Yamaha's Apex MTX Proves Big is Beautiful
Yamaha is a company that holds true to its blue blood heritage. When the Japanese snowmobile builder earns high consumer satisfaction coupled with minimal warranty problems, the company from the Rising Sun leaves its winter mountain products alone and concentrates on graphics. We, in the magazine world call this BNG — bold new graphics.
Engine Type:Horizontal In-line
Displacement:998 / 60.9
Turbocharged:NoView Full Spec
For 2010, the Apex MTX comes in a white/blue schematic. This makes the Apex MTX, in our opinion, one of the sweetest looking sleds on the snow; though the Apex body is dated (or is it?).
The Apex MTX is a fave Yamahauler for the Snowmobile.com Mountain Team. For season 2010, the Apex MTX receives three upgrades, 1) aluminum HPG front rail and center shocks, this to give the large mountain sled better trail manners, bump soak and minimal bottoming-out when sailing off cornices; 2) replaceable rear suspension wheel bearings, which eliminates swapping out an entire wheel; and 3) handlebar warmers with consistent heat distribution.
The 150 horsepower, four-cylinder, 4-stroke Genesis motor mated to the MTX chassis remains as is since its debut, except for up-to-date fuel- and oxygen-maps for the electronic fuel injection (EFI) system. The Genesis EFI system is a combo high-tech, low-pressure system that uses an injector and butterfly-valve throttle-body on each cylinder to deliver a snappy and responsive sled.
Unlike two-stroke motors that dump spent fuel under the chain case, the Apex MTX exits its exhaust at the tunnel’s far end in a 4-2-1-2 design.
The exhaust, featuring titanium head pipes, reduces weight. The rear exit design allows the pipe to run cool. Since the pipes run along the tunnel’s topside, where snow keeps the tunnel snow-cool, the pipes in turn run cool. Additionally, the rear-exiting design distributes weight to balance the sled.
The Apex ravages mountains on a Camoplast Maverick 162-inch long, by 16-inch wide track with 2.25-inch tall paddles – Yamaha and Camoplast collaborated on the track’s design. With the Apex’s heavy physique, it needs the wider track to reduce its footprint. Additionally, Yamaha and Camoplast designed the track’s paddles in a varied and staggered pattern to maximize hookup in multiple snow conditions.
The track is a three-pitch design that rotates on combo-introvert/extrovert drivers. The track and Pro Mountain 162 skid are tucked inside a lightweight one-piece tunnel. This chassis and track combo are well teamed for the deep snow. The long and wide track allows the Apex MTX to float and carve as if it were 100 pounds lighter. Keeping the large tread tamed and oncoming moguls from compressing a rider’s backbone is the mission of Yamaha’s ProMountain 162 rear skid. The suspension, with a shallow approach angle, controls weight transfer and allows the heavy sled to methodically float on top with little notice of its overall weight; credit also the smart track the Apex Mountain uses.
The lightweight ProMountain rear suspension is a conventional torsion spring design. It was engineered to help the sled get up on plane in the fresh snow. The dual-angle rails also give the Apex MTX excellent trail manners, while maintaining its deep snow flotation. The ProMountain 162 delivers 14 inches of vertical travel. The rear idler wheel is elevated 25mm, thanks to the dual-angle rail design.
The ProMountain 162 rear suspension is outfitted with a pair of aluminum-body HPG shocks. The shock package is calibrated to deliver a very comfortable ride with great anti-bottoming performance over the rough trails mountain riders use to get up to the deep powder at elevation.
The Snowmobile.com Mountain Team feels it was a mistake for Yamaha not to give the 2010 Apex MTX the new suspension and tunnel configuration the 2010 Nytro MTX SE is receiving. We feel that the Apex, especially in the turbo wars, would benefit greatly with this new skid. Regardless, all mountain riders would benefit.
This year, though, the Apex MTX rear skid uses wheels with removable bearings, which provide easy maintenance or bearing-only replacement.
Regarding weight, Yamaha calculated the Apex’s weight distribution and mechanically developed a center-mass weight that allows this 162-incher to easily maneuver and be well balanced. The sled mimics the feathery light feel of a Polaris RMK Dragon or Arctic Cat M1000.
The Apex MTX mountain-specific handlebars with hooks are positioned for control and its boot-wide running boards give excellent foot-control confidence. Wide runningboards feature star-punched traction throughout. As an added benefit, the traction holes help evacuate snow and slush from the runningboards.
Up front, the Apex MTX uses a narrow ski stance with a spindle castor set at 23 degrees. This gives the sled predictable steering. Yamaha’s mountain ski allows the pilot to point and shoot; this ski is, in our opinion, the best OEM mountain ski to date. If you like Starting Line Products’ Powder Pro, then you’ll like Yamaha’s mountain ski.
The Apex MTX receives new, redesigned handlebar warmers, which deliver a more concentrated heat source. Also, a digital gauge array displays a wide variety of data. Readouts include barometric measurements, dual trip meters and a clock. In addition to the functions, the gauge has been styled to match the aggressive lines of the bodywork and console area.
Pulling an S-curve up a steep ascent, snaking through the trees, or smacking the ravines is effortlessly performed. Arms can get tired if in the trees all day though, as front end weight will manifest itself. It may tip the scales at over 600-pounds plus when loaded with fuel and oil, but in the deep and on the steeps, the sled tells a different “lighter” story.
Our only grumps with the Apex Mountain are with its cockpit. The fuel cell is wide and hinders movement; and when chopping off the throttle, the Apex MTX tosses out an anchor and comes to a halt – expect to tumble over the windshield. Why is that? The Apex MTX does not have Yamaha’s Engine Braking Reduction System (EBRS) that allows the Apex MTX to free wheel as the Nytro MTX does. So, when unsuspected, the Apex MTX will buck its driver over the windshield or to the side when the throttle is shut down.
All in all, Yamaha understands mountain riders. This sled has all the mountain rider amenities we demand, tall seat, tall windshield, tall and hooked handlebars, excellent mountain ski, fine balance, and wide running boards. The motor is torque happy and gives it pilot that muscle-sled feel.
In spite of all the hype the 800s receive, and rightfully so, do not forget the Apex. Though it is relegated to the back seat on the bus, it is a sweetly balanced and refined to impeccable smoothness.
While we may currently live in an 800 world, the Apex MTX remains a sweetheart. The Nytro MTX is fun, we admit, but the Apex MTX’s power, its 16-inch wide track and feathery light balance allow us to haul the 660-pound sled up any mountain and through any crosscut with little worry. Get it stuck, though, and you’d better hope your friends are good pals. The key with the Apex MTX is knowing when to turn out from a highmark before gravity and weight take over momentum, or knowing when the lighter 800s are in their element and you, the Apex MTX rider, are not.
|2010 Yamaha Apex MTX Specs|
|Engine||Yamaha Genesis 150FI; liquid-cooled, 998cc 4-stroke four; Mikuni 39mm throttle fuel injection|
|Drive||Yamaha YVXC variable ratio drive and driven|
|Front Suspension||Yamaha double wishbone; 7.0-inches maximum travel; 40mm aluminum body gas shocks|
|Rear Suspension||Yamaha ProMountain 162; 14.0-inches maximum travel; 36mm KYB aluminum body, high pressure gas shock|
|Brake||Yamaha 4-piston hydraulic with lightweight ventilated disc|
|Ski Stance||38-in center to center|
|Track||Yamaha Camoplast 16 x 162 x 2.25|
|Weight||NA (600+ 2009 Apex MTX)|
|Fuel Capacity||7.0 US Gal|
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