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December 3, 2009


Well it does appear we are in for a soft La Nina winter. Odd things are already SFBChappening. Ontario has been mild with no snow in the GTA during the month of November (a record) but that is all about to change this weekend. The Environment Canada guy says this mild La Nina can cause above average snowfall east of the prairies but look what is happening out west at Whistler. They just smashed the record for the snowiest month ever and are already nearly half way to their season average of over 30 feet…

My sled is on its way back here today with the ‘prop heads’ who are just coming off one shoof our biggest outboard product launches in years. Most of my friends know I am a big fan of fast boats. In my mind nothing defines speed better than a performance hull ripping at the surface tension of the water,  held aloft by negative air and propeller thrust in a delicate balancing act of trim and torsional counter steering. When it comes to lightweight outboard performance, we have had some beautiful engines in our older Vmax and V6 HPDI 2-strokes but the advent of large displacement 4-strokes has kind of put us out of the lightweight performance game. That is until now. I am truly excited about the fact that someone finally built a (4-stroke) outboard motor designed more like a sled or bike than a farm tractor. The new 4-stroke Vmax 250 SHO is actually lighter than our 2-strokes and offers up more torque than anything else in its class. The engineering execution is a work of art. I can only imagine- if somebody was to take one of these, add a supercharger, open up the intakes and exhaust and bolt it onto a 21 foot tunnel hull… ah yes, I can hear the sound of howling thunder in my dreams.

Picture-2Sorry about that little aquatic digression… my Apex should be back today with the Yamcharger installed, not sure if the PDI is done but I’ll be staying back here a couple of evenings to finish the prep and install some additional goodies. I also need to spend some time on the Blue Blog Sled which we stripped down to check out the chassis and now needs to be reassembled. We had a great response to the idea of making the BBS available to the ‘needy’ and I’m pleased to say we have the internal support to move ahead with the project. I’ll be getting in touch with some of you in the near future.

I’m also  trying to gain permission from the mother ship for the ‘YBTT’ and if all goes well, I may hook up with the BBS pilot for a little spin early in the new year. I was talking with Kent Lester from Supertrax this week who told me they are going to run a story on G-Force and the worlds fastest snowmobile, very cool. He also mentioned they have done some kind of real world evaluation and once the snow dust settled they selected as the best all-round trail sled based on performance, reliability, handling, comfort, resale value, efficiency etc…etc…short drum roll… winner- the Yamaha Apex. Funny comment he made, even though some of the ST staffers are pretty jazzed on our competitors sleds, when it comes time for a long epic, the Yamaha 4-strokes are never left back in lieu of a 2 smoke… sorry Kent but I had to say it 😉

OK; Until next week when I’ll post some photos of the BBS, update the MT09 ski (which btw is almost ready for release pending final sign-off from engineering) and hopefully show you my boosted Apex with hot hands and remote start… think snow!!

cheers cr

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14 Responses to “EC, HPDI, BBS, SHO, ST, YBTT, OMG!!”

  1. Bob Hogg says:

    Right…fast F1 boats used to be a blast to watch on the Dunnville River .. the air from the engine resonance drummed on your chest as they went by…..and the engine scream was…well..nice.
    Never seen World Class F1 boats.…

    Lets hope this current boat market doesn’t mess things up for your new model…actually..I think it’s more the ski boat market that’s a bit rough.

    I completely understand your need and marketing to run the big Yamcharger…..however…having the fastest box stock engine Apex…would turn my crank.

  2. scott says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing photos of the new skis.

  3. Yellowknife says:

    Wow. I want a boat in the spring with that sucker on the back. sweeeeeeet.

  4. Justin says:

    I’m 34 years-old and I’ve been riding yellow machines for most of my life but I want you to know that I am buying a Yamaha this week. I love this blog; your passion and candid dialogue are refreshing. I have been to many Yamaha demos since the RX-1 hit the snow and I have finally been won over by the quality and real-world performance of your product. Please keep listening to customers and please keep delivering the highest quality….it’s worth the money! Have a safe and great riding season! Thanks again.

