‘94-‘98 Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin Specs and Review [Video]

The VMAX 600 Twin was a high-performance 2-stroke snowmobile intended for trail riding. This sled built its reputation on its outstanding reliability and great overall performance. Yamaha manufactured the twin-cylinder VMAX 600 between 1994 and 1998 and upgraded to the VMAX 600 Triple in 1999.

If you want to find out more about this classic Yamaha snowmobile, this post is for you.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin review!

Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin Review

The VMAX Family

Yamaha revealed the innovative VMAX series for 1994 with the introduction of the VMAX 600 and VMAX 500.

This family was expanded with the top-of-the-line VMAX 700 in 1997.

Both the 500 and 600 were powered by twin engines until 1999 when the 600 was upgraded with a de-tuned version of the 700 “red head” triple engine.

Because of this, the 1994-1998 models are known as “VMAX 600 Twin” while from 1999 onwards it was referred to as “VMAX 600 Triple.”

We also have to mention their 4-cylinder brothers, the VMAX-4 750 and VMAX-4 800.

In summary, the members of the VMAX family were as follows:

  • 1994-2001 VMAX 500 (Twin)
  • 1994-1998 VMAX 600 (Twin)
  • 1999-2003 VMAX 600 (Triple)
  • 1997-2002 VMAX 700 (Triple)
  • 1992-1994 VMAX-4 750 (Quad)
  • 1995-1997 VMAX-4 800 (Quad)

The 600 was the longest-living model in this series, as Yamaha marketed it for 10 years in not less than 31 different versions, including:

Yamaha VMAX 600 Model Chart

YearModelModel CodeEngine
1996VMAX 600VX600WTwin
1996VMAX 600 DXVX600DXWTwin
1997VMAX 600 SXVX600SXATwin
1997VMAX 600 XTVX600XTATwin
1997VMAX 600 XTCVX600XTCATwin
1998VMAX 600 SXVX600SXBTwin
1998VMAX 600 XTVX600XTBTwin
1998VMAX 600 XTCVX600XTCBTwin
1999VMAX 600 CAVX600C)Triple
1999VMAX 600 SXVX600SXBCTriple
2002VMAX 600ERVX600ERGTriple
2003VMAX 600ERVX600ERHTriple

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the 600 Twin in detail!

Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin Review

The VMAX 600 Twin was considered one of the Top 10 snowmobiles in 1996 by SnowGoer, and with good reason.

This high-performance trail snowmobile was known for its reliable engine, innovative features, and great overall performance.

However, it was less popular than its triple brothers and the flagship VMAX-4 quads, but it offered great performance for a decent price tag.

The early (’94-’98) Yamaha VMAX 600 engine was designed with a big-bore configuration of the 500 engine. Hence the nickname “Twin.”

This 2-stroke, liquid-cooled, 598cc, parallel 2-cylinder engine featured a stock single pipe, two Mikuni TM36 carbs, CDI ignition, and an automatic oil injection system. In the 94-95 model years this power mill delivered 95hp out of the box.

In 1996, its performance was increased by new carburetor and clutch settings, It also got a thicker head gasket and a redesigned high-flow exhaust, featuring a larger Y pipe.

Thanks to these upgrades, engine power of the VMAX 600 Twin jumped up to roughly 97-98hp.

  • The sled shared many of its innovative features with the high-end VMAX-4 line, including:
    Telescopic strut front suspension (TSS) with two nitrogen gas shocks
  • Yamaha Pro Action rear suspension (with rebuildable gas shocks and adjustable coil springs)
  • Lightweight skis
  • Plastic ski skins
  • Deep and well-countered seat
  • And more

Besides the engine, the body of the VMAX 600 Twin was also heavily redesigned for 1996.

The revamped model returned with more leg room and better maneuverability. It also enjoyed a revamped seat, and a taller windshield on high-end models.

The VMAX 600 Twin was offered in many different configurations, including the SX, XT, XTC, and Deluxe.

There’s no question that the SX was the sportiest model in the VMAX family. It was designed with stiffer suspensions, which ensured a lower center of gravity.

In terms of suspension travel, the Yamaha Telescopic Strut Suspension offered 7” on the front while the Pro Action rear suspension offered 8”.

Thanks to these features the VMAX 600 SX was faster and more aggressive in the corners.

The XT and XTC models were tuned for comfort rather than performance. They were equipped with long travel suspensions (front: 8” and rear: 11.5”), high windshield, and some more bells and whistles.

The most featured member of this series was the Deluxe, which came standard with reverse, electric start, high windshield, and dual mirrors.

Aside from these differences, the VMAX 600 Twins were pretty much the same under the hood.

For higher performance, these sleds were often modified with twin pipes, cold air kits, intake kits, and more.

Yamaha understood the market needs and replaced the engine of the VMAX 600 for a more lively triple in 1999.

As one may expect, the popularity of the ’99-’03 VMAX 600 Tiple far surpassed its predecessor.

Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin Probelms

Although the VMAX 600 Twin was known as a well-designed and reliable 2-stroke Yamaha snowmobile, it had some minor problems.

