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February 2, 2016

if a tree falls in the forest

I am not sure I know why today is the day any more than I know why it took this long. But its high time I came back to Sled Talk to reflect a bit on the past few months.’

First off I want to apologize for not posting an update at least acknowledging my sabbatical from blogging. Truth is, it was never really intentional. I have just been so caught up in my new world of organizational reform and change that Sled Talk has almost become part of a former life. Tim K dropped into my office this morning with an invoice for the web hosting of Sled Talk asking me if it was still alive. I did not know how to respond. After a little chat and show of support, he left me to ponder the fate.

A few visitors still come to the blog to read some of the old development stories and ramblings but the fact is: ‘content is king’ and as many of you have pointed out, I haven’t posted diddly squat in some time. It was never my intention to ignore things this long, it just happened, a product of my ever evolving environment.

So, yes I am good and still here. On the other hand, the snowmobile

Feb1 20% of normal

Feb1 20% of normal

industry is not so fortunate. The lack of snow in the key central markets, the warming effects of El Nino and the grinding halt to sales after Christmas is not what any of us needed this year. I am embarrassed to say I have not stuck my trail permit on my sled yet. Thinking it may well end up a sad reminder of the season that wasn’t, by adorning my beer fridge.

What makes things worse is the fact we, as an industry, are coming off a great year past and as a company are working hard on some new products for model year 2017 that I am positive will turn some heads. BUT all that said, it is not over yet and it wouldn’t take but a few cold days and some snow to get us back in the game.

Kind of like me, all it took was the timely threat from Tim to pull the pin on Sled Talk accompanied by a good hug to get me back on the key board. There are some things I would really like to share and speak to here in the near future. March 1 is our next embargo and there are sure to be some questions, so here’s my commitment to finish up this season with some regular posts and we’ll see where that goes.


think snow!!! cheers cr

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11 Responses to “if a tree falls in the forest”

  1. Tyler says:

    Welcome back!
    Great to hear you confirm there is some new ” snow product” for 2017! I personally was expecting something… but somehow doubt was starting to set in!

    I would usually not start thinking about 2017 this early but with the lack of snow I am less distracted this year. 🙁

  2. Steve Roberts says:

    Good to hear you well. Sled talk is always a welcome read in my inbox regardless of the frequency of releases .
    Weather is everything, I feel the common anguish among all participants of snowmobiling. Manufacturers, Club Volunteers, Vendors of all wares and the segment of buisness that Snowmobiling supports. An economic blow as well as a big void of winter power sport recreation.
    Thinking positively , you never know how much something is worth until it is taken away.
    I’ve logged hundreds of km on Boris , my 98 VK , dragging firewood , 2 dogs running behind and as such have had the annual fix of using snow to access some beautiful spots only available by snowmobile.
    But 400 trail pickets remain unset in my garage , hopefully destined to be on White Lake if winter ever stabilizes. Sledding is in our blood , part of our DNA, or an addiction so to speak if you ask many spouses….I look at that Apex XTX on Urban Sports showroom floor and say to my son it would be a good year to make an offer on that sled……..


  3. Anthony says:

    Nice to hear this blog still alive and that you’re doing fine
    Also Nice to hear some new stuff is coming for 2017.
    What is the 2017 snowmobile models release date?


    5pm Eastern Mar 1 cr

  4. Gary says:

    2017 Sidewinder!

    I think I figured out your picture hint of the sand a couple of months ago. Sidewinder snake trying to bed down in the sand.

    I preferred the comment on TY, that I had set my frosty beverage down in the sand four times while texting your girl friend ;)) cr

  5. Viper S says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thought you might have gone in search of snow, like a lot of us! Luckily, I found some for the Vector Ltx the last 2 weeks here near the Mts. of Central Maine! Couldn’t believe how good it was up there here between Brownville and Greenville, Maine. Quickly reminded me why I love snowmobiling and my Yamaha!
    So some good news about new stuff with this lousy Winter. When is the big release day? Need something good to look forward to… Maybe a bit of cold weather and snow for the East next week?!
    Yes, always think snow, glad you’re back with us!
    Viper S

  6. TK says:

    Great to hear from you again, got a little worried that something had happened to you. Sounds like maybe Yamaha gets me back whit The 2017 launch? Or maybe on 2018 whit The 50th anniversity? Just hopes for a new Yamaha sled this year maybe The rumored new Vmax 800DI Mountain 🙂

  7. Jason says:

    Nice to see you back CR

    I think I can say you’ve been missed theses last few months
    Going by everyone’s reaction on here.
    We may b-tch and whine sometimes about everything That’s going on or should I say NOT going. But in the end were are all here because we like to know what’s going on with Yamaha and you..
    I’m really hoping your absence from here can only mean good things
    For a “pure Yamaha” Coming down the line.
    Please DONT say a “Snow Bike” leave that to the other guys. Lol

    Looking forward to reading your blogs and answers to everyone. :))


    PS When are the ’17 making their debut? It is Febuary after all. Lol

    Thanks J, the release date for 17 is March 1 at 5:00 Eastern I believe. We are not have a face to face dealer conference. Instead we will do a special web release for our dealers at the same time we go live with our web-sites and the mainstream media who have all been pre-briefed on the new line-up. cheers cr

  8. Low Slung says:

    Glad to see the blog still ticking.January was pretty good here for a strong el nino winter(Got a good week of back country riding in,alot better then the last 2 el nino winters 98,10).The sled industry is pretty unique in that the press gets to ride the sleds before its release to the public(Not the norm in the car industry,too many spy pics before hand).Does it worry you guys that someone may get a snapshot of the new iron before its released to the world?

    Thanks, I’m going to answer your question in my next post! cr

  9. Snowhawk says:

    Great to see you´re back!
    It has surely been a bit empty since november, but I can understand that this time of year is “busy”;-)

    Anyway, I have seen some comment here and there, that some people dont want to see any “snowbike” coming fom Yamaha…
    When I actually saw that pic of these round marks i sand, I quickly thought that those hinted about a future snowbike.
    And thats because I have myself been driving Snowhawk for many years earlier, and when you lay down the Hawk and spin around, it will kind of look like that in the pic;-)
    And the Sidewinder-name feels like a name for a machine easy to flick from side to side also!
    Or maybe, we will see a replacement for the Phazer, with articulated front and narrow track…sounds like a Sidewinder…am I close??

    Pure speculation from my part, I´m from Sweden, so I have really no idea about anything…
    Just enjoying this time of year, when a lot of people seem to know somebody who know somebody who knows something;-)

    Kind regards!

  10. Matt Keigher says:

    If you couldn’t see the writing on the walls, we haven’t had a post because Yamaha couldn’t decide which and what and how many for next year, because of this screwed up winter. (El Nino, no snow in Midwest, late start for northeast, awesome season in mountains). They certainly have a snowbike/scooter coming, thats why Cat is trying to get their name out first, they obviously have something that will be utilizing the new single shot rear end (that is why their testing it this year) kinda like when they put the proaction in the 96 XT 600 then perfected and put in to the 700sx,etc.
    Since we have never seen even one magazine suggest that they might use the new triple 900 out of their motorcycles, I say Its a sure thing now 900 triple with the new single shot and the new throttle by wire, and you guessed it,,,,,,,, a regular version, and of course a turbo! They finally came to the conclusion that what ever inventory is left over is gonna have to be sacrificed to get the new stuff out there, since once they release these models they will jump to #2 in total sales.
    I hope I’m right!

  11. John says:

    Counting down to March 1, hope something good is coming.Good to see you back Chris

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