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September 19, 2013

Well, you asked!

I’m leaving for Japan this Sunday for a week. Lots of meetings planned for both snowmobile and wheeled vehicles. So I figured I should get a quick post off before proceeding through security ūüėČ

Some good comments and questions came in over the last few days. The MPI Viper turbo system shown at Haydays is a Stage 2 producing well over 200hp and available direct from MPI later this year. This kit will not be distributed by Yamaha and warranty policies apply the same as any after market modifications. MPI is still the supplier for our Nytro kits and we have a great working relationship with them. I expect to see more good things coming in the future.

Jamie was asking about the internals of the Performance Damper and Bob wanted to know a bit more about

Capturefunction and stroke. The shock tube is fairly conventional with a piston connected to a damper rod. On one side of the piston there is oil backed with a nitrogen gas charge. On the other side of the piston, a negative spring pushes back against the gas charge which allows the pyramid stack (piston-valve) to react to very small, high frequency inputs (vibration).

Capture2Theoretically the piston could move up to 20mm but in reality it moves little more than 1mm with small deflections measured in microns. The are no pivot points involved in mounting. It connects directly to frame  (location is not really critical), working to increase overall chassis viscosity.

Yellowknife mentioned he has felt no vibration in his Yamaha or buddies Polaris but the Ski-doo was a tingler… interesting! Scott mentioned that even though the technology is cool, it doesn’t make him want to run down to his Yamaha dealer and buy a new sled. Good point, we’re working on that one!

But – consider this: It may be of interest to someone who plans on keeping their sled ¬†and is looking for a good bolt-on that offers some very tangible¬†improvements¬†to the handling (… on any snowmobile). More on this later.

I will post the complete story with some testing info and pics when I return from overseas. We have plans to get these into the market for consumer evaluation -read demos- this season and are working on more assets to support our chassis damper claims. Proof is in the puddin’ they say!

Cheers cr


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16 Responses to “Well, you asked!”

  1. Scott says:

    I’m puzzled why Yamaha seems so infatuated with this product? It seems like this damper would be more of an advantage to your competitor’s 800 twins than with your sleds. It is innovative but not in an exciting way IMO.

    Any hints on the direction Yamaha is going with the 5 new models in 5 years plan? Seems like the other OEM’s have a much better understanding of the market than Yamaha currently does. There was a post on TY about the top 10 selling Yamaha dealers and 2 of them were in Alaska. There are not very many new Yamaha’s running around AK so that tells me that sales have been dismal in the sled division. It’s like Yamaha will have to completely redesign the layout of the snowmachine to better hide and centralize the weight of the 4 stroke motor to make them handle like a 2 stroke. My Suzuki/Cat dealer is not excited about the 4 stroke sleds because they don’t sell in AK.

  2. rsilk says:

    Good morning Chris
    Wondering what production changes have been made to the Viper compared to the proto’s we saw/rode in the spring. Did you see the latest sno-goer? Said the Viper had a top speed of 84mph compared to 100mph on the current Nytro speedo, hope this isn’t the case with production units.

    Quite a few changes since the early pre=pros: seat attachment and fit, new heavy duty chain and gears, radiator cover, fuel mapping, clutching, skags just to name a few. Will update shortly…

  3. Todd S says:

    I had typed a long blah blah blah comment for you about what Yamaha blah blah blah but then realized, THIS IS SIMPLE. Tell me the target weights that YAMAHA engineers have been charged with achieving for the 5 new sleds and I will tell you how successful the Yamaha snowmobile division will be. We don’t want/need unreliable lightweight junk, but sled weight is the only thing that matters when it comes to what needs “fixed” on a Yamaha Apex. I am never going to weigh my ideal weight of 185 lbs but that doesn’t mean I should try to drop 75 lbs. If I did, I would weigh 235 and still be considered heavy but oh so sexy!! Thanks for the blog Chris.

    Todd S.

    Todd, I could tell you the weight targets we set in planning and you’d be most impressed. Problem is when I look back I can’t remember ever hitting a weight target with production. I’m sure we must’ve somewhere along the line, I just can’t think of any ūüėČ

  4. snoguzzler says:

    I’m willing to bolt one (or more)of those dampers on my sled if you are looking for guinea pigs…..

  5. Gary says:

    Great, more weight and more $$$.

    Exactly what sledders are NOT looking for.

    Yamaha…wake up. You are #4 for a reason.

    Chris, I just wanna scream at these guys in Japan, don’t you? A simple, light weight sled at a minimal, ahem, competitive, price is what we sledders want.

  6. Tomas says:

    i agree whit you gary yamaha need lighter sleepd at poo price designed and built by yamaha not by cat and a new two smoker would bee nice! think thoes guys that makes all the big choices should ask the customers what we want because it is we that buy your products!

