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November 11, 2013

Coming soon to a Trail Near You

Cold rain, snow squalls, commuting in darkness, indeed, we’re on the brink of winter. The doors on the big rigs are sealed and our testing crew, gear bags stuffed, en route to a remote area of Alaska where they’ll run durability on a fleet of production sleds to kick off the seasonal project development sequence.

Never to be left in the snow dust, our management team is spooling up with a flurry of meetings starting next week in our Lakeview office.  Jon is off to the corp head office in Cali to pull double duty on future product discussions and MY16 color and graphics. I am going to stay back to keep the home fires burning but will dial in for a quick product plan update via a conference call.

I don’t know if its a past life spent racing dirt bikes or simply growing up in the mountains riding fan-cooled sleds light enough to pick up by the front bumper – multiple times a day – I am captivated by the MX conversion kits led by Timbersled and several others. I know there would be issues on the dedicated trails here in S-ON. But the power line corridors and dissecting abandoned logging roads beg for something like this. Light, agile and narrow with no plumbing to hook a stump or send you to the shop with crumpled clip and an empty wallet. I want one!

The trucks are rolling out of TRF with SR Vipers destined for dealerships all over North America. We had a little hiccup with the shipping dates but we’re now on the gas and sleds are being off-loaded at many dealerships as I write this.

While at the TO Snowmobile Show I met Louie. It was an interesting encounter. One that quickly led to a tire kicking session on a Frankenstein sled, fabricated in his man-cave from an aluminum cookie sheet with hand laid carbon fiber bits and glued on Pogo-sticks off a Tundra. A VK540 mill spinning a forward mounted ‘old school’ secondary layout providing thrust. A Newfie boon-docker  if you will.

Turns out Louie wasn’t just into building eclectic bush-wackers , he hosts his own web-base TV show called ‘Powermods’ where he explores some of the after-market industries latest and greatest bolt-on engineering with a ‘how-to’ approach to building and testing some pretty cool stuff. It was only fair that I showed him some of our latest – captured off guard and off the cuff, here’s my spiel with Louie on the Performance Damper. It was fun watching the reaction of people trying to get their heads around the technology, Louie’s ‘awe c’mon’ was perfect. Now if that wasn’t enough, here’s a brief explanation on the Dupont Hyfax display.

cheers cr

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11 Responses to “Coming soon to a Trail Near You”

  1. Pat the rat says:

    Hmmm,very interesting cpl videos,i’m intrigued with the damper system,so basically,it removes alot of vibration and stiffens the chassis,it makes sense,i’m just curious at how many people will complain about adding more weight to the sleds,i for one would embrace such technology because i ride trails only so would benefit from it,bought a new,2013 rs venture gt,picking it up saturday,cant wait,we got 8″ of the white stuff over the weekend at the camp,winter is close,chow

  2. Low Slung says:

    Glad to hear that those DuPont sliders give a gain in MPH/MPG(Glad my 2014 phazer will have them).Is there a different procedure to break these new sliders in?Also looking at the performance damper it seems to be bolted to the front CF cast on the apex and bolt to the rear bumper.Can these unit be bolted into the older RX/RS chassis or is the CF cast/rear bumper a all new modified part to accept the dampers?Is there any plans to test these on the phazer?

  3. CraigB says:

    In a sled the largest source of constant vibration and noise with it is the cog(driver) and track. There is a recent article about this in a new popular sled magazine issue. Keeping that in mind, these new vibration dampers seem like they would reduce both noise and chassis vibration from the track(benefits any type of riding/rider). Even when not moving Engine at idle vibration will be absorbed as well.

  4. DNR says:

    Looking forward to each of the updates. It would be nice if they each fit the older sleds. Calibration of the damper to model numbers of past years and part numbers on the sliders for the whole fleet in the system. Cheers.

  5. Tyler says:

    Hey CR:
    So you mentioned Apex, Vector, Venture… will the performance damper be calibrated for the FX Nytro? I’m sure there are some other nytro guys out there taking interest in this technology.
    Or are there issues with adapting the damper to the FX chassis?
    Also I received my DuPont hyfax and was surprised that the vespel inserts only cover the first 2/3 of the hyfax… I have a 2009 Nytro XTX and lot of the wear that I experience is at the end of the hyfax right before the rail tip up. It looks like this section will not be fully covered by the vespel inserts. Do you have any insight about wear past the vespel inserts on the 144 xtx models? It would be a bummer to wear through at the rear and be “like new” at the front (kind of defeats the purpose).

    It should be fine, the clips will be much cooler at the end of the rail where generally they would be the hottest. The Vespel was tested on Nytro and passed our durability… let me know how you make out!
    We plan introducing the PD on MY 2015 Japanese built production models, the next step will be to make them available as bolt-on to other models. That decision will be based on the performance and acceptance (demand) of the MY15 build. If there is demand, we will calibrate and build specific kits to fill.
    cheers cr


  6. Larry D Lagergen says:

    WOW…Almost seems far to simple to do anything, that’s truely an oversite. Some of the BEST technology has been based on somewhat simple ideas that were almost overlooked.Performance Damping Integrated onto a snowmobile chassis…SWEET….WHAT TOOK YA SO LONG..lol

    I noticed you had a hard time not laughing out loud when you did your little test with the hammer…Everything has a harmonic frequency changing and moving it around is always interesting. Can’t wait too see more of that….Leave it to YAMAHA to GETUR ON THRE


  7. Yellowknife says:

    Excellent read and great vids – I liked the style of them, they just should have put a mic on you (or a better one) lol

    Waiting for snow here – it’s late.


  8. Rich Olynyk says:

    Hey Chris hope you are doing well, pulled the trigger on a 2013 Apex Se just waiting on the snow!! Did the damper demo at the show and looking forward to seeing them available at the dealership. Have you signed up for Crank the Shield in 2014?


    Congrats on the new sled, I also have a 2013 SE in the wings with some special goodies planned for it… been thinking about CTS 14 but haven’t signed up. How about you?? cheers cr

  9. Rich Olynyk says:

    If you need some other “special goodies” tested on another 2013 SE so that you have a comparable baseline let me know!! I will be signing up for CTS 2014 before Dec 31st as the price increases after that.

  10. Chris says:


  11. Yellowknife says:

    Chris – I’m sure Kent sent you this already but this is my good buddy and former Yellowknifer Jay Legere interviewing Kent about the Yamacat on CBC Radio. http://www.cbc.ca/labradormorning/episodes/2013/11/07/yamaha-vs-arctic-cat/

    Post it for all to listen to in your next blog! Great interview!!

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