Based on Snowmobile.com user ratings, four Yamaha snowmobiles are ranked in the top five of their respective categories, compared to 12 from Ski-Doo, eight from Arctic Cat and six from Polaris, as of May 2015. Yamaha snowmobiles have a reputation for high quality, but have less popularity than rival brands.
Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat, Polaris and Yamaha are the four most popular snowmobile brands and compete against one another. Yamaha is known for using four-stroke engines across its range, and it claims this makes its snowmobiles more durable and reliable than those of other manufacturers. It also claims these four-stroke engines use less oil and fuel.
Snowmobiles are divided into six categories. In the touring category on Snowmobile.com, the Yamaha RS Venture GT was ranked second, and the RS Venture TF was ranked fifth. In the utility category, the Yamaha RS Viking Professional was ranked fourth. In the youth category, the Yamaha SRX 120 was ranked second. Yamaha didn't have any snowmobiles in the top five of the mountain, performance or trail categories.
Yamaha's snowmobiles were initially criticized for their higher weights, caused by the four-stroke engines. However, Yamaha snowmobiles have won in professional snowcross races. At the 2006 WPSA snowcross championship, a Yamaha snowmobile became the first to win a professional race with a four-stroke engine.