Although winter was timid at the start of the season last year, in the end, we received record amounts of snow accumulation in several regions. As a result, we have nothing to complain about. We were able to enjoy our favorite activity with more than clement temperatures. For my part, I’ve been lucky enough to hit the trails last season with the Yamaha Sidewinder L-TX GT EPS 2023.
I’m already writing up my final review of this hyper-powerful snowmobile designed primarily for trail riding.
High Horsepower under the Hood!
At first glance, I would like to once again highlight the character that this snowmobile exudes through its high-powered engine. The forceful unleashing of horsepower is truly impressive.
I must emphasize that newcomers to this activity should consider starting with a Yamaha model from the SR Viper family before venturing into the realm of the Sidewinder. This is to ensure familiarity before handling an intimidating snowmobile like the Sidewinder.
The Awesome Power of the Sidewinder
The Sidewinder has quickly established a solid reputation since its introduction with its Genesis 4-stroke 998cc engine. Its renowned 200 HP put it in a class of its own.
In fact, many are swelling their chests, claiming to own this high-performance snowmobile. This overconfidence on the part of Sidewinder owners is clearly based on the engine’s ability to propel us to dizzying speeds in no time at all.
Acceleration is another factor that makes this snowmobile attractive to high-performance enthusiasts. The turbo delivers a powerful push, and even more so, an extremely powerful one! It commands respect.
A Pleasure to Ride!
That being said, I immensely enjoy riding the Sidewinder for numerous reasons. Despite its weight, it offers stability on trails, ensuring it goes exactly where we want it to. Its predictability instills confidence to tackle a sequence of curves effortlessly.
While not a fan of the Strykes skis, I must humbly admit they do the job they’re assigned to. It’s important to note that Yamaha abandoned its perplexing “Tuner Ski” and designed a new ski, more predictable and considerably more efficient. Consequently, they improved the maneuverability of almost all Yamaha trail snowmobiles for the 2021 season.
The Gratifying Experience of the Stryke Ski
The Stryke uses a single deep keel, accompanied by a double carbide layout that places the skis on a common plate with front and rear rods. The remarkable ability of this ski to maintain a strong centering sensation, with virtually no wandering, has been particularly gratifying and undoubtedly inspiring. I can release the throttle completely, and the front stays laser-straight, generating tons of confidence.
The L-TX GT Version
If you visit Yamaha’s official website, you’ll find several different versions of the Sidewinder. The L-TX GT version is ideal for solo touring.
Apart from its engine, which I mentioned earlier, the high windshield might, at first glance, be the aspect that sets it apart from its counterparts. This windshield is highly effective, and its deflection provides a lot of protection. At no point did I feel vibrations or turbulence at my helmet level. I’m well aware that the aesthetic of this sporty snowmobile is diminished by this windshield. However, its protective contribution compensates, and its presence is highly appreciated in very cold conditions.
The Heated Seat: A Highly Appreciated Accessory
Secondly, although it’s not a feature specific to the Sidewinder L-TX GT version, the heated seat is a much-appreciated accessory. I’m telling you, once you’ve had a taste of the heat, you won’t want to do without it. This one’s a real winner.
I rarely used its highest intensity because it became almost unbearable after some time. I opted for the lowest intensity and occasionally alternated with its complete stop. For sure, it’s intensely effective!
Finally, its matte gold and black tones give it a… different aesthetic. To be honest, I got used to it over time, but it’s certainly not a home run from Yamaha. I prefer, by far, when this manufacturer uses the blue tones that have made it famous.
A 137-Inch Track
For 2023, Yamaha has equipped its Sidewinder L-TX GT EPS with the 137-inch Ripsaw II track. As you probably know, this length is definitely exclusively for a trail snowmobile. It gets the job done, even if we have to use the throttle in a controlled way during a hasty start.
As a result, it has to be said that any track will have limited traction with a motor as powerful as this Sidewinder.
A 42-Inch Ski Stance
Another feature that proves the primary vocation of this snowmobile is its ski spacing. At 42 inches, it offers the support we need to tackle curves with aplomb. What’s more, its FOX QS3 front suspension allows you to stiffen the shocks as needed to avoid rolling in corners.
Shock Absorbers That Make ALL the Difference
These shock absorbers, at the risk of repeating myself, are my favorites for their ease of use. By simply flipping a switch, they can radically change the handling of a snowmobile, and this one is no exception. They make this snowmobile so maneuverable and comfortable that I constantly feel like I’m floating on a cloud.
Impressive Power Steering!
In 2022, Yamaha reintroduced power steering on some Sidewinder models. I specify “reintroduced” because the brand had already adopted this technology in 2011 on APEX models.
With the heaviness of this snowmobile, this power steering aid is truly appreciated. It greatly facilitates driving, and the fatigue factor is significantly reduced during long rides.
Variable Power Steering: Adjustment Based on Parameters
It’s worth remembering that power steering is variable. This means it adjusts according to several parameters. It uses a magnetic torque sensor. These measures steering effort according to the movement of the steering column (the pivoting of the handlebars and the resistance of the skis).
The contactless magnetic torque sensor transmits this data to an integrated control module. Then, it instructs the servo motor to provide steering assistance through its worm gear mechanism.
A Brake Lever to Review
With the introduction of an adjustable brake lever by a rival manufacturer to Yamaha, I wondered about the relevance of this brilliant addition to all snowmobiles.
To be honest, I have big hands and long fingers. Yet I’m having trouble reaching the Sidewinder’s brake lever. It would be wise to make a modification for a better grip, regardless of the snowmobiler at the handlebars.
What About Its Range?
A super-powerful engine also means frequent stops at service stations. Expect the fuel gauge on the dashboard to drop at breakneck speed on this snowmobile. One snowmobiler is worth 2!
It Makes Us Better…
This Yamaha Sidewinder L-TX GT EPS 2023, without saying it’s an exceptional snowmobile, is a vehicle that makes us better. It’s not for nothing that this manufacturer represents it to us year after year without major change.
It’s so easy to drive, thanks in part to its electronic power steering, that we can spend several hours in it without stopping for anything other than fuel. What’s more, its comfort is second to none: the seat is neither too firm nor too soft. It’s simply perfect!
Conclusion of My Review of the 2023 Sidewinder L-TX GT EPS
In conclusion, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Yamaha Motor Canada’s help with the long-term testing of this Sidewinder L-TX GT EPS 2023. We’re very grateful.
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