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February 11, 2009

2010 Backlash – Market Crash

On this rare occasion, I am going to disregard my own ‘terms of use’ and shove my arm in the fire. There is an old saying ‘don’t shoot the messenger’, but just in case… it’s been a slice!

I had intended on posting a blog right on top of the new model launch yesterday but I had a couple of problemals-group-photo.jpgs. The first is kind of lame, but true. I rode just over 840 km on the weekend to take part in the ALS / Ride for John (Snowtrax) and my old fingers (not to mention most of my upper body) was not responding well to neural input.

The second problem, is all the scathing comments  I’ve been reading on Totallyamaha, some of which were directed at me personally. I realized the controversy regarding our 2010 line, (which I had anticipated and alluded to on this blog), was more intense than first thought. (Heck, some are even dis’ing Bunny!)

One reason I paused in reflection was SledFreaks challenge to me on TY… Oh you will see my name on his blog… I can’t wait for him to try and defend this insult of a lineup.’

Now I really don’t think he meant the lineup is insulting,  so much as what is missing from it is insulting. Most of the disappointment I felt from reading the forums is focused on the Apex and the expectations (and hype) for more power, performance, technology etc.

SF, In all honesty… I have no defense. It occurred to me, just like you, I am also disappointed (have been for a long time). You see, I am also a die-hard Apex rider and I also want a new sled. The only difference is, I learned some time ago, we would not be releasing it this year (not to say we won’t eventually) and I guess I sort of  got over it. Trust me when I tell you I did voice my sentiments internally, in spite of our efforts it was just not possible. But to quote an old ad: ‘we will serve no wine before its time…’ arguably it is time but I cannot share all the background concerning the rationale (some of our competitor’s also visit this blog regularly)

I take a lot of solace from knowledge gained from industry research and web metrics. I know for every one comment I receive online there are upwards to three hundred people who read, consider and draw their own varied conclusions. Many of these folks are not as ‘hard-core’ or extreme when it comes to their sleds. We have sold a good number of Vectors and the new model is really quite impressive and IMHO is now the best choice hands down, for the majority of trail riders. It’s unfortunate it has to live in the shadow of the four cylinder but I will save my Vector comments for another day. Same goes for the Air Nytro.

The other big topic question in several of the comments here and over on TY is to do with pricing and the Canadian v.s. USA imbalance. As I have said before, this is an area beyond my expertise.

I will say on the subject of economics, I am also very disappointed. I am disappointed that the greed of money lenders in the USA was permitted to go so far unchecked. I am disappointed that the ‘system’ has failed so miserably and on such a huge scale as to cause a global financial melt-down. I really can’t fathom the depth of impact which this is having around the world, meanwhile we continue to invest in foreign policies (or policing) at what cost? I am disappointed that the Yen has remained so strong against our currency and disappointed with the cards my company has been dealt within this whole mess.

The net result should come as no great surprise. We have been faced with some significant challenges over the last few months and this is reflected in our price increase. I certainly understand the frustrations heard in many of your comments and ask the same from you regarding my inability to debate the subject.

I am however thankful of a few things. I am thankful that Canada has been spared much of the impact of this recession (so far). I am thankful that our engineers continue to deliver significant improvements to our products, even when faced with severe cut-backs and losses in Japan. I am thankful that I still have a job, a sled and the health (still thinking of you Big John!) to enjoy it.

In closing, I am waiting with baited breath, to see what March will bring when our competitors announce their new models, pricing and programs. It is always difficult to be the first in… If you believe history repeats then you should believe that Yamaha will do whatever we must do to remain competitive.

Cheers  cr

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41 Responses to “2010 Backlash – Market Crash”

  1. Yamforlife says:

    Hey Chris

    Well said. I was also somewhat dissappointed but am getting over it. It took balls to say what you said. I would not change brands if alone just for the relialbility of Yamaha sleds. The eccnomics – well that will sort itself out over time.

    Keep up the good work.

    Yamforlife (Parry Sound)

  2. PAUL CROUTER says:

    CHRIS , I AM ABSOLUTLEY DISAPPOINTED WITH 2010 LINE -UP. YOUR ARTICLE IS FULL OF MUMBLE -JUMBLE,IT MEANS SQUAT!I CAN HARDLY BE CIVIL WITH PEOPLE I’M SO BENT OUT OF SHAPE ABOUT THE 10’S. I HAVE OWNED 4 WARRIORS ,CURRENTLY OWN A 660 RAPTOR, 700 GRIZZLY EPS. I HAVE OWNED(34 SLEDS) 12 YAMAHA’S, CURRENTLY HAVE 07 APEX RTX ,09 NYTRO SE. I HAVE BEEN LIKE A KID WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS FOR THE PAST 5 WKS AND YAMAHA INTRODUCES WHAT TO REPLACE MY 07! MY TRUCK HAS YAMAHA STICKERS ,MY GARAGE IS ALL YAMAHA, I HAVE 14 SLED TOYS ALL YAMAHA ON DISPLAY IN MY REC ROOM. NOT TO MENTION 4 CURRENT SLED JACKETS,GLOVES ,BOOTS, A DOZEN HATS, BAGS, SWEAT SHIRTS ,T SHIRTS,COFFEE MUGS ETC.
    I HAD ALREADY PLANNED ON BUYING A NEW 2010 SLED AND A 2009-2010 NEW GRIZZLY AND I AM JUST TWISTED WITH YAMAHA!FIRST OUT OF THE GATE FOR WHAT? SOMEBODY NEEDS THERE ASS KICKED! THEY COULD HAVE AT LEAST GAVE US A BOLDER NEW GRAPHIC PKGE, THE GRAPHICS ARE EVEN LAME! ONLY 364 DAYS TILL 2011 INTRO ,MAYBE THEY CAN GET IT RIGHT FOR NEXT YEAR !

