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September 14, 2015

Hey Hey Hay

Well I’m back. Hope you had a great summer, I sure did! I spent the latter part of August at the cottage dragging kids (old and young) around the lake, dropped into the office only long enough to print a plane ticket and depart for Minneapolis – meetings and Hay Days. The highlight of the latter was seeing so many old friends from the industry. Some wearing new hats, some retired, some still plugging away… but all smiling.

I’m sorry I missed the Totallyamaha ‘meet and greet’ but did run into Tom for a chat and was happy to introduce him to Mark Lester from SnowTrax TV / Supertrax mag. Our friends at Camso (aka Camoplast) were set up just behind the Yamaha booth with lots of interesting track systems on display. A very special old friend of mine Jim Kedinger, is managing their ATV ROV track kit field marketing and it was exciting to see Yamaha USA announce the distribution of the Camso 4S track systems through their dealer network. This is not a plug so much as a triumph for me. I have been a big believer in these kits over the years and quietly lobbied approval to distribute for our products anytime I could find someone to listen to me.

The new YXZ’s were front and center in the Yamaha booth creating a lot of buzz and Mac over at MPI had another unit close by with his new turbo kit installed, ready to rip the wheels off anything our competition cares to throw at us.

Our friends at Cat were having fun, with Troy showing a teaser snow-bike (briefly) on the roof off their semi and Brian pulling the sheets off the new green race sled. There was no shortage of corporate brass in attendance in the manufactures row but not a neck tie in sight, thankfully. On the way in I spotted something very special in the parking lot, pointing it out to Pete. ‘Look over there. Way down that last row of vehicles, see it?? It’s a car!!’ Never seen so may pickups in one place – ever.

Other highlights? Too many to mention. The constant braaap of mod sleds in the background. The lawn chairs and cooler under the OSM tent come to mind. Kevin Bielke from Snowtech in his game warden outfit. Editor at large, Jerry Basset’s words of encouragement. Luke Lester departing full aero on a used Craftsman lawn tractor. Getting smoked out by a ‘Wankel’ powered Panther. The dude with the SRX, gutted and converted into a pull trailer, hauling away his swag. Greg Marier now retired with his big poop eating grin. Big Doug B from Cat sporting dark Yamaha sunglasses. The ever witty Pat Bourgeois’ insight on Coors brewing expertise. The seemingly endless miles of used parts, sleds, junk and their colorful purveyors (nice tooth there bubba!) And last but not least all the better halves… America’s truly got talent!!

So now that I have warmed up the keys, I’ll try to put something more product / business related together over the next while, lighting up Sled Talk as the days continue to get shorter. And for those of you who reminded me last weekend that some people actual read and enjoy this blog – Thanks!!!

Think snow!

cheers cr

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9 Responses to “Hey Hey Hay”

  1. Wes says:

    Sounds like a great time was had by all, Chris! I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Apex XTX LE. We’re you happy with the on trail performance of the 1.75 BC on your Viper? I do mainly Trail ride and the height of the BC was a slight concern of mine in regards to on trail attributes. Thanks!


    Hey Wes, overall I was quite happy with the BC track. I did have to add some carbide and found the steering effort a bit much but I am spoiled after many seasons of EPS. I have a hunch you may need some more carbide on the Apex 146 as the 1.75 finds a lot of traction BUT unlike the Viper, you have EPS!
    cheers cr

  2. Steve Roberts says:

    Hey hayChris,
    Thanks for getting the blog fired up. Club meetings and plans for 2015/16 season are well underway, fall fairs and product push time is now.
    Hoping the winter will bless us with good sled conditions. A plug for our new local dealer Urban Sport picking up sled fever after last years good first season après purchase of Arnprior Sportland. Marketing prowess will make or break shops ,I am impressed how seamless operations transitioned . Vipers and VK s on the floor beside Grizzly alley., and a lot of boats already in storage are sure signs the Sled seasons heartbeat has started pumpin . After 40 + seasons I still love that anticipation……

  3. Iveyrider says:

    A new post AND the leaves are starting to fall in my neck of the woods. The signs are everywhere!

  4. scott says:

    Glad to see you back posting on your blog! Termination dust is on the mountains around me and it was around 38 degrees on Sunday morning.

  5. Mark Lawson says:

    Ahh, you make the trek, and many of us missed you. It’s funny you mention even being at Haydays, as I could have sworn I saw you.

    Glad you enjoyed yourself. We will look forward to Yamaha having a scheduled big announcement at Haydays. The other three do it each year, and I keep waiting for Big Blue to have the crowd around their camp with an announcement.

    Having he YXZ was very cool though, with it’s shocks the size of my leg!! But saving an announcement to generate some excitement next year would be cool.

    Welcome to Minnesota, we hope you enjoyed your time here, rather than just hanging out in TRF!

  6. Allan says:

    Looking forward to the arrival of my 2016 S TX DX 146 Viper. Hope the bugs are out of the 2016?

    Chris did you get a chance to drive S TX DX 146 viper? If so what was you thoughts on it?

  7. John says:

    Great to see sled talk going again, always a good read. Any hints of a factory turbo yet, been looking at Cat 9000 turbo, but would hate to get one and find out Yamaha is coming out with something better. Love my 2014 Viper except it needs more power.

  8. sean says:

    Welcome back! I hope you had a great summer boating, cycling and standing on the sidelines watching the not so young one take on their own race challenges. We did not get out on the boat as much as desired; you know bankers hours 😉 Patiently waiting for the delivery of my ’16 Apex LE. Otherwise I hope to bump into you at the Toronto Snowmobile show. Until your next blog….

  9. Brandon a says:

    hey Chris,
    Glad you had a good summer. Any hints on the 17’s?

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