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November 29, 2007

Your Weather Predictions

Can We Weather Out Another Poor-Snow Season?

It was interesting to get an email from an old friend today. I had the pleasure to work with York Mizutani when he was the ATP (assistant to the president) for snowmobile and ATV here at YMCA for five years. York disappeared for several years when he returned to Japan but resurfaced recently in a senior position within the RV marketing division in charge of snowmobile and ATV.

I remember taking him for his first snowmobile ride out in Vernon BC. DNR joined us for a run right out of the Silver Star Ski Resorts parking lot. After a couple of hours playtime we were almost back at the resort when York disappeared. I doubled back to find him sitting in the ‘bus loop’ parking lot, engine idling, not moving a muscle. I approached him asking what’s the matter- from inside his well frosted visor came a muffled “no power“!! I listened to the Phazer, which was purring nicely and asked “what is its problem, what’s it doing?”.

He raised his right hand from the bar, made a fist in my face indicating his thumb and said again ‘no power’! Well- when I stopped laughing, I told him we were only one kilometer from the Vance Creek Saloon and dinner… problem solved! But I digress…

I found his question curious at first but upon reflection I think he has the same ‘gut feeling’ as I do. He wanted to know what the winter was shaping up like in Canada and the USA. Was it snowing? So far in Japan, winter is arriving early and with assertion. He closed by saying our engineering team is excited and motivated by the thought of a good old fashioned winter, especially after the recent seasons of spotty snow and they want to hear from us on the subject.

I didn’t quite know how I would respond as I am a little superstitious (not wanting to jinx us by being overtly positive). And I know how quickly mother nature can change her mind (she is a lady after all)… Anyway I told him that there is snow on the ground over much of Ontario and Quebec, we have had several winter storm watch announcements from Environment Canada. And most importantly, I was able to pick my daughter up from school last week on my Apex. I also sent him a link to one of my favorite forums for Ontario snowmobilers to read for himself. I told him ‘my guts‘ are telling me this is going to be a good winter right across North America. I’d like to know what you’re thinking right now looking at where you ride. Got a ‘gut check’ for me? I’d like to let the boys over in Japan know what you’re feeling, looking out the window.sma-8gl63-00-00.jpg

On another completely different topic, Richard one of our accessories development managers asked me if I had any feedback on the fuel caddy sytem for the Nytro. This is referring to the soft bag with support bracket and gas can (sold individually). I told him I have had one request from Bob P for a Phazer mount. We are wondering if this would be a good item to develop for other models (or even brands). If you have an opinion or would be interested in this please let me know. (just add a comment here)

Last but not least, take it easy if you ride this weekend, I heard of the seasons first parked car getting hit by a sled a couple of nights ago up where I live!

cheers … cr

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15 Responses to “Your Weather Predictions”

  1. Dennis McCrea says:

    Instead of a fuel caddy wouldn’t it be better to make the gas tank bigger? Much easier to carry gas in your tank. I considered going to the Nytro from my Apex but the fuel tank was an issue.

    Thats a completely different subject but a point well taken, for the record I have been more than a little vocal about fuel tank size and wind protection from the advent of the RX-1 which is when we started going backwards on fuel capacity (not necessarily range)… the question posed here: Is there a market for additional / optional fuel tanks for other applications, tour riders, remote areas, late hours… peace of mind / modular but I think you well understand and I do appreciate what you are saying … cheers cr

  2. Stephen Burdick says:

    I am planning on ordering up a saddle bag and gas can at some point. I want to see what the actual mileage and range of the FX Nytro MTX is before I jump on the “the tank is too small” band wagon.

    Looking outside I see snow, but could use some more to make the riding what it could be with a really good winter…………

  3. Scott says:

    Hey Chris, wanted to express my support on the “Gas Carry” idea. I have an 08 Phazer and I live/ride in Sask…..some places can be a good stretch for fuel….a little “reserve” would be nice.

