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March 5, 2008

Racing – Blogging – Hondo

The More Things Change…

Before I start in on anything of significance to sled-heads, I thought I’d share what I consider to be an accomplishment worthy of a nod. Sled Talk is now officially one year old … Happy Anniversary to us.

Looking back a year; The concept of Yamaha participating in an open, online conversation with our customers is still met with many wary eyeballs. There were many doubts with regards to our ability to survive this long in the blogosphere. Well in the past year I have written 73 articles and approved 630 comments from readers. Of those, I have personally responded to over 95% and can count on one hand, the number of comments I could not approve and post. Also the readership has shown steady growth with above average metrics. This speaks volumes to the respect and appreciation the majority of you have for what we’re trying to do here.

It has not altogether been without some trial and tribulation as I have had to edit a couple of posts, explain a few comments and have asked myself- ‘what the heck am I doing this for?’ on more than one occasion. But every time I meet someone out on the trail or at an event and they tell me how much they appreciate the blog content or the fact Yamaha is acknowledging and participating in some of the ‘conversation’, I get re-connected and this project again, makes sense to me. Example: I bumped into Steve (a rider I’ve never met before) on his Apex at a gas stop last Saturday in the middle of ‘Buktu’ and damned if he didn’t figure out who I was in very short order and proceeded to cite his appreciation for the blog. Steve, I don’t know if you’re reading this, but thanks man, you made my day, (let me know how you like the new Qualipieces skags!)

Looking forward: Will any of our competitors join in the fun and start their own corporate blog? Will you still enjoy this site and continue visiting? Will I be here writing about our second anniversary this time next year? Hey, I don’t know but I do hope so…

I am getting a lot of service and warranty related questions which is to be expected but not endorsed. I cannot address most of these issues and certainly can’t fix them here with my magic wand. I will continue to urge you to work closely with your dealer. I walk a very thin line in this area so if you feel I’m ignoring you or possibly ‘dancing’ on an issue. You are likely correct. When in doubt please refer to our ‘terms of use’ . Given this little caveat, I look forward to our second anniversary and thank you all for your support especially Mr. Sled and his mods over on Totallyamaha.

Okay, You should remember Bob Davis, he’s the man challenging the current Guinness 60 day distance record with his RSVenture:

Hi Chris,

I turned 33,000 miles on RS Venture yesterday. Attached is a good photo of the ODO, and end of dayrsventure30000miles.jpg mileage. My Guinness start mileage was 22,605. To date: I have ridden 10,561 miles for the Guinness record. The old existing record is 7,211 miles. I have 9 more riding days left for the 60 day record. I am hoping to reach 12,000 miles.

Great job Bob, hopefully I’ll get a chance to tip a Guiness or two with you when you make this official!

Race updates, lots to report so I’ll post some of the releases which have come across my desk over the last couple of weeks. Greg and the boys are steadily making progress and should be congratulated for these results.

i500-107.jpg Heres a couple shots from the I-500, possibly the last running of this ‘grandaddy’ event at this venue.i5002nd-load-195.jpgi5003rd-load-007.jpg







Remember we’re pulling the sheets off the rest of the 09 lineup next week March 13 at 4:00PM EST. I’ll let the dust settle and try to address some of your questions and comments here on Sled Talk, don’t forget the secret handshake. πŸ™‚

cheers cr

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Posted @ 11:26 am in Competition and Racing,Opinions and Insights,Yamaha People and Communication   

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21 Responses to “Racing – Blogging – Hondo”

  1. parepadarappa says:

    I was at the I-500 again this year and as usual, I ended up at the beer tent and forgot there was a race going on. As far as the new lineup, I was thinking about this during the truck ride home from an amazing weekend of riding in the west/central UP, I ride almost exclusively off trail and I love my 121″ because of the maneuverability and can’t say I feel a need for anything longer where I’m at. What I do neeed is a better track. While the Ripsaw is a great trail track, it leaves a lot to be desired off trail. I don’t think it would be too much to ask for a choice of tracks. I’m not talking open up the catalog and pick which one you want, I’m just saying a choice, maybe something with an 1.5 or 1.75 lug height. maybe a .75″ for the lake racer wannabes. Just a thought I suppose, seeing t hat I’m in the market for a new sled next year and it kind of bothers me that no matter what I decide to get I will immediately have to drop another $500 for a new track to replace the one that I never even used.

