Yamaha Is Back In The Mountains | SnoWest Magazine

Yamaha Is Back In The Mountains

March 2020 Feature

After a one-year (kind of two ish) hiatus from the mountains, Yamaha is back for model year 2021 with THREE mountain snowmobiles.

Oh yeah, and they’re all TWO-STROKE snowmobiles.

Yes, you read right.

And there is no one more excited than us to see that happen.

When you first cast an eye on the new Mountain Max and SX Venom snowmobiles, yes they will look very familiar. Then you’ll remember the business agreement Yamaha has with Arctic Cat and it will all fall into place.

There are two Mountain Max versions available for 2021: the 154 and 165. The SX Venom is Yamaha’s version of Cat’s Blast, a mid-size (although Yamaha prefers to call it a 7/8 size) snowmobile targeted at beginning riders or a fun second sled that is capable (but not dominating) in the mountains.

We’re going to focus on the Mountain Max models in this story and save the SX Venom for another story.

Here are some details on each Mountain Max model. Just remember these are spring-only models. Here’s another insider tip. When you see the Mountain Max 154, think of it as comparable to the Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One. Then with the Mountain Max 165, think of this model as comparable to the M Mountain Cat Alpha One.

2021 Mountain Max LE 800 154

  • Single rail rear suspension
  • 794cc SDI 2-stroke engine
  • Team clutches
  • 154x2.6 Camso PowerClaw track
  • Reinforced running boards
  • 1.5-inch QS3 front shocks
  • QS3 center shock and QS3 Lockout rear shock
  • 36-inch ski stance
  • Yamaha Mountain Skis
  • 20-inch tunnel bag
  • Goggle bag
  • Lightweight brake disc
  • Push button starting

2021 Mountain Max LE 800 165

  • Single rail rear suspension
  • 794cc SDI 2-stroke engine
  • Team clutches
  • 165x3-inch Camso PowerClaw track
  • Reinforced running boards
  • 1.5-inch QS3 front shocks
  • QS3 center shock and QS3 Lockout rear shock
  • 36-inch ski stance
  • Yamaha Mountain Skis
  • 20-inch tunnel bag
  • Goggle bag
  • Lightweight brake disc
  • Push button starting

Referring to the new Mountain Max models and Yamaha returning to the mountain market, Yamaha snowmobile product manager Jaret Smith said, “The demand is out there and our dealers were asking for it.”

He added, “We’re happy to have such great tech in this vehicle.”

Yamaha chose to stay with its mountain skis and Smith reminded us that the suspension calibration on the Mountain Max models is specific to the Yamaha skis, so that is a slight variation from the Cat version.

Our initial reaction to the ride of the new Mountain Max models is that the throttle response is crisp and very responsive to the squeeze of the throttle. It may be a similar snowmobile to the Cat mountain sleds but the general consensus is that the Mountain Max has a better throttle response

And if you paid close attention to the bullet points in the snowmobile details, you noticed both models come with electric start.

So Yamaha is back in the mountain game and as more details become available, we’ll pass them along.

Remember, these are spring-only models.

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