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January 31, 2012

‘Wake’ Me Up…

What a great weekend. My daughter finally had the chance to break-in her new (restored) Bravo and I had a blast watching her. I seldom got to relax for more than a couple of hours without a ‘can we go for a ride to the marina?’… Truth be known, she wasn’t the only one burning gas in the little 250, I was reliving the good old days in style – forgot how cool it is to lean out and have the sled heel over like a well trained retriever – on a  one lung’er cookie sheet. I found it somewhat ironic when Rob from J&B Cycle up in Timmins called me this  morning wanting nothing more than to lament the demise of the Bravo and tell me about a kind of wake they are planning as their dealership has sold literally hundreds of the BR’s over the years. I wish I could tell you we were going to pull the sheets off a cheap little replacement this spring but it ain’t gonna happen.

There has been a lot of speculation on what the industry is going to announce for new product in the next few weeks. I can’t confirm or deny any of the rumors (well I could but I’d upset far too many people who take these things quite seriously). I remember some of our best new product releases over the years, the Vmax 4 was a major Hollywood production, the Pro-action chassis featuring the 700 triple was a splendid event, held in the Laurentians where we took over the ski hill at Chateaux Chantecler running the units up the hill under a sky filled with fireworks, then there was the RX-1 -, one of my all-time favorite launches – by the time we were done with the theatrics we had at least one of our dealers in tears, (seriously!).

For the MY 2013 product, we are planning to announce one new variant model to our dealers next week and pull the trigger on the complete line-up in early March (2nd) with a web launch at which time we will hit the road for a series of dealer meetings across the country. I will have some comments at that time to throw out here and as always, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts and talk to our dealers. I wonder if this seasons snow conditions are not going to cause some manufacturers to take a second look at current inventory levels and re-consider their MY13 plans. There is no arguing the fact that La Nina, solar flares, bovine flatulence and over 50 years of industrial consumption may be reeking havoc on our winters but then I look at the Ukraine setting record low temps along with crazy high snowfall levels and wonder if it is all just a nasty fluke. I prefer to choose the latter. Right now I just want it to get cold outside and maybe, just maybe drop a little lube for our big ride next week… cheers  cr

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Posted @ 2:42 pm in Opinions and Insights   

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19 Responses to “‘Wake’ Me Up…”

  1. Mr. T says:

    I guess the real question is, what is Yamaha’s current inventory level, and has it influenced it’s decision’s for MY 2013?

    Hasn’t influenced our MY decision, you may be reading between the wrong lines 😉 cr

  2. Mr. T says:

    For all of our sake’s if I am reading between the wrong lines than I’m glad to be wrong!!

  3. low slung says:

    Variant model?Would that be along the lines of the 2003 RX-1 made into the 2004 RX warrior(a great sled modified into a greater one),Or the 2008 launch with the FX Nytro XTX?.Really can,t see any holes in the line-up that can be filled by re-inventing an existing model.That 700SX was a real shocker in 1996(still have the brochue,and it was a big book)”Dealer in tears”had to be the RX-1?Glad to see you got some riding in.Here it snowed like crazy today and more on the way.Started yesterday riding my raptor700 over 15cm frozen base of snow,then today on a ET410II breaking trail in deep snow,and capped it of blasting my RX warrior in fresh powder(the best for last).

  4. Steve K says:

    Chris, Been talking a bit this holding back due to a poor snow year. At some point when a Mfg holds back they delay the release of their newest technologies. At some point that newest thing is not new any more, they essentially waste all the development costs.

