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On June 28, 2023,Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced plans for an eventual withdrawal of the snowmobile business. The 2024 model year will be the final for available production in the European market, while North America’s final production will be the 2025 model year. Yamaha shared some talking points with the media, which may clear up any “speculations” and help all who read it to have a better understanding of their tough decision. (Included below)

Personally, it bums me out to see Yamaha leave, as I’ve been a lifelong fan of all their products, and many of their snowmobiles stirred my imagination as a youth and drew me closer to this industry.

I’ve been hit with a fair amount of questions (Some thoughtful, some completely ridonculous) on what this will mean for Arctic Cat going forward given the two companies have had a relatively longstanding relationship.

Digging through my archives, I found a press release I had written in 2013 when working for Arctic Cat, which outlined some of the milestone relationship dates with Yamaha. Ive also included that below, and think you’ll enjoy re-reading the release like I did.  At the very end of this post, I’ll give you some of MY thoughts (strictly my opinions) to answer some of the general questions I’ve received/heard/seen.

In a nutshell, it’ll be ok for us Arctic Cat fans and the company. Just take a breath.

Kale – ArcticInsider Owner


1. History of the Yamaha Business and Reasons for Withdrawal

In 1968, Yamaha released its first snowmobile, the SL350, by applying small engine technology which it developed in the motorcycle business. Over the past 55 years, Yamaha developed snowmobiles for sports, leisure, and business use as a means of transportation mainly in snowy areas found in North America and Europe. Yamaha also aimed to grow the business through the early introduction of environmentally-friendly 4-stroke models and alliances with other companies. However, Yamaha has concluded it will be difficult to continue a sustainable business in the snowmobile market. Going forward, Yamaha will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets. 

2. Future Actions

Yamaha will ensure parts availability, service, and related customer satisfaction now and after the snowmobile final production run occurs. Production of the recently introduced 2024 models is underway and scheduled for fall delivery. Yamaha distributors will be working closely with dealers to minimize impact and best position their business over the next 12 – 36 months.

3. Impact on Business Performance

Due to the exit schedule outlined above, the effect on consolidated business results will be minor.

Yamaha snowmobile dealers and customers throughout the world have proven to be among the most passionate. Yamaha thanks and cherishes all for their years of loyalty and shared enjoyment of this special winter pastime.


Why is Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd Japan (YMC), exiting the snowmobile market? 

After careful consideration, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. regretfully made the business decision to focus on higher volume product groups and increase investment in identified growth markets.

How long will Yamaha Motor continue selling snowmobiles?

The 2025 model year will be the last year of Yamaha snowmobile sales in North America. The season will follow the traditional snowmobile schedule through the winter of 2024, at which point there will NOT be a 2026 model year or Spring Power Surge.

Where does a customer get their Yamaha snowmobile serviced?

Yamaha dealers will continue to provide service and parts for Yamaha snowmobiles.

How long will Yamaha supply parts for current or future year Yamaha snowmobiles?

Yamaha Motor is committed to an advanced parts procurement to supply customer demands for years to come.

What about existing deposits for Spring Power Surge?

There is no change to the 2024MY Spring Power Surge. 2024MY deliveries are scheduled to start in the fall of 2023.

How will Yamaha handle warranty fulfillment, either factory or extended?

Yamaha will honor all warranty for the entire term period which was agreed upon at time of purchase.

Will Yamaha ever get back into the snowmobile business?

With this decision, there are no future plans to return to the snowmobile business.

How is Yamaha supporting their dealers during this transition?

Each dealer’s business situation is unique. Yamaha will work with dealers to best position each dealer for continued success in the next 24 – 36 months while focusing on existing product groups and expansion of new opportunities.

How is Yamaha supporting their customers during this transition?

Yamaha’s direction is to continue offering sales, service, parts and warranty up to and including the 2025 model year line of snowmobiles. Current customers can expect the same level of customer support they have traditionally received.

