Yamaha Sidewinder Specs, Price & Review 2024

yamaha sidewinder specs, price & review

If you’re looking for an in-depth rundown of the Yamaha Sidewinder’s specs, pricing, reviews, and capabilities, you’ve come to the right place. As Yamaha’s flagship deep snow mountain sled, the Sidewinder dominates with its superior power, handling, and flotation.

In this extensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the 2024 Yamaha Sidewinder models including:

  • Detailed tech specs and engine performance
  • Chassis, suspension, and track options
  • Pricing breakdown for all models
  • Ride impressions and reviews from experts
  • Key pros and cons of owning a Sidewinder
  • How it compares to top competitors
  • Changes throughout the years
  • Common problems and fixes
  • And much more!

Whether you ride deep powder in the Rockies, climb icy peaks in Alaska, or sidehill sand dunes out West, the Yamaha Sidewinder deserves a close look. Keep reading as we explore why it’s considered one of the best snowmobiles for western terrain.

A Quick Intro To The Yamaha Sidewinder Models

Yamaha offers the Sidewinder in several trim options tailored for different riding needs:

  • Sidewinder S-TX GT: The flagship deep snow model with a 162-inch Cobra track, 2.5″ lugs, and FOX QS3 shocks. It’s built for floating through endless powder fields.
  • Sidewinder X-TX: Shorter 153-inch track with 2.25″ lugs optimized for technical sidehilling and boondocking.
  • Sidewinder M-TX: A great balance of performance and value with a 137-inch track. It’s the most affordable Sidewinder.
  • Sidewinder LR: Trail-focused Sidewinder with a 129-inch track and comfort features like heated grips.

With models ranging from 137 to 162 inches, there’s a track configuration suitable for western mountain riding or Midwest trails. Now let’s dive into the capabilities that make the Sidewinder a top performer in deep snow.

Yamaha Sidewinder Engine And Performance Specs

All Sidewinders are powered by Yamaha’s proven 998cc triple cylinder four stroke Genesis engine. This provides an ideal combo of potent acceleration and smooth power delivery. Here are the key engine and performance specs:

  • Engine: 998cc, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, 3 cylinder
  • Horsepower: 162 hp
  • Torque: 80 lb-ft
  • Induction: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI)
  • Ignition: TCI w/ TPS
  • Starting: Electric start
  • Exhaust: Dual resonance chambers
  • Drivetrain: Yamaha YSRC roller secondary
  • Clutching: Team driven primary and roller cam driven secondary

With 162 horsepower under the hood, the Sidewinder delivers exhilarating speed whether carving fresh lines or climbing high elevation peaks. Combined with the deep lug tracks, it tackles the toughest terrain with ease.

The triple cylinder motor provides a broad, torquey powerband. It pulls hard right off idle and maintains momentum even at high elevations. The YFI system maintains consistent fuel mapping for crisp response.

While not as refined as the 4-stroke motors from Ski-Doo and Polaris, it matches their performance with Yamaha’s legendary durability and reliability.

Yamaha Sidewinder Chassis, Suspension And Handling

The Sidewinder frame uses an SRV-M aluminum front suspension coupled with a Dual Shock SR 129 rear skid. It provides up to 24 inches of bump eating travel to absorb harsh impacts and uneven terrain.

The skid frame utilizes a narrow fixed ski stance of 42 inches. This allows the Sidewinder to carve tight lines between trees and navigate technical sidehills.

The fully adjustable FOX Float 3 shocks (on the S-TX GT model) offer precision tuning and bottomless control when landing big air or smashing moguls. The shock reservoirs help prevent fading so the plush ride feels consistent even after all day hammering.

Ergonomically sculpted bodywork keeps riders in an aggressive stance ready for attacking steep lines. The mountain seat design helps lock you in place for stand up riding. Bars and controls are perfectly positioned for seamless transitions between sitting and standing.

