Don't Care What We Think
I'm sure that you will not read this because you're like every other company-you don't care what we think, you only want our money, not our opinion.
Ask yourself, "Why is our mag dying?"
In my opinion it's because your readers are getting tired of your bias *&%$*.
For example, when you do the new sled shootouts, all manufacturers except Yama Pig give their weights. They should not be in the shootout without complete disclosure.
Have you ever ridden a Yamaha? Without $10,000 of upgrades, they are the worst handling sleds, heavy pigs. Junk and yet you keep encouraging people to buy.
You should be ashamed. Give us the truth.
(ED-Wow, where to start. Ironically, the same week I received this note from Jeff Gay, I got a call from a Yamaha rider who said we "pick" on Yamaha too much and are unfair to that brand. Anyway, we haven't included Yamaha sleds in our Deep Powder Challenge for years now, mostly because it's not apples to apples. It's not fair to put an 800 up against a Yamaha four-stroke, which has about the same horsepower as a 600. And as for the weights, Arctic Cat no longer publishes their sled weights, either.)
What Really Works In The Steep And Deep
While I have known for many years that you are mouthpiece for "Brand S" (e.g., "while you cannot sidehill this machine on a million dollar bet and it track steers in anything either side of 6 inches of snow it is a damn nice handler"), you said something in your Volume 38, Number 3 magazine ["Riding Style Reigns," SnoWest, page 22] I find I must comment on.
The comment was, "Brand A needs a lower windshield so you can see its skis." My first question is, How many times a year do you destroy a machine? Here's the math: At a mere 10 miles per hour, you are traveling at 880 feet per minute. Or from a different perspective, one city block in under 40 seconds. If you factor in the time it takes to recognize a hazard, react to the hazard and get your snowmachine to properly react to the hazard, you need to be looking at least one-half a city block ahead. Remember, that is at a mere 10 miles per hour. At 20 mph, you need to look at least one city block ahead and at 60 mph you need to look ahead at least three city blocks. If you are looking at your ski at even 10 miles per hour, you will crash on obstacles you never saw.
I personally have ridden my "Brand A" machine in enough new powder that the snow rolling back past the belly pan and hood tried to push my legs off the running boards. If the windshield had been lower, my lap would have been buried in snow-standing up-and no amount of gloves or handwarmers would have removed three feet of snow off the top of the gas tank.
I really do not think that "cookie-cutter" images of "Brand S" will be an improvement. I do think that over time the best features of each brand will be incorporated industry-wide. But this means Diamond drives, mechanical reverses, Polaris-type suspensions and high windshields-because these are what really work in the "steep and deep."
(ED-Here is the exact line from our article that you're referring to, "As for the windshields, the M8 offered the most protection, but the big windshield blocks your vision of what the skis are doing. Here a smaller windshield like the Summit or Pro RMK offers the best visibility." I think good mountain riders constantly scan the snow for obstacles far and near.)