Updates For All The Terrain Eaters

2010 Yamaha FX Nytro RTX
The FX Nytro models got updates aimed primarily at durability and rider comfort. They are all powered by the Genesis 130FI engine that under-promises and over-delivers on engine dynos everywhere, with reports in the 135 hp range.

Available to spring buyers is the returning FX Nytro RTX SE with durability updates. The track has open windows and is fully-clipped (every third bar in 2009) to reduce hyfax wear. Dimensions are the same at 15 by 121 by 1.25 inches, but driving it is a new drive axle with outboard extrovert drivers to reduce track ratcheting. The SE-version’s elite packaging includes Fox FLOAT X front shocks and the beefy 46mm SOQI rear track shock with adjustments for high and low speed compression and rebound.

The SE and other FX Nytro models, including the standard and RTX packages, have new grip warmers for better performance. A layer of insulation helps prevent heat loss to the host handlebar. The rear idler wheels, which were disposable if a bearing failed, are a serviceable part in 2010. Replaceable bearings, held in place with a conventional snap ring, are a better option than the molded-in bearing. They look better, too.

The FX Nytro and FX Nytro RTX both get a cosmetic lift on the tunnel, too, incorporating the tapered design of the SE. The tunnel also helps with a small weight reduction and the 11-degree running boards help with snow evacuation and changes rider posture slightly, putting drivers into a more aggressive attack mode. Finally, they both get a new rear track shock calibration to improve rider comfort without losing rough trail performance.

Color options for the FX Nytro RTX are orange/black or black. The SE package is trimmed in an updated Team Yamaha blue scheme and the standard, base model FX Nytro is available in black or white/blue.

The new-last-year FX Nytro XTX crossover sled gets the new grip warmers and wheels. There is also an accessory 1.75-inch lug Camoplast Backcountry track to help the FX Nytro XTX perform better off trail. Other available factory accessories are wider skis to improve flotation and a mountain strap for the handlebars.

The returning Phazer RTX is unchanged with orange/black and black/blue colors.

Mountain Mods

With the release of a special-edition FX Nytro MTX SE model, in both 153- and 162-inch track lengths, Yamaha has three FX-series mountain sled configurations with varying price points and capabilities.

2010 Yamaha FX Mytro MTX SE 162
Top on the list is the new all-new Nytro MTX 162, and there is a 153 version of the same top-tier package. A new front end, a new lightweight skid and a substantial weight loss highlight the model news compared to the returning FX Nytro MTX.

The front end of the SE models has Fox FLOAT 2 front shocks. The shocks promise flatter cornering while maintaining a plush ride with no bottoming. The SE models get the FX chassis second generation front suspension geometry with 10 changes. It’s similar to the front end that gave trail riders the significant ride and handling upgrades to the FX Nytro models for 2009. It consists of new A-arms, tie rods, new spindles and new ski rubber but ditches the sway bar – unnecessary weight for most mountain riders. The front stance is 41 inches, wider for greater predictability and stability in all conditions, Yamaha said, as well as easier maneuverability in deep snow.

The new skid is called the ProMountain Air. It was designed for lightweight and improved mountain function. Gone are heavy control rods, torsion springs and the steel coil spring. Additional weight savings came from lightweight rails and a single-ply Camoplast Maverick 15- by 153- or 162- by 2.25-inch track. The parts total a 9.5-pound diet, hanging under a lighter, slimmer tunnel that is stronger and narrower for easier driver footwork as well as reduced trenching. Foot traction is improved, too.

In total, the FX Nytro MTX 163 is 17 pound lighter than the 2009 FX Nytro MTX, and the 153-inch version is 21 pounds lighter. Yamaha said its 163-incher out climbed the 2009 153 by 8 to 12 sled lengths, and out-climbed the Apex MTX, too.

The returning FX Nytro MTX, with the same ProMountain CK 153 rear skid as last year, gets the new tunnel for improved performance but it retains the previous, narrow front end. Other updates are the wheels and revised grip warmers.

Though the FX Nytro MTX SE models are positioned as the hero sleds in Yamaha’s mountain segment, the Apex MTX returns for 2010 with updates. It has the new grip warmer arrangement and wheels. It’s in white/blue for 2010. The Phazer MTX is unchanged with the exception of color choices and graphics, which, for 2010, are orange/black and black/blue.

