YAMAHA 2019 – MEANER & LEANER
I really dislike information embargo dates. It’s tough to be part of a selected group given interesting knowledge that can NOT be shared. In addition, when the big reveal dates arrive, I don’t feel quite so special anymore. I become just like everyone else and it is time for all of us to make judgments and decisions on our choices for the next snowmobile season.
There are 2 very significant focuses in Yamaha’s approach to Snowmobile model year 2019.
For 2019 Meaner & Leaner accurately describe Yamaha’s focus.
The fastest Yamaha returns. SRX a name that became synonymous with 1st to the end of the lake is back. It’s BLUE and BAD ASS. If you ever wondered what SRX stands for, wonder no more. Snow Racer Experimental is your answer.
The 2019 SRX is a special SideWinder that is purpose built to crush any and all willing to line ‘em up.
The available only during Yamaha’s Spring Power Surge SRX features a model exclusive lower and faster profile thanks to its unique dual rate front and center coil springs and new torsion springs which allow less initial “sit in” ride height. The lower design is equally balanced while retaining the same final spring rate as other non-dual rate spring SideWinder models. The goal was unmatched acceleration and top speed.
Other note worthy highlights for the “unrivaled speed” SRX models are a 137” purpose built fully clipped 1” Ripsaw I track by Camso, new non tri-hub rear idler wheel/axel design and the new 3 level adjustable from the handlebars FOX iQS (Intelligent Quick Switch) front and rear shock package. Everything we have loved about QS3 shocks, adjusted on the fly right from the handlebars with easily visible gauge confirmation.
Highlighted improvements throughout the SideWinder line include redesigned handlebar controls, new throttle and Hayes brake with composite brake lever.
All SideWinders receive new CVT calibrations for improved performance and belt life through lower operating temperatures.
In addition to the NEW SRX intro, meaner also indicates Yamahas’ leaner “only the strongest survive” approach to 2019. After review of past market performance Yamaha will offer its “strongest only” model lineup for the coming year.
For 2019 a limited total number of models will be available with a significant number of these models exclusively available only during Yamaha’s spiced up 2019 “Spring Power Surge” advanced order event. In addition to exclusive LE model availability Spring Power Surge incentives will include Yamaha Protection, Early Bird Grand prize eligibility and Yamaha Sweepstakes prize drawings for other Yamaha products such as motorcycles, 4 wheelers, generators etc.
Every once in a while one of the manufacturers makes a move that redefines previously accepted concepts in snowmobiling. We have seen it in engine technologies and power, we have seen it in chassis design, suspension innovations and we‘ve seen it in ergonomics. Seldom have we seen a significant shift or adjustment in marketing strategy, inventory control and a dedicated effort to preserve value within the used snowmobile market.
For 2019 Yamaha boldly responds to the industry realities of a 100,000 unit annual market as well the 30%+ of non current models that make up that annual total. Since 2009 industry sales statistics have had a high in 2009 of 110,600 units to a low in 2010 of 86,500 units with 2017 being 94,900 units.
My friends, that is a trend and reality that must be addressed, especially if you are a Snowmobile manufacturer who is not an industry market share leader. Think about it, a total industry market of 100,000 units with no significant change in sight. It’s amazing that we continue to enjoy the vehicle innovations that we do on a yearly basis.
A chart to help you keep track will follow, but here is a “wrap your mind around it” Yamaha check list for 2019.
- Yamaha MY 18 included 34 models in 47 unique versions
- Yamaha MY 19 is 5 LE Spring only models and 7 in season models 2 of which are youth models for a total of 12 models. That’s it!
- No 121” RTX models for 2019.
- 6 Viper models in MY18 to 1 Viper LTX model for MY19
- No Apexs (which we knew) and no Vectors, Ventures or Phazers
- The only Yamaha Motor Company produced sled is the unchanged VK540 Utility model
- Fox Float Air shocks are not offered on any sled for 2019. “None too soon in my personal opinion.”
