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Archive for May, 2009

May 22, 2009

Blackflies and Snowflakes

Lots of stuff going on around here but precious little I can talk about (at this point in time). I am already getting excited about next season and my new sled. I was totally ready to ride the new Vector next year but something has come up that really got my attention and I have decided I will once again be on board an Apex. But this one will be  special with the addition of a couple of new, soon to be released accessories… (fingers crossed).

tk1John and I had the pleasure of doing some ATV’ing the other day with a couple of Grizzlies outfitted with track kits. It truly is amazing what these things are capable of doing given the additional traction and stability provided by the big foot print. They will not replace a snowmobile but I can sure see why many guys are converting their bikes in the winter. Quite a giggle.

On the subject of tracks, I tried my skills on another interesting toy last weekend. A good friend hooked me up wihoeth his mini-excavator to dig a new foundation for my cottage. All motor heads should have a chance to operate one of these things some day. Double joy sticks, thumb buttons and foot pedals controlling multiple functions simultaneously is enough to challenge anyones mechanical motor skills. End of the day I didn’t wreck anything (too badly) and the dirt all ended up back in the hole. It was a humbling experience to witness Anthony, a truly skilled operator, take the controls, throttle it up and demonstrate how it should be run. Kind of like me putting in a hot lap on a snow cross course feeling all good about myself and then watching Steve Taylor take on the same lines…. serious shrinkage!

I had the pleasure to meet a fellow out in Revelstoke through his participation here on Sled Talk. Steve Burdick and his dad have a large collection of old  sleds assembeled under the banner of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum. Well Steve and his wife just brought a new Yamaha pilot into the world… congratulations Steve, looks like Jayden is just abouth the right size for that Nytro!bfsf

Well it’s just about time for me to head back up to the cottage to feed the black flies. Good thing I ride only Yamaha’s as it would really suck to break down on the trail this weekend… one more advantage to winter. Black flies and snowflakes hmmm kinda sums up my life these days 😉

cheers cr

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Posted @ 3:05 pm in Opinions and Insights,Yamaha People and Communication   

May 6, 2009

Meetings With YMUS

We were locked down in the boardroom for a couple of days  last week with our friends Todd, Wade, Andrew and Eric from YMUS . Our objective was to establish a ‘one voice’ snowmobile strategy with Canada and USA working closer than we ever have before. As the old saying goes when the going gets tough… the tough gets going. So pull up a stump and I’ll give you some background.

I’ve known Todd for a long time now. He came on board back in the Coon Rapids era as a research and planning guy. His impact was quickly felt as the data he produced became a large part of the ‘product plan’ and international debates regarding our new model development. He was also the first fellow officially appointed to monitor the emerging new world of the Internet, watching for trends and information relative to the sno-mo biz. Now-a-days Todd finds himself sitting at the helm as we navigate through these difficult economic times. Gotta hunch those days in Minneapolis seem far away now…

Then their is Wade our (by my standards) relatively new marketing guru. Let me tell you beneath his mellow exterior facade lurks an animal who, once behind the bars of a Nytro, becomes unleashed, wreaking havoc upon the trail but I digress. Wade comes to us from a deep background in the magazine publishing business with many years invested in snowmobile. Judging from some of his sixty dollar words and quick rebuttals I would have to guess the man has himself quite an ‘edumaction’ as well.

I mentioned some ‘young guns’ in my last post, well Andrew qualifies as one of them in his position of product manager for the U-crew. Another young man with a lot on the ball. Brains, athleticism and passion for motor sports makes for a potent cocktail and ‘Drew has copious amounts of them all.

This was the first time for me to meet Eric but I doubt it will be the last. I never got a lot of his background but when the conversation turned to finding exotic motor parts he sparked to life. Something about his rare factory R7 Superbike and the Euro contacts he had made… Eric is in command of the US fleet of demo ride teams and trade show exhibits, a huge logistical challenge in itself.

We had an extensive agenda that focused largely on our 2011 models  and all the preparation which goes into a new product line introduction.

(more…)

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Posted @ 3:10 pm in Yamaha People and Communication