Will Yamaha continue to offer industry support and attend snowmobile events and consumer shows?

Promotional activities are reviewed, planned and budgeted for annually. Yamaha will make decisions about support for these activities on an individual basis.

Arctic Cat Announces Engine and Co-Brand Agreements with Yamaha Motor Corporation 

Combining Arctic Cat’s snowmobile chassis and suspension with the leading 4-stroke engines lead to an exciting future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 20, 2013

Plymouth, MN – Arctic Cat Inc. has entered into an engine supply agreement with Yamaha Motor Corporation to expand its purchase of snowmobile engines starting in the 2014 model year. Arctic Cat initially entered into an agreement to purchase the Yamaha 123cc 4-stroke engines for their youth snowmobile in 2009. This agreement has now been expanded to include select 4-stroke engines from Yamaha.

Arctic Cat’s Snow Division VP/GM, Brad Darling said, “The engine purchasing agreement with Yamaha, combined with the engines we plan to manufacture in-house, will provide our consumers with the most well-rounded engine choices when it comes to technology, reliability and horsepower.”

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Claude Jordan, stated, “Our current Arctic Cat snowmobile chassis is renowned for its lightweight, bump control and precision handling. Combine that with our performance engine options from Yamaha, as well as our state-of-the-art engine manufacturing facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and we guarantee there will be exciting years ahead for Arctic Cat enthusiasts.”

In addition to expanding the engine supply agreement with Yamaha, Arctic Cat has also entered into an agreement to build select Yamaha snowmobiles in their Thief River Falls, MN factory per Yamaha’s specifications. This agreement started in 2012 with Arctic Cat building the Yamaha SRX 120 youth model snowmobile and will now be expanded to include full size performance snowmobiles starting with model year 2014. These snowmobiles will be built to Yamaha specifications using Yamaha 4-stroke engines.

Regarding Yamaha, Jordan goes on to say, “We are very excited how this relationship continues to grow and the opportunities that lie ahead for both companies. Going forward we believe this relationship will provide tremendous value to Arctic Cat, our customers, our dealers and our shareholders.”



The big news shared from Yamaha is THEIR corporate information and messaging to share, NOT Arctic Cat’s. Business continues as usual for Arctic Cat.


Based on the information presented from Yamaha, I’d say No. Yamaha pulled the plug on Yamaha. “After careful consideration, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. regretfully made the business decision to focus on higher volume product groups and increase investment in identified growth markets.”


That answer is unknown. Anyone following this site, or the industry through other sources, knows Arctic Cat (and other OEMs) historically haven’t shared plans for future product information. Not a shocker.

I’ll insert my personal opinion again – I’m a believer we can learn from history, and Arctic Cat has navigated these waters before. Let’s take a look at what we know.

Arctic Cat had a longstanding engine relationship with Suzuki (2- and 4-stroke engines). When the Suzuki relationship ended, everyone thought it was the end of the world (like some of you are right now) and Arctic Cat shifted to designing and building their own C-TEC2 engines in St. Cloud, Mn. Then the Yamaha relationship was introduced to supply four-stroke engines. Now, Yamaha will be leaving.

Will another four-stroke engine supplier come along or will four-strokes disappear from Arctic Cat line-up? Again, none of us knows. With four-strokes occupying a strong percentage of the market, I doubt they’ll disappear.

More of what we know – Textron owns an engine company and a state-of-the-art engine manufacturing facility. They recently designed and built the all-new 600cc 4-stroke engine for the Alterra line of ATVs, a new 600 2-stroke for the CATALYST snowmobile platform, and we’re all expecting a bigger-bore 2-stroke for the CATALYST in the near future.

Past Arctic Cat CEO, Chris Twomey was told, “You’ll never be able to manufacture engines cheaper than Suzuki.” He chuckled and replied, “You’re right. But we can manufacture them cheaper than buying from Suzuki.”