  4. Yellowknife says:

    Winter, as you know has been good to us here, we’ve made plenty of ice over the past week with -30 C temperatures. I was very happy to report the Nytro engine started with ease at -34 C. Unforunately the Phazer will not fire below -26 C. We’re still waiting on the decompression update though.

    I’ve ordered the side fuel caddies and will be interested to see how durable they are through the rough trail. I’ve also ordered the MTX skid plate and the larger front bumper. Just an FYI, don’t tow by the front bumper…a track cleat came loose on my MTX, jammed inside the rear idlers (but we couldn’t see it) and we thought it was ice. A sled hooked upto me to give me a tow to try and dislodge the track and ended up putting his tow strap around my front bumper. He bent it pretty good. Use spindles, not the bumper, no matter how solid it looks.

    And finally, I’m not happy with the ‘fit’ of the covers for the MTX’s. They are too tight, especially with the tall windscreen on, and if you have an exhaust turnout, it will eventually eat through the cover. These covers should go right over the rear bumper, not stop at the seat. Also even with the stock windscreen, the cover does not fit over the spindles – I am starting to think I got the wrong one, but it says ‘FX Nytro – ALL’ on the box. The cover also has threads coming loose so I’m going to return it.

    I simultaneously purchased a cover for my Mountain Lite and it fits like it should, all the way down the spindles with a good snug fit, not too tight, and it even fits over the back of that huge rack I have on my machine.

    I’m also happy to report that the tall windscreen and side deflectors work very, very well, and even cover the wind off the handlebars. Perhaps 2 longer D-Zus pins could come with the side deflector kit so that you don’t have to bend the mounts that they go into (they won’t reach to latch into the mount when the wind deflector and washers are installed)

    If you remove or relocate the rear tail light on the MTX, you can fit a Rev Fuel Can in the rear rack just perfect! Almost as if the two were designed hand in hand, and it brings your total capacity to 40 litres.

    Quick question – I don’t see any handguards in any of the Yamaha Accessory Catelogues. Are there any available for purchase?

    Almost time for the first oil change –

    Excellent feedback YK, I’ll pass it along… I checked the accessory catalogue and the Power-Madd hand guards are in there as I am ordering some for my Apex, they are easy to miss (I did on the first go round) there on the right hand top side of a spread… cheers cr

  5. Bob Hogg says:

    I can see your friend Mizutani san face when he talked – a lot to do with the culture – so funny I bet. Or…could have been an old, not painful Ulnar Collateral ligament thumb Injury.

    Already sleddin!!! Next year …we to, will be in the early snowbelt .

    Will we have snow, you ask?

    Well …last year the squirrels took our English walnuts early and DIDN’T eat them in the fall. So…they are saving for a long winter snow – or so I thought. Thinking back – they didn’t CARE – it was going to be a comfortable winter. We only get better educated squirrels (tree rats) as our walnuts are worth over $1.00 per pound.

    This year ….they took them early – but they are EATING like crazy – we have piles of shells everywhere. Are they fattening up for a long winter – maybe that’s the clue?

    We have one cherry tree – if I don’t pick them by the first week in August (going back 25 years) the birds will clean it out. This year they nabbed them, a week early and got them ALL. Have the seasons tilted – is winter going to be hard? Hope scurvy doesn’t set in.

    We have 6 huge trees in a row in our front yard. This year they dropped leaves in a strange order. The west most tree was first – then consecutively – they dropped leaves one complete tree at a time heading east – what’s up with that? No comment but – except – trying to think back to the winter of 77.

    Last point – Brandy Lake has an annual tide – as an example, the water comes up the shore (that has about a 12 degree rise) about 15’ in the spring, due to the large watershed and snow. This year, this month – it is up 15 feet from the September level, even without the winter runoff. Or simply ….precipitation is WAY UP.

    Really last note…The lakes are warm as well – so that means snow. But that’s not as scientific as the above.

