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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   

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6 Responses to “Brochure Spec Creativity”

  1. J Bruce Smith says:

    Hello Chris
    This has nothing to do with the published information on hp or weigth of sleds.I have been rideing yamaha sleds for ever my firist sled was a 69 sl351 and have head a new yamaha almost every year. Ther was a couple of year I wish that I did not owen one.On the overall I have been very happy.Now for my question. How many 1978 ssr 440 sleds where built and sold to the public and what ws the start and stop of the sin # also how many come to canada. Where the motor sin# and body # matching.
    Thank You J Bruce Smith 212king ST. Atwood Ont.

    Bruce this may be a real toughy to flush out. I know we don’t have the data available here (YMCA) in our archive. I will send a request to YMC and see if they have anything. Unfortunately this was before electronic records and archive and the data is likely in a dusty box, buried in an unlit room. I’ll see what I can fin out. Perhaps some of the old guard like Bob Work or Jim Kedinger will remember some of the figures. The SSR was a very limited build as you must know. cheers cr

  2. Cyril andrews says:

    Please address the Steering Issue on the Vk-Professional-Darting and Jumping-What is the Solution??do I have to live with this Problem???.

    Hey Cyril, I am not the expert on VK Pro set-up but I have heard some very positive results regarding our extra wide ski-skins in some conditions. I’ll make some inquiries. cheers cr

  3. yamtodd says:

    Chris, With respect to the snowmobile accessories brochure will it be avsailable as a download. My dealer never seems to have one for a person to take it nice to just look at it on the computer. does the brocher so most of them installed so you know what it looks like on the sled. The pictures on yamahas site are good of the part but need to show it on the sled just a thought. Also hopfully there are more options for med height windsheild for the fx nytro.

    Thanks YT, I have pushed your comments over to our marketing and development team, I’ll let you know what I hear back.. cheers

    Quick update… we are in the process of compressing and finalizing a PDF file of the brochure for download. Please check our site towards the end of next week


  4. Mark says:

    Chris one issue I was hoping you could write about or simply comment on is the fact that Yamaha has used the same exhaust since 05 on the RX-1, Apex, and Attak. The Y pipes are brittle and are prone to breaking. There are many warranty claims on broken parts every 4,000 miles. Why has there not been an improvement?
    On a side note I support your efforts 100% and I thank you for allowing a huge Yamaha fan a look into the Yamaha world from the inside!

    Hey Mark, I did a little snooping on the issue. We are certainly aware of the exhaust system claims and there have been some changes albeit not enough to make it all go away. It was initially thought there was not enough support on the main exhaust tubes which was causing additional load and cracking to Y-pipes. We added a ‘stay’ to the rear section and an additional mount. This didn’t prove 100%. We know that if the gaskets become loose or burn out the Y-pipes will experience a lot of vibration and likely crack. The material is a light gauge titanium. We are still working on additional counter measures and I expect our dealers will be getting a bulletin sometime this season. The one thing I understand has proven beneficial is annual (periodic) inspection of the gaskets. Its a bit of a hassle but if the sled is getting high mileage and out of warranty its a worthy task. The chance of the Y-pipe cracking is much reduced if the gaskets are kept snug. As you probably know the clamps have a limit collar to prevent the gaskets from being over-torqued. This in turn makes the gasket check even more important. Best I can say is to work closely with your dealer if you experience an issue and make sure they contact their TSM. For the record we have inspected several units with well over 20,000km which show no signs of exhaust cracking or gasket failure… go figure.
    An ounce of prevention… stay tuned for updates. cheers cr

  5. Darren says:

    Every single snowmobile mag, fourms and TV shows have dished yamaha 1990’s skis….seams like such and easy fix, why doesn’t YMC come out with skis for the 21’st century?

    Good question Darren, In my opinion it is not our skis as much as our runners that are at issue. That said we have been tweaking the same ski for years with keel modifications etc (there are several variations today in use but they all look the same).
    We have done a terrible job of marketing the ski by way of explanation, sticking with the same carbide and keeping the general appearance the same. We could have changed the ski shape and look and called it ‘new’ and the ‘best’ and gotten some magazines to buy into it to tell the story but thats not our style.

    The other thing to consider is application and conditions, there is no ski that is best for everyone and the suspension setting and weight balance has a lot of bearing on things… I am not trying to make excuses, I ( and the rest of the planning group) have been asking for a new ski for several years. We need this for image and marketing damage control more than we do for performance. Like I said, a good carbide can change the ski performance dramatically, in fact I quite like the stock mid-keel with the cobra head style skags.
    That said we are working on a new ski and runner set-up There are so many patents on everything you can think of and our guys won’t bend the rules or try to scoop someone else s ideas only to end up in court… We hear you and we’re working on a couple of ideas. cheers cr

  6. parepadarappa says:

    As far as content for the blog, I’m still waiting on your “last of the 2-strokes” to finish up. Being a viper owner, I;’m especially curious how the SRX/Viper story finishes out. I’ve been waiting for what seems like an eternity…

    Thanks, and keep up the good work.

    PS, I really don’t think that the skis are that bad. I have the stock skis on my SX-R and my Viper has Precision skis, and I prefer the stockers in all honesty.
    Thanks again.

    OK Ben, IOU a follow-up on the Viper… Interesting comment on your skis, the SX R and standard Viper had a shallow keel ski and the Viper S had the deep keel (same as used on the original RX-1), very different results on soft pack snow… cheers cr

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