    Paul, normally I would point out that typing in all upper case is shouting but in your case, I believe it is! Listen man it pains me that we cannot relieve your wallet this year, It’s guys like you that we must keep in the family. Appreciate the ‘civil’ feedback… 363 days and counting… cheers cr

  3. sledfreak says:

    Hey Chris… First off today is a new day… I am over it now, but the hype was too big, from Yamaha, TY, the blog and net itself, so it was a big let down. I’m not going to debate anything, because you atleast acknowledged my frustration. I also see we share the feelings for a new and improved Apex. I think we all know Yamaha has a replacement, but chose to leave it out this year. I know economics probably has more to do with it then anything. Yamaha is in the business to make profit over anything else. I just don’t think the other OEM’s feel the same. That being said, now it’s probably going to be the time when DOO pounces on this oportunity and releases a new Turbo/supercharger 1200 or the 1000 ETEC to help put them back on top of the hp war. If so, then it will be a hard climb back to being second in sales… I just wish we new when it would be released, like 2011 or 2012? I would hate to see Yamaha slip back to the times of the early 80-90’s with the same BNG year after year. Sometimes it just seems that Yamaha just wants to be in the market to show they have a product, even if it makes money or not. They still want their hand in the cookie jar. You get my point? I really hope this isn’t the case because I really thought that Yamaha being the leader in “4 stroke tech”, means being a leader… To me, this means, not letting the competetion get any advantage. I hope this statement “Yamaha will do whatever we must do to remain competitive” hold some truth/value to it for our sake… Maybe Honda should get into the sled business, they seem to be the only OEM ever seems to light a fire under Yamaha’s butt….

    I would also like to say that I am impressed with the vector. It looks like a home run.. A little shed of some weight would have really been a boost for the hype, but it is what it is.

    Next time you make a video, I believe you should show what suspension setups (including transfer rods and limiter straps) you have on both sleds to make it more valuable to the consumer. I for one can make my Apex look like a slug out of the hole and I also can make it look like a rocket being sent over to Iraq. Anyways, I knows it’s marketing hype, but some of us were not born yesterday.

    Thanks for the reply and at least we are on the same page.

    Cheers,

    sledfreak

    Hey SF, thanks for the comments and you are 100% correct, funny thing about Honda but true. If they dropped a better sled tomorrow our guys would freak and react immediately… guess its like Cat and Polaris in the US, at lest in the old days… I was surprised to see that vid clip posted, I was going to use it for a blog story as there is more to it than that… suspension wise my Apex is bone stock except the front clcikers are in the middle position and Snowtracker carbides. The Vector is a mock up without the new shocks so skid frame is also bone stock 09. The motor clutch is the real deal. Neither sled has studs and we were just doing seat of the pants comparos for our own knowledge. Huggy was there so I asked him to shoot it for the blog… someone posted it on our site. cheers cr

  4. low slung says:

    Great post chris but i was kind of surprise there was no BRAVO replacement(i knew the new APEX was on hold).Has yamaha got something on the drawing board to replace the BRAVO?My local dealer told me about it 3 years ago and he was right about the enticer replacement in 2005(which was the ventue MP).The NYTRO 40th ANV display case is very nice,THANKS.

    we’ve been playing shell games with a new Bravo for years… It has come close to death a few times and somehow it always seems to survive… for how long? time will tell, after today I believe I’ll save some vacation days for next February when we launch a new Bravo instead of an Apex 😉 cheers cr

  5. Yellowknife says:

    wow, so many things going through my head right now. I gotta say to Paul Crouter – I hear your point being made, but what pains me is that if you have that much money to blow on unit after unit, year after year, why would you frusterate yourself over an unsatisfactory line-up and instead put some of your coin into aftermarket upgrades for your sled? And as far as Chris’ article meaning squat – I think you need a reality check on several levels here before start paraphrasing his words as corporate lip service.

    People need to understand there’s 2 sides here – and some of you can’t do that because you don’t know anything about running a business, so you expect the impossible at every turn.

    First, I don’t see any other manufacturer in this ball game doing with Chris does on here, so if there’s a finger pointing of “MUMBLE -JUMBLE” to be done, I point mine at people like those at BRP who bailed out of speaking with their consumers because they couldn’t handle the type of reaction that was being generated by the drop in the bucket consumers like we see over on TY.

    Second, I applaud Chris for what he wrote on this topic. Its far easier to be silent and non-controversial, but there’s nobody taking the easy way out here.

    Third, do people honestly believe slamming a corporate employee is going to get them results? I laugh at some of the stuff people type before they think.

    Chris, you keep doing your job the way you are because as far as I can see you’re one of the best at it, and it shows – and while many may not post it, they appreciate what you do across the board.

