x1.25”. Yea, that should do it. The RS Viking Professional is really built with one thing in mind… work.

The Viking Professional has everything you expect in a work horse with space for about anything you can imagine hauling, Hi/Lo/Reverse transmission, tow hitch, racks, etc. And with the Yamaha you get the reliability, performance, and efficiency of the bullet proof 120 4-stroke engine.

RS Viking Professional - $11,099

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Yamaha 2010 Quick Links
Page 1 Overview
Page 2 Rough Trail
Page 3 Trail
Page 4 Cross Over
Page 5 Mountain
Page 6 Touring & Utility
Page 7 Misc & Summary
Page 8 Photo Gallery

Yamaha has some other things that caught our eye that aren’t strictly snowmobile model specific. First off, Yamaha has signed an agreement with KLIM to brand KLIM snowmobile apparel and sell it under the Yamaha brand. KLIM makes some of the best snowmobile apparel in the business and Yamaha has hit a home run by forming this partnership.

Handlebar heaters . If you own a current Yamaha, those two words probably bring many things to your mind, maybe not all of them pleasant. Yamaha did a lot of work on the bar heaters for 2010, as only Yamaha can. We’ve been a little surprised that the Yamaha bar heaters have been so poor lately because they have always been known for great warmers. For 2010 improvements were made. We’d love to say that they were a success. They are for sure MUCH better than the previous versions, but they still can’t be classified as “too warm”.

We rode our 2010 Yamahas in fairly typical Western weather. Temps were in the teens and we had light snow at times. In those conditions the new bar heaters worked fine. But a couple of times we got into high wind situations where the wind chill dipped below zero. Even with the heaters on high they barely kept up. In those conditions we wished they would have had about 50% more heat. That doesn’t bode well for those days when you ride with temps below zero.

Overall Impressions

All in all the 2010 line-up from Yamaha is a very good offering. We should note that some of the new models are going to be limited builds only, so if you want one, get in to your dealer and get on the list so that you don’t miss out.

Photographer Pattie Waters
Test Riders Dan Canfield, Dusty Witherrite, Rowdy Smith

For more info on the 2010 Snowmobile lineup, and other Yamaha powersports products, check out:
Yamaha Motor Corp

 

 

Photo Gallery

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