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February 27, 2009

Jim Kedinger

A good friend announced his retirement from Yamaha recently. jim-eagle.jpgJim Kedinger has been with Yamaha Snowmobiles for thrity years plus, working closely with engineering and testing. I’ve known Jim for close to 20 of those years and only regret I was not around when he first came on board, fresh off the oval scene in the Yamaha sno-pro, hay days of the mid sevegroup.jpgnties.

I was looking for a shot of Jim in my files and came across a disc filled with images of a Yamaha reunion party which Jim organized a couple of years ago. This group shot of the original pioneers may conjure up a few ghosts for some. Names like Degener, Mike and Lynn Trapp, Muetz, Berkely, Hasegawa, Hayata, Bowers, Twork, Johnson and Ouimet to name some of this alumni. I am a sucker for this stuff having great respect for those that came before me. The bond that these guys maintain years later is testimony to the spirit of snowmobiling. Once its in the blood I don’t think you can ever leave it behind.

Anyway Jim has given a lot of his life to Yamaha snowmobiles, one of the rare few Gaijin who reported directly to our engineering department effectively becoming a factory employee. I for one am going to miss knowing he’s on the job. Maybe someday there will be another reunion for the surviving Yamaha snowmobile alumni. I’ll be the first to RSVP if I make the list. It would be great to challenge Jim to a game of b-darts which he is famous for (amongst other crazy things…) Happy trails cowboy, let Debbie know retirement is twice as much husband.. on half as much pay!!

jim.jpg lid.jpg

I have been in touch with my PassionYamaha pal Richard in Quebec. He is an avid photographer and shot some great pics at the recent Grand Prix in Valcourt (home of Skidoo) and the premier sled race weekend in Canada. Heres a link to his web-site where you’ll find pics of the races, he even got into the Yamaha Factory Racing trailer when Andre wasn’t looking (page 3)!

Seeing as how this post is a bit nostalgic. I have been working on another project that may ring a bell with some Yamaha dealers and old friends… I’ll give you a hint – TRIC-

I had some feedback from Brendan out in BC, not the first time I had heard his comment. If you are not new to Sled Talk you’ll know I generally high lite key words using bold text. I was taught that this technique is appreciated by people who skim through articles, looking for the gist of the content in this accelerated world of over-abundant information. Turns out some feel I am shouting while others find it distracting. What do you think? Should I continue to bold the key words or does this work better (it’s definitely faster!).

Still thinking about the Klim gear discussion from last week. I won’t have a chance to sled this weekend but I have a trip planned to Wisconsin to join in a proto test session soon. I will learn more about the Klim product there and answer what I can. Until then all I can do is sharpen the ice scratchers and dance… (too fat to fly)

Cheers cr

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Posted @ 4:33 pm in Yamaha People and Communication   

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5 Responses to “Jim Kedinger”

  1. Low slung(TY.com) says:

    Great story chris.Today me and 7skulls got to enjoy some great back country riding but just to be safe we would stop ever so often to pack lots of snow on our running boards to cool the sleds(temp light wasn,t on)on the worn down trail(lots of snow off trail,kudos to the warrior)so that brings me to my first question,do yamaha sell ice scapers for there sleds?(heat exchangers on running boards)and what proto,s are your riding this weekend?Bet there not 2010 models.

    Hey Low Slung… Yes we now have Ice Scratchers available. They are high quality spring steel with stainless hardware, mount to either the rail or with an optional bushing kit will mount in back of the idler wheels… lots of options and no more packing snow on the running boards, they hook onto the rail when not in use and best of all … they’re blue! As far as what I am riding this weekend… my Santa Cruz Superlite … at the joint test… you’ll have to wait to hear about that one 😉 cr

  2. big50viper says:

    Hi Chris,I looked through the accessories on the site and could not find the ice scratchers, is it possible you could put the part # on this site, Thanks.

    I just checked as well and you are right they are not up yet… It’s a new part and I guess we haven’t updated the site yet… I’ll get the info and either put it on here or include in my next post. We are ready to print our 2010 accessories brochure which is due out right away and I know its in there.
    Thanks for letting me know… cheers cr

  3. Mark says:

    Chris,
    Thanks for the GREAT pictures for the snow cross races in Valcourt. Hopefully this team of Ian Hayen and Steve Taylor will come to Craighurt in April for the final CSRA race. I would rate this POST a 5 out 5.
    As far as the bold text in your posts, I am okay with this formate.
    Keep up the good work.
    Last post on the KLIM products was also good.

    Mark

  4. Gord says:

    Hey CR , I got to know Jim really well in the 80s when he was following Tim Bender and team around on the ovel and new Snowcross scene.
    Jim was easy to track down at the races with that big fur hat he had on.
    Hope he got another for his long Yamaha service with a tuning fork on the front.
    He always helped us independents like myself get our SRVs up to speed.
    On my yearly trips to Minocqua he would be back at his desk , but would always come back to say hi to this scribe.
    I wish Jim the best , thanks for all the help.
    BTW, Hayden won the Blair Morgan inspiration race on Sat, and finished Second in the Open final in chilly Kirkland Lake this past weekend.
    Andre says the team is tentatively coming up to Horseshoe ,the boys like coming back to this pro Canadian crowd.
    No word if Bunny coming.

    Thanks for the update Gordo, I wonder what it would cost to bring Bunny up… probably more than the team 😉 cr

  5. Portmeister. says:

    Chris: I’m sure Jim is going to be missed, when I was on the Bender Race Team and traveled to alot of the races Jim would be there and one of the things that always stuck in my mind was when he would rub his hands together to warm them up, you would swear he was rubbing them so hard sparks would fly. Nice memories from those days. Dave C.

    You know I have the exact same memory and often find myself rubbing my hands together as though to start a fire… I always remember Jim at that moment 🙂 cheers cr


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