    Thanks YK, I also commend you for your writing and dedication to the forums… keep it real… cheers cr

  6. Bill (vice108) says:

    Thanks Chris for all that you do for us. I love reading your blog and its great to see a real enthusiast (like those of us on TY) working for Yamaha. It’s unfortunate that some dont realize how lucky we are to have the ear of someone in the snowmobile division. I cant think of any other product I own that I could post a comment, suggestion, etc to a web-site where I KNOW someone from the company will read it and perhaps even respond. keep up the good work.

    Bill in Maine

    thanks Bill, I’ll try… cheers cr

  7. Toolman says:

    I am a Yamaha supporter but again I am disappointed. I am tired of having to “rip” apart my Yamahas (00 MM, 03 RX-1, 04 RX-1, 08 FX Nytro) to make them remotely competitve against other mountain sleds. I was prepared to purchase a new MTX (to replace my 08) with a modest horsepower increase….and nothing was offered. It is an amazing handling sled, and I love riding this sled (my Dragon RMK sits on most days) but it NEEDS more power.

  8. Yammerhead says:

    Chris, I didn’t see any Yamaha flame suits in the accessory catalog. I think you had better add one for yourself! I hold high respect for someone who puts themselves out there when the message is unpopular. It’s a tough situation everywhere, consumers and manufacturers alike. I think the comments so far reflect that. Hopefully Yamaha’s marketing strategy works and they do well. It will make it easier for the corporates to justify the required $$$ to bring out the new high tech sleds us passionate Yamaha enthusiasts want to see.

    Keep up the great work on this Blog and please, keep up the fight for us behind the scenes within Yamaha. Just don’t be too vocal and get yourself fired! 😉

    Thanks YH, occasionally I wear my Tek Vest and lid at my desk but for the most part, business casual is the rule… cheers cr

  9. Ose says:

    How many manufacturers actually come out with something “brand new” every year or even every several years for that matter. Usually it is a modification of an existing model (ie crossover, different track length, etc.) If something is not ready for market, it makes more sense to wait until the bugs are worked out versus sending out a product that will tick people off (08 Nytro front end). There are alot of people, myself included, that ride for the pure joy of being out in the open enjoying the surroundings – not just to see how fast we can get from point A to point B (not saying I don’t enjoy cracking the fun stick every chance I get). I think the EFI to the Vec is a nice change to a nice sled. It is what I’ve been waiting for b-4 I bought one for the wife. Still luvin my XTX – the Doo guys I was riding with I think were kinda drewling. Thanks CR for lending a company ear. Big Torque – Big Grins. 🙂

    Ose

    P.S. My dealer also sells Ski-Doo – guess what sleds occupy the the repair shop racks? (hint – they are yellow and black)

    I drive past a big Doo dealer on my way to work every day and can view the service compound… lets just say they are not at a loss for something to Doo… cheers cr

  10. 7 skulls (bro to low slung) says:

    I think the 2010 yamaha snowmobile launch can be best thought of as a battle between passion and logic. Passion tells me I want a 2010 twin-turbo, apex/nytro with 250 hp, hot dog cookers for handgrips, 15 inches of suspenion travel front/rear, etc. Logic tells me I must save my pennies.
    Those of us on TY solidly represent the passion side and passions can get inflamed. The head folks at yamaha are closer to pure logic. Logic keeps yamaha in business (I hope).
    Yet passion gets you out at -25 to ride. Its passion that has you looking at the skies in Sept. speculating on the winter ahead, searching the internet for model info. and pestering your dealer for brochures/test rides. Passion wants your brand sled to be number 1, no matter what.
    You do a good job CR of walking the line with this diachotomy. Keep your head down and keep representing. As for me, the passion for yamaha sleds is still there, its just burning a little lower tonight.
    P.S. please reward Bunny with a trip to yamaha corp. headquarters. I’m sure the folks on TY will pay for the ticket.

    Interesting way of looking at it… BTW I think that’s an excellent idea, the TY members all chip in to send Bunny to Japan for a little morale booster, the engineers would like that!! but on second thought it might delay the new Apex another year 😉

  11. 8BU says:

    Chris,
    Funny to hear you say ‘don’t shoot the messenger. I’m a cnc programmer in a aerospace manufacturing facility. When ever an engineer comes to us with a last minute change or unrealistic drawing we usually jump on them. The engineers say there going to make us a sign that reads, ‘We shoot the messenger’ I guess it’s human nature to turn to the closest related ear and shout. Or shoot. Hence the reason for the saying mentioned. Oh yah Bombardier is one of our customers. Your doing a great job and I appreciate your blogs. After seeing the release it felt like Yamaha didn’t come up with anything new. Then looking back there probably was alot put into the two new Nytro mountain sleds and hopefully some refinements into the other models.

    P.S. Any progress on some solid production numbers for the Vmax4’s?

