March 21, 2016
Quick update, just returned last night from 9 days in Japan. It was our annual AWWM / SWWM meetings where we attended to both ATV/ROV and Snowmobile development in a series of product tests and high level discussions. The journey started in the south at a recreational vehicle park near Osaka. It poured rain on us all day providing a sloppy and challenging circuit to navigate, with no one wanting to be ‘that guy’ to toss away a proto-type. We barely had time to rinse the mud from our eyeballs and we were on a train, bound for Hamamatsu and two days of meetings at factory. Next we were off to the northern island of Hokaido where engineering had prepared some future product and advanced proto ideas for us to savor. The weather was much nicer for the test ride hitting a high around +10C. On the down side, spring conditions are never the greatest to evaluate snowmobiles on. But some features are not snow condition specific so it wasn’t a wash and provided one more chance to ride this year.
Getting caught up in the office this morning, I received an interesting comment from a contact in TRF who explained he was getting a lot of negative feedback on their new Yamaha powered turbo’s. Seem’s someone has determined the Yamaha Sidewinders have a different engine tuning / output than the green versions. It never fails to amaze me how these things can spread like wildfire with nothing tangible to support them. I’ll go on record and say the only thing different in the power side of the green and blue turbo’s is found in the clutching. The ECU programs for fueling / timing etc is consistent model for model. Add to that, I don’t believe anyone has done any head to head comparisons unless some errant magazine got a hold of two similar models at Snowshoot to run off, which again being prototypes at high altitude with non final calibration doesn’t mean squat.
I suppose it’s a good thing for Yamaha to have a bunch of Cat people making claims that we are faster due to special tuning and parts. So regardless of the above mentioned facts, I’ll leave good enough alone.