Old Sled Sighting—1984 Yamaha Inviter: a truly unique snowmobile that missed the mark(et)

The Inviter has become a collectable oddity today due in part to its funky one-up styling, single cylinder liquid-cooled engine and upside-down airplane steering yoke.

Picture of a vintage Yamaha Inviter.
A collector's favourite, the unique Yamaha Inviter. Photo: SnoRiders

After a few weeks hiatus, we are pleased to announce the return of our popular Old Sled Sighting column. Being always on the look-out for unique old snowmobiles, I was tickled to spot a 1984 Yamaha Inviter languishing in the back of a small engine repair shop's storage yard—pretty much buried under a mass of weeds, rototillers, old motor bikes and a collection of rusting lawnmowers. After asking the owner if I could snap a couple of photos and hoisting a few lawnmowers and motorcycles out of the way, I was able capture the essence of this unique sled on my digital camera—a golden Yamaha Inviter.

During the 1980s, Yamaha snowmobiles were on a bit of a roll. Arctic Cat was struggling to get their company back on track and Polaris was in the midst of a bunch of new product developments. This left Yamaha free to capture snowmobile market share with a line-up of trendy and different snowmobiles with the likes of the 1984 Yamaha Phazer.

One result of this industry leadership position thrust upon Yamaha, oddly enough, was the creation of the golden Yamaha Inviter.

As one enthusiast magazine stated, "The Inviter was built to deliver ride attributes that directly paralleled how enthusiasts “actually” rode – 30-mph, negotiating twisty, wooded trails. Unfortunately Yamaha product planners failed to recognize the massive snowmobile ego, the one that may trail ride at 30 mph, but wants the capability to blister it at 100mph."

Front view of the Yamaha Inviter.
Front view of the Yamaha Inviter. Photo: SnoRiders

It continued stating,  "While the Inviter never took hold during its run from 1986 to 1990, it has become a collectable oddity today due in part to its funky one-up styling, single cylinder liquid-cooled engine and upside-down airplane steering yoke."

The Yamaha Inviter has become a collectors favourite because of its rather odd styling and unique appearance. Got a Yamaha Inviter story to share? Have you spotted an old sled?  Share it with us.  [email protected].

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