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April 15, 2011

Spring Shows – Turk

I had some interesting feedback from the Big4 snowmobile show tour over the past few days. It came as no surprise that Cat was getting a lot of attention in their booth, a brand new chassis and body work tend to do that. We messed up a bit with our signage on some of our units. For example, we had a cut-away of an Apex to show the EPS and EXUP system that was looking somewhat the worse for wear. Our Quebec reps were pretty vocal on how we should not have sleds in the booth that showed their mileage and looked used. Someone forgot to tell them it was the same sled that set the world record for the most miles traveled in 24 hours at the hands of Matt W. Yes, I know, Skidoo is now claiming that record but they don’t mention the fact, they needed to use two sleds to complete the job, using an out provided within the rules… would have made a nice little conversation starter in the booth. Mark L also forwarded a comment from a fellow who went to checkout the new Apex XTX  and decided not to purchase due to the skid-frame / Hyfax wear reputation on the 2011 with no apparent updates on the 2012, ooops. The pre-production show unit had the 2011 skid-frame, where the production units have a much updated version, we just didn’t point it out with a sign… Overall the attendance at the shows was good for all OE’s, up from last year and boding well for the future, hopefully another sign of recovery in the market.

My old pal Masa Saito (aka ‘Crazy Saito’) just celebrated 30 years with Yamaha snowmobiles. The guys in our Minocqua test center where he is currently based,  had a little party for him last week where he was presented a very cool piece of hand-crafted furniture. Not sure what clutch spec they used but I am pretty sure Turk over on TY would be able to make it back-shift better!

And speaking of Turk, I had mentioned when I was out in Brandon MB during the winter, I almost had a chance to meet the TY clutch-tech guru  but missed the chance. I received some bad news from Jim M who told me Turk (aka Mike Broda) has been diagnosed with a very insidious cancer. Here’s a guy that has given a lot of guidance to many less experienced snowmobiler’s who now finds himself in need of all our support. Mike if you happen to read this, know your friends at Yamaha are thinking of you and Live Strong brother. There is a post over on TY (link) where you can read what some of the guys have to say and perhaps leave some words of strength for Mike.

In closing I had mentioned the annual western Yamafest held in Rev’y was once again heralded a ‘must attend’ event but the part I didn’t mention in detail was the ‘fun’ had by the attending flat-landers from the eastern head-office and regions of YMCA. Heres a pic of Dean, our fearless snowmobile tech specialist demonstrating a  creative use of his avalanche equipment. I am told he ended up filing a claim for the newly created mine. An old friend  and BC regular on the mountain submitted the following report on what it is like to guide and ride with the Yamaha flat-landers:

Here’s My perspective on Yamafest: A Flat lander rides on a narrow trail, stiff as a board, Arms and legs straight, bent 45 degrees at the waist, half their weight on the handlebars

1) Slowly slides off a 2 degree off camber @ 3kph never changing riding position

2) Goes as far as possible off the trail and points the nose up hill or into a hole

3) At the last second pin’s the throttle till all motion ceases

4) Keep the throttle on a little longer out of sheer desperation and to disperse any remaining snow from the track area

5) Throw their head back and look to the sky

6) Silently yell- Ohgod,ohmummy,pleasebabyjeez,dontletmediehere, Ican’tbreath, Ithinki’mgoingtospitoutmyheart!! Option: Some elect to scream obscenities out loud (My personal favourite)

7) Incredible patience sets in, they can wait for hours warming the seat cover til someone comes to save them

Incredibly skilled Mountain guy comes in from the high side, nose always down hill not spinning the track, rides past as close as possible a few times to pack the snow and make an escape route

Flat lander looks at mountain guy thinking he is just showing off, flips him the bird and whines about abandonment (if you get too close they try and hit your kill switch)

At some point Mountain guy comes to help out and the Flat Lander rides out on the trail packed by the Mountain guy, Flat lander still feels insulted.

Flat Lander feels as though he needs to write a book or go on the talk show circuit to talk about their “Big Day”

We have grown used to this and have heard “I have ridden trails for 25 years” many times, a new rider is just as good as an experienced trail rider oddly enough

For the record the snow conditions were pretty tough, I cant imagine some of our guys thought it was “Fun” but the stories are awesome : ) … I love Yamafest
BTW- You’re next…  Red.

Nicely put Jeff- I will look forward to it-  😉  Cheers cr


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Posted @ 9:53 am in Travel and Events,Yamaha People and Communication   

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7 Responses to “Spring Shows – Turk”

  1. Mryamaha says:

    Hi Chris will the Nytro XTX be getting any changes to improve slider wear? I have not been able to get any straight answers here in Winnipeg from the local dealers or from anyone at the Winnipeg show last week?


    The skid on the Nytro XTX received a makeover from 2010 model year, it is quite different than the 09 and slider wear is much improved. This is basically the same mod that the 2012 Apex received. cr

  2. Stephen Burdick says:

    I was at Yama-Fest 2011 and would agree it was great! After riding a handful of turbo sleds, my build has begun! Thanks to some good Yamaha pricing, I am the proud new owner of a brand new 2010 FXNytro MTX 162 SE (left-over)! Next is the turbo part!!!!!!!

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Chris,
    Great picture with Crazy Saito !
    and the Yamaha Shop Chair. I hope you include this one in the sled accessories website for next season. I’ll be this first to order one.
    Always a pleasure to read your “Sled Talk” post.

    Thanks Mark, thats going to be a pricey bar stool… 🙂 cr

  4. SRX Boy says:

    As a 2011 Apex XTX owner, I’m keen to understand the 2012 suspesion updates (have not seen a lot of it other than the new skies) and whether we can make the adjustments to our 2011 machines without too steep of a price.

  5. Dustin says:

    Love the stool!

    Hey Chris, thought I’d share this video with you as I’ve done in the past. Its by Panasonic advertising their toughbook laptop. Being dragged around by none other, a lovely Yamaha Phazer!


    Hey Dustin, that was pretty cool, I had not seen it before… thanks, I’ll send to YMC. Cheers cr

  6. Jason says:

    Chris I am also a owner or a 2011 Apex XTX (first Yamaha ever) great other than slider wear!!! I also would like to know if Yamaha will make an update for us 2011 guys and what the changes are to the skid.

    Hey Jason, there are no recommended skid modifications between the model years, (you can’t bolt any of the new parts on.) however I understand there are some optional wheel kits under development for low snow / icy conditions which are targeting hy-fax wear issues. Should have some info out to our dealers and on-line before fall. cr

  7. Tony s. says:

    Just got a great deal on an ’11 XTX. Couldn’t find any definitive answers if there were changes to fix the hyfax wear until I read this article. I’m having the dealer put on Yamaha marginal snow kit. Is this enough or am I going to regret not getting a ’12?

    Suggest the Dupont Vespel hy-fax, the stuff is ballistic, it works extremely well … no mor hyfax wear plus better top end and fuel mileage … I ran it all season, lots of icy condition… no wear … none!
    cheers cr

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