The Yamaha Apex first made its debut in 2006 and has since been a very popular option for trail snowmobile aficionados. Yamaha axed the model in 2018, but the fanbase is still strong, primarily thanks to the powerful and reliable 4-stroke engine.
Indeed, Yamaha is an engine manufacturer first and foremost, and as such, produces very reliable engines. However, riding a snowmobile is always challenging and sometimes requires quick repairs on the move — after all, no matter how good a sled is, it’s never bulletproof. Therefore, it’s always highly recommended to make sure you have your Yamaha Apex owner’s manual with you and follow the basic guidelines and how-to instructions, especially if it’s your first snowmobile. Still, once you’ve got that covered, the Apex is pretty hard to beat.
With that said, let’s have a look at some of the reasons why the Yamaha Apex was, and still is, one of the best snowmobiles ever made.
Interestingly, the Yamaha Apex was one of the first snowmobiles with a 4-stroke engine and basically changed the game in the years following its release, which undoubtedly led to its growing popularity.
The last 2018 Apex LE is by far the most powerful of the lot, packing a 998 cc inline four-stroke engine producing 150 hp — more than enough to tackle steep terrains and overcome treacherous paths.
And while power may certainly pale in front of the more performance-oriented Yamaha Sidewinder rated at 180 hp, the Apex still holds its ground as one of the ultimate 4-stroke sleds available today.
The throttle response is also quite decent — a slight twist of the throttle sends the snowmobile catapulting through the snow. Unfortunately, the handling of the Apex isn’t its strong suit, mostly because of the heavy 4-stroke engine.
Moreover, it’s important to keep in mind that a 4-stroke engine is significantly more complicated to repair than a 2-stroke model. However, the pros more than easily overtake the cons here and that’s nothing you can’t take care of using a quality Yamaha Apex service manual. Whether it is routine service or a complete overhaul, you’ll find everything you need in there.
Not so sure where to find one? eManualOnline offers owners and repair manuals for pretty much any snowmobile out there and they cost even less than a single spark plug replacement at the dealer — really a no-brainer here.
Yamaha Reactive Suspension System
The Yamaha Reactive Suspension System (YRSS) is an integral part of Apex’s unmatched performance. Over the years, Yamaha spent millions in R&D to develop a state-of-the-art suspension system providing a new dynamic to the way snowmobiles drive.
As a result, the brand new suspension links the front KYB high-pressure gas-powered shocks by using a single nitrogen gas reservoir mounted under the hood, while the rear Fox® FLOAT air shock absorber ensures the rider feels like gliding on clouds even on uneven terrains.
Additionally, the Apex also features an independent double-wishbone front suspension and a front stabilizer bar. All these features make the Apex a very comfortable snowmobile that you can drive for hours without needing a rest.
The Apex is a large snowmobile, and even though it is marketed as a performance model, it still offers a lot of storage space. Owners get the standard under-seat storage and front storage as well, enough to pack all your belongings, including helmets, your Yamaha Apex owner’s manual, gloves, ropes, ski boots — pretty much everything you want to bring with you up the mountain.
And if that isn’t enough, Yamaha also lets customers equip their Apex snowmobiles with customized bags for additional storage space.
Bright LED Headlights
Yamaha designed the Apex’s headlights to provide maximum visibility, considering that most owners will take their snowmobile into the open wilderness, usually devoid of any lighting. Furthermore, the deep forests and snow-capped areas make it harder to drive at night, and this is where the Apex’s large and powerful headlights come into play.
The Apex utilizes cleverly placed reflectors to maximize the spread of the LED’s bright beam and illuminate everything on its path, almost making it look like daytime. Not only that, the LED lights are highly power-efficient and don’t take much of a toll on the battery, which is a must in freezing conditions.
Despite its size, the Apex is still pretty nimble and easy to maneuver. Thanks to the electric power-steering-assist mechanism taking care of the Tuner II skis, the Apex feels light and maneuverable even in the sharpest turns.
The riding position is also well-adjusted so that riders can get a clear view of the path ahead while also being guarded against the cold wind by the windshield. On top of that, the seat’s forward positioning also ensures drivers are closer to the center balance point, improving the overall stability of the sled.
The Apex also features heated handgrips, perfect for freezing temperatures, and the handlebar in itself is among the industry’s most convenient and well-equipped setups. If you plan on driving long distances with your snowmobile, this is what you need!
The reasonable maintenance cost is one of the main reasons why the Yamaha Apex is so appealing. The 4-stroke engine requires little to no attention and will last you for years without any problems — assuming you stay on top of your sled’s maintenance schedule, of course.
What’s even better is that almost all repairs can be done at home by simply following a Yamaha Apex repair manual. Of course, you’ll need some basic knowledge and a couple of tools but you’ll find every troubleshooting and repair procedures you need in there.
There’s no denying it; doing most of the repairs on your own is by far your best bet to keep repair bills on the lower side here.
The Yamaha Apex is undoubtedly a legend in the snowmobile industry and has developed a large fan base. If you want a taste of 4 cylinder power and excellent maneuverability, a Yamaha Apex is well worth considering. Whether you take it for weekend adventure trips or use it for emergency purposes, the Apex will always have your back.
However, since it was discontinued in 2018, you might have to shop around a little before you can get your hands on one. Nonetheless, you can still find very decent secondhand models with low mileage online. In all cases, make sure to have it inspected before purchase and use the report to negotiate the price to your advantage — after all, you can always replace those worn-out spark plugs once you get it back home, save tons of money and still own one of the best snowmobiles ever made!