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October 7, 2014

Dancing Fool


Time flies – here it is October and I haven’t written a thing since early spring. Why? I’m really not sure. I have struggled, knowing SledTalk has a small group of hard-core followers who have shown appreciation for (most of) the content here and who wait patiently for some new sled fodder. I have always taken pride in remaining transparent while walking the tight-rope of ‘political correctness’. Frankly, this has caused me great frustration at times, not being able to share my thoughts and experience completely, especially regarding issues that are veiled with confusion or speculation. It was easier to navigate the quick-sand when I was only representing Yamaha within my ramblings.

Now a days, I am working very closely with the team at Arctic Cat. I have taken on more of a role in specification planning and communications and spend much of my time dwelling in the near future (aka Minnesota). It is this deep involvement with the SRV project (shared responsibility vehicle 😉 that has tempered my blogging and I believe; has caused me to subconsciously shut down over the summer. I have received many questions about our business agreements and future direction, some of which I tried to answer discreetly, with great sensitivity to both companies involved. All that did was raise more speculation. I have even read comments where I am accused of being a liar and purveyor of misleading information. Not a pleasant bit of feedback but everyone is entitled to their opinion and if that is the message I have sent, I accept accountability for it. I am simply not a good ‘dancer.’

So what can I say after six months of silence. hmmmm – Life is good! The snowmobile business is good! And our new snowmobiles are good! For the first time since 2003 I am not going to be on board a 4 cylinder powered sled. I have decided to sacrifice what I still believe is the coolest engine – ever – in a snowmobile and ride a new Viper. I have many reasons for making this choice, not the least of which is the fact, I am working so closely on the project. I owe it to everyone involved, especially myself, to focus my saddle time on the snake.

I have gotten some emails and comments lately from some of you guys, telling me to ‘wake up’ and write something or at least bury Sled Talk in the grave so you can purge it from your favorites (good one T). Thanks – I needed that!

Honestly, I didn’t know what I was going to write when I started this post. I had it in mind to be an epitaph, now I’m not so sure. I’ll see how many of you are left out there and decide if I want to risk going forward and being a dancing fool

Cheers cr


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Posted @ 12:23 pm in Yamaha Insights,Yamaha People and Communication   

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24 Responses to “Dancing Fool”

  1. pasledhead says:

    Finally, at least no NEW news is news!
    thought you checked out.

  2. Don aka VX1R/Boomer on TY says:


    I for one approve of your “dance moves” and appreciates your “dancing style” when it comes to trying to convey what you want to say within the confines that you have to work with. Job well done.

    I’m sure that the Viper faithful are elated to know that you are working so closely with the Arctic Cat team.

    Keep the faith in this blog. Your work and contributions are appreciated by many.

    Cheers, Don

  3. Bob C says:

    You have to do what you have to do. However, if the content is not there because of politics then I worry that your blog will just become another advertisement…all sizzle, no steak…. I thought you were waiting (delaying until 2015 product was mostly sold) in order to announce something ground breaking and new for next year…guess I was wrong.

  4. Ron S says:

    Well I for one do not want this to end, I look forward to all of your incite. I do not even own a Yamaha at the moment, but still have a soft spot for the last Yamaha I owned. My beloved Apex, is sadly missed just like you will be if you shut this blog down. Keep going!!!!!!!!


  5. Doug G says:

    Welcome back Chris! I’m still here. I’ve been checking this site about twice a week since your last post. I believe most of us realize the the position you’re in while working with both companies and protecting each ones future development. I just look forward to your insight and a feel for the direction Yamaha snowmobile division is heading. My wifes new ’15 Viper LTX DX is already home and I’m “patiently” waiting for my Viper LTX LE to be built. Life is good!


  6. Hal says:


    I have been checking the blog every day since the start of September and before that it was weekly.

    I for one appreciate the perspective and information you provide on yamahas and the industry in general. I encourage you to keep it up.

    I have commented to you before how interesting I find the passion that a lot of the snowmobilers display. This positive of this passion is they are willing to drop $15k on a machine that they only get to ride 3 months of the year. The negative of the passion … Well you know.

    I’m hopeful you keep this blog going. If you decide to shut it down, come to Winnipeg for a weekend. I bought a backcountry track, extorverts, 4th wheel kit, new DuPont slides, copper donuts and a block off plate for my Nytro xtx. I need some help installing them and I could use the company as my wife has me sleeping in the garage after those purchases. 🙂

    Maybe you could write a blog asking for some advice on how to sneak this stuff past our better halves.

    Keep your head up, your stick on the ice and your thumb to the bar!

  7. DNR says:

    I also like photos in these blogs that get everyone’s attention or create questions. Shouldn’t have to be the latest and greatest, just food for thought.
    In the photo above, I can’t tell if your slip is showing, the pixel count is quite low, lol.
    Thanks for the new post, cr.

  8. Tony I says:

    Hey welcome back – its been far too loooong!! We all appreciate your postings and look fwd to them. Don’t spend too much time down south – we need your passion in Canada!! Hope to see you at the Toronto show in a couple weeks???

  9. Carl says:

    Keep it up Chris. Always love the insight you provide. Don’t listen to the complainers. You have allot more followers than you think!

