First of all, let’s say that this season, snowmobilers are very attracted by the new SRViper models, no matter their actual snowmobile brand. Everybody wants to know about the performance of these machines issued from the agreement between Arctic Cat and Yamaha. I hope this article will answer most of the questions.
While I am writing this article, snowmobilers all over the Province of Québec are enjoying an extraordinary season beginning. Snow and cold weather are perfect for the 202 snowmobile clubs of the Province to offer quality trail conditions to snowmobilers. These are the conditions I knew when I started my tests of the 2014 Yamaha SRViper L-TX SE. Here are my first impressions after riding over 2 000 km.
We all agree that the Yamaha 3-cylinder Genesis engine of 1049 cc has proven itself among the industry. I do not have an insider knowledge, but I think that this reputation is one of the most important reasons why the engine has been chosen to equip the Yamaha SRViper lineup and the Arctic Cat 7000 lineup.
During my tests, the engine offered a very good performance in acceleration and at the end of turns. However, I could not help noticing that the engine power is not fully utilised. Until now, I have not adjusted the pulleys despite this feeling that the engine could deliver more power… I would not be surprised if the manufacturer would release service bulletins or recommendations in order to improve the performance of this snowmobile, mostly regarding the top speed. This said, the SRViper L-TX SE provides good performance for its category and will surely fulfill many snowmobilers’ expectations.
Even if Yamaha proceeded to many improvements on the suspensions over the years, we must say that this is not their greatest strenght. This is why we are so curious about the chassis and the SRV suspension. Up to now, I had the opportunity to test the SRViper in various conditions, on- and off-trail. I can tell that I am more than satisfied by the combination of the Yamaha motorization with the SRV chassis. The Viper offers impressive flexibility and comfort.
On trails, the snowmobile negotiates bumps, holes and other obstacles in total comfort. The SRViper also offers good stability in turns and on bumpy trails.
It is easy to handle this 4-stroke snowmobile off-trail and we get good flotation. We can easily tilt it in powder snow, seated or standing, which proves that the SRViper is very easy to handle.
As I said in my last article, SnowTracker semi-aggressive correctors have been installed. Steering is light and does not require much effort. However, under specific snow conditions, I would like more "skate" in turns. As for the pulleys, I have not modified yet the pressure of the front suspension Fox Float 3 shocks. During my next rides, I am going to test various settings in order to increase the pressure of the skis on the trail all while keeping the most comfortable setting on the front suspension.
The pilot’s area is nicely designed and offers a very comfortable riding position. I like the design of the new digital gauge; it is easy to read the data while riding. Among others, there are two trip meters, clock, odometer and much more. The most interesting feature is that you can choose where to display the data on the gauge. It would also be a good idea if we could change the display while keeping our hands on the handlebar.
There is a small problem with the key; its location makes it difficult to operate with gloves or mittens on. Effectively, the space between the windshield and the key is minimal, so there is no much space left for us to reach the key.
The hand and thumb warmer controls and the headlight intensity level switch are very well designed and easy to operate in a natural gesture.
The combination of the chassis with the suspension and the Genesis engine is a great success. I really enjoy to ride the SRViper L-TX SE because I get the comfort, agility and performance I seek for in a snowmobile. Also, I can ride off-trail with it, which brings variety in my rides. If you have the opportunity to try a SRViper model, don’t hesitate. You will most likely be charmed !
I will continue my tests during the coming weeks and I will present my season report soon.
Hope to meet you on trails !