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October 13, 2015

Bounce in your Sled?

I was out of the loop last week as we just hosted a national dealer conference at Deerhurst Resort with a focus on marine, motorcycle and SxS vehicles. I spent my days track side attending to the Camso track kit equipped Wolverine and Grizzly and supporting the YXZ demo rides. It was really interesting (and fun) to watch the anticipation and reactions of the dealers who had the chance to  strap into the new YXZ. The demo track  was short and sweet starting with a long straight leading into a 30 foot jump followed by a multiple three foot, ‘whoops’ section. Upon clearing the bumps – hard on the brakes, cross over the abandoned airstrip, then back home on another long straight. This section had some off-camber bends, another high speed kicker into a dogleg and a short, hard braking finish. We had three test engineers from the US driving the vehicles. These guys had countless hours of saddle time in off-road buggies and were able to really demonstrate the  potential of the vehicle.

Once the dust settled they had completed over 500 laps, WFO. Passengers were treated to a moderate ‘slow’ lap to get a good look at the terrain. On lap two, things got exciting as the driver  dumped the clutch with the engine on the red-line,  power shifting through to 4th gear, hitting the jump to land into the whoops at 100+ kph, lock it up, cross the track and hammer it back up to speed, lurching sideways full throttle into the final brake bumps and back down to idle within scant feet of the ‘Parc Ferme’. Not once in +500 laps did they make a mistake or get out of shape (much) – amazing. They pounded the two pre-pros which never missed a beat. We did have one slow leak in a rear tire which we plugged and one sub assembly loosen up which the engineers knew enough to monitor and re-torque based on previous testing experience. All told we didn’t loose 15 minutes in the two days. Here’s a link from the YMUS meeting on a similar track to give you an idea

There was a bit of speculation on the new YXZ 998 cc triple and whether it could cross into other products. Short answer – of course it could – but not in a 10500 rpm / 112hp version. There is one advantage to a 998 and that is realized in cost as imported engines over 999 cc are assigned an excise tax. The divorced transmission leaves the door wide open for other applications. The only thing missing is the tuning to meet the application, be it water, pavement or snow.

2016_YZ450FX_blue_CAN_2The new YZ450FX was released with many references to snow bikes. The new YZ-FX has the ‘magic button’ to make the engine start with a quick stab of the pinky. A most welcome addition for anyone thinking about installing a track and ski. We didn’t really do any snowmobile business at this show per se, but there certainly was a lot of conversation on the subject.

On a personal note, I pulled two of my sleds out of storage this weekend to fire up and was pleasantly surprised, no critters had decided to take up residence in either one. I had kept them out doors on a trailer (well protected from the elements) in cottage country – red squirrels, mice, chipmunks etc.- not so much as an acorn, which I attribute to the ample use of Bounce dryer sheets. In years past, even with moth balls scattered about, I always had a least one visitor make a mess, but this year, nothing. I’m just hoping I found all the fabric swatches because having a sled burn down may change my tune on the virtues of the smelly little napkins. It was a bonus to have nice weather to get everything cleaned up, greased and adjusted, that said another session is required to align the steering in the Vector which appears to include a bit of open heart surgery. Yes, I really need a toy-box /  garage / man-cave up north!

We are a couple of weeks out from the Toronto Power Sports Show and flurries are in the forecast…

cheers cr


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6 Responses to “Bounce in your Sled?”

  1. Low Slung says:

    Keep the info coming Chris.Had a chance this past august with my brother(7Skulls) to ride the 2016 ATVs and the new wolverine on the Yamaha demo tour at our local dealer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osJ25JrG13Y .My favorite was the wolverine but we both agree the new grizzly was a winner(smoothest single cylinder engine I ever rode,no vibes,first CVT quad that I liked).Loved how the demo ride took us through many different kinds of terrain.Big thanks to wisemans sales and service/Yamaha reps for having a great experience.Recently I got a good look at the new YXZ1000.Looks great but Im pretty sure buyers remorse would set in after the purchase(my raptor700R is in year four and i found the sweet suspension setup this past summer,feels like butterfly of the jumps now).Too bad it seems the sport quad market is fading away(seems yamaha is the only OEM offering 450-700cc pure sport quads for 2016).Better off saving that money for a PURE Yamaha next gen sled(873 triple,550lbs wet weight,single shot rear,all new yami chassis,NO EPS(seems doos XP chassis needs it,but USI skis may cure it).Hope VR46 can win the MOTOGP title this year(rumour has it if he wins it will be worth 100-200 million euros to Yamaha)Maybe some pennys our way will get the ball rolling on that snowmobile?One can dream(and dreams are free).

  2. So Wis says:

    Love reading about all the happenings at team blue! Thanks for bringing these blogs to us!

  3. Trailcruzr says:

    “Once the dust settled they had completed over 500 laps, WFO. Passengers were treated to a moderate ‘slow’ lap to get a good look at the terrain. On lap two, things got exciting as the driver dumped the clutch with the engine on the red-line, power shifting through to 4th gear, hitting the jump to land into the whoops at 100+ kph, lock it up, cross the track and hammer it back up to speed, lurching sideways full throttle into the final brake bumps and back down to idle within scant feet of the ‘Parc Ferme’.”

    WFO….clutch dump….etc…..etc……doesn’t anybody at Yamaha EVER test anything at speeds and pace resembling a trail ride? Now I’m not talking a 20 mph Gramma ride. Stock, outta the crate, my Vector’s have needed shock revalving to take the harsh ride out. The valving is fine for WFO, etc. riding. But at a good trail cruzin’ pace…..WTFS! (way to f****** stiff)

    Good point, however in this case the YXR is a dedicated piece of equipment that will perfrom far beyond the capabilities of a novice operator. Put in the context of performance dirt, we would be remiss to not take a YZ to a GP or Supercross level track for testing. The point of the YXZ demo was to show the vehicles capability – we only scratched the surface.
    Snowmobiles are tested under some fairly gnarly conditions to make sure they will remain durable when pounded, this can result in some harsh calibration which can be dialed out. Unfortunately we must err on the side of caution when it comes to stuff getting broken. cheers cr

  4. Brandon a says:

    No post in awhile. You must be busy working on a srx 800 for 2017

  5. Todd S says:


    We need more than once month.

    Todd S.

  6. Viper S says:

    I haven’t communicated in awhile and changed to my TY handle here too. Glad to hear your comments about changes coming. But as they say, actions speak louder than words. I hope Yamaha is hearing that, I’m hanging in their with my 11 Vector Ltx and would up grade to a 12 or 13 Vec if I could find the right one. That being said, my buddy jumped ship to Poo due to the weight issue on his Venture. I think he, as well as many other former Yamaha faithful would have stayed blue, had a lighter more dependable and lighter update been offered. The new rear suspension provides hope, and plan to remain true, but I, like others are still waiting…
    Thanks for keeping us on the edge again, think snow!

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