I always loved that response, and time will tell if we are entering a similar “Control our own destiny” situation for all Arctic Cat engines.



  1. I have driven quite a few different 4 stroke snowmobiles over the years and still have questions… Why doesn’t anyone offer a “snowmobile specific” engine for snow use? Rotax uses theirs in watercraft and on road, Polaris uses a version of their off road engine in a snowmobile, and Yamaha engines are available in off road and watercraft we well as snowmobiles. Now I understand the theory of using them across multiple product lines to reduce the tooling costs ETC, but take the marine outboard world, and for some comparison, the ATV world. They use specific engines for their machines and can be built lightweight as possible for that specific purpose. Why can’t or don’t the MFG’s build a super lightweight 4 stroke snowmobile engine? It could be done, and if done right, could change snowmobiling. Make it torquey, rev it about 7500 rpm max, and put it in the 100-110 hp area. 2 or 3 cyl doesnt really matter. My biggest gripe with most modern 4 stroke sleds, is they don’t have the fun factor of a comparable 2 stroke, simply because they are too heavy. MAKE IT SNOW SPECIFIC first, and if you can use it elsewhere, so be it. Look at some boat motors, there are certain HP categories for each MFG where they are just as light or even lighter than a comparable 2 stroke from years ago. Yamaha’s 70 hp outboard comes to mind. The entire motor is 90-100 LB lighter than most of it’s competition. That’s a huge difference. I am hoping that Textron might go down this road now that Yamaha has exited the snowmobile business. They have the tech, just need to execute. Yamaha builds great products, sad to see them go, but the writing is on the wall for all the rest too. FWIW, I like my old 2 stroke with carbs.

    • 1)3 cylinder was snow specific.
      2)Evinrude (BRP) ran etec in marine first then snow. It was far superier to any 4stroke marine engine and still was until they stopped production. You physically can not make a 4stroke lighter with added cam, cam chain, valves.
      3) There is no advantage to 4 stroke other than when boosted for power. For Jo Consumer to pay for an oil change they could have just poured in oil
      4) if they still build a new 4stroke they need to go back to twin cylinder for better handling. Better yet turbo. Remember why twins took over higher powered triples in the 00s?

    • AC had the Z1/Z1 turbo designed for snowmobile use only. It should have been put in the wildcat, but wasn’t. Now RG speed is using it in their sxs

      • You positive RG is using the Suzuki “Z1” engine in his production UTVs? I don’t follow the fella, but feel like I read Chinese manufacturer, Hisun, was building his rigs and engines.

        • I’ve been following RG/speed since the beginning, go back and watch the tech talk videos he posted, showing the engines inside and out, up close. They are Z1 for sure. Even have all the unused bosses that must be for manufacturing. Not sure if he purchased the tooling from suzuki, or just outright copied it for his production.
          He has changed the cylinder head to mirror the intake and exhaust, so the exhaust goes out the back, and intake in the front.
          He even worked with the guys at hypersports (who have been making huge power from the Z1 since the beginning)

          • I watched the vid krommer. The motor is being made in China by Hisun. Not a copy of the Zuk motor. Might look similar, but most engines in that layout look that way. Get off the ammonia buddy. It is clouding your judgement.

          • If you weren’t absolutely clueless, I’d say go and watch the videos. Anyone who has seen or worked on a Z1, recognizes it immediately. Hell even with the new head, and mag end cover its obvious.

          • You’re a clueless as ever and its obvious you’ve never seen a Z1 engine. In the early videos, they are clearly using an ac engine. They even worked with Glen and hypersports. The production version is an exact copy of the zuke, or from the same tooling, it has all fluid passages in the same places, same core plugs, same coolant fittings, in the same locations etc.

  2. Yamaha has had one foot out of the door for some time. Ultimately I think Yamaha’s unwavering commitment to producing only 4 stroke sleds was the proverbial nail in the coffin. While four strokes have become more popular, the core of the market was, and still is, high performance 2 strokes. It’s a real shame too, because they made excellent 2 stroke engines….hell, they make great engines period. Ride and handling has always been the weak point in their sled division. Lack of growth in the sled market is obviously another huge factor.

