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April 13, 2016

Too Little – Too Late

IMG_2009I arrived at my cabin this past weekend to find the lake with some open water in places. Several inches of fresh snow hid the fact we had already lost our base and beneath the skiff of white was spring. Saturday was the predetermined date to remove the Six Star bridge that connects our lake to the OFSC trail system. It’s a big job to remove the decking and timbers, capable of supporting a full size groomer but its part of the deal with the MNR IMG_2030(government) to have trail access. By the time we were done, mother nature in a cruel ‘in your face’ turn, went and refroze the lake and tightened up the snow as much to say ‘never count me out’!

IMG_2013About 20 guys showed up for the work party aboard quite an assortment of machines. ATV’s were the most abundant but a few poor buggers arrived on muddy sleds that quickly froze into brown blocks of ‘snirt.’ Brad rustled up a big feed of baked beans and burgers over an open fire and we all had a good time lamenting the season that wasn’t, once the work was all done.

Fortunately the conditions are still holding good in the west. I’ll be heading to the airport in another couple of weeksIMG_2025 for what is sure to be my last ride of the season. Most of the guys I talked to on the weekend are way down on mileage this year and it is showing in the industry sales figures for the first couple months of the year. I have seen inventory levels worse in past seasons but there is no doubt in my mind that we’ll be riding another rough trail this fall.

Some questions have come in on the comments side which may be best answered here:

Did the turbo engine come before the YXZ? Interesting question, chicken or the egg… I don’t think there was really a first or second. The concept was to build an engine platform that could be customized for a given application. The crank-shaft is common to all four motors but there are many individual parts that are unique to each.
I guess you could say that we were developing the turbo concept over a longer period of time and the short block followed along. Both the YXZ and Sidewinder engine early proto-typing started with a Nytro based engine (as did the Viper) and all the requirements for both applications came together in the final layout of the 998. I have no idea where the Waverunner version fits into the equation. Really it was a lot of joint work that came together in the end to yield three distinctly different engines sharing common parts, actually four when you consider the new Vector/Venture 1050’s.

Will the new YSRC roller secondary fit on the Apex? Short answer- no – the jack-shaft is a larger diameter. This is the same between Nytro and Apex. Therefore the new clutch would fit on a Nytro and a Viper but not the Apex/Vector (without extensive modification.)

I am still waiting to confirm the Sidewinder skid frame components on the R-TX LE (129) versus L-TX LE (137) and which models (if any) will come with tunnel protectors. I’ll answer when I know – in the meantime there is a very interesting post over on Totallyamaha explaining some key points on all the new track lengths and pitch. If you haven’t seen it, I’d say it’s worth a read. Kevin did a great job on researching the subject.

So back to Mother Nature – enough already, you blew it when you had the chance. Now lets get on with spring!

cheers cr

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Posted @ 9:51 am in Tech Talk,Travel and Events   

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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Posted @ 3:21 pm in Industry News,Travel and Events,Yamaha Insights   

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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Posted @ 3:40 pm in Industry News,Travel and Events   

November 7, 2014

Carry On or Checked?

Friday noon, looking out the window at the falling snow. The calm before the storm as my calendar is rapidly filling up towards Christmas. We have several tests planned starting end of November right up until the week before the holidays. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Viper chassis responds to the addition of Performance Dampers. I will also be joining in with some of the project guys from Cat early in December to sample some new sizzle and I have a ‘bucket lister’ journey to add another new country to my tally of weird and wonderful places to ride snowmobiles kicking off the season.

The only ball in the air is how to divide and conquer a conflicting date and whether or not I’ll need (or can arrange) to fly to Japan for a couple of days mid December.

Something occurred to me while discussing this meetings agenda with our engineers. Most people, regardless of their brand blindness, will agree that Yamaha engines rank amongst the very best in the world. This is especially true regarding durability and reliability and if you consider the QDR relative to the performance, one could argue Yamaha is the best in mass production motosports power – marine, motorcycle, off-road, snow… My epiphany was – we have never tried to explain what we do differently, what steps are taken in engine development, to deliver the balance of performance and reliability that the Yamaha QDR reputation is founded upon. We’ve spoken to it in marketing over the years but the engineering detail has never been really been exposed. I sense an opportunity and an intriguing project at hand.