Without the need for completeness, the most well-known of them were as follows:

  • Overgearing: The early (‘94-‘96) 600 was extremely overgeared, which could be easily fixed by replacing the gears and the chain. (For example, the gear and chain set of the SRX was commonly used for this mod.)
  • Weak primary clutch: The stock internals of the primary clutch were prone to wearing out very fast, especially the rollers, which went wrong in a short time. Replacing them along with the flyweights and the bushings with high-quality aftermarket units typically solved this issue.
  • Not-the-best suspensions: Many riders claimed that the weakest point of the VMAX 600 was its suspension system. Sure, it did the job decently, but there were many better suspensions at that time. The early ‘94-‘95 models even lacked the adjustable front shocks.
  • High fuel consumption: The VMAX 600 used a lot of fuel, but what classic 2-stroke sled doesn’t?

Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin Specs Chart

Note that this sled had been manufactured for many years and in many configurations, and listing all of them would be nearly impossible.

But as a reference, we’ve compiled the key specs of the 1998 Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin into these charts.

Note that the specifications may be different in other model years.

Yamaha VMAX 600 Dimensions and Capacities

Dimensions1998 VMAX 600 Twin
Length2760 mm (108.7 in)
Width1200 mm (47.2 in)
Height (VX600XT, XTC, XTR)1230 mm (48.4 in)
Height (VX600XTCD)1300 mm (51.2 in)
Ski Tread1070 mm (42.1 in)
Fuel Tank Capacity45 L (11.9 US gal)
Oil Tank Capacity2.4 L (2.5 US qt)

Yamaha VMAX 600 Weight

Model (1998 VMAX 600 Twin)Dry Weight (lb)
VX600XT219 kg (483 lb)
VX600 XCT218 kg (481 lb)
VX600XTR/XTCD231 kg (509 lb)

Yamaha VMAX 600 Engine Specs

Engine Specs1998 VMAX 600 Twin
Engine typeLiquid-cooled, 2-stroke, 7-port
Cylinder ArrangementParallel, 2-cylinder
Engine stroke2
Cooling systemLiquid-cooled
Bore x Stroke2.94 x 2.68 in (74.8 x 68 mm)
Idle Speed1550 +/- 100 r/min
CarburetorMikuni TM36 x 2
Engine oil typeYAMALUBE 2-cycle oil
Throttle OperationHandle lever, right-hand operated
Fuel typeUnleaded gasoline. Pump octane (R+M)/2; 88
Starting system (VX600XT/XTC)Manual with recoil starter
Starting system (VX600XTR/XTCD)Electric and manual with recoil starter

Yamaha VMAX 600 Track

Track Features1998 VMAX 600 Twin
TrackMolded rubber, fiber glass rod reinforced
Length on ground29.6 in (752mm)
Width15.0 in (381mm)
Track deflection0.98-1.18 in (25-30mm) / 10 kg {22lbs}
Drive SprocketQuadruple polyethylene, 9 teeth
Suspension typeSlide rail suspension

Yamaha VMAX 600 Transmission

Transmission1998 VMAX 600 Twin
Primary reduction systemBelt
Primary reduction ratio3.8:1-1:1
TypeAutomatic centrifugal engagement, infinitely variable
DriveSilent chain enclosed in oil bath
Secondary Reduction Ratio1.70 (39/23)

Yamaha VMAX 600 Electric Features

Electric Features1998 VMAX 600 Twin
Ignition systemC.D.I.
Spark plug typeBR9ECS (NGK)
Spark plug gap0.028 – 0.031 in (0.7 – 0.8 mm)
Headlight12 V, 60/55 W x 1
Tail/brake light12 V, 8/23 W x 1
Meter light12 V, 1.7 W x 2
Indicator light12 V, 3.4 W x 3

These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin For Sale

As Yamaha produced a lot of them in the ‘90s, you can still find many VMAX 600 Twins on the used market.

If you are considering buying one, it’s recommended that you start your research in Facebook fan groups and Yamaha snowmobile forums.

Besides some potential deals, you can find a lot of valuable information about this sled from these sources.

Also, you may find some used Yamaha VMAX 600 Twins for sale on Craigslist, eBay, or snowmobile ad sites.

If you are considering other brands, the main competitors of this sled were the Polaris Indy XLT, Ski-Doo Formula Z, and the Arctic Cat ZR 580.

You can’t go wrong with any of these!

Takeaway – FAQs About the Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin

What year did the Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin come out?

Yamaha introduced the VMAX 600 Twin for the 1994 season.

What years was the Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin made?

The Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin was available from 1994 to 1998 and was phased out by the 1999 VMAX 600 Triple in 1999.

What size was a Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin?

The (98) Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin measured 108.7 inches in length, 47.2 inches in width, and 48.4/51.2 inches in height.

What was the track size on the Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin?

The track of the (98) Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin was 15 inches wide, while its length on the ground was 29.6 inches.

How much did a Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin weigh?

The (98) Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin weighed 485-509 pounds depending on the model.

What kind of engine was in a Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin?

The power source of the VMAX 600 Twin was a liquid-cooled, 2-stroke, 598cc, twin engine featuring a single-pipe exhaust, two rack-mounded Mikuni TM36 flatside carburetors, and CDI ignition.

How much horsepower did a Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin have?

Thanks to its powerful twin engine, the 1994-1995 Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin delivered 95hp, while the revised 1996-1998 models produced about 97-98hp.

How fast did a Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin go?

The top speed of the Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin was about 100 mph on radar or GPS.

Was the Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin a 2-stroke?

The Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin was powered by a 2-stroke engine.

How Much Does a Yamaha VMAX 600 Twin Cost?

The asking price of a used VMAX 600 Twin varies between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on the year and condition.



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