    With Yamaha’s departure, lets hope that Textron’s Arctic Cat is prepared to capitalize with a class leading four stroke turbo to fill the void and bring in all the Yamaha guys (who I’m sure will be giving a hard look at Ski-Doo). Lord knows they’ve pinched enough pennies to do so.

    • In slight defense of Yamaha’s choice to go four-stroke, most of us forget during that timeframe, the tightening noose of ridiculously strict emission threats were looming for the two-stroke, and none of the OEMs really knew what that meant for the future. Regardless of Yamaha’s choice to draw a line in the snow, I too wish they had developed more two-stroke offerings…I bet they would have been pretty stellar.

    • I think Yamaha has done a great job bringing the retro graphic schemes back to the SRX. Im particularly fond of the 22 SRX in Red/White/Gold.

      • OH my, this 2024 SRX in Gold/Black is one of THE most gorgeous sleds ever built, just like its older sibling 1980 SRX. I’m CAT thru-and-thru, but, C’mon, those sleds are mint!

  3. I think the Chris Twomey quote hits the nail on the head. This is a big opportunity for Cat to develop or adapt a 4 stroke motor that they can build at a cheaper cost than buying from Yamaha.

    If it has to be a twin to fit into the Catalyst chassis so be it. I’d rather have a cost competitive twin than an expensive triple, if that’s what it comes down to. Judging by the pricing on the Yamaha powered sleds Cat has to come up with lower cost options to be competitive, especially in the NA 4 stroke market.

    The Catalyst appears to have a chaincase that isn’t needed for belt drive so I think Cat is planning to put in a 4 stroke at some point. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

  4. I see this as an opportunity for cat to build there own motor that can cross from snow to SxS market. But in same hand Yam has a nice new twin in there adventure bike that could be impressive with some boost.

  5. Too bad about Yamaha but the writing was on the wall. I’m thinking Cat’s future plans with the Catalyst didn’t include Yamaha in any way which was the “final nail in the coffin” for them. I wonder if MY25 will also be the last year for the Procross. On another note does anyone actually know when the Catalyst sleds are going into production? Can’t wait to get my RXC.

    • Here are tentative build dates by engine category for snowmobiles. Again, this is tentative and your dealer should be updated via Cat Tracker. 400s are built and shipped, 800s April/May/Sept, 998 Turbo May/June, 120 April/July, 1049 July, 200 Aug, 600 Oct/Nov

  6. I owned four Yamahas during my snowmobile days. An early 70s 292, 80 Enticer 340, early 90s Phazer, and lastly, the lemon of the bunch, the evil handling 96 Vmax 500XT. The long travel(for the time)rear combined with the tired old TSS front, made for a machine that darted all over the trail. We tried Easy Steers, adjusting the limiter strap, etc., etc., all to no avail. Yamaha eventually admitted to me on the phone that they knew they had a problem child, but I was stuck with it. That soured me on Yamaha for good. I’m surprised they lasted this long, TBH.

  7. The question is who has been designing the new engine(s) to replace yamaha? In order to hit the snow in time to replace yamaha, development would have needed to start before, or just after textron took over and fired 90% of the engine department at ac.

  8. Cats dirt products are walking dead already, they just don’t know it. In the 5-6 years Textron has owned them, they have come out with one new ATV. That’s not what anyone would call an off road division. It’s too bad, they had a pretty solid following, but most have gone to another brand already.

  9. We’re big cat family too,
    But couldn’t get a 23 Tcat in all of western Canada last season!
    So had one shipped from a dealer in Quebec ,
    Wasn’t cheap,
    But rare in these parts
    Haha ,
    Also picked up a leftover 23 SRX locally,
    Hate to say it, but Yamaha can make an arctic cat look better than arctic cat,


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