Case in point is the all new R1 and R1M MotoGP inspired bikes. @200hp / liter of normally aspirated power packing a full warranty along with the duty cycle of a flippin Corolla. The on-board electronics controlling this engine and consequent power delivery is incredible. I have mixed feelings about having a computer control how I ride but considering the performance levels being achieved and so few Valentino Rossi’s buying road legal sport bikes, I get it.

We are seeing more sophisticated electronics being applied to our snowmobiles as well and I see this only increasing as we move forward. Having learned from my past ramblings allow me to say this ‘just for the record’ – I did not say that the new R1 engine will be available in a snowmobile next year, an ATV maybe  – but not a sled!

cheers cr


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Posted @ 12:59 pm in Travel and Events,Yamaha People and Communication   

January 7, 2014

Happy New Year Folks!

First off, I gotta say in my over 60 years of stomping around the north I have never, ever, heard of an Polar Vortex so you can imagine my surprise when the weatherman hit me with that one. Must be climate change or global warming creating this freak of nature – with freezing temperatures and snowfall accumulating daily – You know though, in the old days, before this age of sensational media, we used to refer to this phenomena differently. We called it winter. 1524843_10152123471275070_515414156_n

I have been hanging out at my cottage since returning from our R&D center just before Christmas. We’ve had tons of snow (thanks to that nasty Vortex I presume) but the lakes weren’t safe and the groomers weren’t grooming so I left the Apex back and turned attention to my latest acquisition – a cherry little Enticer 300. Now the ET 300 is not the best powder sled, so I reserved much of the trail breaking duties for the more capable Bravo Transporter. What a hoot I had on both. Fur helmet, goggles, knee on the seat, cold hands and no fear of ripping the front suspension out of a multi-thousand dollar chassis. I had forgotten just how much fun could be had, going anywhere white, with 30hp at the thumb.

That all changed last weekend when I dragged the Apex out. Vintage sled 1 (3)

The dance card is rapidly filling up and I really don’t know where or what all I will be doing in the next few weeks. I need to visit Arctic Cats facility in Thief River to confirm a few things and there is a media ‘sneek peek’ planned this month for the 2015 lineup. Also Waconia will feature pure Yamaha and Yamaha powered vintage sleds this year during the Jan 25/26 ‘ride in’ which would be great to attend. Check out this cool, replica Bender Terminator built by Bill Code of Carleton Place Marine. I have to travel end of the month to West Yellowstone for a conference then out to BC for meetings in Valemount and Revelstoke (with some time on the slopes I hope). On top of that I will need to attend at least two testing / planning meetings in the US and Japan.

I have been checking various sources for information and feedback on the current models reputation and performance Generally I would say we are looking pretty darn good so far. This winter, fingers crossed, is going to see a lot of quality miles put on our snowmobiles. That said, we know there are a few gremlins showing up in some units and our guys are hard at work to get things resolved quickly as we move forward. The agreement we have with Arctic Cat is being put to the test as we learn more about each other. How we function within the market, how we react and communicate and most importantly, how we  adjust to each others internal systems and procedures relative to parts and service.

Those of you that are tired of me writing about performance dampers need to click the back button now or open a new tab and be gone ’cause I am going to give a quick update on what I learned just before Christmas.

We had a test using nine sleds. 3 Apex, one without PD 2 with (XTX and shortie), 3 Vectors, one w/o PD 2 with (LTX and shortie) and 3 Ventures, one w/o PD and 2 with (TF and GT). We had nine evaluators with varying experience.

We rode each group of machines on the same course swapping every lap and rotating groups as we finished. We pushed the Apex hard at higher speeds, brought it down a couple of notches for the Vector and shifted to cruise on the Venture. Jon and I went back to the Vectors at the end of the test and rode them closer to the Apex speed, just because… and I am glad we did.

I won’t go into all the fine points but concluded: the harder you push your limits the more you will feel the benefit of the PD. The interesting thing here is we had some very ‘new’ riders whose limits or ‘comfort zones’ were quite different than mine. When I rode at their speed I didn’t feel much if any advantage, but they did. They rode all the snowmobiles without trying to ‘position’ them to a market segment, they just simply went for a ride.

I did rate the PD equipped Apex as a 4.5 out of 5 (where the baseline version is a 3) in rough corners. I am confident that anyone with basic sledding skills would get the same feeling. Probably a 10 to 15% improvement in handling at the upper range of your comfort level. It would cost a lot of time and money to get that kind of improvement by playing around with shocks, geometry and frames. I am thinking racing levels here. What I learned was, you really need to go back and forth a couple of times from a PD to stock sled to ‘get it’ and ‘get it’ you will. Subtle stuff but its the real deal.