    I came up dry on the Vmax #’s but will keep it in mind, someones gotta know… thanks cr

  12. rxwhopper says:

    i can see your pain Chris and understand that not everyone can be happy with what comes out. I am a little disappointed myself that there is no big gun out this year, but i will run my supercharged attak for another year. boo hoo for me. I am not to concerned about whats not out this year for new sleds but happy that Yamaha will be around for another year because of its smart business decisions. They must know what there doing. My one question to you about Yamaha is why is there plastic pieces so expensive. like rail tips which are a big problem on the mono. I paid 50.00 per tip for 2 chunks of plastic. Arctic cats are 8.00 and doos are 12.00 why are ours so expensive? If you guys cant give us new sleds to replace ours with please don’t gouge our wallets for arts. Especially when Yamaha knew they are a problem. Exhaust donuts, rail tips, idler wheels. i would care if i had to replace this stuff on a regular basis if the parts were reasonable. keep up the good work Chris and hold your head up high. You are doing a great job. I wanted well behave kids but god never gave me that either. maybe i should yell at somebody lol. take care
    rxwhopper

    The parts prices are all based on formula and volume, not application. We still need to go in and make adjustments as things are brought to our attention. This is a good example. I will forward your comment to our IC people and lets see if you can’t impart a change to everyones benefit…
    cheers cr.

  13. Daranello says:

    Chris,

    I got to say, I love the blog and its so great to hear it from someone at Yamaha…I can’t think of any other manufacture that has allow its consumers to get so close…great job for thinking outside the box..keep up the good work…

    thanks man, just about to light the third candle! cheers cr

  14. Alain Vmax says:

    I support Yellowknife comments in every way and also think that you do an EXCELLENT job.

    Keep up the good work Chris

    Alain Vmax
    http://www.passion-yamaha.com

    Thanks Alain, I hope our friends in Quebec understand the direction… I know we have a market for 200hp touring sleds on your excellent trails!

  15. Scott says:

    I was a bit surprised to see how few changes there were in the line up but I’ve known this time was coming. Just look at how sled sales have decreased annually almost every year since its high in ’97. We are now at numbers similar to the early 90’s and I think are heading to numbers similar to the 80’s.

    I don’t really mind. I think the OEM’s have been introducing new chassis without enough R&D for years, Yamaha included. I like how my ’08 Nytro is basically the same as a ’10 and I can upgrade it to ’10 specs should I choose. Just like a guy could upgrade an Indy back in the 80’s.

    I think people are going to be in for a shock when they see the other OEM line-ups. It will be interesting to see what happens when they have to decide if spending $10,000 on a 2 stroke 600 is worthwhile. A prices continue to rise, buyers are going to have to consider whether a 2-stroke sled (that will be lucky to see only 5000 miles of real world use before experiencing a failure) is really a wise purchase to make. From what I’ve seen with my own eyes, the new 2-strokes are struggling to meet the EPA regs and even with EFI, the lean ratios they are required to burn are leading to more and more engine failures than should be occurring since jetting is no longer an issue.

    I think Yamaha’s decision to go 4-stroke back in ’03 is looking smarter and smarter every year.

    Thanks Scott, I think you have a very good understanding of the big picture… cheers cr

  16. Ike says:

    Chris, I just bought a preowned ´07 GT Warrior to replace my Vmax-4. I just couldn´t justify the fact to buy a new one (just under 16 000€ here!). Anyway, GT feels to be the sled for me. Worthy replacement of my V4 (which I still have).

    I can understand the point of economics and cutbacks making waves to the lineup and of the release of the New Apex. BUT if DOO (don´t really care about the rest IMO) makes a strong going with their 4-strokes 2010, are you in trouble (you are IMO).

    And finally, PLEASE make NYTROs wheelbase longer or at least to the prototype specs. That would make it so much better to ride!

    And take care and don´t let the “bad comments” bring you down.

    Ike

    Time will tell Ike… Doo will Doo what they can to dominate but they have bit off a lot trying and chase both directions, it would be very easy to own the market and lose money in the process. Long term we need to weather out a poor economy and remain profitable so we still have someone left at the end of the day to carry on. I think if Doo truly believed that the 2-stroke technology is superior and will live long and prosper they would not have spent the money to develop 4-stroke. Why would they if 2-stroke is really more fuel efficient / reliable and light weight, the ‘holy graille’. They are definitely cheaper to produce. If they invest more into 4-stroke this year and not 2-stroke, that really tells me something… Rotax is a strong company but when it comes to engines, I’ll put my nickle on Yamaha every time. cheers cr

  17. Jim Bob says:

    Chris
    I’m one of the majority of snowmachine owners that thinks Yamaha is on top right now . They have an all around excellent product line offered. I would love to get into a 2010 RS Vector. I’m after reliability,priceing. Yamaha will loose me and lot’s of others if they get away from what there doing now that’s a fact.
    Me and many of my friends will never need or buy an excess of horsepower or lesser reliable sled because of the higher pricing and tech needed. But I think Yamaha knows this.

    There is something to the ‘get what you paid for’ adage but we still must remain competitive in the market place, I’m waiting for all the numbers to become available… thanks cr

  18. Chris says:

    CR
    Thanks for the perspective,
    We now have an excuse to dress up, modify, turbo… are sleds
    Now let’s get out and have a great weekend,
    CH

    I’m in! cr

  19. The Rock says:

    As a die hard snowmobiler I was a little disappointed in the 2010 lineup. But at the same time with the current economic situation I could see it coming. I wonder if the people that are looking for a new Apex would really want what they are asking for and be willing to pay for it at the current prices to put a super charger or a turbo in an Apex wouldn’t the price skyrocket too up around the $20,000 range? Also as someone in the snowmobile industries I realize that when it comes to sales the top selling machines are never the highest HP. I would like to end by thanking you personally Chris I think you have done a great job, please don’t let a few negative comments get to you, and I hope to hear from you soon. P.S. I for one would love to see that 2011 Bravo 4-Stroke!!

