March 13, 2013
Drip drip drip
Mother Nature sure hit the switch here on Sunday. I went for a good rip on Saturday morning, realizing the weather forecast didn’t favor the trails surviving for long. Monday comes along, the lakes are slush, the trail is mush and I’m pining for a bike ride. What a difference a couple of days can make!
On the business side, I’m hearing some positive comments regarding the new sleds market impact. The demo rides in the US have been going along well. I spoke to one of the guys yesterday who mentioned the north eastern demo leg is now complete and the sleds are being put on display in various dealerships. The most interesting point to me was over the combined mileage of several thousand (over a thousand per unit) we didn’t have any belt failures, chain-case issues or any other major failures. The cold starting was sometimes ‘finicky’ but we knew that going in.
I tried to answer and respond to a lot of the comments that have come in but there are a few that could use a dedicated post. I saw one comment several times both here and on the forums where it was taken from our dealer meeting that we have been working on the Vipers for a long time – not really. The reference was on the amount of time and work that went into the supply agreement with Arctic Cat. Each component (SRX 120, engine supply and SR Viper supply) required a separate contract. Each contract employed a team of lawyers and required several meetings and multiple reviews with revisions on top of revisions. The snowmobiles themselves fell victim to the process as certain touch points could not be executed until the contracts were finalized and in the end, it has been a scramble to bring the development forward as quickly as we have.
The questions of power and weight are out there and we really won’t know the accurate answers until production. The engine is identical to the Nytro long block but the EFI and electronics are controlled by an Arctic Cat developed ECU. The exhaust layout is also quite different being forward exiting. The Vipers use our YVXC clutches and 8DN 01 belt where the 7000 series Cats use Arctic’s pulleys and V-belt. There is definitely a different power character between the two siblings due to clutch calibration and certainly a big difference when compared to a Nytro. I can’t say much more to this as the sleds are still being tweaked and tested and will get nothing but better over the summer months.
Now I have to focus seriously over the next couple of weeks in preparation for a planned trip to our test center in northern Japan. The engineers have requested we bring our riding gear and the agenda is a wide open ball game at this point. Planes, trains and polite little automobiles… I’ll be hitting the P2A bike race jet-lagged
If you have a chance to squeeze in some more miles, go for it. It’ll all be over before you know it!