    Good point Steve. At the same time the objective is to recover all those costs. When dealing with sales guys there is always a need for immediate gratification. paying interest and writing programs to cost protect and liquidate non-currents is never a good thing… cheers cr

  5. Yellowknife says:

    Since purchasing my Phazer in 2006/07 I haven’t spent much energy watching the other camps production lines. Yamaha kept me happy and I purchased two more units in the following 3 years that appeal to my riding style. My 3 machines have a combined 40,000 km’s on them now. Now I’m starting to watch the big four again since I ignored their 2012’s and have been impressed since by what they offered. I’m concerned that the next time I’m ready to lay down what will likely be close to $20,000 for a new sled, that Yamaha won’t have a product that appeals to me and my riding style in comparison to the new offerings from the other big 3. I hope those concerns disappear in the next couple model years. I had 3 Doo’s from 2001 to 2007 and turned those into 3 Yamaha’s from 2006 to present. Ski-doo never even came close to treating me the way that Yamaha has. The support from all levels, especially my dealer has been unbelievably awesome and I don’t want to leave this camp. Here’s hoping there’s stuff down the pipe that will feed the need.


  6. Apex/Vector says:

    Is there a slight chance the “new variant” will be demoed on the Power Tours? What, if any, are the differences between a Power Tour and “Yamafest” as our dealer hosts a Yamafest with some Yamaha support but it is not listed on this years’ PT schedule as in previous years?

  7. Scott says:

    I don’t fit the current demographic Yamaha is targeting. From what I’ve seen in my small corner of Alaska, everyone that bought a Nytro in ’08 and tried racing it gave up and went to another brand in ’09 and never came back. Simply no reason to. I held out until this year and then I bought a different brand. I believe this is the same story for consumers who are aggressive trail riders. I didn’t even check out what the ’12 Yamaha’s looked like this year because there was nothing that interested me. I did check out the F1100, that sled really piqued my interest and still does. I would not mind buying one for my wife but I’d have to ride one first. There are definitely things I like about a 4-stroke sled.

    One thing that came as a shock to me when I switched was that I forgot how nice it is to ride a light weight sled. Light weight makes everything better. A light sled is easier to ride, throw around, get unstuck, sidehill, even just moving it around in the shop, on the trailer or pulling it out of the back of my pick-up. I didn’t realize how much I dreaded having to lift or move my Nytro. The weight even affected how I rode it because I avoided areas like tight woods where I might get stuck. Just trying to pick the back of the sled up out of the snow was hard. The tunnel is coated with ice and a heavy sled becomes even heavier.

    I initally went 4-stroke because I wanted engine reliability and I got that and that is awesome. But, overall, the riding experience is diminished because the sled is heavy and more importantly it doesn’t handle. I almost hate to say it but I wish I would not have wasted the past 4 years trying to make the Nytro do things that it is not good at.

  8. snoguzzler says:

    How about this for a variant: some kind of new fuel injection system that ups the milage to 30 mpg or more? Talk about lowering hte cost of operation! Or maybe that is what will be new next year and the variant will be the Vector in the new Apex 128″ skid?

  9. sledfreak says:

    Variant? To scared to use Game Changer? LOL… Looking forward as usual…

  10. 7 skulls says:

    Hey CR
    Interesting post but not nearly as interesting as the yamaha usa facebook page. From the outside, that video would seem to contradict a few of your responses on this blog but I know I’m probably wrong.
    On the plus side, if yamaha does go the way of BNG in 2013, I can spend the summer shopping for a yzf450 without wondering what I’m missing.

  11. Mr. T says:

    What? The big news is a kids sled? SRX120? Really? I hope that is not the only thing we get this year. If it is, the future of the sled division doesn’t look good and the company bean counters won out.

  12. Apex/Vector says:

    Our Caygeon Yamafest is now listed on the Power Tour schedule and hoping for snow to avoid second cancellation. Sadly, the real “Game Changer” in the snomo biz may ultimately be Mother Nature.

  13. Scott says:

    A smaller sized and priced sled would be of interest to me. But looking at the size and presumed age of the kids, I’m guessing the sled is a 120 size. If so, too late for me as I’ve already got that covered. I’ll be watching for the release though.

  14. sledfreak says:

    You call that a new variant sled? They changed the track? I mean come on!!!