Now before you get your shorts all in a twist over missing out on a previous model that will no longer be built for 2019, don’t forget about the 30%+ of annual sled sales that are non-current models. Chances are that you can still get one, which is exactly how Yamaha intends to get their over produced non-current inventory levels under control.
By no longer knowingly over producing new units, non-current new sleds should not need to be deeply discounted. In addition to benefiting Yamaha’s bottom line, this initiative should help snowmobilers with late model used sleds retain more of their used snowmobile value. As it is now, over production of sleds that are later discounted as new non-currents has frequently resulted in a very poor used resale market, making it increasingly difficult for many loyal customers to purchase a new sled. Non current price slashing is expensive and counter to a healthy market for used sleds.
WELCOME TO THE 2019 LE LINEUP!
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to present such a straight forward approach covering all market segments. In addition to the NEW SRX, here are 2019 model highlights in a nut shell.
SideWinder L-TX LE Spring Power Surge only. 137” with 1.6 Cobra Track (In my opinion, the best track for a trail SideWinder), handlebar adjustable iQS shock system, visor outlet, heated seat and revised 24/50 gearing for improved corner to corner performance. Offered in stunning Blue and HI Vis colors.
SideWinder X-TX LE Spring Power Surge only. 141” uncoupled with 1.75” BackCountry X Track, 40” width with mountain spindle, all Fox QS3 shocks, new mountain seat, single keel crossover ski and the mountain strap returns. Offered in Blue and White colors.
SideWinder B-TX LE Spring Power Surge only. 153” with 2.25” PowerClaw Track, 40” wide with mountain spindle, QS3 front and rear shocks, mountain seat, single keel crossover ski, new rail design with additional idler wheels. Offered in Blue and Hi Vis colors.
SideWinder M-TX LE Spring Power Surge only. 162” with 3” PowerClaw Track, 36” wide with mountain spindles. Fox QS3 front shocks with QSL (Quick Switch with Climb Lock) rear shock, mountain seat, deep single keel mountain ski, stealth handlebar controls, narrow tunnel, lower chain case for 9.7% lower attack angle, ice scratchers and intake prefilter. Offered in Blue and Hi Vis colors.
*All LE models include a spacious new 20” rear tunnel bag and goggle bag
What could be easier? Yamaha’s best of their best sleds right up front and center with big incentives for getting the sled you want early.
IN SEASON MODELS
SideWinder L-TX DX. 137” with 1.25” Ripsaw II track, HPG 1.5 shock package, tall windshield, heated seat, new 20” rear bag and gray/black colors.
SideWinder L-TX SE. 137” with 1.25” Ripsaw II track, 1.5 Fox Zero RC front shocks and HPG rear shocks with small rear bag in Red and White.
SideWinder X-TX SE. 141” with 1.6” Cobra Track, QS3 front and rear shocks, small rear bag in Red and White.
R Viper L-TX. Value priced 137” 4 stroke with 1.25”Ripsaw II Track, HPG 1.5 shock package and basic belt bag in Black and Grey.
VK 540 Utility. Specs and features carried over from MY 18.
The Youth focused Snoscoot ES which was a SOLD OUT hit in 2018 in 2 colors with multiple refinements and the SRX 120R complete the 2019 lineup.
SO……………… WHY SUCH BOLD “MEANER AND LEANER” ACTIONS FROM YAMAHA FOR 2019?
I choose to see the glass as being half full and that this survival of the fittest, less alphabet soup confusion of models and inventory correction efforts is a logical forward thinking plan to ensure Yamaha Snowmobile’s future sustainability through product innovation and profitability. Others may proclaim Armageddon.
Time will reveal all, until then enjoy the very premium rides that Yamaha 2019 offers. A SideWinder for everyone and everything! A full featured value priced 4 Stroke Viper, a proven Utility workhorse and youth sleds that have been a homerun. Here’s to a Meaner and Leaner Yamaha for years to come.