  7. MikeyJ says:

    Hi Chris,

    The damper sounds like an interesting project, but not one that will sell sleds at the dealer level. I’m still a little perplexed why Yamaha doesn’t bring a sled with a supercharger or turbo factory installed. We know either option works well with the Genesis 130 and would produce solid and reliable horsepower in excess of 180 horsepower. Only thing I can see holding that project back is that our new bed partner could no longer claim to have the fastest, most powerful stock sled with the turbocharged 177 horsepower Suzuki engine. I’d bet a 180+ horsepower Yamaha would get a significant number of buyers in the show rooms in quick order.

    Just saying.

    Keep the posts coming… I find myself looking back here more frequently these days waiting for new posts and comments!

  8. Carl says:

    I’m willing to give the Performance Damper a go. Although most of my ridding is on the Ottawa River and not on trails. Only do one big trip per year.

    It could give another perspective.

  9. Bob Hogg says:

    Thank you Chris..all sleds are so good these days‚Ķ.ya….I think this fine minute tweaking is going to the norm as we go forward.

    I mentioned our other sport..we used different wall thickness axles to fine tune the chassis. I have seen lateral shafts using stacked O rings in a sleeve to try and accomplish what you have figured out.

    I will continue to follow your progress in that field..fascinating..

  10. Scott says:

    Has there been any serious consideration given to offering a 2-stroke again? Yamaha’s sales numbers would increase and you’d instantly become competitive in the mountain class. I read in a forum that some Candian sled magazine wrote that Ski-doo sells the largest number of 4-strokes. If that is true it has to sting.

    Maybe you guys use Cat’s C-tech system on one of the old tripples?

    Sitting in a hotel in Japan pondering your question. I would have to say say Yes and No to all four of your comments respectively… cheers cr

  11. Mr. T says:

    You said yes and no to all four of Scott’s comments! One would have to ask, does Yamaha have a true, (set in stone), direction they are heading with sleds?

  12. scott says:

    Can you elaborate a bit? Are you guys considering offering a 2-stroke, yes or no?

    On the 4-stroke market share question, I did some quick Google searches and can’t find a credible source for who is the market share leader. But, I did get multiple hits that Ski-doo is so is that true?

    Finally, in one of my searches I stumbled upon a post in Doo-talk where it was posted that Yamaha is working to bring snowmachine production into the USA within 3 years. That coincides with your 60th anniversary (I believe?) and seems plausible since Yamaha already assembles ATV’s in Georgia. I think it would be a great move. Any thoughts?

  13. Yellowknife says:

    Totally off topic. I noticed the Apparel section for sledin’ on the CA site doesn’t have Klim gear anymore, and I do see FXR gear. What happened?


    Short answer.. Polaris has purchased controlling interest of Klim. cheers cr

  14. Jamie says:

    Chris, thank you for taking the time to address the tech side iteresting stuff. Especially for high mileage riders like myself were always looking for ways to make the long days easier and more enjoyable.

    With a new viper ltx se on the way to try this winter it would be interesting to see this new tech applied to that chassis as well.

    As far as some of the guys above comments. Guys that jump on yamaha viper will be impressed especially with the ride and handling. I spent 12′ on a procross turbo. Although i like the sled the very cheaply made parts and some poor engineering of the gearcase kept an otherwise great chassis from exploding in popularity. It gets old dragging them 5.5 hours north past new liskard each weekend to tow one home 40 miles into your day. I believe yamahs has fully addressed all the bs there and the QDR will be top shelf in this case. If its a hit in our family no doubt I will likely move back over from my 1200 doo.

    Thanks Jamie, I doo hope you are right on all counts! cheers cr

  15. Yellowknife says:

    Another off topic quiz (thx for the answer on the last one)

    And apologies if I missed this if it was already discussed…

    Regarding the SRVIPER XTX SE, Yamaha USA’s website indicates the front shocks are Fox Float 3’s. Yamaha Canada’s website indicates the front shocks are Fox Float 2’s.

    Will that difference exist on models being delivered to dealerships this month?


    My understanding: The Vipers will come with Float 3’s, for the record, there really is little difference between the 2 and 3, it is just the latest version not an evolution. I wouldn’t be too surprised to find that there was a small cost savings in production of the 3’s but in marketing terms that means the latest greatest thing since the wringer washer. Between you and me IMHO … the performance between 2 and 3 is virtually the same cheers cr

  16. Mike Hall says:

    I have a 2007 Phazer Mountain Lite that we use around our cabin for shuttling to and from our parking area etc.
    late last season the sled stopped running and after taking to the dealer, I was told it popped a plug out. I have now partially disassembled the motor and discovered some foreign object pieces in the one cylinder. Upon further web investigation I have found reference to a problem regarding the rivets that hold the clip the retains the air box screen breaking and the clip getting ingested in the motor. While I can not be sure, this is a possibility in my case as one clip is missing and the remnants found in the cylinder could be broken pieces of the clip. Is there any truth that this was a service notice, recall or other action in the past?

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