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March 21, 2016


IMG_1952Quick 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 andIMG_1899 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.

cheers cr

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Posted @ 12:21 pm in Opinions and Insights   

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9 Responses to “Really?”

  1. Steve Roberts says:

    Funny eh
    Attended spring sneek peek in Ottawa ON
    Alphabetically ,BRP , Polaris and Yamaha but no Cats
    So I concur hard to get AC and Yamahas in the same room, far less in any venue that can due factual product comparisons.
    Speculative and erroneous , sometimes blasphemous rumour and inuendo will always be swirling. It really gets nauseating in the absence of valid on snow comparatives due to the nature of seasons and weather.
    Don’t fret
    At this time of year bonafide power sports enthusiasts have also switched seasonal interest to wheeled or floating passions.
    The remnant ramblings of the season I write off .
    Just like the 3 rd and 4th plate club at the local Chineese buffet house, table manners are not their forte.


    LOL!! cheers cr

  2. Garret says:

    Sure hope next year is a good snow year it will be a interesting season with everyone lining these new sleds up.

    Keep posting I enjoy reading your blog!

    Thanks Garret, will try to keep Sled Talk alive this spring… cr

  3. Mark says:

    Always nice to read your Yamaha posts!
    I was up to the sneak peak in Barrie last week.
    Great cut away model of the new Turbo engine.
    I would of liked to seen the new roller clutch on the Viper models.
    Thanks again for the updates!

  4. Low Slung says:

    Got to wonder if toyota had a hand in development of the new sidewinder powerplant?They got experience in the turbo field with the Supra engine coming to mind https://www.torquecars.com/toyota/supra-tuning.php

    Nope. She’s all Yamaha. IHI engineers assisted as the expert turbo supplier consultants cr

  5. Calvin Roy says:

    Hi Chris, been trying to get some info and not sure where to turn. Interested in the Sidewinder, where is the 153 MTX x 2.6? the BTX only has 2.25 track and is too wide at 38.5. I am not a chute guy, I like to play in the trees. I had a 2008 Nytro after riding mountain maxs and have ridden a skidoo since, the nytro did not work well in the mountains. My dealer recently let me demo the Viper MTX with a turbo installed. The power was great but still too hard to side hill or technically maneuver, how does the sidewinder compare in weight to the Viper? Same weight but redistributed? weighs less? I cannot find any information and nobody seems to know. Dropping $19k on a snowcheck is difficult without any information on that. And again really disappointed no 153 MTX :). Thanks

    Hey Calvin, there are reasons for everything. On the weight issue the Sidewinder is close to the MPI equipped Viper. You might want to sit out a year and try the 162 to make sure it fits your needs. You never know what the future may bring 😉 cr.

  6. Calvin says:

    Thanks, I like the direction!😎

  7. John says:

    Hi Chris
    Thanks for the info on suspension calibrations, called my dealer and changed my order from a Sidewinder LTX DX to a Sidewinder LTX LE.Just need to arrive before winter returns.When will
    2017 accessories info be posted online?

    Couldn’t get a definitive answer today. I know there are some items in development and some carry over, clothing is done. I’ll try to remember to follow-up next week when the people who know are available. I expect there will be online updates early April. cr

  8. Greg says:

    Just wrapped up my snowmobiling season in east-central SK in great conditions. Hudson Bay is still open (Mar 24/’16) but likely on last few days. ’15 Viper XTX-SE MPI working great. Sidewinder really impresses me. If I don’t buy a ’17…an ’18 will definately happen. I would only ask for one thing. Spring Order configuration options such as Polaris has. What a broad listing! As it sits right now….I can’t get a ’17 Sidewinder LE in the track/seat/suspension/color configuration I desire. Great work on the ’17’s overall & have a super Star summer.

  9. Bob says:

    That sure is a lot of nonsense but I would have thought the Cat guys would be far more concerned about moving away from Suzuki. More specifically, in regards to the upgrade packages on the current engine which are well proven. With the new engine, they have to start back at square one. It took years to get those packages to deliver reliable power.

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