2005 Yamahas - New 3 cylinder 4 Stroke Vector
By Scott A. Sumner
This year the 2005 Yamaha snowmobile line up is becoming more focused on 4 stoke engines with the additional of the all new Vector model and its 120 horsepower 1000cc 4 stoke motor. Gary Williams is the District Sales Manager for Yamaha based in Kenora, Ontario serving dealers from Thunder Bay to Brandon, Manitoba. There are 25 dealers and also 28 Arctic Coop stores in the Northwest Territories in his territory.
"Overall it was a pretty good year. In some areas we had late snow and others poor snow but we did well. In Kenora snow came on Jan 2, 2004 and lake trails are still open. The new sleds for 2005 at Yamaha are the RS Vector, RS Venture, RS Rage and a RS Venture TF - all different configurations using the new 120 HP 3 cylinder 4 stroke. We have 18 models of snowmobiles and 10 are 4 stroke models. We continue to increase the 4 stoke models as with EPA legislation and the environment, it is the way of the future. We are in a good position with the background we have with the motorcycles, etc to build a true high performance 4 stroke snowmobile." said Gary Williams. "The Vector has a all new motor from the ground up. It is a three cylinder, 120 HP design in a little different configuration than the RX1. The RX1 is a 4 cylinder and uses a gear reduction system to drive the primary clutch. On the Vector there is no gear reduction and it is lighter in weight as was the 2cycle Viper. We are very pleased with what the engineers were able to do as far keeping the weight in check. The RS Vector weighs about 40 pounds less than the RX1. In addition this years 2005 RX1has shed 30 pounds by using a light weight front suspension etc.," notes Williams. "Yamaha wanted to expand our line up of 4 stoke models to our customers. Certainly it is the way of the future in snowmobiles and sometime soon we want to have our entire lineup 4 stoke."
Also at Yamaha is a Viper mountain for 2005, but the standard length track Vipors are discontinued. The Vector replaces this model. The Vector has a regular clutch. The rear skid frame is brand new using a rear torsion spring. "The sled looks similar to the RX1, but the front end geometry of the roll centre has been changed to allow the sled to be ridden a little bit more aggressively, more stable on the trails. It also raises the seat height to give you a more forward riding position to feel your body weight more central," smiles Williams.
"The catch phrase with snowmobiles is centralizing mass. We are moving that way but not as radical as some of the other brands. We want to keep it more enjoyable for all round riding, more lake riding and long distances. The Vector is lighter and more aggressive in ride style. The seat position on the RX1 was raised as well by 40 mms. In addition there is a new skid frame on the RX1 along with an adjustable shock system only on the RX1 models. You do the initial pre load adjustment for the customer and then they do finer tune adjustments on the trail. The shock is a KYB high pressure on a Mono Shock remote adjustable suspension."
Early deposit season runs to April 17, 2004 for Yamaha. There is a $500 price advantage as well as no interest or payments for 12 months OAC. "For 2005 we have RX1, Vector - both reverse and non reverse, RS Rage, RX Warrior, RS Venture TF, RS Venture, a 600 cc 2 cycle Venom, a 2 cycle Venture 600 and 700, Bravo and BK 540. We anticipate a large pre order on the Vectors and Ventures," states Williams. "Retail pricing in Canada is RS Vector standard $11, 599, Vector ER reverse model $11,999. The Rage is $13,299. A standard RX1 is $13,099 all Canadian dollars."