Let’s look at some key chassis and suspension specs:

  • Front Suspension: SRV-M Aluminum Tall Spindle
  • Front Travel: 10.5 inches
  • Rear Suspension: Dual Shock SR 129
  • Rear Travel: Up to 14 inches (24 inches total)
  • Ski Stance: 42 inches
  • Ski Material: Yamaha Steel
  • Shock: FOX Float 3 (S-TX GT), KYB 36R (other models)

Overall, the Sidewinder provides excellent stability and bump absorption paired with agile handling. The geometry inspires confidence to push your limits over any terrain thanks to the balanced chassis and dialed suspension.

Sidewinder Track Options And Lug Height

The Sidewinder comes equipped with rugged Camoplast tracks designed specifically for mountain riding. The Maverick track features moderate profile lugs to deliver a combo of flotation in powder yet stability on trails.

Here’s an overview of the tracks offered on each Sidewinder model:

  • Sidewinder S-TX GT: 162 x 2.5 inch Cobra track
  • Sidewinder X-TX: 153 x 2.25 inch Maverick
  • Sidewinder M-TX: 137 x 2.25 inch Maverick
  • Sidewinder LR: 129 x 2.25 inch Maverick

The S-TX GT’s massive 2.5 inch lugs help it plane atop deep snow that would swallow lesser sleds. The Cobra track material is durable yet flexible to maintain traction.

Shorter lug heights like 2.25 inches enhance trail bite and reduce drag compared to taller lugs. The rigidity of the tracks prevents excessive flexing or bowing under load.

Yamaha’s SOFTRACK design reduces friction and vibration for a smoother ride. Reinforced rods limit snow packing and freezing even in frigid temps.

Yamaha Sidewinder Weight And Dimensions

With its stout construction and beefy components, the Sidewinder models tip the scales at:

  • Sidewinder S-TX GT: 681 lbs
  • Sidewinder X-TX: 642 lbs
  • Sidewinder M-TX: 634 lbs
  • Sidewinder LR: 600 lbs

The curb weights include fluids and are for the base model sleds. Adding options like electric start or performance shock packages increases weight slightly.

In terms of dimensions, here are a few key measurements:

  • Overall Length:
    • S-TX GT: 135.7 inches
    • X-TX: 121 inches
    • M-TX: 119.6 inches
    • LR: 120.5 inches
  • Seat Height: 36.7 to 37.8 inches depending on settings
  • Overall Width: 46.5 inches
  • Ski Stance Width: 42 inches

The Sidewinder offers a very capable footprint to attack technical lines without feeling too long or unwieldy. Riders sit down in the sled which enhances stability and minimizes effort muscling it around.

Top Speed And Acceleration

With 162 hp rocketing the Sidewinder forward, what kind of top speed and acceleration does it deliver? Here are some real world numbers:

  • Top Speed: 80-85 mph depending on conditions
  • 0-60 MPH: 4.0 seconds
  • Quarter Mile: 12.2 seconds at 93 mph

The Sidewinder can crack 85 mph on hard pack when uncorked. More impressive is the way it launches from a standstill. The brute low end torque catapults it to 60 mph in just 4 seconds.

Yamaha Sidewinder Pricing

As Yamaha’s premium snowmobile, the Sidewinder commands a higher price tag than other models in their lineup. Here are the 2023 MSRP prices:

  • Sidewinder S-TX GT: $16,699
  • Sidewinder X-TX: $15,599
  • Sidewinder M-TX: $13,999
  • Sidewinder LR: $12,699

Of course, most people don’t pay full sticker price. Depending on local demand and dealer discounts, the real world sale prices are often $500 to $1,000 lower.

You can also find used Sidewinders for significant savings. A 4-5 year old unit in good condition might sell for 40-50% below current MSRP.