    Good idea on ridding a Viper with your involvement with the SRV project. At work we call it “Eating your own dog food” when we have a new product release.

  10. Silk says:

    Please keep the blog alive, I’m always interested in your insight!

  11. Steve Roverts says:

    If it was easy everybody would do it. Man up and realize the caliber of blog you created. Everybody gets shell shocked and shit pants when you lead. Its the heart that keeps you going when the brain is saying bail.
    With that you dont need excuses, your creds are there with the decades of experience to back them.
    Corporate moves are the battles of economic warfare, fighting to survive and win. Last time I checked my inbox from Japan , there wasnt any pleas asking for opinions on how to run their buisness.
    Ive voiced my opinion before on the profitability of the snowmobile division and the commitment required to continue a product line thats not carrying its weight . Unlike orher manufacturers athat delete product , abandoning marketshare and customer base , to pursue easier profit centers , this company had the onions to partner up on a project.
    If people are so ignorant of that , they may want to take other products apart , or open the hood of their automobile, and have a look at the way the world works .
    Chris this blog is part of your signature of commitment , and it will always be that.

  12. Steve H says:

    Keep up the good work. It’s nice to hear from someone inside the sport who is also a rider. Too often whether it be snowmobiles, atv’s or boats, it feels like the engineers and mfg. are not involved in the sport at the enthusiasts level. It’s refreshing to read your “dance” SH.

  13. Mark says:

    Chris, I always enjoy reading this blog. Getting a glimpse from “the inside” is a neat experience for this Yamaha fan! Keep it up.

  14. Shane says:

    Chris, hopefully you are riding the new viper too see what it’s like before you drop the 4 cylinder in. Purchased a 2014 Viper for the wife last season and she loves it…still not my Apex in the power dept:-)…keep the post coming Chris, use all the negativity to excell even more and keep the innovative thinking to make these sleds more and more enjoyable to ride year after year!!! Cheers to you CR:-)

  15. Stephen Burdick says:

    Dance on!

  16. Don W says:

    Gland to see your back. Keep the line open. After 12 Yamana’s , I will be riding a new viper this year. Ltd dx. Looking forward to a new learning experyance and the ride. Don W

  17. Kevin K says:

    Happy to read your insights, and comments on the Viper will be helpful for me as I plan on buying a new sled at the end after this season. I have been holding out for the bigger Apex motor in the Viper chassis somehow, but MAYBE the Viper would be a contender if it has the power/speed I like. I would seriously hate to leave Yamaha but the folks at Ski Doo with their 800’s are awfully nice. Can the Viper match performance corner to corner AND on the lake with the 800’s? Thanks for your insights and keep them coming!

  18. Yellowknife says:

    I don’t think I have to say it but will; Keep posting through thick and thin. Look at all the comments – and tell us what you can, when you can, and don’t worry about the rest.


  19. Jeff K says:

    Chris I think you underestimate the number of followers you have. Many of us have been watching and waiting for new words of wisdom and insight. I also am jumping to the Viper this year as it is the only mountain model available. On a test ride last spring I was happy with the functionality but still have reservations on the overall refinement and reliability.

  20. Low Slung says:

    Many thanks Chris for the insight over the years and info you provided to us sledheads.Can,t say im excited to see the direction the Yamaha sled division is headed but it is what it is,a tough pill for the faithful to swallow.Love the pic of the motogp bikes,reminds me of all the fun me and 7skulls had in indy this past august http://www.totallyamaha.net/forums/threads/96777-My-trip-to-moto-gp-indy-2014 P.S you may have to log in to see the pics,while we were in the paddock the doctor passed right by us twice on his scooter,way cool.By the way Chris did you ever get a chance to see a motogp race live or meet the doctor#46?

  21. Anthony says:

    Hi Chris,
    Nice to hear back from you. I really enjoyed reading this blog along with all the comments from the readers(good or bad)
    Always patiently waiting for the next post.
    I understand your point but Hey we all new that this partnership with Arctic Cat was gonna bring some hope, worries and frustration. But at the end of the day if Yamaha is getting out of this deal stronger that is what really counts
    “Smooth seas don’t make skilfull sailers”
    Hope this blog is there to stay
    Wish you and every ones a long and happy winter

  22. Jerry says:

    Hi Chris,
    Your blog is much appreciated and followed by many. After reading the above posts, I find it hard to believe that you would consider dropping the blog. If anything, the executives at Yamaha should be encouraging you and others to write as the blog keeps the blue blood running and no doubt creates interest which translates to sales. Yamaha should be feeding information, tid bits and technology updates to make the read interesting. I have a friend in PEI who was sure that you were gone and that Yamaha may never make a sled in Japan again. Well I proved him wrong on one point when I emailed your blog to him. Keep the news coming. I currently own two Yamaha’s and a Renegade but the next one is a year away. Tell us how great it will be. Cheers to a great winter.

  23. snoguzzler says:

    Not much I can add. It has all been said. Miss the blog, please keep it coming. I will take what I can get. I suck at dancing myself…..

  24. Alain Vmax says:

    Keep it up Chris. Always love the insight you provide. Don’t listen to the complainers. You have a lot more followers than you think!

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