Enjoy the Vortex! cheers cr

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Posted @ 4:36 pm in Travel and Events,Yamaha Insights   

October 11, 2013

Keepin it Simple… NOT

jet lagBeen home over a week now and the jet-lag is about gone. It was smoking hot in Japan and a typhoon lingering at sea, kept things breezy and really humid. The snowmobile meetings went quite well but the agenda was unusual. I finished up the week attending some ATV / ROV planning sessions, but we’re here to talk sleds. I wasn’t there to work on any project specifically. It was more of an information /strategic session to clarify the roles and process of planning both at factory and in the market. I have been elected to represent snowmobile planning for North America as one entity, uniting Canada and the USA with one ‘voice’. We have some really good people involved in both companies and I am looking forward to seeing our snowmobile business evolve without borders.

I was writing my report in the hotel when I pondered the old marketing rule on the role of the ‘4-P’s’ – the fundamentals required to sell: Price / Place / Product / Promotion. The lesson: Get them right and success will follow.

My how things have changed since college. If I was teaching marketing 101 to prepare students for the new world, I would be dearly tempted to coin the 4-P’s in the modern application as Policies – Procedures – Politics – Permissions! That little epiphany had me laughing out loud at my own wit. But to the point, nothing is simple any more. I know many of you wonder why we don’t just do the obvious when it comes to new model development. I think you would be blown away if you knew how complicated things become when put in the context of the new P’s. It is not as easy as you may think!

We hosted meetings here in Toronto this past week with our North American team; Cypress, Pleasant Prairie, Minocqua and Ontario all present. Our direction for snowmobile is quite clear all the way out to 2017 and it’s exciting to feel the synergies coming together within our new North American organization.

The fall trade shows are upon us with the Toronto Super Show in another week, followed closely by Novi Michigan at months end. I plan on  hanging around the Yamaha booth to chat about all things snowmobile with a watchful eye on the Performance Damper Yamaha Performance Damper FINAL display. That said, I’ll most welcome any opportunities to do market research in the adult libations area in an effort to preserve both my back and voice. Hope to see you there!

cheers cr

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Posted @ 9:25 am in Travel and Events,Yamaha Insights   

January 18, 2012

Winter Has Arrived

Well here I sit in the Quebec City airport. It is a raging blizzard outside and my flight has been delayed another 3 hours… but if it means more snow, I won’t complain! We had an excellent ride yesterday, departing at the foot of Mont St Anne, parelleling the north shore of the St Lawrence all the way to Pointe Au Pic on trans Quebec 3. The trails could not have been any better, groomed pool table smooth with a good base and minus 6 with six Apex’s and a Vector hauling the mail. The ride itself was focused on a special guest. Knobby Shirashi, the general manager of our RV division and commander in chief of all things snowmobile at Yamaha. He was in town to say goodbye after over 40 years with the company. What more could we do in his honor than go for a good pull on some of the worlds finest trails (besides it was his request).

Knobby was involved very early on with snowmobile, as a young engineer he worked for six years with the sno pro team in the 70’s. We had a good laugh when he told us the story of the race rig breaking down on the prairies. Appears they had the trailer hooked onto a tow truck, Bob Work was in the cab with Roy Wall and the driver, Knobby was forced to ride it out in the trailer. They stopped at one point at the side of the road to take care of a little business. Then the rig drove off accidentally leaving one young engineer zipping up  in a light windbreaker at minus 30, in a cloud of snow dust. Some time later, resemebling an icicle, he was picked up by the RCMP who rescued him and set out in pursuit of the race team but they would not let him ride in the trailer anymore as it is illegal, but I digress.

As much as Knobby has supported our snowmobile since the launch of the RX-1, his work on ATV goes right back to the beginning with the Tri-Moto, he had influence on all the Bears and was lead on the Raptor development. I should say that Knobby is passing the torch and I am looking forward to meeting his replacement. I hope to see him out on our trails yet this winter.

