2011 Apex Ski

The finest wear rods and... we can prove it!


This ski could be as dangerous as the 2008 Nytro Rubber Stop!!!


Yamaha 2011 Brochure


What's new in the 2011 Apex


New Ski – New skis have great cornering agility and work in tandem with the EPS to reduce hunting and darting.


15mm Trail – The new 15mm trail offset on the ski mount helps minimize inside ski lift due to centrifugal force during turns. This offset also helps the new Apex achieve its amazing smooth handling, including its excellent straight line performance.


The new Apex SE has the industry-first Electric Power Steering (EPS) which tightens steering for superior comfort while delivering superb cornering agility. The system is velocity sensing, so it provides the greatest amount of assistance from 0 to 35 mph, keeping you feeling great in the tight and twisties, with assistance gradually tapering off as speeds increase.

  1. NEW! Industry-first EPS system for lighter steering
  2. NEW! Ski with aggressive keel design



Saddle-less Ski

2011 Apex Ski 2012 Trail Ski

Total Length

42 5/8”

43 ½”

Front to Keel

2 5/8”

12 ½”

Keel Length


27 1/2”

Rear to keel


3 1/2”

Front to rod Pocket  

15 5/8”

15 5/8”

Front to Spindle  

25 1/2”

26 1/2”

Keel Width

1 ¼”

1 1/2”

Keel Height 



Keel flat contact length

12 ½”



The original RX-1 Keel was 3/4" high. The saddle-less ski keel is 1" high.
So whats special about the new 7/8" high Keel?

2005 Ski Specifications



2001 Apex Ski

Click to Enlarge


What the magazines are saying:
Yamaha Promo Photo




Apparently they wrote what they were told and did not check it out.

What the magazines are saying:
Snow Goer   |   OSM Magazine   |   American Snowmobiler   |   Snow Tech

The only positive change Yamaha made was to increase the keel width from 1 ¼” to 1 1/2”.
This will act similar to Ski Savers, in that it will limit how far the keel can fall into the ruts of narrower keels but the edges will wear faster.



Apex Compare


Placing the skis side by side with a 3/8” rod through the spindle bolt holes shows the 2nd wear rod bolt hole went from 3” from the spindle to 4”, indicating the spindle bolt holes have been moved to the rear 1”.


Supertrax International


Apex Compare 2


Aligning the rear of both skis puts the wear rod pockets in alignment. The extra 7/8” of the new ski shows to the front of the ski.

How the wear rod relates to the pocket is a disaster. Only 7” of the host bar is totally exposed, 4” in front of the spindle bolt hole and 3” behind. The host bar is totally hidden 8” from the spindle to the front and 7” to the rear. That means on the stock 3” carbide there is only 2” of straight steel in front and behind the carbide. That places the 3” carbide 2 5/8” in front of the spindle and only 3/8” behind.



Click to Enlarge


Because the flat is only 7” long the maximum length of turning carbide would be 6”.


The new bends in the host bar will cut the life of the host bar in half, because most of the host bar does not make contact.


Because there is only 3” of fully exposed host bar behind the spindle there is NO trailing effect, therefore twitching/darting will occur.


You can gain control by using Ski Savers and the previous carbide rod.



Click to Enlarge

Or, use the previous Saddle-less Ski with our system!

Keel Wear

New rubber stop

Apex Rod

The Carbide was not moved to the aft as you can see.
Original (rear) vs. 2011 rod (front)




Am Sno, Dec 2010
Page 20, by Mark Savage
2011 Yamaha Apex


Reworking the front suspension and skis were overdue on the Apex, …


The new Apex corners flatter than the 2010 model thanks to new spindle geometry and an adjustment to the ski mounting locations. Ski lift is less of a problem too, although not totally eliminated. Naturally the speed-sensitive power steering makes steering extremely easy. The feel is lighter than we've felt on almost any sled, exactly what you'd expect from power steering. The assist is strongest until about 40 mph when it really begins to taper off. At higher speeds you feel more traditionally in control of the sled, like you do on most sleds. Also, at fast speeds the assist is still working, just not nearly as much. You'll still feel that flat cornering too, thanks to the geometry changes (and you never thought you'd enjoy geometry!)