    Hey thanks Rock… you are certainly correct that the new tech always comes at a price… I still believe in the concept of engagement and the real acid test is when things are negative, these past couple of days have done nothing more than strengthen my belief and resolve in the blog. cheers cr

  20. scottpee says:

    OK after reading all the replies, i guess most of my issues were mentioned. I have the APex gt 40th ed., and yeah it came close to a match a few times by it’s ill handling characteristics. I stuck with it thou – and it is a “decent” handling sled now – not great, but decent. ANYWAY, redesigning the suspensions SHOULD have been priority, because what good is 250hp if you can’t ride it hard? Get the sleds to handle awesome THEN drop the big ponies in it. I think (for some reason) most of the “complainers” are stuck in the 2010 rut. By that i mean, ooohh ahhhh 2010, SOMETHING big has to happen cuz its 2010. Whatever – its just another year – but don’t get me wrong, i am disappointed too….but not so much with the HP, just hoped new suspensions would embark on the Apexs etc. I am also not too sure about the “fluffy” colours for the Apexs either. Its suppose to be a tough sled, but the colours imply “blah”. SOME will like it (those are the people i pass everyday on the trails DOING 50km/hr)…which is a ridiculous speedlimit, i think i hit 40 unloading it outta the trailer! lol. Good for Polaris (can i say that word here??)they’ve been in the crapper since they got rid of the xcr 800., they are “forward” thinking even in this economy. It could work – i would HOPE that they tested the hell out of it. They could be “heros” or “zeros”, but ya know, they had nuthin to lose. Most of their “diehard” customers left long ago anyway- if it works, we’ll all be back. (unless Yamaha does some major improvements to the suspension)Cudos to Yamaha for improving the handlebar heaters (thou they are OK for me), and the Vector sounds much improved., however the majority of replies are Apex riders (so it seems), Yamahas reliability and drivetrain have been stellar, for me, but using these sleds for hard riding/rough trail etc., are daunting – but do-able. I’ve ridden an RTX, and honestly, with all the changes to mine that i’ve done – it DESTROYED his on the same 20km of crap trails. He tried it ,and has pestered me to change his too. HA. Anyway, i know i keep going off topic – so i will steer back to it: Cris, YOU are “our” voice to Yammy, and yeah people are bashing – we’ll all never be happy, and i don’t think any slagging is personal towards you – guys are just P.O’ed about the lineup…REALLY just put it into perspective…its SNOWMOBILING, it “A” snowmobile dude. IF you still have money to pay the bills, put food on the table for the kids, and don’t have a deadly disease – you should be thrilled about your life! It’s a sport that we all love and will always do, so cut some slack and wait it out, all good will happen. IF not, go buy aftermarket goodies and “kick it!”

    Well said scottpee, thankfully you are not the ‘average’ rider (don’t think many of the active core riders on TY are!) The Apex has always been a great trails sled, the RTX was a gap stop towards the Nytro chassis. That said some guys still need a 150 plus bump banger. Sound likes you have got your dialed! Does sled addiction qualify as a deadly disease? cheers cr

  21. PhatboyC says:

    Very well said Chris. On and on again you show the professionalism and honesty in your blog. No other manufacturer even come close to have this direct connection to their clients.

    Hats of to you sir and can’t wait for your next blog as usual.

    Hey Carl , amazes me still that at least one of the other OE’s hasn’t had the balls to jump into the conversation, I think I have proven it can be done, makes me think they just don’t get it or don’t care. It’s much easier (safer) to ‘feed’ the consumer marketing bunk and sit back thinking you guys take it all verbatim and run gleefully to the dealerships, wallet in hand.
    I wonder, if it was not for the internet, what would I be thinking about the recent launch of the 2010 line? My guess (and there are people inside this organization who don’t read anything outside of their emails) I would be thinking life is grand, everyone loves our products and our customers are all happy. It is the traditional result of top down marketing, measured in sales figures not opinion… cheers cr

  22. DoktorC says:

    WOW! I guess one thing “we’re” not short on is passion.

    CR, great job. It’s clear there is no one more committed to the sled business (both yamaha and otherwise). I don’t envy your postion at this time of year. I’ve watched for a number of years everyone building up hype towards the launch date…then when they don’t get want we see this type of reaction. I remember the Apex not being a big enough change lol.

    I really think when the dust settles the new Vector will be shining star. I don’t know the exact numbers but I do know the hype-sled segment has always been small and the Vector should be the meat of the sales.