    Hey Justin, welcome on board!! If you ever have any questions or we can be of service… you know where to find me. I hope your new sled exceeds your expectations. cheers cr

  5. DoktorC says:

    Any chance of a Blue Blog Outboard (BBO)?? I’ll BMOB (bring my own boat)…and host a BBQ for the YSB!!

    FYI tunnel boats are for pansies :).

    Good idea!
    Agreed, mod V’s rule for fun… but there is something about the stability in the rough at 100 plus that I find appealing. Not everyone is capable of standing on a 2×4 perched on a bowling ball in the back of a pickup going up the 400 😉 cr

  6. snoguzzler says:

    I think there are alot of people like the Supertrax writers who like to bash “heavy” Yamaha four strokes but if given the choice would actually ride them ahead their own 2 smokes. It says alot that a sled I hear rummblings about being old and needing to be replaced etc. wins the all around best sled from Supertrax. That tells me it’s still miles ahead of the rest!!
    Feel the Yamaha Thunder!!!

  7. bagadonitz says:

    Can you give any details at all on the ski? Particularly width and a rough guesstimate at the cost in Canada?

    I’m converting my 08 FX Nytro RTX to a cross over this year and the only thing left to do is change out the stock skis. I’m precariously close to ordering some Slydog Powder Hounds but I really liked the look of the M9 from the little I’ve seen.

    Any details you can shed to help me wait a little longer?

    The ski is basically 9.5 inches wide with an hour glass shape which translates to 7.5 inches at the spindle. the weight per ski is around 1.5 lbs (w/o runner). The runners will be sold separately in 3 in or 6 in carbide versions. Price for skis will be in the 150 range and runners in the 60-90 range CDN$. Note these prices are ball park only but the specs should be fairly close. Personally I think they will be an excellent cross-over ski as they should have great flotation at that width and are reported to have very good on-trail handling characteristics. They are also quite light aiding in the ‘unsprung’ weight and steering effort benefits… hope this helps, don’t think you’ll be able to get your hands on any until early January but I’ll update on Sled Talk as soon as I hear anything… cheers cr

  8. bagadonitz says:

    Thanks for that. I’m on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula where nothing short of a miracle is required for a decent snow fall before mid January. I’m going to wait to get a set of these and use my stockers if I’m blessed with snow before then.

    Sorry one more question. Will carbides from a stock Yamaha ski fit? I have a set of Bergstrom skegs that have a lot of life left in them yet that would be nice to reuse?

    Thanks for the additional info.

    Very doubtful that the Berg’s would fit, might be possible if you were willing to drill holes but I would not recommend that. You’ll have to wait and check out the new skags against the Bergstroms, maybe your dealer will give you a trade towards the new ones? BTW, I love Newfoundland, awesome country and the nicest people going… cheers cr

  9. bagadonitz says:

    Thanks again.

    If you really want to give the BBS some punishment send it down here for a week from mid February through to the end of March. I have a lot of holidays to use and I’m sure I could find someone to ride my FX Nytro in the mean time.

    okay Mr. donitz… now you’re scarin me 😉

  10. sledfreak says:

    So, the new replacement Apex is called the V-Max?

    Well now I figure if we were going to replace the Apex the best thing to call it would be a new Apex. If we were going to build something all new perhaps Vmax would be a nice retro handle. It’s awfully difficult to find a new name these days but you never know… cheers cr