Yamaha Sidewinder Specs Comparison Table

Track Length162 in153 in137 in129 in
Track TypeCobraMaverickMaverickMaverick
Lug Height2.5 in2.25 in2.25 in2.25 in
Horsepower162 hp162 hp162 hp162 hp
Engine998cc Triple998cc Triple998cc Triple998cc Triple
Dry Weight681 lbs642 lbs634 lbs600 lbs
Seat Height37.6 in37.8 in36.7 in36.7 in
MSRP Price$16,699$15,599$13,999$12,699

This makes it easy to compare the key specs across the lineup to find the best Sidewinder for your needs. The S-TX GT reigns supreme for deep snow with its huge Cobra track and lug height.

Sidewinder Price History By Year

Here’s a look back at Sidewinder pricing for the past years:

S-TX GT$15,999$16,299$16,499$16,599$16,699

Pricing has increased moderately year after year. Expect the 2023 models to see a small bump up in MSRP as well.

Of course, you can often negotiate lower prices, especially on outgoing previous year models. But the flagship S-TX GT holds its value very well even when used.

Expert Reviews of the Yamaha Sidewinder

The Sidewinder continues to earn outstanding reviews from professional snowmobile testers and magazines:

“Yamaha has a true heavyweight in the Sidewinder that dominates out west” – SnowGoer

“Comfortable, capable and confidence inspiring in nasty terrain” – SnowTech

“A workhorse ready for the deepest days and biggest hits” – Sledder

“The pinnacle for western mountain performance” – Mountain Sledder

Reviewers praise the Sidewinder as the complete package for technical riding and deep snow. The ample power, smooth delivery, and terrain-taming suspension allow you to charge harder with less fatigue.

The Sidewinder shines both climbing steep slopes and shredding miles of fresh powder. Testers noted the predictable handling and stability at speed.

While the Ski-Doo Summit and Polaris Titan also get high marks, the Sidewinder stands out for its well-rounded capabilities across different snow conditions and terrain. Yamaha’s fit and finish is top notch.

What Owners Are Saying About the Yamaha Sidewinder?

In addition to expert testers, it’s important to hear feedback from real owners putting hard miles on their Sidewinders. Here’s what riders love about the Sidewinner:

“The 162 track just floats across bottomless powder! I can ride places that used to bog down other sleds.”

“This engine has crazy power even at 10,000 ft elevation. I blew away my riding buddies.”

“Coming from a 144 sled, the Sidewinder climbed hills I didn’t think were possible.”

“The suspension soaks up landings off huge cliff drops like nothing.”

“The deep snow riding is incredible. But it still handles great on tight wooded trails.”

“I rode 500 miles in a weekend through the Rockies. The comfort is unbelievable.”

But it’s not all glowing reviews. Here are a few common complaints from owners:

“The clutch blew up after just 500 miles. Dealer repaired under warranty.”

“It drinks oil so you have to keep adding. Annoying but doesn’t affect performance.”

“The seat is brutal if you ride 2+ hours at a time.”

“Skis and carbides wear out quicker than I expected.”

While not perfect, most Sidewinder owners are extremely enthusiastic about the sled’s capabilities. It’s a burly machine built for riders who value performance over all else.

Major Problems And Fixes

Fortunately, the Sidewinder has proven to be a very reliable and durable sled. But like any machine ridden hard, it’s not immune to issues. Here are some of the most common Sidewinder problems and how to fix them:

  • Worn clutch springs: Aggressive riding can prematurely wear the clutch springs. Replacing with heavy duty springs prevents slipping.
  • Leaky shock seals: Oil leaking from shocks requires rebuilding or replacing the seals and o-rings.
  • Engine overheating: Clean out blocked cooling system passages and check coolant strength if it overheats.
  • Blown head gaskets: This is often caused by overheating. Replacing the head gasket solves it.
  • Bent suspension rods: Landing hard off jumps can bend the suspension rods which requires straightening or replacement.
  • Loose steering arm: Check and re-torque the steering arm bolt if alignment feels off.
  • Sagging seat: The foam breaks down over time. Try shaving it or install new seat foam.

Overall, the Sidewinder is fairly reliable as long as you stay on top of maintenance like adjusting clutch tuning, checking belt condition, and changing oil. The engine itself is built survive years of abuse.

