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2007 Yamaha Phazer GT Long-Term Trail Test (part one)


by Pascal Bastien ,

2007 Yamaha Phazer GT Long-Term Trail Test (part three)
2007 Yamaha Phazer GT Long-Term Trail Test (part two)

A revolutionary machine
Yamaha literally reinvented the snowmobile with its new 2007 Phazer GT. In the 1980s, this model created a lot of stir thanks to a forward-thinking design, high levels of versatility and a very affordable price. At first, though, this sled had more critics than admirers. But two years after its introduction, the Phazer became one of the best sellers in its class. No wonder: it offered outstanding value and a whole new approach to snowmobiling. Today, Yamaha is trying to duplicate that success with an all-new, 4-stroke Phazer.

First ride
During our first ride, there were 4 inches of snow underneath the track of our tester. Yet, the conditions near Val-des-Bois, Quebec, were surprisingly good. Trails 43 and 315 of the Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (FCMQ), stretching over 120 kilometers inside the Papineau-Labelle wildlife preserve, between Lake Simon and Lake Serpent, mostly use a wide, slick gravel road that requires no more than a few inches of snow to be rideable.

Despite a temperature of minus 25 degrees Celsius, the engine of the Phazer had no problem starting. Thanks to the electronic fuel injection system, it warms up at 2,700 rpm and then drops to 1,700 rpm -- its normal idling speed. At idle, this powerplant sounds very much like some Japanese V-twins. A slight twist of the throttle sends the engine revving enthusiastically. I was amazed at how this mill jumps to higher revs faster than most 2-stroke units.

Once underway, a gentle pressure on the throttle will increase the engine speed to about 8,000 rpm. Mid-range torque is much stronger than with any 2-stroke engine of similar displacement. By the way, our tester was brand new and the manufacturer recommends a break-in period of 160 kilometers before you can maintain engine speed well beyond 8,000 rpm. Still, at that speed, the Phazer GT reaches 70 kph, which incidentally is the speed limit on the FCMQ's regulated trail network.

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