    What I don’t see is Yamaha slipping in relation to the competition. We get all excited when one of the “others” rushes something to market, feeling like we’re getting left behind. Now, my opinion here doesn’t count for much because I’m not a new sled buyer…but…here’s my $0.02. By continuing to refine and develop their engines Yamaha IS in fact staying ahead of the curve. Engine to engine no one else has what we do. I’ve always said I’d pay more for 5lbs of quality. I’ll take durability over light any day. This goes for the next performance model as well. I’d rather see it work and be late then be rushed to market, billed as the World’s Fastest Production Snowmobile then get pounded by stock Apex’s on the lake….;)

    Look on the bright side…it stopped raining here today (after 4 days of April weather) and it looks like we’ll ride this weekend after all. FWIW I don’t know why they didn’t stop sled evolution after the ’05 RX…clearly it’s the best sled ever made…just ask me I’ll tell ya. 🙂

    Hey Rick, thanks for the support… bummer about the melt down, my goal was to ride 2000km from last Friday to this holiday Monday, had the rain not happened I would be in the saddle right now making my way to the cottage to put the cap on the odo, instead of sipping coffee and pecking away at my computer… at least is freezing again, snow in the forecast and sleds in the back of the truck… cheers cr

  23. Sled Dog says:

    Chris I enjoy reading your blog as well. It is nice to read your points of view coming from a fellow rider and Yamaha Canada employee. Your resolve in sticking with the blog in the hard times as well as the good earns my respect. I am not disapointed with the 2010 line up in fact it is what I expected with the world economy being what it is right now. As you know I am very disapointed with the price difference and I do realize there is nothing you can do about it other than to pass on what we are saying here to your upper management. I will most likely not be buying a 2010 sled but hopefully world economics will improve and help to convice me to buy in 2011. Keep up the good work you are doing with this blog!

    Thanks SD… Onward through the fog!! cr

  24. snoguzzler says:

    Chris I agree with most of the posters on here. The new Vector will be a big hit! Sure it would be awesome to have a new Apex but the truth is i doubt i’d buy one and it’s probably the same with most of us. The economic bull is hard on us all. I’ll be riding the ’06 Attak another year and won’t have to drool over what I am afraid to buy (or am afraid to pay for).
    Your doing a great job and I respect you for it!

    Freshen up the hy-fax and smile all the way to the bank! cheers cr

  25. Bakemono says:

    While I share the disappointment of the others with Yamaha not really releasing anything new for ’10, I also understand that we cant expect Yamaha to reinvent the wheel every year.
    Yamaha has released new product every year since ’03 and just because they didnt do anything new and ground-breaking this year, that doesn’t mean they are going to slip in mediocrity.
    I would hope that with not coming out with something all-new that Yamaha would at the very least refine the sleds and address some of the issues with these machines.
    IMO, with coming out with new product every year, Yamaha has slipped a little bit in terms of quality.

    I believe our engineers feel somewhat the same. Looking back we released three all new engines and three all new chassis in as many years. I still remember the days of going five years plus between big change (exciter 87-92 / Vmax 92-97) those were some serious BNG years! It pains me to see the minor stuff like warmers, bearings and chassis bits go so long with no ‘fix’, but even the little stuff can take big time and investment to address. We are starting to see some catch-up now.
    cheers cr

  26. DNR says:

    You are blessed cr. Not sure about the crap you take. When the going gets tough the tough get going. I miss riding with you.
    GREAT COMMENTS ABOVE
    dnr

    Well pal, I am blessed to have made some great friends through my connection to the handle-bars!! miss your antics as well! cheers cr

  27. Stephen Kelly says:

    Hey Chris your doing an admirable job fending off the hoards….Braveheart would be proud !

    Thanks Stephen, I don’t look at as all that confrontational, I still consider myself a rider and a member of the hoardes who has the privilege of some insight and info that I try to share within certain confines… if it helps temper things all the better… cheers

  28. Erik says:

    24 posts in a day. Man that there tells you the reveal is a big deal to alot of folks, and the blog is popular..

    Imo the Nytro MTX is the new sled for us europeans since we dont really have any “groomed trails”. The vector is a nice sled but not for our riding (if the gen II mono isnt better than the first at smashing moguls?). The Nytro on the other hand, is. I know some friends of mine that have looked at the MTX but went in another direction but maybee this time they will pull the trigger?

    Thanks Erik, I would think the Fox air in the skid will be a real bonus for you guys but you might consider adding the idler wheels and not just relying on the scratchers, our mountain guys are all about getting up to the powder where you guys may have to scratch all day… the mono 2 is all about durability but won’t be as progressive as air… maybe we should develop an AIr Mono!
    cheers
    cr

  29. Erik says:

    No air mono please.. Imo the floats ok, but on a trail/bumpsled there are better options.. Lets say ÖHLINS! I have not tried the evols etc but i bet they are too expensive on a production sled… After revalving all my -08 rtx shocks they didnt bottom out as they did at first but I now have Öhlins in the rear (same as Johan E ran last year in snow X) and they are damn stiff but still smother than the stock shocks. Up front I still run the Floats but I am considering different shocks there aswell (for adjustability). The lack of idlers on the SE is as you say not a great deal here but I bet the sleds will be alittle different than your sleds whan they arive here… -08-09 MTX had Öhlins rear shock and the -06 nytro also had Öhlins but up front..