    So what else should I call it, it varies from the stock unit, track and skis do make a difference… appreciate the feedback, don’t shoot the messenger 😉 cheers cr

  15. Dave Steffes says:

    Well Chris, I guess the XTX 1.75 is the new “variant model”? Really, a new track and skis that we can already buy as accessory items? Why not at least offer the new Dupont sliders? Is Yamaha offering an apology with the purchase of a new variant? Very disappointed.

  16. Nytro Owner says:

    Nytro XTX with a 1,75″ track stock isn’t really any news at all for Yamaha. In Scandinavia (at least Sweden) you have had the choice to get a 1,75″ track for your Nytro, both RTX and XTX for a couple of years now. A Friend of mine bought a new 2011 Apex XTX last year and that too got a 1,75″ track. Althought you’ve had the option to have the 1,25″ track or the 1,75″ when you ordered your sled, both for the Apex and the Nytro.

    This I know is especially for scandinavia and not for the biggest market which is in the US and Canada so for that market it is new, but I don’t really get all the fuss from Yamaha. It’s almost like they released a “new” model when it’s really only a different track and skis.

    I for one had far higher hopes for Yamahas 2013 sleds. I’m on my third nytro now (-08 RTX, -09 XTX and now a 153″ MTX) and I’m thinking of switching sled next year again. I really liked my Yamahas they have all worked good and I really would like to get another Yamaha, but they don’t offer anything new that would get me to buy a new Yamaha for 2013 (with reservation of the fact that I haven’t seen the rest of Yamahas 2013 lineup). It’s really time for Yamaha to get a work on for something new.

    By the looks of it right now I think I will be on a 2013 Polaris PRO RMK next year.

  17. Mr. T says:

    Chris,Does Yamaha really think that its loyal sled customers are that faithfull to the company and will continue to buy into the hype of a new sled when it ain’t new! Variant or not customers have been building that sled and doing a better job at it since the xtx came out. I know you are the messenger and I feel sorry for you, not a good spot to be in. In my opinion they should get out of the buisness of making sleds! With this release it sends us a message that it is not profitable for them. Please stop leading us on, let us lick are wounds so we can move on to another brand. I might have been reading between the wrong lines on the current iventory level but the MY 2013 decision was already done and the bean counters won. GAME OVER!!

  18. Northener says:

    I have no big problem with the release of the XTX 1.75… I particulary like the addition of the MTX-cooler in the tunnel and the onepiece extrovert drivers. Many small adjustments to different parts of the sled, even an updated front suspension. It’s just too bad the “new” ProRMK from Polaris is stealing all the thunder right now. I think you would have gained more by just releasing the XTX 1.75 together with the rest of the lineup for 2013, since it’s mainly minor adjustments/tweeks to the existing model…

    The main downer for me with the Nytro in general, is the small gastank! I think you could have made up for that error many years ago. Just over 7 gallons is WAY to small IMO. And I don’t quite get why you cut the piggy-back shocks for the front suspension??? Why? Can you maybe enlighten us on that?

    Oh, and PS; Please tell Wayne West to get out of the videos! I wan’t to see the sleds, not his face rambling on and on and on… I just cringe whenever I see him in the videos. At max let him narrate, but not anything more than that! I watch sledvideos for the sleds…

  19. Mike says:

    I ‘bleed blue’ like many of you, but I have to admit that yesterday was a disaster for Yamaha. Sure, the Nytro 1.75 is a nice sled that will appeal to some people, but it did not deserve any of the hype that Yamaha tried to create with it’s release. They created expectations that could not be met by this ‘new’ sled, why do this?? Why not just keep it to be released with the other 2013 machines?

    I’m betting that the other 3 manufacturers are having a good chuckle about this release. Anyway, I’m still a Yamaha fan and will no doubt buy another as quality and reliability are still paramount to me. How many others think this way, not enough probably??

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