viper-vertThough it’s a first-year model, the 2014 Yamaha SR Viper RTX SE has some history. The 1049cc, three-cylinder, four stroke engine comes from the Yamaha FX Nytro lineup, while the chassis is a rebadged Arctic Cat ProCross design.

Called the SRV chassis when in a Yamaha, it features many interesting features, including a lightweight frame, wide-spread A-arms tied into tall spindles and the Hayes Radial Master Cylinder brake system. Connect that Yamaha engine and Yamaha clutches to the Arctic Cat chassis with Fox FLOAT 3 front shocks and a RipSaw II track and you’ve got the SR Viper RTX SE.

Yamaha SR Viper RTX SE Ergonomics  

The SRV chassis is well laid out, roomy and engaging. The driver sits on a comfortable seat that narrows at the knees, with wide handlebars in front that moves in a large arch and stay out of the rider’s mid-section. Sizable footwells, spacious running boards and well-sculpted body panels make this a chassis that can fit riders of all sizes. Wind protection is moderate at best because the jagged windshield on the SR Viper RTX SE puts fashion before function, but it does a better job of blocking the cold than its appearance would make you assume.

Yamaha SR Viper RTX SE Engine Performance  

In the SR Viper RTX with a traditional, center-dump exhaust, the power was strong and linear. The more linear, less aggressive power delivery aids the Viper’s handling, but it also makes this machine less frisky. For snowmobilers who have ridden a Yamaha FX Nytro, they know this engine for its responsiveness, torquey feel and long legs. The Viper didn’t feel as powerful as a Nytro, but perhaps with more calibration work before production Yamaha engineers could tune in more grunt.

Yamaha SR VIPER RTX SE Handling

With a front end that stays planted and holds its line, a rear end that grips the trail, ergonomics that put the rider in a more natural riding position and power that doesn’t overwhelm the chassis, the Yamaha SR Viper RTX SE goes down the trail with poise. Steering effort is light, and this might be the best handling four-stroke snowmobile on the market. It’s controllable, predictable and easy going, but can still be hucked aggressively through the turns in the rider prefers. With a 129-inch track, the Viper rides like it has a long wheelbase.

Yamaha SR Viper RTX SE Bump Absorption

The widely spaced, dual A-arm suspension is inspires confidence up front, while the rear suspension utilizes a shaft and slotted mount on the front arm to keep the skis closer to the ground under hard acceleration. Less ski lift and less feedback from the bumps and ruts add up to a high-quality ride. In bumpy trails, it can be ridden confidently rather than chased nervously.

viper-staticSpecs and more about the 2014 Yamaha SR Viper RTX

Price: $12,649

Engine: 1049cc fuel-injected, four-stroke triple with fuel injection

Chassis: SRV

Suspension: SRV front suspension, 10 inches of travel; Dual Shock SR129 rear suspension, 13.5 inches of travel

Track: 15- by 129- by 1.25-inch RipSaw II

Ski stance: 42-43 inches (adjustable)

• “The Viper tracks nicely through turns, holds its line well and corners really flat. I really like that this chassis corners so flat.”

• “Yeah, it’s missing some of the power feel of the Nytro, but the power is more controllable. This thing allowed me to hug the inside berm of every turn with expertise, hang way off when I wanted/needed to, get real low and will it through a turn.”

 

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