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Test Tracks: 2017 Yamaha Sidewinder B-TX LE

This turbocharged 4-stroke is more than just a crossover sled!
2017 Yamaha Sidewinder B-TX LE turbo mountain snowmobile
The Yamaha Sidewinder B-TX is more than just a crossover. This sled can easily pass for a mountain machine, but it will also surprise you on the trail with good manners.

This is not a sled for the faint of heart, or anyone with a heart condition. Power is a big fun factor when riding a sled, whether on the trail or off, and it doesn’t matter if it’s 60hp or 160hp. Exhilaration is still a big reason we all ride. In the case of the Sidewinder you better have a firm grip because you are sitting on a rocket with more than 200 hp!

Unlike conventional aftermarket turbos that take a second to spool before you get the boost, there is no lag in the turbo on the Sidewinder, thanks in part to Yamaha engineers creating a snowmobile engine that redefines how engines and turbos work together. Instead of one throttle body, they used three, making the 998 the fastest yet smoothest turbo I personally have ever ridden. Plus, it is the first stock 200+ hp engine in a factory-built sled.  

The very first time I put the throttle to this beast of an engine, I was amazed with its continuous, linear power. I was equally impressed with how quickly I got to 100+ mph on a sled as large as the B-TX! Even at that speed, it was incredibly stable. The only problem I had was feeling like my helmet visor was going to rip my head off every time the wind got under it.

My favorite feature of this sled is its voice. There isn’t another sound like it on the mountain. AmSnow’s western team compared it to the sound of a jet airplane. Not because it was loud (when you are on it, it is actually fairly quiet), but because it even sounds wicked fast.

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