Our trip started off with an evening at the ice hotel. I have heard of this place for years but never had the chance to visit, if you are ever in the hood, its worth a stop but be sure to wear your sled gear… brrrr. The ride was uneventlful except for one minor mishap which shall remain my secret as I like my job and tend to avoid bad career moves whenever possible ;-). I would like to make a shout out to Steeve and Francois our Quebec contingent for putting together all the logistics and our dealers Collette Sport and SM Sport for supplying the machines, they were very well set-up and ran perfect in fact my Apex had over 10000km and felt better than out of the box new. If you are ever in need of a rental sled in La Belle Province I would recommend either of these dealers. We were also treated to some excellent service by Andre who shadowed us in his posh rig making sure we had transportation options at all times. As you may have guessed, I was rather spoiled over the last couple of days but then again its not every day that a piece of our history as big as Knobby retires. Thank you Knobby-san for everything you have given to snowmobile, you have been a very good leader.

I will refresh this post with some pictures and links if I ever get home…  cheers cr


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Posted @ 9:37 am in Travel and Events   

January 6, 2012

I Need to Ride

Happy New Year to you. I hope you have snow falling close to home and wish you cold weather until spring 😉

Back in the office three days and already the holiday season seems like ions ago. Everything in the snowmobile side is ramping up towards our 2013 model year launch on March 2nd. I am fortunate enough to have been invited to attend a ride on the 17th in Quebec. The general manager in charge of the complete RV group at factory has announced his retirement and while he is here on his final tour of duty, we are going to put together a good ride out of Quebec City. I’ll be sure to take some pics to post here and give you a little back ground on him some of which goes back to the early 70’s and the factory Sno-Pro race team.

There is another item, tentatively on my agenda, which I am looking forward to. I have tried to put this ride together for several years now but have been most unsuccessful in making it happen. As it sits today, the core snowmobile development team for North America will get together north of Toronto to ride, compare notes and ride some more. The concept of getting our brain trust together to actually ride like most of you would on a good weekend, never seems to materialize. When we do get together the agendas are formal and tight. The riding component often takes place on closed course ‘testing’ areas and joint tests are often held in the late spring on crappy snow conditions. This time I want to get the team together in peak riding season and saddlebag a couple of 500 km days then compare notes. This should be another good story for the blog come February.

On another note, a friend of mine just introduced me to Geocaching, which I am starting to get into. I found myself out in a local forest earlier this week with a flashlight and a GPS crawling around in the bush like a dumb-a$$ kid… way fun! I can see downloading some co ordinates into the GPS before setting out on the trail to add another element to a snowmobile adventure. I was really surprised by how many caches are out there to find.

Don’t know about you but I am dying to get on the sled. I took a quick pull on my daughters Bravo which was a restoration project for dad over the holidays and I couldn’t stop grinning for an hour. I figure the Apex will have a slightly more dramatic effect on me 😉  Think snow!!  cheers  cr

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Posted @ 2:36 pm in Travel and Events   

April 15, 2011

Spring Shows – Turk

I had some interesting feedback from the Big4 snowmobile show tour over the past few days. It came as no surprise that Cat was getting a lot of attention in their booth, a brand new chassis and body work tend to do that. We messed up a bit with our signage on some of our units. For example, we had a cut-away of an Apex to show the EPS and EXUP system that was looking somewhat the worse for wear. Our Quebec reps were pretty vocal on how we should not have sleds in the booth that showed their mileage and looked used. Someone forgot to tell them it was the same sled that set the world record for the most miles traveled in 24 hours at the hands of Matt W. Yes, I know, Skidoo is now claiming that record but they don’t mention the fact, they needed to use two sleds to complete the job, using an out provided within the rules… would have made a nice little conversation starter in the booth. Mark L also forwarded a comment from a fellow who went to checkout the new Apex XTX  and decided not to purchase due to the skid-frame / Hyfax wear reputation on the 2011 with no apparent updates on the 2012, ooops. The pre-production show unit had the 2011 skid-frame, where the production units have a much updated version, we just didn’t point it out with a sign… Overall the attendance at the shows was good for all OE’s, up from last year and boding well for the future, hopefully another sign of recovery in the market.

My old pal Masa Saito (aka ‘Crazy Saito’) just celebrated 30 years with Yamaha snowmobiles. The guys in our Minocqua test center where he is currently based,  had a little party for him last week where he was presented a very cool piece of hand-crafted furniture. Not sure what clutch spec they used but I am pretty sure Turk over on TY would be able to make it back-shift better!

