Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE

We have written and experienced a lot about the Yamaha SideWinder chassis and engine over the past several years. And one thing is abundantly clear about the 2019 LE, this is one very premium Snowmobile.

Yamaha 2019 was all about exclusivity and limited top of the line availability. If you didn’t or don’t order one in the Spring you most likely are not or not going to be riding one.

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers
To my knowledge this photo was not adjusted for color, is was just one of those incredible days that stay with a snowmobiler forever

For 2019 the SideWinder L-TX LE was the Mac Daddy trail machine for Yamaha and it has not disappointed. This is one decked out ride with all the bells and whistles.

To recap, the Spring Power Surge only Limited Edition SideWinder L-TX features

  • An impossible to overlook Hi-Vis graphics package.

This is one sweet looking ride that has been a real head turning, conversation starter at stops across the Northeast

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers
She definitely stands out in a crowd

  • Fox® Intelligent Quick Select  iQS, handle bar adjustable shock package

Details on our testing of this important 2019 LE feature can be found below

  • Heated seat

We frequently do not turn it on, but when we do it is OOOOH SO nice.

  • 12v automotive style accessory outlet

Perfect power access for our GPS, we disconnect the auto port and easily plug in for a reliable GPS connection all season long

  • RCA Visor outlet

Conveniently located for our 2019 509 Delta R3 2.0 helmet.

  • Deluxe medium semi-rigid tunnel bag

Better and bigger than previous small belt holder versions. We still needed to upgrade to a more long distance touring capacity configuration. One thing is for sure; you don’t need space to carry any oil!

  • 1.6 Cobra track,

We think this is the best track for a trail SideWinder providing great traction in all conditions without noticeable rumble. This Cobra is also pre-stamped for those who may wish to easily add screw in type traction studding. We like that.

One thing is very certain when a SideWinder beauty stretches out her long, smooth legs; you are seduced in a wink of your eye. Hold on and smile! Ever since those words popped into my head, I just had to write them.

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers

Make no mistake about it; the SideWinder is one fantastic cruiser with unlimited ability to respond to whatever pressure your thumb chooses to apply.  I like to call it a gentle giant as it can be a comfortable grocery getter or a screaming eagle predator, you decide. When I’m making any multi-day long distance adventure, this is the sled I happily select to ride.

As far as suspension ability, we have all had the experience of returning at the end of the weekend on a trail that is absolutely beat by heavy traffic. The Trans Quebec 3 in the power lines near Quebec City comes to mind as a good example and often provides a true suspension test of trail calibrated sleds.

Miles and miles of rutted out, deep holes at a vigorous but safe pace frequently provides an appropriate challenge and the SideWinder’s SRV front suspension and coupled dual shock SR 137 rear suspension has risen to the occasion and conditions each time. Yes, We could pick smoother trails, but you count on to put our long term trial sleds through real-world conditions, so that is what we do.

A SideWinder is not what you would call a nimble snowmobile and the word flickability does not come to mind.  It has a predictable push in the corners, requires some advance turn in input and exerts a significant amount of ski keel pressure which often results in pronounced ruts for the riding buddy or buddies behind you.

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers

This is more frequently pointed out, in softer trail conditions. While a SideWinder feels balanced and easy on the arms, it could be time for a new Yamaha ski design. These Tuner III characteristics seem to be minimized with the Arctic Cat or other aftermarket ski designs. We are asked to evaluate production units, so we leave them in stock form, but in this rider’s opinion, it’s time.

At this point, deep into this beyond fantastic 18/19 season, we have only experienced a few oddities in our otherwise premium and impressive Yamaha.

One such oddity was the super cold / moisture related freeze-up of the fuel pump or main cluster relays that is becoming more widespread across the snowmobile industry. These are SNOWMOBILES they need to be engineered and parts sourced to perform without issue in super cold conditions. No snowmobiler should need to locate, extract and warm relays in their pocket at the beginning of their day. It’s not an isolated to Yamaha thing, but it’s definitely a thing. Snowmobilers don’t only ride when it’s nice outside; we ride whenever there is snow.

The other issue we experienced was a defective left handle bar control switch. Remember that this STEALTH switch was new for 2019 and is a multifunction switch, controlling FOX® iQS activation, Hi/Lo beam, gauge functions, handlebar/thumb heat levels and reverse. From early in our season it became apparent that only the reverse function was reliable with the rest either non functional or intermittent.

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers

High beam only, no iQS adjustment capability and handle bar heat on blister. A new Stealth switch was promptly ordered and immediately reported to be on back order. Our supporting dealer Frank’s Motorcycle told that this was not reported to be a common issue for 2019.

At, we don’t ask for or receive special treatment for our editor sleds. We ride what you ride and we think that everybody deserves available parts when you have an issue.

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers

This unfortunate little imperfection impacted our ability to test the real-world reliability, ride quality impact and iced up durability of the FOX® iQS on the fly adjustability. Our new Stealth switch has been received and installed and we look forward pushing the adjustment of the FOX® iQS system into overdrive for the rest of the season.   

We invite you to read our many articles on what’s new for 2020. And remember that Yamaha’s 2020 Spring Power Surge event ends April 13th and is once again the only way to get a Limited Edition Yamaha for 2020.

Deep into the Season on our 2019 Sidewinder L-TX LE - snowmobiles - snowmobilers

While the snow is still deep and the air is still crisp, make some spectacular plans for the rest of this incredible snowmobile season.  This season and our long term trial is far from finished, let’s make some memories.


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