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Archive for October, 2008

October 30, 2008

Brochure Spec Creativity

Frost on the windshield and a two hour commute yesterday due to a skiff of snow on the road. Made the appointments to ‘rust check’ the vehicles and change over the rubber. Dragged an ATV home to install the blade and pulled the batteries out of all the summer toysWinter won’t be long now.

The long awaited snowmobile accessories brochure has been printed and distributed to Canadian dealers, the new Yamalube is in stock and the trucks are rolling.

I have been kept busy with regards to planning as we are moving forward (in an economic minefield) with some nclipboard01.jpgew projects. We also have a large group of dealers en-route to Japan next week for an extensive tour of the factory and country side. The factory boys are excellent hosts and our dealers are in for a real treat which should be a nice break before the winter strikes in full force.

I’m considering some ideas for content on the blog this season and would like to ask if you have any thoughts or subject material.  If there is something you’d like me to address just add a comment to this post for consideration.

YK asked me a couple of interesting questions in the last post (Whistler While You Work), which I responded to before I had my morning coffee, which might explain the tone… I thought I would attach to this post, just because.

Hey YK, this is an interesting (and convoluted) subject. I could write an extensive response but the short answer: In marketing there is always a ‘creative’ way to make nice numbers. IMHO Yamaha is one of the worst players in this game. It has gotten to the point where our factory has requested (demanded) that we no longer publish horsepower or weight figures. Why? Because there are far too many ways to spin the data and if you don’t play aggressively you come up looking bad. Japanese for the most part make terrible liars.
You don’t have to look far to see examples of direct comparison ads from our competitors that would have you believe Yamaha is relative crap and the peripheral stuff which is fed to media, dealers and consumers through more subtle channels is designed to support and strengthen their message.

To your point on making horsepower, just add RPM (or boost). It only gets complicated when you want to maintain the torque over a wide range and keep a high level of durability / reliability. An interesting example: The fuel injected Nytro motor and the new Venture FI motor, same block, same components but the Venture makes less horsepower. Why? In reality it makes more HP and torque than the Nytro at lower RPMs (where most trail riding takes place), where the Nytro is more progressive, making more HP at the peak RPM with a softer mid-range. (never thought I would refer to a Nytro as having a soft mid hmmm).

The 4-cylinder with less displacement makes more power yet but requires a gear reduction at the crank to keep the clutch alive. The answer to your Phazer question is found here, the peak power is made close to 12,000 rpm. Current snowmobile clutches would be spitting pieces of shrapnel if operated at that speed for any length of time.

I honestly don’t think you will find a better built snowmobile engine than Yamaha on the market today, regardless of claims. I am curious to see how the latest 4-stroke offerings (and new tech 2-strokes) from the competition hold up in the long run… we’ll just have to wait and see. cheers cr

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Posted @ 10:27 am in Opinions and Insights,Tech Talk   

October 6, 2008

Whistler Dealer Conference

Our 35th Anniversary, dealer conference in Whistler BC turned out quite well by all accounts. The main focus was on our new 5- Star dealer program which offers new opportunities and incentives for Yamaha dealers. The ultimate objective is to advance our abilities to serve you at a level beyond all the current motorsports benchmarks.There is no doubt we all have our work cut out for us, but these new tools are being utilized to create an important impact with Yamaha customers being the greatest benefactors.img_2335.JPG

I’m an old throttle twister and an avid cyclist, consequently a visit to Whistler wouldn’t be complete without hitting the slopes on what has become a world model for mountain bike parks. After we finished loading up our two semi’s and closing the doors on the conference, Swenny (Belly-mon, Going Up?), JF, Jon park.jpgand myself hooked up for a day of bombing the trails. It’s hard to describe the variety and quality of the Whistler downhill trail system so I’ll just apply the well worn term; ‘awesome’. Our confidence built on each consecutive run and by the end of the day we were throwing down on every jump and railing the perfectly contoured berms, we even passed several girls on our last pass. Trust me, Richey Schley has nothing to worry about!

In my last post I spoke of Gilles Gagne and his attempt to break the world land speed record for snowmobiles. Well he did. In fact his twin supercharged slip-streamer shattered the record at 210mph (338kph). Congratulations go out to Gilles and his sponsors who took a stock Yamaha 4-cylinder and created the fastest snowmobile in the world. Down south the NSRA grass drag racing series wound up with some very impressive Yamaha results.  Here is the full report from Greg. grass-drag-results.doc.

So this all leaves me sitting at my desk rather reluctantly, as I try  to make sense out of the rest of October. It’s too eaparts.jpgrly to get ramped up for snowmobiling and a little late to be getting serious about the dirt. And what I really need to do is focus on scooters, which I will openly admit are cooler these days than at any time prior, but still anti-climatic compared to the adrenaline-charged, gravity-defying antics of cycles and sleds. sigh…

cheers  cr

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Posted @ 12:17 pm in Travel and Events,Yamaha People and Communication