Technically speaking, the 2008 Yamaha Apex LTX GT is a new model because it has a new name; before 2008 the model was called Attak.

“Apex” means that it’s powered by the 150FI four-stroke engine that cranks out an honest 150 hp. It’s housed in the Deltabox II chassis that debuted in 2006. “LTX” is a sure sign the sled rolls on a 136-inch Camoplast Rip Saw track and the Mono Shock EC 136 skidframe. “GT” stands for its upgraded premium Ohlins clicker shocks up front and the electronically controlled compression-adjustable rear shock.

Yamaha labels the 2008 Apex LTX GT as a “trail versatility” machine. It’s a remarkable long-haul sled for the trails. Its updated suspension calibrations, high-end shocks, strong engine and limited-edition graphics package make it a premium package.

Unique, You Say?

Yamaha’s Apex LTX GT is in a class of its own.

The Polaris Turbo SwitchBack is, arguably, in the same class because it’s a four-stroke-powered hybrid sled, but the Yamaha leans toward the luxury end of the spectrum. The Polaris should appeal to younger buyers for its sportier suspension calibrations and smaller feel.

When you sit down and start up an Apex LTX, you can feel that it’s a sled of an elite caliber. Its four cylinders crank to life and the rear-exit exhaust rumbles with its unique, throaty sound. Hook your feet in the stirrups and hit the gas; the sled pulls away smoothly, yet with force that pushes a driver back in the saddle.

The cab is spacious and secure and the handle bar puts the driver in a commanding position that’s comfortable for hundreds of miles at a crack. The mid-height windshield offers good protection while not appearing so big that it seems it could be from an Oldsmobile Delta 88 sedan. Handlebar hooks make the sled easier to steer through sharp turns.


Suspension Is Improved

For 2008, the skidframe works well for its trailability in small chatter all the way through the 1-footers that every suspension should be able to handle.

We could drive it fast without bottoming through corners that had sharp-edged bumps. The skidframe mowed over the 10- to 12-inch bumps and chatter that would’ve been trouble for earlier models. This sled bites and carves very well and stays smooth as vanilla soft-serve ice cream through turns. When snow was soft, the machine cornered flat and stayed in control with the skidframe and skis stuck to the ground.

The Mono Shock’s improved performance is complements of a new, stiffer spring with more rate to reduce bottoming and a revalved shock for better high-speed compression and rebound damping. More good news for Yamaha folks: This Apex wasn’t the only machine to receive the upgrade, all Mono Shock suspensions received the changes.

Yamaha points out that the Mono Shock skidframe is not a “big-bump” suspension, so Apex buyers who ride aggressively should consider the RTX with the dual shock, torsion spring Pro Active CK suspension.

Apex LTX GT 40th Anniversary Edition

$12,499

Engine: Genesis 150FI; 998cc, four-cylinder, four-stroke

Horsepower: 150

Front suspension: Independent, double wishbone; 9 inches of travel

Rear suspension: Mono Shock EC 136; 11.6 inches of travel

Rear shock: Ohlins electronic compression adjust, clicker rebound adjustment

Track: 15x136x1.25 inches

Hits:

+ Superb ergos put the rider in a commanding position

+ Re-calibrated rear suspension works remarkably well and makes the machine more stable

+ Special graphics package makes it one of the classiest sleds on snow

Misses:

– It’s a big rig. There’s no denying this sled’s mass

– Skis work in soft snow, but they push when snow is set-up

– Secondary clutch doesn’t have an external belt deflection adjuster

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