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September 9, 2011


The air has turned chill around here dang quick this week and along with the cool breeze I’m getting hit with lots of cool sled stuff. The Sno Barons ‘Hay Days’ kicks off the season in the mid-west for many riders and Yamaha is always there with bells on. It appears they have resolved the parking / access issues from last year but we’ll soon find out as the event date is this weekend. Yamaha will have some new stuff on display at Hay Days and I figure the news will spread quickly next week and there should be no harm in giving you the holeshot.  There are a couple of items, I think are really cool and plan to bolt onto my own sled as quick as I can get my hands on them.

One of them comes in the form of a new plastic ski which we have named the ‘Tuner’. It features dual keels and a selection of 4 different carbides that can be mixed and matched to dial in the ‘ handling character’ to suit the rider and suspension set-up. Jon had the chance to test the design and was blown away with the results. Darting can be all but eliminated, ski lift and under-steer can be balanced to preference and steering effort can be dialed to suit your tolerance. As a bonus, the ski is about a pound lighter than our current offering and can be retrofitted easily to most models. When looking at all the other skis on the market, the Tuner appears right on the mark and if the projected price holds true, it will have a distinct advantage at check-out.

There has been a lot of on-line conversation regarding maintenance kits for our front end bushings. We have sourced a supplier to produce ‘Oillite’ bushings to replace the stock plastic when the time comes. They differ from most current aftermarket offerings as they are made using a forging process which ensures uniform tolerances and consistent high quality. On that subject, the properties of Oillite (copper/iron alloy impregnated with self lubricating oil) allows for much tighter tolerances than the OE plastic parts. The end result is a much tighter feeling system that will significantly outlast the parts they replace.

There is one more item that is of big significance. I alluded in my last post to ‘one of snowmobiling’s biggest PITA’s’. Well to be more specific, hy-fax wear has to be one of the most common issues of debate amongst trail riders. The UHMW slider has remained virtually unchanged since it’s introduction over 4 decades ago. That is until now.

Yamaha has teamed up with Dupont to develop a new runner for extreme condition riders. It features bars of ‘Vespel’ material which are embedded into the UHMW runner in a unique compression molding process, at specific angles to keep the Vespel in contact with the clips. The end result yeilds much greater durabilty and less friction (read improved top-speed and mileage) under marginal snow conditions.

I have seen some testing data and heard the detailed explanation of this new product and it is so good that I am reluctant to make any concrete claims here until I try it myself. The stuff won’t be cheap but if it delivers as claimed….wow.

I won’t go into all the finer details of these new accessories here as there will be official bulletins issued next week that will answer most questions including pricing and availability but I will say I am extremely impressed with each of these new products based on my limited exposure and add my own disclaimer. ‘Specifiactions subject to change without notice… don’t shoot the piano player’

cheers cr

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Posted @ 1:07 pm in Yamaha Insights   

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6 Responses to “Haymakers”

  1. Low Slung says:

    Those skis look really interesting,hope they can use my old ski loops off the warrior.I also have sets of those oilite bushings ready to go for this winter(not cheap but if they last for a long time i will be happy).Glad to see yamaha getting back into racing sleds.From what i was reading on one sled forum the hillclimb version of the nytro will have lots of tricks(Turbo,117octane fuel,lightweight parts,factory superbike team built motor).Sounds like this is the top of a giant icebreg thats blue in color and hopefully surfaces for the 2013 model year.

  2. scott says:

    The custom oil lite bushing my dealer turned for me on his lathe back in early ’08 are still tight and performing well. Glad to see Yamaha addressing the issue.

  3. Yellowknife says:

    New ski’s again, new bushings, new sliders!! This is all huge news to me, especially if the products prove themselves. The media focuses their awards and attention to innovative snowmobiles, and consumers are often upset when there’s no new models or significant changes. I think everyone should take special note of these changes, since each one reflects consumer feedback over the past few years and seeks to address it. Very impressed – except I JUST replaced the bushings on my XTX Thursday! lol

    Thanks for sharing the details Chris – and thanks to Yamaha for this large effort in giving options to consumers to address concerns that pockets of riders have depending on their mileage and riding conditions each year.


  4. IveyRider says:

    Less slide changes on the ole Attak??? Say it aint so, it is so much fun!!!!!!!!

  5. mryamaha says:

    Really looking forward to the new sliders, I was about to buy a wheel kit. Will they be available for my Nytro XTX?

  6. Glenn Scarr says:

    Well it is about time with these new accessories oilite bushings have only been around since the second world war but still it will be nice to have them and Yamaha finally listened to the public and addressed the skis and sliders to bad it took so long lets njust hope they don’t price them out of range like there other stuff up here in Canada.

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