    Ya Ya… rub it in… you guys always get the good stuff and we don’t even hear about it (you can thank Ole Johan Haga if ever your trails cross 😉
    cheers cr

  30. Amigan says:

    When I saw the 2010 lineup, I too was disappointed. I wasn’t looking for a new machine, just more power out of the existing ones. If there is a trail rider style scale from 0 – 10, where 0 is you don’t even know what a snowmobile is, and 10 is Aggressive, I’m a 12: Retarded. My RX-1’s and my Apex do a good job, but they could be better. The Nytro comes on hard, but she’s all done by 90 MPH or so. It flattens out above that. I get ‘poor’ fuel economy as compared to most as I am WFO majority of the time on all my sleds. I actually don’t care about fuel economy. Got to pay to play right?
    I don’t need a turbo.. that will just shoot me into a tree faster, but 20 extra HP would do nicely. Is it possible? I think so. So I guess since I REALLY want a new sled, it’s a 09 Nytro for me. Next task is to reverse engineer the Nytro ECU to re-map the fuel and spark (already did your R6’s and I know what’s in the Apex). Then spend some time on the engine dyno to come up with some new cams, port designs, etc. Was just hoping you guys would have done that vs me doing it. I know the restrictions you guys have to live with when it comes to emissions. I knew the standards long before the EPA even told you what it would be. Good thing is they didn’t hammer you with some of the other proposals. Was funny seeing rows of dirt bikes and snowmobiles sitting there getting vapor emissions tested for what seeps through the plastic fuel tanks.

    The hand warmer fix is a welcome addition to the new sleds. Hopefully they were tested with a “thermally efficient” (I.E. tall and skinny) person like me. I really like the new black machines. Sounds like the marketing surveys I did on Yamaha’s site paid off 🙂
    I also really like this blog. Rare people get a line inside of a company. I am the President/CEO of mine and I allow total access to myself from our customers.. goes a long ways. So kudo’s for that.

  31. Top secret says:

    Hi CR,
    Well , For sure Yamaha has its passionate snowmobiler’s.
    It is unfortunate you have to be complaint dept for Yamaha.
    I don’t see other Reps out there corresponding.
    Perhaps the few that have to now bash the product planners , will have second thoughts and figure out how to get there foot out of there mouths before they put there helmet’s on when the other OEMs post.
    No question we are having tough times now, so lets see what the other OEMs are offering.
    We might see a pattern.

  32. Bob Hogg says:

    What a world ay….the guy down the street was the owner of Harbourcraft Aluminum boats. He sold the business, years ago, because the darn customers DEMANDED upgrades every year….good thing he didn’t make sleds. ON A ROW BOAT!!!!

    The Yen – ya…wow – it’s a huge impact on the Canadian dollar – it’s about $1200.00 cheaper for us to use USD…. just buying a small amount like Yen 500,000.

    The magazines will build the product – just like they have for the past 4 decades. I can say it….90% of the Yamaha riders I talk to have never heard of TY.

  33. Pistol says:

    Come on now CR I’m sure there is time for the updated mono, the drivers and full clipped track to arrive in the 2010 Apex. It’s all just pre-production units now so who knows what might happen when the production run starts 🙂

    Also I’m sure you could let us know a little about the now to be 2011 top of the line sled. How would the EPS system work on a sled etc etc? Purely theoretically speaking of course b/c I’d hate to think you have ridden it and would not share 🙂

    BTW I think Yamaha has done the right thing this year. Tighten the purse strings sit back and watch Cat go bust. The supposedly crap Apex just happens to be a turn the key go faster than all other stockers day in and day out machine. Who needs that!!! The crap chassis that seems to be able to have a turbo or s/c bolted on and run incredible hp without any beefing up. Who needs that!!! Handling issues can be addressed with a 13mm bar, a set of Cobraheads and suspension adjustments. Thanks for the constant improvements based on customer complaints. Not just for 2010 by addressing the wheel bearings (I’ve never had a problem) the heated grips (I’ve never had a problem) but also the addition of a rear heat exchanger in 2009 (never had the light come on without one) and so on down the years. Should also mention no issues with slider wear either. Typical Yamaha, burn quickly to the wear line and then last for miles and miles like that.

    Sure nothing is perfect. The pricing issue btw USA and CDN is a favourite!! The 2008 Nytro front end!! The exhuast donuts are another issue Yamaha needs to address. Although I might be mistaken on that one b/c has something been done for 2009 or 2010 to stop this from happening? A flex pipe or an extra clamp in there?

    Anyway we can all spend our hard earned money on what ever machine we like and so on and so forth….

    Keep up the good work CR. Let me know if you need an assistant. Also when do I get to borrow the 2010 Vector GT for the weekend 🙂

    Cheers.

  34. mark rosenblath says:

    All the hugs and kisses and pats on the back are sweet, but keep telling yamaha its ok maybe next year( will never change things) sorry about my honesty alot are thinking the same thing thanks Mark

  35. J Miller says:

    I was a little disappointed there is no new Apex, but I was planning to ride my 08 for another season anyway. I hope that the exhaust systems will be improved, as I have had to replace donuts on my Apex, as well as my 08 Nytro already, both around 4600km mark.I hope that prices will drop before 2011 models are out.