There's no denying that Apex's steering effort is minimal at slow speeds and the weakest of grannies or grandpas could run it all day at normal speeds and likely not be tired from steering effort. But we're not sure there is enough feedback to really feel the changes in the trail at low speeds.


Most of our test riders agreed that we sometimes were over-steering into sharp turns because of that lack of feedback through the bars. We cranked on the steering more than was needed. But we imagine we'll learn to deal with that over the course of a winter.


My problem was I found myself diving down into the turn's apex and getting there too early, forcing me to correct a bit before accelerating out the other side. I was talking to myself a lot inside my helmet!


Apex's new skis also still need a little work. Their keel is wider and further back on the ski supposedly putting more of the front flat portion in contact with the snow. But we still found some darting with these, especially on hardpack, but in other conditions as well.


SnowTech, Dec 2010
Page 44


This new ski has been tried and tested and we're told it will act the way we expect it to with less darting and reduced steering effort...


Insanity is: 2012 Trail Ski

2011 vs. 2012 Keel


Apex center lines

Relationship of bolt holes to skis (click to enlarge)


Minnesota Snowmobiling, September 2011, page 17



The 2011 and 2012 skis are exactly the same except for the different locations of the spindle bolt holes.


The 2010 saddle-less ski is functionally better than both the 2011 and the 2012 ski!!!



Am Snow, 2012 Buyers Guide
Page 20-21, by Mark Savage
2011 Yamaha Apex XTX


One place we feel the Apex could be improved is in its handling. Not the effort, that's smoothed out by Yamaha's EPS system. That power steering unit makes steering effort feathery light and something anyone could enjoy for 300 or more miles in a day. Our riders were surprised at how little shoulder strain they felt at the end of long rides.


That's all great, but there's still more push in the corners than we'd like, especially in bounteous fresh snow conditions. Granted we put about 180 Snow Stud 1.38 inch. Warthog studs in the track so that will make just about any sled push a little, but we offset that with 10 inch runners up front to help it dig into the snow better and give us more responsive handling. The carbides helped a lot to be sure.


For 2012 Yamaha goes with a new trail ski and moves the mounting point to put more of the keel behind the spindle. Early tests on 2012 models ridden out West showed an improvement to the cornering.


Page 32

The only new thing on the 2012 XTX is an 8HV trail ski. The bolt mounting point hole on the ski was moved forward, which means there is more ski and keel behind the spindle ski mount. There is a 15mm trail off-set with this ski/spindle system helping keep the sled flatter and keeping it from getting stuck in ruts. It holds a better line.


The keel is shorter than with the 2011 ski, as the keel does not go all the way up the front of the ski, but keel depth is the same. This ski, along with the third generation independent double wishbone front-end technology, new spindle, and 40mm aluminum HPG shocks, results in more aggressive handling and better cornering. Usually such a change to a more aggressive ski would be associated with extra steering effort for the rider. However, because Yamaha's Electric Power Steering is standard, there is no noticeable extra muscle needed to take corners faster, tighter, and better. Yamaha tells us that darting also has been reduced with these skis, but we all agree we need more time in a bigger variety of snow conditions to be sure.


Whether you are riding 100mph or 30mph the effort it takes to move this sled around is minimal.



Scotts Comments

I don't believe there is an improvement!!! I've heard it in the rumor-mill and seen it in magazines that they have mentioned moving the spindle bolt hole forward 5mm or 3/16" on the 2012 ski. SO WHAT!!! That equates to a change without any significant functional improvement. I've also heard they are using the less functional 2011 carbide on the 2012 ski.


I'd request 2010 saddle-less skis!!!