  11. Justin says:

    Thanks for the response Chris! Sorry to do this to you but I would like your opinion on which sled I should buy. I am coming off of a 2007 MXZ Blizzard SDI and although they are two totally different sleds, I am torn between a 2010 RTX SE and a 2010 Vector LTX GT. I can get a great deal on both, but at demos last year I really didn’t get enough seat time on either to know for sure. I do a variety of riding. Here at home,(upstate NY)it’s a lot of tighter woods running which can get pretty blown-out. I do however usually make a few trips to Quebec each season for at least a couple thousand miles. I would obviously put a higher shield and fuel bags on the SE. At demos the SE suspension package felt nicely compliant and there is a ton of adjustability, the question is can I make it handle for fast groomed trails? Or, is the power delivery and comfort of the LTX a better fit? I prefer short tracks for quicker handling but it seems with four-stroke torque longer might be better??? I will say that I loved my 2007 bomber….all around solid machine but I am done with two strokes. I am riding too many miles and they don’t hold value. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    That’s a tough question and I can’t tell you which sled is better for you. The mono shock on the Vec will exhibit less kick than the twin shock and superior small bump compliance, the sled is really good at ‘making the bumps disappear’ the transition to standing is not as natural as the RTX, on the front end of things I find the steering more precise and predictable, all it needs is a good set of carbides. On the other hand the RTX allows you to hit the bigger stuff harder and feels bottomless when pushed, the transition and layout for stand-up riding is excellent and the sled loves to be throttled through the bumps, pre-load the suspension and blip the throttle to time the hits… lots of fun. The FX front end is definitely ‘busier’ than the RX chassis but can be dialed a lot of ways as you mentioned. I do believe for a high miler on mostly groomed (Quebec) the Vector is the better choice, it will survive rough trails quite well at surprisingly high speeds and is definitely the best handling trail sled we make, but I’m an old guy, if I was 34 I’d probably say screw it and by the Nytro for the fun factor. Equal riders on fast trails I’ll give the nod to the Vec to get you home first especially on a long haul. Sunday afternoon trails for a hundred miles of suffering… Nytro all the way… cheers cr

  12. low slung says:

    That new outboard is pretty trick,great to see yamaha bring new ideas and products to market.Got a chance this summer to try a demo 700 Rhino FI se,the ride was great.Alot more fun than Hondas BIG RED which i rode last winter.BIG RED is all work,no play.Makes the BIG RED a dull boy.Is there any truth to the stories i read on forums that yamaha was thinking about dropping snowmobiles in the early part of this decade?I know for a fact they were considering getting out of snowmobile production around the time the first PHAZER was introduced(1984).

    Interesting question LS, I started to reply but I think it would be better addressed in a full post, having given it some thought, there is a lot of background to the simple answer… which is yes. cheers cr

  13. pat the rat says:

    hey,chris,good post as usual,that outboard should really kick butt,i got a friend with the older vmax outboard on a bass boat,now ive never been on a boat faster than 35 mph but when he gave me a ride this summer at 70+ mph,i almost %?$@%$# my pants,i cant imagine something faster but i guess this new motor will be insane,ok,about the yamcharger,myself,i do alot of pr for yamaha just by talking to friends about how good the products are, alot of my friends ask me questions about yamaha,latest question i got was about the stock warranty,lets say i purchase a new 2010 apex and decide to add the yamcharger,what happens to my warranty,is it void or not,i couldnt answer it but i’m sure you can,thanks cr

    In simple terms the warranty policy is quite clear… modify the sled in any way and your warranty is void. In practice the dealer will generally look at the big picture and decide if the failure is related to the modification, for example you rewire the electrical system adding some kind of device in the process and the ignition module burns out… probably not warranty… same scenario and the rear shock absorber seal fails… warranty! In the case of a Yamcharger, you install one and experience an engine failure, the question will be asked — was it caused by the modification? If the answer is yes… no warranty. If it is something else unrelated most dealers will put through the claim and it won’t be questioned. Really we can’t ask factory to cover failures resulting from the modification of their tested designs. The policy is written to empower our service people to make the final call, no back door. You would be amazed at what some people try to push through under warranty… too bad because it can make things difficult for the honest ones. Like everything else in our society the rules are written to cover the lowest common denominator!… cheers cr

  14. scott says:

    Just today I saw pics of the M9 ski on TY. I think it has potential and I’m sure the test riders have worked it. But, if you want some real world, deep snow, low elevation testing in Alaska, I’m happy to oblige. I think the skis show promise, but I also see foresee that they may have some “issues”.

    Let me know if you are looking for more guys to help in testing. I’ve got a Vector set up of deep snow and a Nytro set up for trail and cross country racing. I’m well versed and familiar with product testing and would appreciate the opportunity to test a factory ski that is as wide as the VK ski but made for performance. The VK’s leave a lot to be desired.

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