  36. parepadarappa says:

    Well, now that the new release is done with, and the fire has settled down so to speak, maybe you could get to finishing the SRX/Viper story that you started last winter. (Sorry Chris, I for some reason feel this burning desire to stir the pot)
    -Ben

    well Ben I read this comment and went to my file on the Viper assets with the intention of starting the post. Man this is a large project and I simply can’t do it justice this week. I promise you’ll get the story but it’ll have to wait until the snow melts and things slow down a bit… I must keep reminding myself that blogging is not in my job description and not why I get paid the dough for holding down this desk… cheers cr

  37. Jennifer says:

    So my husband and I bought two 09 Vectors and at the risk of getting my ear chewed off I am glad they didn’t change much. I didn’t want to regret not waiting until 2010.
    I used to own two Arctic Cats and one Ski Doo when the decision came to buy I did my research! The engine blew on the Ski Doo and I wasn’t going to spend enough money to buy a new car on something you ride three months out of the year just to have it start on fire….Polaris…..or sit in the shop……Ski Doo……or have various problem to numerous to mention….Arctic Cat. I am not saying that they are not good sleds, but when I did my research they were the ones with the most complaints. Like I said, I had two Arctic Cats, and a Ski Doo with a motor that blew.
    I choose our Yamaha’s because of reliability and comfort, I am not the type to trade in every two years. I will let other people buy the new models and get all the bugs worked out, THEN I will trade mine it for two new ones….again. So Yamaha take your time….but not to long…. 🙂

    hey Jennifer,certainly sounds like you did your homework alright… hope you are satisfied with the Yamaha’s so far, look at the bright side, you can invest all that money UR saving into spa appointments or maybe a turbo 😉 glad you’re both on board! cheers cr

  38. Sasquatch says:

    I’m not anymore disappointed then I was last year and the year before. In this global meltdown I didn’t expect to much either. But if everyone gets a beef then here is mine!

    With the new Apex based Venture dropping the Apex motor in it is so easy its amazing that its not done to compete with Cats Turbo touring.

    I’ve talked with you about this before. I want a performance touring sled. I had to settle for a warrior in 05 after waiting for Yamaha to put the motor in the Venture to no avail.

    I’m no fan of the Nytro and even the Apex is wind protection limited for -30 touring (I know I’m going to be unpopular after saying that). At least now that the Venture is Apex based a new larger touring windshield is offered.

    As I still like my Warrior I’m keeping it for a while longer but right now only Cat makes a performance touring sled. Yamaha could compete with a 150 fuely Venture that would in my opinion be a sweet sled.

    I left Cat when they dropped the 1000 (T-Cat)Pantera. Now they are building another sled its equal. Maybe they saw a market wonder who is buying those sleds? As its a four stroke performance two up touring I know I would and may!

    I like Yamaha but stand up snowcross style sleds being the only way to get any performance are not for the older ones of us that want a little comfort and power to go with it. My wife likes to go for a ride a few times a year. I have a seat Jack but it sucks. The Venture as a two up does not. But without the Apex motor I won’t buy it.

    The sled is a bolt together option with the exhaust being the only thing different. Adding a few more inches of pipe should not overtax engineering or assembly.

    Heck make it a spring order only model. I know its not a huge demand sled but there are many who would buy it.

    So again I’m not really disappointed with the line up anymore this year then last. Snowcross sells and I can understand that but i’ve seen many a snowcross sledder frozen stiff at warmup shacks all over the place.

    Sales are up for heated clothing because of it. Maybe Yamaha can mount a small generator option for those drawing 10 to 20 amps on -30 days. Bad humor I know!

    Anyway I just want to let you know I’m still pulling for the two up performance touring. As I know you are not against such a sled I just want to bring it to top of mind again.

    Drop the hint again this year for me would ya!

    Thanks Charlie C aka Sasquatch

    excellent write up Charlie… this planning debate goes way back to the Vmax4… Canada asked for one (Vmax4 Touring) based on the Quebec market… didn’t happen, then came the SRX 700 and more requests from Canada.. nada… then the RX-1, now Apex… Canada is still asking!! Long live good trails and cold temps… too bad the market didn’t speak up south of the border over the years or things might be different today. cheers cr

  39. patrick''pat the rat'' lavictoire says:

    i was gone on a 7 day trip in quebec last week,the same week the 2010 were to be unveiled,with no internet access,i was biting my finger nails on the new line up,finally on the 11th,we ran into a bunch of yammi riders on the trail so i went and talked to them and i asked them if a new model was out,they told me,no,nothing,nada.i was kind of shocked by that news,not because i was waiting to purchase a new model cuz i love my 09 vector ltx,it was just a feeling of,oh no,yamaha is slowing down,they are getting out of the snowmobile business with all that recession happening,then i came to my senses,no way yamaha is bailing out on us,they make to good of a product and have too many loyalist to do that,frankly,i dont know what id do if yamaha was to walk away from the snowmo business,i guess i would keep my vector for ever,ah,ah,when i came back home i checked the new line up in full and i must say that i was surprised at all the improvements made on several models,it is a strong line up imo,just wondering what happened to the vector ltx non gt,keep up the good work,i love the blog
    ‘ptr’

  40. agentzoey says:

    Hey Chris, I just wanted to say that when you guys did the video with Vector vs the Apex, a real good seller would have been a race against the BRP XR 4tec 1200 sled. I bet it gives that 1200 fits or beats it. Am I correct? That would get Doo-talk in an up-roar and give alot of people something to talk about and I definetly believe you would have some jumpers from BRP to Yamaha.

    Later,

    Andy

  41. sldmnx.com » Blog Archive » Yamaha 2011 - A Game Changer (with Power Steering?) says:

    […] interesting to see what they will show for us at the 2 February. Last year many Yamaha fans was disapointed over what the 2010 line up had to offer but this year Cr say on Yamaha Sled Talk that: -”Will […]


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