2023 Yamaha SRX Sidewinder


Table des matières

It’s hard to think of another name when it comes to Yamaha’s performance credentials. The SRX Sidewinder will be back in 2023! As it has been the case over the years, the word performance is on the agenda.

A little history

We have to go back to 1974 to see the first SRX, only dedicated to the racing world at that time, hence the meaning: Sport Racing Xperimental. At that time, the SRX was equipped with a 440 CC liquid-cooled engine that produced close to 100 horsepower. It was the first liquid-cooled snowmobile model produced by the Japanese company. Some records mention that only 6 SRX were produced that year, each with different specifications. Four more years went by with various improvements such as the arrival of a 340 CC engine, a change in the chassis, etc.

The SRX first went into production in 1976, intended only for racers. Both 340 and 440 engines were available. The following years, 1977 and 1978, were not very good years with several engine problems. This forced the engineers to lower the compression ratio in 1979 to reduce power and increase reliability.

1981 marked the arrival of the independent telescopic front suspension, which remained in place for several years.

2023 Yamaha SRX Sidewinder

The arrival of the three-cylinder engine changes the game

1998 was one of the most important years for Yamaha. The SRX was introduced with a new 700 CC three-cylinder engine with three carburetors and three exhaust pipes. It was a revolution for Yamaha, with an incredible sound, ground handling, and a short travel suspension.

After a multi-year layover, we had to wait until 2019 to see the SRX name again in a full-size snowmobile. And certainly, it was, and still is for 2023, the most powerful Yamaha SRX ever produced to date.

Moteur 998 4 temps

As we know, for years, Yamaha has built an excellent reputation with the reliability of its powertrains. In fact, the 998 introduced in 2017 qualifies among the most reliable engines in the industry. This turbocharged three-cylinder engine has swung several dynos above 200 horsepower without any modifications. Three intake housings receive the air compressed by the turbo, which has been previously cooled by the intercooler. It must be kept in mind that compressed air heats up, and it is essential to cool it down before it is absorbed by the engine. Pressure management has been extremely well thought out by the engineers. Instead of simply letting the excess pressure escape to the outside through the blow-off valve, the system feeds the excess back into the intake silencer. This reduces the latency effect (LAG) during restarts. As in previous years, Yamaha YSRC roller pulleys will be used for 2023.

ARCS front suspension with IQS shock absorbers

The front suspension features heavy-duty forged pivot arms and redesigned upper A-arms. All this is done to optimize ground clearance and suspension response for a more consistent and predictable ride. The SRX features FOX IQS (Intelligent Quick Shift) shocks that are electronically controlled from the handlebar controls. Three modes are available: Soft, Medium and Firm. Their operation is managed by the SCU (Suspension Control Unit) located on each shock. This device modifies the flow of oil in the shock absorber by varying the internal resistance of the piston movement. The change is made in less than a second, and is easily noticeable in both compression and rebound. In 2023, we continue to rely on the Strike single-pin skis. They offer a good grip in turns and come with a single rail.

2023 Yamaha SRX Sidewinder

SRX 137 rear suspension

At the rear, the SRX 137 is unique with a two-stage center suspension spring thanks to the two lower preloaded rear springs. This lowers the center of gravity of the machine, maximizing top speeds and maneuverability in corners. Derived from Arctic Cat suspensions, this fully-coupled suspension has a center swingarm that allows about an inch and a half of play at the arm’s reach to the frame, hence the name Slide-Action originally. The result is better control of weight transfer during acceleration. Like the front, the Slide Action uses FOX’s IQS shock, which is electronically controlled.

Standard equipment

The SRX will come to you like a high performance car: very low windshield, no hand protection. You’ll have to pay a few extra dollars if you want to protect your hands against impacts and wind. Also, the track is equipped with one-inch studs to optimize top speeds. Finally, you get the standard rear storage bag.

2023 Yamaha SRX Sidewinder

On the trail

There’s no doubt about it, this snowmobile is a performance beast. All the attributes are in place to make it THE fastest. With its one-inch profile track, its almost non-existent windshield to reduce wind resistance, and a power output of over 200 horsepower, it’s all there. In addition to its high performance features, the handling is amazing. The skis are continuously nailed to the ground offering a good grip in turns. However, the use of single carbide runners causes some wobbling on hard surfaces, especially during deceleration.

The use of a one-inch track brings a different dynamic in turns. Indeed, you can feel the rear end stall slightly in aggressive situations, reminding us of the SRX of the 98s and beyond. But you can expect the performance to be significantly reduced on softer surfaces. The addition of a higher windshield should be considered if you’re a little cold, and also handguards. As standard, your fingers are directly exposed to icy debris from the snowmobiles in front of you.

This snowmobile is definitely a rocket ship, fast and agile in turns, it brings great satisfaction to its occupant. This will be another big hit for 2023 from Japanese manufacturer Yamaha.