    Ben from Da Soo

    Very interesting comment Ben, the idea of having track choice is solid, engineering on the other hand will want to test each and every variation in depth and some aps may require different size drivers and calibration… then there are some logistic concerns. In a perfect world we’d probably already be there. One thing we need to consider is more track profiles and designs on the current models in general for example maybe the long tracks should have something other than a Ripsaw or a shorty with a 1.5 or 1.0. Thanks cr

  2. Dustin says:

    You wouldn’t happen to be traveling down to the Snowmobile Expo in West Yellowstone, MT would you?

    Hadn’t planned on it but you never know (at least I don’t) πŸ˜‰ cr

  3. Guy Conan says:

    I can,t believe its been year already,time goes by.I for one always look forward to reading your blog,good job!

    Thanks Guy… time does fly! cheers cr

  4. parepadarappa says:

    BTW I almost forgot to mention that I check your blog religiously. I check it every day to see if there’s an update. I really hope that this time next year we are celebrating the 2 year anniversary. I, for one will be here every step of the way. Keep up the good work and hopefully the big wigs will keep giving the thumbs up to this project because I sure do appreciate it. Now about that 2 week period of Feb. that you didn’t update us at all, we’re gonna have to work on that……..

  5. DoktorC says:

    Great job!! I also cannot believe it’s already been a year. I’m impressed that it has turned out the way it has. Coudos to you for keeping it possitive and still addressing our concerns. Well done.

  6. dnr says:

    Good Job! cr.
    It is a happy occasion.
    Relly enjoy my time reading your blog.
    Makes up for reading the news paper,
    which is a waste of time.
    Congrats pal.

  7. Carl says:

    Happy 1 year anniversary! I can’t imagine the hard work you have put into this blog and I wish you have more encouraging moments in the next year. Congrats!

  8. Scott says:

    Thanks for posting the race articles and results.

    On another note, I wondered if you guys find it interesting that the new Ski-doo XR 1200 is being marketed and compared directly to the Nytro, yet it doesn’t meet ISR rules (due to displacement) to be raced against it. Funny how marketing works, eh?


    Good point! hadn’t actually occurred to me, but they are the masters… cheers cr

  9. Ike says:

    Chris, I would like to thank you for your effort keeping this blog up. I always enjoy reading it. Great thing that Yamaha and you are able to give some insight how things work in “snowbusiness”.

    I also like to thank you for your great stories from the past times and developments of different models (especially the all mighty Vmax-4, the sled what we all love at vmax4.com ).

    Keep up the good work and happy trails !

    From Finland, Ike

  10. Kent.D ( LOW SLUNG) says:

    Thanks for keeping this site a important part of Yamaha. When we can talk to one of the guys in charge of our favorite sled brand it shows that our opinion matters.Being the owner of a Honda civic si and 420 Honda quad i noticed that they build great products,but input from owners don,t seem to influence there direction.Yamaha on the other hand values our comments and uses them in a way to give product direction(ex..NYTRO XTX).
    P.S. my fathers 1996 ET 410TW is the way i see my sledding season ending this year, hauling many loads of firewood,work is always first.Hope the new bred of 4-stroke work sleds can beat the old 410,and that wonderful sound the motor makes when that second barrel of the carb opens when your pulling a big wood load on a steep hill.

    Thanks Kent, good to know that some guys are still getting wood on the old Enticer πŸ˜‰ cheers cr

  11. kevin perpete says:

    Chris, maybe you can help me with this inquiry. I would like to know if Yamaha sells their R&D sleds etc to the public via their delaer network. lat year I bought a BRP sled from an authorized BRP dealer and wonder if Yamaha also sells theirs. Please let me know !