  6. Yammerhead says:

    Snow report for Saskatoon and North is good. They have been riding in the lake country for a month already. We are off to a good start for the third year in a row! Now I just have to find time to ride.. 🙁

  7. Bakemono says:

    I have a feeling it will be a good winter. Here in Wisconsin we got a light dusting of snow last week and tomorrow they are forecasting a fairly decent snowstorm of more than 6″. Also, its been fairly cold (temps in the 30s during the day) and things are thus far shaping up pretty well.
    Im hopeful for a good winter but its not as if Im going to sell my sled if we dont get snow. Ive owned and ridden everything from motorcycles to ATVs to PWCs and none of them compare to the fun and thrill of riding a snowmobile.

  8. Yellowknife says:

    “I checked the accessory catalogue and the Power-Madd hand guards are in there as I am ordering some for my Apex, they are easy to miss (I did on the first go round) there on the right hand top side of a spread… cheers cr”

    I still can’t find them, i’ve looked 3 more times page by page…are we looking at the same book? Mine is the 2008 Snowmobile Apparel & Accessories Catalogue…I see a picture of some hand guards on a Nytro on page 67..but there’s no text/description or part number. Please tell me I’m not this blind…lol

    sorry YK, I’m probably lookin at the southern edition, you guys get the nothern ed with the caribou ‘Hippo-Hands’ 😛
    … I’ll check when I get to the office and let you know… cheers cr

    OK… hers the good news… you are not going blind!. I was looking in the 07 brochure… we still have them in stock and you can find them on our web-site (07 models) and in the current ATV brochure (part numbers are the same for all applications). It was decided not to list them in the 08 book because (and heres the rub) they might touch the windshield at full lock depending on bar and mounting so officially they don’t fit on Apex. Funny thing is, I had a pair on mine last year, no problem and plan to install another set on this years… cheers cr

  9. Yellowknife says:

    Awesome, thanks very much (yet again) for your help!!


  10. Yellowknife says:

    oops, I can’t find the Mounting Hardware…but I have the part number for the hand guards…says mounting hardware sold separately…I looked through 07 accessories lists with no luck, including the ATV accessory link you gave me. Sorry for the trouble!

    try this… cheers

  11. Nytro B says:

    Hey Chris

    Winter is definitely here in northern Manitoba, it’s been very cold and there is lot’s of ice on the lakes already ….. we just need some more snow! So far I have 300 miles on my FX Nytro and I’m very pleased with the performance, handling and fuel mileage. It’s going to be a great riding season!

    The hand and thumb warmers are a bit of a disappointment (had to resort to “hot shots” in the mitts on the last ride). I always wore gloves on my old sled with no trouble …. these warmers only get luke warm at best no matter what setting or rpm. I went to my dealer today and he said he had to order a wiring harness for an mtx with the same problem …. have you heard of others with the same troubles? From some discussion on TY some riders seem to have good heat while many others have next to nothing. Hopefully mine can get fixed up so I don’t have to go to aftermarket grips.

    Thanks for the hedz up, hopefully this will turn out to be an isolated case. We just went through a grip warmer counter-measure with the Apex. It was obvious that the expectations vary as much as the riding conditions and wind protection. At this point all I can say is make your dealer aware and urge them to contact their TSM (service rep) asap. It is critical to report any and all information as early as possible if we are to determine, confirm and react to customers market information. This holds true for any failure, especially on a new model…
    BTW… the wiring harness you’re dealer mentioned would have been for a Phazer MTX, not a Nytro and not related to what you are reporting.
    cheers cr

  12. Yellowknife says:

    I was reading it wrong…inserting half the part number – etc. In this case I was blind. Thanks!

  13. Nytro B says:

    Hey Chris

    Sorry I did not specifically ask which model my dealer was talking about, the MTX harness was mentioned while we were discussing my problem so I assumed he was referring to to the FX Nytro Mtx and that it was a related issue. I’ll confirm when I bring my sled in to have the handwarmers checked.

    No problem, my comment was an educated guess, he may have been fixing a Nytro but would be the first harness I’ve heard of… thanks cr

  14. jim kelly says:


  15. Walter(bone head says:

    i demand snow days all week! that way i wont have school for another two weeks!!!

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