And speaking of Turk, I had mentioned when I was out in Brandon MB during the winter, I almost had a chance to meet the TY clutch-tech guru  but missed the chance. I received some bad news from Jim M who told me Turk (aka Mike Broda) has been diagnosed with a very insidious cancer. Here’s a guy that has given a lot of guidance to many less experienced snowmobiler’s who now finds himself in need of all our support. Mike if you happen to read this, know your friends at Yamaha are thinking of you and Live Strong brother. There is a post over on TY (link) where you can read what some of the guys have to say and perhaps leave some words of strength for Mike.

In closing I had mentioned the annual western Yamafest held in Rev’y was once again heralded a ‘must attend’ event but the part I didn’t mention in detail was the ‘fun’ had by the attending flat-landers from the eastern head-office and regions of YMCA. Heres a pic of Dean, our fearless snowmobile tech specialist demonstrating a  creative use of his avalanche equipment. I am told he ended up filing a claim for the newly created mine. An old friend  and BC regular on the mountain submitted the following report on what it is like to guide and ride with the Yamaha flat-landers:

Here’s My perspective on Yamafest: A Flat lander rides on a narrow trail, stiff as a board, Arms and legs straight, bent 45 degrees at the waist, half their weight on the handlebars

1) Slowly slides off a 2 degree off camber @ 3kph never changing riding position

2) Goes as far as possible off the trail and points the nose up hill or into a hole

3) At the last second pin’s the throttle till all motion ceases

4) Keep the throttle on a little longer out of sheer desperation and to disperse any remaining snow from the track area

5) Throw their head back and look to the sky

6) Silently yell- Ohgod,ohmummy,pleasebabyjeez,dontletmediehere, Ican’tbreath, Ithinki’mgoingtospitoutmyheart!! Option: Some elect to scream obscenities out loud (My personal favourite)

7) Incredible patience sets in, they can wait for hours warming the seat cover til someone comes to save them

Incredibly skilled Mountain guy comes in from the high side, nose always down hill not spinning the track, rides past as close as possible a few times to pack the snow and make an escape route

Flat lander looks at mountain guy thinking he is just showing off, flips him the bird and whines about abandonment (if you get too close they try and hit your kill switch)

At some point Mountain guy comes to help out and the Flat Lander rides out on the trail packed by the Mountain guy, Flat lander still feels insulted.

Flat Lander feels as though he needs to write a book or go on the talk show circuit to talk about their “Big Day”

We have grown used to this and have heard “I have ridden trails for 25 years” many times, a new rider is just as good as an experienced trail rider oddly enough

For the record the snow conditions were pretty tough, I cant imagine some of our guys thought it was “Fun” but the stories are awesome : ) … I love Yamafest
BTW- You’re next…  Red.

Nicely put Jeff- I will look forward to it-  😉  Cheers cr


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Posted @ 9:53 am in Travel and Events,Yamaha People and Communication   

April 5, 2011

Rev’y – 60day record

The OFSC officially closed the trail system this week on what turned out to be a fairly good riding season in Ontario. The east coast is another story. We might be able to get in a few miles in June the way they are going. And the west is still full on as usual. Our retail sales were strong this spring and dealer inventory levels are down significantly over last year at this time.

The tragedy in Japan has us all worried, even with global production, the impact of the disaster is surely to be felt throughout the Motorsports industry (along with just about every hi-tech manufacturing sector I can think of). In speaking with several of our guys who have recently returned from factory, things have pretty much ground to a halt in production as they continue to conserve energy and take stock of the parts supply chain. I think the snowmobile production runs which are scheduled for summer will not be impacted but it is still too early to say.

The  annual Revelstoke Yamafest went off last weekend and the reports coming in are all good. Randy and his team put on a first class event, attracting dealers and customers from all over western Canada (and the US). Already there are some good stories circulating regarding some riding talent (or lack of) that I won’t mention here in order to protect the reputationof the unfortunate, who were caught in less than flattering situations. (What do you think would happen when you send eastern management into 30 feet of pow?). I have heard a lot of nice comments on the new chalet the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club and their supporters have built on the mountain also the increased awareness and education surrounding the very real threat of  avalanche in the back country should be recognized. I am proud to say our own Randy Swenson (aka Trailer Queen) has been very instrumental in facilitating our involvement with the various avalanche organizations and safety / awareness campaigns.

Finally a big shout out to Nick Keller who just broke the world record (for the second straight year) for the most miles ridden on a snowmobile in 60 days. The real cool thing is he used the same sled!! Heres his story: YMUS- Nick Keller


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Posted @ 9:32 am in Travel and Events