December 7, 2011
Someone Pinch Me!
Closing time last night and Blaicher comes bounding into my office with the winter 2012 edition of OSM magazine tucked under his arm.’ Have you read this one yet?’ To which I replied; ‘No I have been too busy doing what I’m being paid to do, what’s up?’ He dropped the copy, post-it notes clearly marking some pages, ‘well you will want to’… and snickering, off he went.
Checking the BB emails this morning from the throne, I spot a growing thread on the same magazine so while I was waiting for my ‘puter to boot-up at the office, my curiosity got the better of me and I flipped to the post-it book-mark to see what all the fuss is about.
I haven’t been following the OSM crew of late, not really since they struck off on their own after separating their ties to Supertrax as the official publication of the Ontario snowmobile federation. They have since gone national in Canada and now international publishing in the USA as ‘On Snow Magazine.’ The publisher, Richard Kehoe, has brought on board quite a list of editorial contributors, many from the USA and is clearly putting a lot of effort into bringing the rag mainstream. But I digress.
The subject of all the attention is an article entitled ‘Throw Down: Real Sleds, Real Riders, Real Trails, Real Results. They captured my interest in the first couple of paragraphs where the author supported my long standing opinion on the validity of snowmobile evaluations performed at the big media events as nothing more than seat of the pants opinion made with very little real world connections.
They took the time to perform some very controlled and quantifiable set-ups and test-runs and unlike most sled evaluations, they used methodology similar to what we would use during a ‘joint test’ evaluation to arrive at their conclusions. The Apex SE was the only 4-stroke of the four models chosen to represent each manufacturer. I was expecting the status-quo dismissal of the Apex as being ‘old and overweight’ in comparison to the latest 2-smoke sizzle.
A couple of the test riders are well known to me. One was a former employee of our competition and a journalist, well known for his extreme viewpoints. I think these guys were sincerely surprised at the outcome of their evaluations but not as surprised as I was to find they were open minded enough to tell it like it is. The formula for the end result was found in reflecting upon the experience the majority of riders can expect, with ego in check, on the trail, over the long haul.
There are a few notable quotes in the article but the one coming from Richard in conclusion, sums it up rather well: “The Yamaha Apex SE was the dark horse of the group. If I would have placed a few side bets on this sled, I could have retired, as this sled turned out to be the preferred trail sled of the group. Remember the Throw Down is about real world riders, the norm if you will.”
In case you are wondering, the Apex was up against the Polaris 800 Rush Pro-R, the Skidoo 800MXZ-XRS and the Arctic Cat CFR 800. I know some of you have opinions on the journalistic integrity of the main-stream sno-mo mags being heavily supported by the big-4’s advertising dollars. For the record, OSM doesn’t have a lot of corporate ads with two of the four OE’s being absent (and we are one of them). The magazine is available on newstands in both countries if you are interested to read the whole article. I have tried not to spoil the outcome too much 😉 .
As a bonus OSM uses photography from an old friend and newly appointed Snowmobile Hall of Famer, Wayne Davis and his images alone are worth the price of admission. cheers cr