Trail Lineup Headlined By Updated RS Vector GT
The trail sled that we said hit its target like a patriot missile and named to the Snow Goer Top 10 list last year got a substantial list of updates that make it an even better fit for comfort trail riders. With the upgrades, we wonder long-term if the Apex GT as we know it has a home beyond 2010 – Yamaha seems to be positioning its RS Vector GT as the new flagship trail model.

Gone is the Genesis 120 engine in favor of a revised/application specific Genesis 120FI. We were told the engine is unique to the RS Vector application, not shared with the RS Venture GT where the engine debuted a year ago.

The new engine is the 1049cc four-stroke triple. The engine is 2.2 pounds lighter than the 2009 version despite a high-capacity stator (an additional 70 accessory-powering watts) thanks to a magnesium head and oil pan. Making the powerplant different from what came in last year’s RS Venture GT are the fuel injection and exhaust systems.

Fuel injection is a Mikuni system like the 2009 RS Venture GT but there is a new throttle bearing that reduces effort at the handlebar. Incorporated into the throttle bodies is the Engine Braking Reduction System that makes the four-stroke behave more like a two stroke when releasing the throttle. There is also an updated radiator and fan to improve cooling capacity.

The Vector’s engine was tailored for low-rpm, high torque trail riding needs that should produce improved overall power and a five percent fuel economy gain while touring, Yamaha said, compared to the 2009. Yamaha claims a 6 hp increase versus the Genesis 120 and 15 pound-feet of additional torque at 5500 rpm.

The 2010 RS Venture GT is also the launch pad for the new Mono Shock II suspension with 13 changes compared to the former. Updates include a larger rear axle, a new track adjuster, stronger rails, the bearing and wheel update, needle bearings in the lower front arm and shock calibration. The updates provide more durability and easier maintenance, Yamaha said, as well as improved comfort.

Also in the long list of updates for the RS Vector GT are extrovert drivers to reduce track ratcheting and a new Rip Saw track with larger, fully clipped windows for reduced hyfax wear. Track size remains the same at 15 by 121 by 1.25 inches. The front suspension has new calibration for flatter cornering, too.

The Vector GT gets an RCA-style accessory plug, a new gauge with a count-up fuel trip meter and an oil service icon. A waterproof seat membrane keeps riders and the seat drier and new grip warmers better isolate the handlebar from absorbing heat intended for the rider’s phalanges. There are three color options for 2010: candy red, white/silver and blue/white. Yamaha said its 2010 RS Vector GT will have limited availability next year. Combined, the changes should make an already great snowmobile even better.

The Phazer GT returns unchanged wearing black on its minimalist plastics.

The Apex GT, our 2006 Snowmobile of the Year, remains an impressive power/comfort sled. New for 2010 on the GT as well as on the base-model Apex is the RCA-style plug for quick heated helmet visor connections. The plug is in addition to the standard 12 volt, automotive-style accessory outlet.

2010 Yamaha Apex GT
Both Apex groomed trail models also have the wheels and new grip warmers on the hooked bars. The Apex has white/blue as its only color option, whereas the Apex GT comes in blue with white accents or black.

Long-Track Vector Updated, Too

The trail versatility models include the long-rail LTX sleds: RS Vector LTX GT and Apex LTX and Apex LTX GT. They get the RCA-style plug, new grip warmers and the replaceable wheel bearings for cheaper servicing.

The long-tracked Vector gets the same Genesis 120FI engine as its short-tracked brother, and also gets a lengthened version of the Mono Shock II rear skid to accommodate the 136-inch track. The Mono-Shock II 136 has the same updates for more comfort, increased durability, easier servicing and better bottoming resistance.

2010 Yamaha RS Venture GT
Touring/Utility Models

For touring customers, Yamaha returns with its RS Venture GT unchanged except for the model year colors, which are black or candy red. The lesser-equipped RS Venture gets the idler wheel and replaceable bearing update common to much of the 2010 lineup. Silver is the 2010 hue.

The Venture Lite, using the same 80 hp four-stroke engine as the Phazer, is also unchanged save for the color options: blue or candy red. The RS Viking Professional also returns unchanged for 2010 dressed in black.

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