    Kevin in Ontario

    Hello Kevin, our product liability policies (and common sense) prevent the sale of proto-type, R&D and most pre-production equipment. The problem is until the unit goes into production parts and calibration can and often do change. There is a chance some parts on pre-production will not be compatible with production and the unit may not be able to be maintained or repaired in the case of a failure. Worst case if an accident occurred that could be attributed to the function of a non-production (i.e. non-approved) part it could put us in a bad situation. I have heard rumours of R&D Skidoo’s (and parts) being made available to the public, if true, I don’t know how they doo it perhaps have not had to face the consequences (yet)… cheers cr

  12. Micke says:

    Hi CR !
    IΒ΄m a old fan of Yamaha since my first EC 540 (XL-V) way back in -79/80 (did 30000 km on it) and been unfaithful to Yamaha snowmobiles only once (sorry, but i kept the Yammie as well)
    I, as many others, check out your blog daily and itΒ΄s very interesting reading when you write a new one, keep up the good job, it really feel as we have a channel in to the corporate guys.

    Micke from Sweden (Riding Venture TF)

  13. Magnus says:

    Hi Chris,this is my second comment on this blog-page last time i tried to lurk out some info on the 09s remember? Think i can wait one more week now. Anyway i`ve watched the other guys lineups and as far as im concerned there is no big threat out there next year, sure the yellows has some new engines but its all about that. It must be nice to se that either cat or po has any new models in store. So how many glas of champagne did you drink when you realized that? Thank ya for a very interesting page its always fun to stick-by and se if there`s something new. ps give me a new apex and ill newer open my throat again.

  14. Erik says:

    I can only agree with all that salutes your efort! I love this site and I cant wait until the 13th.

  15. Steve says:

    Hi again Chris. You made my day as well last Saturday and thanks for the tips and insight, it was a pleasure to meet you and I will keep my eye open for you in the future as I frequent that area quite often. Interesting breakfast conversation followed our chat and as I was the lone 1- up rider in our group that day with four other 2-up riders, I let each husband take a spin on the Apex while I gracefully took turns on their touring machines with the wives on the back. Not a bad trade off really, but I was glad to get back on my baby. I am pretty sure there will be two happy new Apex owners next year from our little demo ride. I had comments like “I know what my next machine is going to be” and “This sled was made for me.” I guess they liked the Qualipieces too! Keep up the good work and happy first anniversary!

    Thanks Steve, there has to be something to the fact your buddies traded you their sleds and wives for a ride on the Apex but I’m not going to go there πŸ˜‰
    See you on the trail.. cheers cr

  16. Mike W. (Tork) says:

    Congrats with the one year anniversary of the blog! Great job and great thing you are doing for Yamaha AND Yamaha enthusiasts. Looking forward to many more years of CR articles, Rock On and Blog On my brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks Tork, I’ll try my best… cheers cr

  17. Mark Rosenblath says:

    Hi Chris
    nice work on the blog, great reading, I have owned pretty much every yamaha built since the mid 80s, the Nitros are great, but we need a 170hp non turbo low slung sled again, bring us back to the SRX days when we were first on the trails and the lakes ! ApexSRX please thanxs happy trails Mark

    That would be a refreshing angle in this world of hi-CG, long travel, terrain sleds. I remember when we used to take an 8in travel sled and drop it to 4 then widen it out, best cornering sled I ever owned was a lowered SX700… slot-car… wonder how that would’a felt with 170 4-stroke ponies… hmmm

  18. Shayne Greening says:

    I think that Yamaha should re-introduce the Enticer line. I have one 1988 Enticer 340M and 2 years ago I had a 1980 Enticer 250 s\t. I think that they are some of the best ‘older’ sleds that I have driven. Keep the lightweight factor and high weight to speed ratio and I would personally be one of the first to buy one because I love the sleds but the one I have is getting old and I am constantly buying part after part. and it’s breaking me.

    I agree, there is a whole niche market waiting to happen for a small, light, under 50hp 4-stroke. cheers cr

  19. Cyril andrews says:

    Great Job Done-appreciate your speedy Reply’s-We still got Lots off Snow in Labrador City ,

  20. Yellowknife says:

    I remember Doug telling me about you starting this site a year ago. I couldn’t help but blab it all over the internet after the crash of BRP’s Corporate Corner.

    You’ve done us proud! Awesome info, and much learning that otherwise would NOT have taken place.

    Thanks YK!! I am still enjoying the challenge after one year. cheers cr

  21. NorthernNB says:

    I have an ’09 xtx and finding the stock rip saw track not performing the way I expected, does anyone have any feedback on the two optional tracks, crossover or the back country?

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