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November 26, 2007

Yamaha 07/08 Snocross Debut

…The Road to Duluth

I spoke with Greg Marier today as he was driving home from Duluth, his spirit was high after a tough weekend of WSA racing. Heres the ‘high hard ones’ from our conversation:

  • The sleds were assembled only 2 weeks ago, YMC engine guys had taken a base FX Nytro engine and did a bunch of head work to it-intake, exhaust, cams and bumped up the compression a bit and first thing they needed to do was recalibrate (map) the FI system.
  • They ended up in Thompson Manitoba where they had to truck in some snow to build a practice track of sorts, couple of jumps and bumps but nothing like the ‘real nasty’.
  • This years sled has a little more power and a little less weight. The old ‘Malinoski spec’ needed to be re calibrated to reflect Steve Taylors lighter weight and ‘finesse’ riding style, the gurus from sponsor ‘Fox Shocks’ plugged into the test.
  • Corey got pitched off his sled in an unfortunate mishap, leaving his collar-bone cracked and his morale in the toilet. He was looking really good up until that point.
  • Greg contacted Ole Haga and invited Swedish rider Johan Eriksson to come to the USA for a few weeks to cover Corey. The big Swede is 6’5″ and the ergos of the sled could not be adjusted soon enough for him with only one practice session at the Planet X track before doing battle. He ended up with two 5ths and a 2nd in the heats.
  • The MQTC team with Yuji are using some new suspension linkages and front geometry right off the CAD in an effort to prove the designs in the ultimate torture test. They are still working on calibrations and Yuji (in the best shape of his life) was getting faster every time out.
  • Steve is showing excellent potential, taking everything the team comes up with and riding the wheels off the sled. They were also improving every time out and the calibration is now closer to where they need to be.
  • The back straight was a mine field of hard edged craters that took its toll on many sleds. It was there the Steve spun the drivers and missed qualifying for the main.
  • The Yamaha open machine is not the lightest sled but it is not the heaviest neither. This is not about weight and the one team that is making all the noise about light weight in the market is racing a machine significantly heavier than anything they have in production. Do you remember my post on“you can only have two”??? 😛
  • The guys have some time before the next points race, a double header in Canterbury and Greg is planning to hit a couple of regionals, confident they will be more prepared next round (but then again so will everyone else).
  • Jimmy Blaze was released from hospital and is okay after bailing from a back-flip attempt for the crowd.

Sorry guys, I still don’t have any pics of the sleds but I’ll keep trying. ciao4now cr

Hot off the press… heres the official spin: official-duluth-yamaha-factory-snocross-press-release.doc

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Posted @ 3:42 pm in Yamaha Insights   

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7 Responses to “Yamaha 07/08 Snocross Debut”

  1. Kent Deveraux (aka LOW SLUNG) says:

    Hey chris,will YAMAHA be invited to the X-GAMES to race or will they have to qualify?What do you think of ski-doos problems at the race?Loved the story about the enticer replacement,My father still has a 1996 that he would rather ride then my warrior.Keep the rebates coming,like to have a phazer as a second sled..

    Hey Kent… we have to qualify for the X-Games, I believe there will be several more chances, Canterbury and Yellowstone are both before the games. I’m can’t say too much about the skidoo issues but if that is a light-weight production part then they have a big problem especially considering the season is starting already. cheers cr

  2. Todd S. says:

    Remapping a Yamaha FI? Never heard of such a thing…jk! I know the race guys have to remap due to all the mods, but remapping for the other camps stockers seems to be a semiannual/annual occurance. The stock Yamaha FI motors seem to be spot on right from the factory. Why do other manufactures seem to have so much trouble getting mapping correct, while Yamaha seems to have it nailed? Great Blog! Thanks

    sshhh… don’t tell our engineers that… we’re still pushing them to make improvements!! 😛 cr

  3. Scott says:

    It’s been entertaining to read all the bashing going on in the forums. Until I read your blog and the press release, I was under the impression that Yamaha did very poorly but that isn’t the case.

    I’m pleased with how well they did and the sleds seemed to have held together much better than the XP’s. Of course the issues I read about the XP’s also came from a number of forums so who knows what the actual story is since the race hasn’t been televised yet.

  4. Mike says:

    I watched all of Sundays Races – I wouldn’t be there if Yamaha wasn’t there. Both riders looked good, Yuji seemed much faster than last year. I wish there were more Yamaha sleds to root for, especially in the other classes.
    I noticed one of the sleds broke in practice & then Taylor’s when down hard in the LCQ – was it the same problem each time?

    Steve spun the drive sprockets on the shaft, not sure what the other issue was but I don’t think it was the same… cr

  5. NIKLAS says:

    Very interesting reading, keep the information coming, i’m starved on Yamaha snocross info, it will be cool to see how Johan does in the US, he’s got some talent.
    Lots of people on the forums keep saying yamaha has so much money in there snocross budget (compared to other brands), but i doubt it i think they would have more sleds and racers then?

    Champaign tastes on a beer budget my friend, Johan is doing great considering he was on a sled set-up for a much smaller rider with virtually no saddle time, he should be on his game by Canterbury… skoal cr

  6. Scott says:

    Okay, this is a bit off subject but I caught a few YouTube videos of Jimmy’s backflip and wondered what happened? Did he lose his grip and fall off or bail on purpose? The most disturbing thing was listening to people laugh at his wreck in all the videos. It is unfortunate but snowmobile freestyle seems typecast as a half-time filler, carnival sideshow event. Jimmy is lucky he didn’t break his back. His career has now had enough get off’s and close calls that he is very fortunate that he has not put himself in a wheelchair. I hate to say it but it is only a matter of time.

    Scott, Jimmy said it was really windy and the ramp caught him off-guard as it seemed to pitch more abruptly than he was prepared for. He didn’t get hooked in quite right and had to bail. He ripped the ligaments that hold his pelvis to his guts, knocked himself out and messed up his shoulder, the good news- he was released later that night and is OK. Jimmy also heard laughter as he was loosing consciousness and it really got to him, now wondering is it all worthwhile. I am sure he will appreciate your comments and concerns and will let him know… cheers cr

  7. Erik says:

    Do u have any info on the tunnels on the race sleds? Why isn’t it similar to the one that we have on our production sleds? And whats up with Yugis tunnel, the top is (sloped)?

    Would be nice to know which parts that are more or less stock on those things.. I guess u cant tell us a lot but any info would be nice…:-)

    remember Yuji will be testing a lot of new ideas which if worthy, may make their way to future models. The YMUS race sleds are purpose built with the driver size and ergonomic preference in mind, I’ll try to get some more details for you as things proceed… cheers cr


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