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REVIEW: 2020 Yamaha Transporter 600

Crossover or utility? Yamaha's Transporter won't be boxed into a category
2020 Yamaha Transporter 600 snowmobile review
2020 Yamaha Transporter 600 snowmobile handlebar controls
With the thumb controls in easy reach, you can quickly adjust your settings on the fly.
Yamaha’s 2020 Transporter 600 simply won’t be boxed in. It seems to have something for every type of rider, whether you are interested in flying down the trail, taking on deep mountain powder, or getting a job done. Transporter is a mixed bag of features that makes it hard to categorize.

■ Is this a mountain sled?
Its light 2-stroke engine is the first indicator that the Transporter may want to be ridden in the mountains. By using this engine and providing riders with less weight to negotiate in the front-end this sled is more maneuverable in the powder than many Yamaha sleds.

The 2-cylinder, 599cc, 2-stroke has the quality we have come to expect from Yamaha’s 4-stroke engines. It’s a quiet ride, with great power, and the convenience of electric start.

The 2-stroke, however, is not the only feature that calls this sled to the hills. It also is equipped with Yamaha’s lightweight Mountain ski with a wide footprint giving it added flotation. These skis paired with the lighter front-end keep this sled from diving into the powder, which has been a problem with some of the previous Yamaha mountain sleds.

The Transporter also comes equipped with a mountain steering system with a tall steering post for standup riding and a lightweight mountain seat that allows the rider to easily switch from side to side. One would think it was made for the mountains, and it is, yet its other features don’t easily keep it dead center of that category.
2020 Yamaha Transporter 600 snowmobile review
Yamaha may not have a “mountain sled” for 2020, but the Transporter 600 is plenty capable there. The tunnel also has a raised alloy rack to keep loads tied down.
■ Is this a trail sled?
The tall wind deflector is the first indication that this sled’s purpose might be to rip down the open trail. The deflector even has a small lip at the top that forces snow up and over the rider.

However, this is only the beginning as the Transporter is ready to take on the bumps, corners, and speeds of a trail with its SRV front suspension. 

This suspension’s geometry aims to minimize bump-steer and enhance grip in the corners, giving snowmobilers a predictable ride in varying conditions. The A-arms are spaced wide and mounted at a 30-degree angle from the centerline. The purpose is twofold. The angle allows impact force to be distributed throughout the chassis reducing breaking points (a good thing), and the wide spacing creates improves cornering. We all agreed, this sled is a pleasure on a trail ride.
2020 Yamaha Transporter 600 snowmobile review
2020 Yamaha Transporter 600 snowmobile review
■ Is this a utility sled?
Perhaps the most defining features of this sled are the ones that are traditionally linked to the utility segment. While the long 153-inch track is great for the backcountry, the Power Claw with its 2.25-in. lugs in a 3.0 pitch configuration is ideal for staying connected to the trail when towing. Additionally, the utility suspension makes easy work of backing up with just a push of a button, and the flip-up rails help to keep the skies down when conditions call for it.

Transporter’s Wide Ratio CVT System gives riders a lower bottom end, which is ideal for towing or carrying a heavily load. However, this sled has great top-end power as well. And, the 13.74-gallon fuel tank lets the rider run for days whether working or playing, but if you need to store additional fuel there is plenty of room too. This machine comes equipped with an alloy rack, and a storage locker under the seat.

It’s a great sled no matter the category. It’ll get the job done on trail, as a crossover, or as a utility sled.
SPECS: 2020 Yamaha Transporter 600
Yamaha Gen 2 body work Engine: 4-Stroke / 599cc Front Susp.: Independent, double wishbone, w/monotube alum-HP gas 1.5 Center shock: Mono-tube alum-HP gas 1.5 Rear Susp.: Dual shock SR 153 Torsion w/Monotube alum-HP gas 1.5 Starter: Electric start standard Skis: Yamaha Mountain Ski Stance: 38 in. Clutch: Team Rapid Track: 15 x 153 x 2.25 in. Camso Power Claw Fuel Capacity: 13.7 gal. Price: $12,399 US / $14,499 CA
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