SnowTech, March 2011

Page 59-61


FX Nytro models also see incremental improvements for 2012. They also get the new "8HV" skis that are still being sorted out as to exact details. Yamaha was looking to reduce the darting and ski lift, so they've been tweaking the mounting locations, tweaking the keel length, tweaking everything that the patent attorneys will let them tweak. Ski designs and profiles are very well protected and guarded by not only other snowmobile manufactures but also the aftermarket ski manufactures. Many times good ideas can't be built and sold simply because somebody holds a patent to do so, so engineers are always trying to offer the best ski possible and stay out of legal trouble. Most snowmobilers do not realize how much of an impact this has on what can and can not be offered in terms of ski designs.


Back to the trail sleds, the mighty Apex, Apex XTX and all-air Apex SE models return for duty with little more than a fresh new look and a new pair of skis. The details of this new 8HV ski design are still evolving, but it appears the mounting hole on the ski will be slightly forward, resulting in the ski being slightly further back on the spindle. Again, the final specification is still being worked on, so stay tuned.




Scotts Comments


This is scary! They really don't have a clue!


After checking out the earIier steel ski contours, it doesn't take someone skilled in the art to see the similarities or to see that their "spin" fooled the Patent Office, in regards to plastic skis.


Changing the bottom profile, of a ski, should not be patentable because what else is there to do to a ski? The Patent Office does not verify applicant's statements made about their ski or previous skis or their function. They are not concerned whether or not the item even works as claimed. "Spin" is the only word to describe what they have provided. All Aftermarket skis function similarly to OEM skis because the "Laws of Physics" treat all skis the same.


The newer ski designs either increase the effort to turn the handlebars or reduce it by decreasing the wear rod contact.


What the different profiles have proven is that similar profiles follow similar ruts. Ie. Precision skis vs Simmons skis is the biggest example, but not the last exampIe. The Curve Skis have darting issues despite their claims.


Dual keel skis dart following eachother just like center keel skis dart following eachother. That is why I expect the Simmons Gen III and Split Rail skis to dart following Precision skis if not the first two Simmons skis.


If Yamaha's attorneys aren't clever enough to demonstrate how bogus their claims of downsides and upsides are they are not earning their retainer. I have many more old skis in the rafters, if they are interested! I'd be willing to help them.



Yamaha 2012 ski design?

2012 Brochure, page 13

The Apex style trail ski reduces darting and provides confident handling.


Scotts Comments


I was disappointed with Yamaha at the Lake Geneva Races. On Friday they implied the skis, on the sleds, were the new 2012 skis.

On Saturday after I told them I had measured from the spindle bolt to the rear and it was the same as the 2011 ski they acknowledged they could be the 2011 ski. One of them commented that they were still tweaking the new design.

At the Green Bay "Sneak Peek" I heard them telling snowmobilers that the new skis would have the bugs worked out.

This tells me several things:

1st - There would be no new 2012 ski if the 2011 ski had performed up to expectations.

2nd - The magazine reviews are questionable, at best, for the 2012 ski.

3rd - If the guys who came up with the 2011 ski are the same ones designing the 2012 ski. I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole!!!

Finally, if you bought a 2011 or 2012 Apex you deserve "Free" 2010 replacement skis and carbides which can greatly improve control!!!

7-20-2011 - I have heard and read they still don't seem to have a clue!




SnowGoer, Spring 2011
2012 Preview,
Page 42-43, More Power (Steering) From Yamaha

For 2012, Yamaha electric power steering (EPS) has expanded to other models.

…so the RS Vectors get an Apex-style ski that came out last season. The 2012 version, called 8HV, wasn't finalized when this issue went to print, but we're told there has been a minor change in how the ski will mount to the spindle. The ski has a shorter keel than previous designs.

Revised suspension geometry has been employed, too. A new spindle that essentially mounts the ski farther back on the machine should provide more predictable handling, reduced ski lift for flatter cornering and less darting.

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