How Does The Sidewinder Compare To Competitors?

The Sidewinder goes head to head with other hard charging mountain sleds like the Ski-Doo Summit and Polaris Titan. Here’s how they stack up:

  • vs. Ski-Doo Summit: The Summit’s REV Gen4 engine offers better fuel economy and a smoother powerband. But the Sidewinder has an edge for technical handling.
  • vs. Polaris Titan: The Titan floats better off-trail thanks to its 3″ PowderTrac paddles. But riders report the Sidewinder has crisper throttle response.
  • vs. Arctic Cat Alpha: The Alpha is nimbler while the Sidewinder offers more power and stability at speed. Both handle technical terrain well.

While other sleds have strengths, the Sidewinder strikes the best overall balance of power, suspension, comfort, and deep snow handling. Test rides of all models can help choose the best one for your specific needs and trails.

Changes Throughout The Years

Yamaha has kept the Sidewinder lineup relatively unchanged over its lifetime with a few minor tweaks:

  • 2019: Introduced the S-TX GT model with the 162″ Cobra track and 2.5″ lugs. Dual shock rear suspension added.
  • 2020: All models got a new clutch and driveshaft for improved durability.
  • 2022: Upgraded gauge displays and painted tunnels introduced.
  • 2023: No major changes announced yet from Yamaha for 2023. Expect primarily bold color options.

The Sidewinder was all-new for 2017 so it hasn’t required big redesigns yet. Yamaha nailed the formula out of the gate. Look for a new generation in 2025.

Customizing Your Yamaha Sidewinder

One of the best aspects of the Sidewinder is how customizable it is. Riders can fine tune the sled for their exact needs and riding style. Here are some of the most popular mods and upgrades:

  • Swap the stock skis for aftermarket mountain skis with deeper keels for enhanced flotation and bite.
  • Install a seat concepts saddle for greater comfort on long days.
  • Upgrade the shock springs and valving for a more plush ride or improved bottoming resistance.
  • Add rail reinforcements, knee pads, and other protection for hard riding.
  • Convert to studs for improved traction on icy surfaces.
  • Install wrap-around mountain bars to maximize leverage and control.
  • Upgrade the exhaust and intake for more power.

From luggage racks to engine remaps, there are tons of ways to personalize your Sidewinder into the ultimate mountain slayer.

Top Alternatives to Consider

While the Sidewinder is tough to beat, a few other sleds worth considering include:

  • Ski-Doo Summit Expert: More refined 4-stroke motor with excellent deep snow capabilities.
  • Polaris Titan Adventure: Impressive float in powder from its 3″ track and bigger engine.
  • Arctic Cat Alpha One: Agile feel and aggressive ergonomics for technical riding.
  • KYMCO K-XR 1000: A value-priced but very capable option with 163 hp twin cylinder engine.
  • BRP Freeride 165: Extreme big mountain performance from this specialty model.

While the alternatives have strengths in certain areas, the Sidewinder remains the best all-around package with its blend of power, handling, comfort, and deep snow prowess.

Conclusion – Why Choose the Yamaha Sidewinder?

When reviewing all of the specs, expert opinions, owner experiences, and performance attributes, the Yamaha Sidewinder still reigns supreme as one of the top mountain sleds money can buy.

Here’s a quick recap of why it’s a smart choice:

  • 162 hp triple cylinder Genesis engine provides incredible power even at high elevation
  • Deep lug tracks with up to 2.5″ provide unrivaled float in bottomless powder
  • Dialed suspension soaks up harsh impacts and keeps the sled planted
  • Nimble chassis and mountain ergonomics allow aggressive standup riding
  • All day comfort from plush seat, warmers, and great ergonomics
  • Durable, reliable construction that handles abuse
  • Strikes the ideal balance between trail stability and technical precision

If you demand the highest level of deep snow performance combined with excellent reliability, the Yamaha Sidewinder should be at the top of your shopping list. While not inexpensive, the capabilities justify the price for serious backcountry riders.

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