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April 22, 2015

Fly by Wire

A funny thing happened to me last week on my way down to visit the boys in TRF. I prefer to fly from YYZ to Winnipeg then drive down across the line opposed to playing pinball through two US cities only to end up driving the same distance from Grand Forks. Anyway, I’m standing at the National car rental desk listening to the gentleman in front of me as he happily accepted the offered upgrade to a new Dodge Charger. My turn, after initialing the 27 ‘X’s declining all the up-charges… ‘and what kind of vehicles do you have today?’

‘Well sir we have a wee Fiat whatever, a cute little Chevy something or other and a new Ford Festival’. ‘Hmmm, would you have anything in men’s? Maybe a Dodge Charger or the like?’ ‘No sir, this is all we have left.’ crap!

I should have realized when I plugged the MP3 player in and was given  fifty options to click before it would make any noise, that the Ford Festivity- powered by Microsoft – was the wrong choice. Once out of the parking lot I tried to turn up the tunes and I got a message on the screen that my ‘One Key’ volume limit had been reached. Huh? With ZZ Top barely audible in the back ground, I cruised onto the Perimeter Highway. Now maybe its just me, coming from TO and all, but I find driving in Winnipeg really frustrating. Folks there are apparently entitled to whatever lane they like with no regard to speed or flow and no one seems to give a rats behind. So I try to do a little deke around a couple of dicing locals and the stupid car gives me a little Microsoft chime and informs me, ‘My Key’ maximum speed has been attained. I’m doing 105kph in a 100kph zone and it has signed off, that’s it, that’s all you get.

Pulled off into the nearest Tim’s, dug out the owners manual and conclude that someone has programmed this thing for a 16 year old and given me the dummy key that can’t over-ride the system. Microsoft had taken over control of my car. I called National to voice my extreme displeasure and was politely informed it was what it was, so I angrily abused that little POS as best I could for the rest of my trip and swore I would never rent a blue oval, Microsoft enabled vehicle again. Two hours of driving across prairie back road, not another vehicle in sight, so flat and straight I could watch my dog run away from home for two days… at 105 kph pinned. I’m still mad.

This brings me to this week snowmobile related story. We have just released some new technology that will let a computer run your sled! We call it YCCT with D-Mode and although it is not a first for snowmobile. It is the first to bring this level of sophistication. Now it does beg the questions of ‘whats in this for me’ and ‘why would I want it?’

I wrote the following excerpt for our communication platform at YMC’s request and even though I am an old school guy who prefers the world without traction control and computers overriding my commands, I did come to appreciate some of the benefits through this exercise.


Cheers cr

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8 Responses to “Fly by Wire”

  1. Mr. T says:

    That is some cool tech! Will that be on the 750 tripple when it comes out? Had to ask it! LOL!

  2. Hans says:

    Hi Chris, sorry to hear about your experience with your rental. Maybe time to change rental companies. I just wanted to comment on the YCCT technology. I really like the options this tech gives to the snowmobile but am on the fence when it comes to adding more electronics that can cause potential head aches to reliability. As you may have guessed by now I am of an older age and though I love new technology sometimes I still day dream of simpler times with less things that can go wrong.
    As for Mr. T’s references to a high reving 750 triple, I have thought about it for a bit and conclude that Yamaha would not build 2 triples with the same horse power. My thoughts would be that a 750 triple with reduction gear would weigh the same as the current 1049 triple and produce about the same hp. Not really something that would bring people to spend their money on and added production costs.
    cheers Hans

  3. Carl says:

    No Apex with YCCT on that chart. Care to elaborate? I can smell something new is coming. 😉

  4. Yellowknife says:

    Your story cracked me up. I had no idea that could happen to someone. The damn trans canada hwy is 110 in sections and they limit that car to 105?? I’ve got some car rentals coming up and now I will fear the CR-CAR syndrome. lol

    Interesting perk on the YCCT. I remember the first time I got on a ski-doo ACE 600. The throttle response was too light and too easy to accidentally make unintended throttle movements.

    We’re still riding here – the Viper remains in camp YK, and it had a flawless season over a couple thousand km’s… its counterpart, the E-TEC hasn’t exploded (yet) nearing 5K.

    I sold the 2008 MTX this month to a friend. He made it half a km when he shut it off to wait for someone and then it was dead and wouldn’t start again. I towed it home and found the solenoid was toast. Installed a new one last night and found the metal bracket that the solenoid sits on was eaten away a little, then watched the negative lead on the solenoid arc out of my hand, contacting the metal bracket when I was sliding it on. No visually exposed wire on the lead but it doesn’t like being mounted in that same spot for some reason, wondering if the arc’ing is what toasted the old solenoid. Weird!

    This may be the last ride this weekend though I always holdout for an early May snowfall.



  5. Mr. T says:

    How much horsepower would a 750 triple have if it wasn’t highreving and the primary was mounted directly to the crank? I’m hoping around a 100 which is where we need another motor. I think it would be less than that though!

  6. Hans says:

    Sorry if Mr. T and I seem to be hijacking your blog but I could debate this back and forth and every comment Mr. T makes gets me thinking deeper into the YCCT technology. This is to Mr. T. Yamaha does not need to build a 100 hp. engine because the new Vector with YCCT in T mode gives them that. What I would think would make a great sled with a broad spectrum of users from entry to advanced would be to use the YCCT on the FX Phazer. In that chassis I could take my 10 year old grand daughter off of the Bravo and onto a 4 stroke. The only short coming of the existing 500 4 stroke is in cold weather starting. Having had my FX Phazer since 07 new with all updates my thought is that the engine just turns over too slow to start properly. Comparing cranking speed with my Vector & Apex the Phazer seems to crank at half speed. How about Yamaha building a 9 volt starter motor to speed things up a bit. The old Flat Head Fords with 6 volt system used a 9 volt starter motor for longevity. When converting those cars to 12 volt all we ever did was change all the bulbs, generator and add a ballast resistor. The starter motor was never changed and always performed flawlessly. I Yamaha could cure the cranking speed I believe all their cold weather starting would be resolved. Even though I am an older rider I have a soft spot for the Phazer style and ergonomics, just wish it would start better.

  7. snoguzzler says:

    I thought long and hard about a new Vector for next year with the added YCCT and suspension. I decided to wait and see what is new next year as I am sure there will be a new 100% Yamaha. If not then a 2016 Vector left over will be in my future.

  8. snoguzzler says:

    I’ve been thinking about this Vector all summer. Do you know if there are many Demo units out this coming winter? I would love to try one, and hopefully buy one.
    Hope you are enjoying your summer

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