SXVenom vs. SideWinder MTX: Yamaha 2025 Mountain Sled Buyer’s Guide

sx venom

For its last year manufacturing snowmobiles, Yamaha shakes things up for its mountain lineup. We also see a surprising model make a comeback: the SideWinder MTX. Only offered with the 153″ track with the LE package, it’s the higher-end model you can get for 2025. With that said, it’s half of the mountain lineup (the SX Venom completing it). Let’s evaluate those two models and see which one’s the best suited, and which one’s my favourite.

SX Venom vs. SideWinder MTX walkthrough

Someone not knowledgeable with mountain snowmobiles walking in a Yamaha dealership might take a minute to differentiate the SXVenom to the SideWinder MTX until they notice two things: their size difference, and that the SideWinder is exactly twice as expensive as the SXVenom. Why is that? After all, they both feature a longer tunnel, have an aggressive track and look like two absolutely mean snowmobiles.

SX Venom

The SX Venom is a 7/8 size snowmobile intended for teenagers and newcomers to be able to hop on it and not be intimidated by its size and engine. It features a 397 cc engine and a monorail combined to a 2″ Challenger track to allow for low-effort handling in the deep snow. On top of being smaller than a regular snowmobile, it has a minimalist instrumentation, allowing the rider to focus on one thing and one thing only: have fun.

SideWinder MTX

If you know about Yamaha’s history, you definitely know about the SideWinder model. It’s packed with a 200-HP turbo compressed engine. I remember the Snow Shoot where they revealed the MTX variant of it and just how insanely wild this snowmobile was. Just as a reminder, turbo mountain snowmobiles weren’t that common back then. For 2025, a single LE version with a 153″ track is offered. If you ride in vague backcountry terrains and enjoy hill climbing, this is a model you should look into.

The SideWinder MTX in its natural environment.

Head to head: which one’s my pick for Yamaha’s final year?

I’ve never been shy about it: I have a sweet spot for the SX Venom. Even if I get to try many different mountain snowmobiles, I can’t help but have a massive smile every time I ride the Venom. It’s fun, easy to maneuver but more importantly: it’s not intimidating for newcomers. Hot take: if you omit the crazy price tag, it’s the most fun snowmobile to learn backcountry riding on.

You’ll have to take my word for it, but I’m all smiles on this picture.

Of course, it’s miles away from being a perfect snowmobile. As mentioned above, the price tag is just insane, especially when you notice the poor build quality of the cockpit. Additionally, even teenage riders will rapidly over skill the 397 cc engine it’s equipped with.

However, I think Yamaha successfully made a case to look away from all those disadvantages by trying to fill a massive gap in the snowmobile market: younger people. I don’t know anyone that can argue against the fact that the Venom lineup was innovative and fun when it was released a few years ago. Not only that, but many people felt as if they were brought back to the roots of snowmobiling when riding those small underpowered snowmobiles. Personally, this snowmobile created memories I’ll always cherish when thinking about Yamaha snowmobiles.

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