January 26, 2011
Man, I don’t know whats happening this season but I am having a hard time keeping up with the blogging. I am going to start banging out some content without all the links and photos at least for the next few submissions… So what’s going on?
Well Jon and I were out on a couple of 2012 snowmobiles yesterday doing some video shooting for next months launch. We are going to do things a bit differently this year by providing our dealers with an online introduction to the new sleds and then upload much of the content to our web-site, Yamatube and Yournextsled.com for all.
Another recent development that is going to net me a couple of days on trail, the president of Yamaha Motor Company is flying in here from Japan on business and wants to go for a ride. I was volunteered to assist which is really quite an honor. I have had the pleasure to tour several of our presidents and directors over the years and without exception it has always had a positive impact somewhere down the road. I think if one only looked at the numbers without knowing the passion of the ride, the decision to be a snowmobiler, a snowmobile dealer or a snowmobile manufacturer would be in question. There is a lot of juice to be found in snowmobiles but only from the perspective of hanging onto the bars.
I had a chuckle when DanBro pointed out a little clip in a snomo rag earlier in the week. It was covering the launch in November of a new blog from Skidoo focussed on their mountain sleds. They conclude with ‘we applaud the open communication effort and hope other brands follow the yellow lead’… Nice! makes me wonder where they’ve been the last four years of Sled Talk. Come to think about it I remember Polaris had Tom Tiller blogging a couple of years ago and Cat has had a blog for quite a while covering the races and special events. Regardless, its a good move for them to connect with the online community, alas we’ll just have to follow along
I sat in on a very interesting session with an engineer from Nippon oil regarding oils and lubes a few days ago. I have read the conversations on some of the forums when the guys go off defending their favorite brand oils often quoting the different properties and advantages. I asked the question which prompted an answer that never occurred to me. Our engineers test Yamalube blends in each specific application. First right out of the bottle, then in use. It is the ‘in-use’ results that make or break the deal. He used one of the most popular automotive synthetics as an example, where it tested superb right out of the bottle but within 5 hours of engine operation, one of the areas where it ranked highest deteriorated to the point where we would not accept it for a Yamaha application. He went on to show several more examples based on hard data. The point I took from all this is many of the oil brands that claim to be great in so many applications are not tested in those same applications and the data you see in marketing print is based on clean oil in the bottle. Our oil has to pass tests that are based on new and at the drain interval and several points between. He also mentioned that Yamaha engineers have a reputation in his industry as being some of the most thorough and difficult to satisfy. I thought that was a good thing.
January 17, 2011
We had some great early conditions going into the holiday season but in traditional southern Ontario fashion, a major meltdown occurred before New Years. I decided against heading north with the sled, not wanting to splash about on the slushy trails, opting instead to air up my tires and play in the forest closer to home. First week into the New Year, sledding was still not happening so last week I made a last minute reservation for my family in Cuba, packed up and parked on the beach for a few days with a big tube of SPF 30 coconut scented Yamalube
I returned home yesterday to nearly a foot of snow on the ground and minus 30 at my house this morning. Tonight, I ride!
As some have already mentioned next season will be the 10th anniversary of the RX1 and Yamaha commitment to 4-stroke snowmobiles. I think it’s cool that the Totallyamaha forum is also celebrating ten years and should be recognized as the number one, privately owned, online community for Yamaha fans and interested riders from around the world. Tom and his posse of moderators have done an excellent job of keeping it real, providing a great service and lots of entertaining reading, (even the stuff I don’t want to read about!).
Going through the email this morning, I found the latest OFSC bulletin announcing snowmobile safety week, nothing any repsonsible rider hasn’t already reflected upon this year but I’ll paste it in anyways… OPP OFSC Safety Week MR
Jeff R our western rep, sent me an update on the Alcan 200 which you might recall is the crazy fast, out and back race held up in the Yukon and Alaskan pan-handle. Heres what Jeff had to say:
Good day, Bubba wasn’t the only guy winning a race this weekend
Great news about the most awesome snowmobile race on the planet, the Alcan 200 was run this weekend (I think this is the 43rd year) and there was only 1 four stroke running and it took the only place that mattered, #1
To refresh your memory, the race is 80 miles on a frozen highway, short break while they sweep the dead Cat’s and Doo’s off the road, and they race back, the word Extreme does not have enough X’s in it for this race
Yukon Yamaha has a dedicated Apex Turbo race sled for this with a cruising speed of 140 Mph which was ridden by Jarrid Davy
Weather was brutal with -30 – 35c temps, average speed record (including gas stops) is over 120 mph, this year Jarrid averaged 99mph and was still 9 minutes ahead of 2nd place
The wind and blowing snow was so bad at times that racers were racing neck and neck @ 50mph
5 minutes later Jarrid was running over 150mph on bare pavement…..Wow!!
After re-reading what Jeff wrote, I think I should mention a couple of things to keep everyone happy. First of all, the highway these guys run is closed to cars and trucks, however caribou and moose are allowed. Second I wouldn’t want anyone to be offended with his remark about removing broken down sleds of the specific brands mentioned. I am sure there was a Polaris out there somewhere and possibly even an old Yamaha 2-stroke, although if I recall, before the RX based models, this race was dominated by SRX’s. Congrats to all the good folks s at Yukon Yamaha
In closing, I am sorry I haven’t been regular with my posts thus far this season. I am hoping that a good ride tonight will spark my imagination and once I recover from my Vitamin D exposure and the over hydration from my week in Cuba, it’ll be business as usual.