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Features

2017 YAMAHA SIDEWINDER B-TX

By: Kent Lester, Photo By: Mike Lester
3/14/2017

Big, Powerful, Innovative and Versatile. Is That Enough?

Despite its long track, the B-TX's design target is certainly not to be a mountain sled. It's really a deep snow sled you can take on a decent trail journey or, as it is now coined: A Crossover.

The bonus is that this sled floats powder like a 4-stroke mountain sled and its 1.75 lugs can handle some pretty decent climbs. If you go back a decade, there weren't many pure mountain sleds with this much track - and certainly not this kind of power.

Power certainly is not an issue. The turbo allows this sled to perform consistently at very high altitudes and the steps Yamaha has taken to minimize turbo lag pay off in deep powder performance. Yes, it is heavier than a comparable 2-stroke but, for sure, there's never any concern about a power shortage when you need to dip into the throttle when an imminent powder crisis rears its head.

One factor affecting performance is Yamaha's choice to use a roller secondary clutch on all SideWinders. In deep snow, immediate backshifting and the quick load response of a roller will make a huge difference on the B-TX.

In heavy, damp snow with such a long track and 1.75-inch lugs, you need a clutch that can respond fast, especially when you're carrying a lot of snow inside the sled's suspension and track, when elevations are varying and the snow is harder to push through.

Is the BT-X the Crossover everyone will want? Probably not. After all, despite its strengths, it's pretty expensive and the turbo market is a growing but fairly narrow sliver of the whole snowmobile market.

However, for those who want the ultimate in power, traction and versatility and can justify the cost of a very sophisticated ride, we strongly recommend this sled. It will impress you and surprise you with its abilities.