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Guess What....They Are Listening & Doing Something!!!

Discussion in 'General Yamaha Discussion' started by BOUNTYHUNTER, Jan 3, 2008.


    BOUNTYHUNTER Moderator Staff Member Moderator Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    I finally got a chance to sit down and read my 40th Anniversary Book by Yamaha, pretty cool reading to say the least. I even pulled out my old scrap book to see some old pictures of the Golden Years Sleds from 1969 to 1981. I even found my bill of sale from "North West Cycle' for my 1974 GPX433 which retailed at $1499.00. Man those were some Absolutely Awesome years of snowmobiling growing up with Yamaha since 1969 on a SL351. There were no groomed trails back then as well as no hand or thumb warmers either, and we rode on some nasty cold days let me tell you. Alot of you young guys would laugh at the Open Faced Helmets we wore with Balaclavas under it, as well as one piece snow suits with the two circles in the front. That's from the Carbs sucking the suit into the Velocity Stacks, most suits had holes in them from the gas soaked sections that had rotten away. Most sleds back then by all the manufactures had next to NO SUSPENSION with Leaf Springs over the front skis......shocks came along a little later. Yah we really did Ditch Bang & Bounce those things around pretty good, there was no Mono or even Sliders. Yep; Just good old fashioned "BOOGIE" wheels which like to flip over when you hit something to fast to hard.......LOL. We would have to get a stick or branch to help flip them back, now that was always a hoot. I remember sleds just freezing up more than ever breaking, as the Diaphragms for the fuel supply which was mounted on the bottoms of the carbs would ice up. Man I could write a book on sleds over the last 40 Years and how much fun we have had and how far sleds have come.

    Which brings me back to the beginning of my post, as I've received a lot of PM's as of late asking me questions about sleds, set ups and the usual how did you do that. It seems in general most people are very happy overal with their sleds Performance, Handling & Reliability. Of course like most things in life there is the other side to this as well, and that's some unhappy campers with their rides. I think here on TY you have probably heard alot of us talk about " Tell Your Dealership" your beef as that's the only way to make sure Yamaha is aware of issues developing in the field. Of course I know that this falls on deaf ears as no one really does that or thinks that will change anything. Well I got News For You.....it does.

    I read an EXCELLENT article from Chris Reid over on the Yamaha Blog, and I think it couldn't have been writen any better than what it was. I liked it so much I saved it, and was wondering just when & how I could share it with you guys. Well after reading a lot of bad reviews here about the Nytro's & Apex's from guys posting their complaints here daily, now is the perfect time to post this article by C.R.
    Have you ever wondered if Yamaha actually reads whats on forums like this? Well check this out: And YES; They Are Listening ;)!

    Larry D Lagergren :flag:

    http://snowmobiles.yamahablogs.ca/2007/ ... mment-1754
    I read an interesting thread on TY where a guy is asking if we ‘hear’ the conversations taking part on-line and others wondering: ‘do they (Yamaha) listen to us’?
    I have touched on this subject before and I think the timing is ripe to revisit. How do we handle market information or input from customers regarding their complaints?

    Before I comment let me give a little background. When we first introduced the idea of SledTalk, we performed a ‘risk management‘ exercise and held meetings to determine what kind of fall-out could arise from such an open, public forum. Put yourself in the position of a corporate ‘watchdog’ in any big company and consider for a moment the litigious climate in which we must do business. If one is deemed ‘aware‘ then it can be construed (right or wrong) one is ‘negligent‘ for any ‘inaction‘ after the fact, regardless of circumstance. Enter the internet and the overwhelming stream of information now available. How should companies recognize and react to the online chatter? Safest thing to do; is do nothing. Do not participate, do not acknowledge, do not discuss. And that is precisely the reaction you will see from most companies.

    Are there people on the inside (all the OE’s) lurking on forums and blogs? Absolutely. Do they take conversations from the internet into the boardrooms? You bet. Do they react to everything that gets posted? Of course not. The fact is there’s almost as much ‘mis-information‘ on-line as there is good information. What I like the most about sites such as Totallyamaha, HCS and Dootalk is the ‘early indicators‘ and ‘customer reactions‘ I get from monitoring some conversations. Do I read them all? No way, there’s far too much and I don’t get paid to spend all day surfing but I do ‘share the love‘ when I read something I think is important, I’ll leave it at that.

    So how do we separate the ‘wheat from the chaff ‘? It’s pretty simple actually…

    We rely upon our dealers to report to us after investigating, inspecting and collecting all your information including conditions, mileage, VIN numbers and a detailed analysis of a failure or complaint. We have TSM’s (technical service managers) who take the information provided to them by our dealers then develop and forward MI’s (market information reports) which are standardized collection templates designed by our factory service division. The data is gathered by our technical service division. Once they determine a problem exists they forward to factory service who review along with warranty claim histories and field testing results. Next service will meet with engineering, to confirm everything and finally, if required they will issue the order to develop a CM or ‘counter measure‘. This all must happen before we even start working on the solution.

    Obviously he time required can be extensive and presents a big challenge for a fast response. Often a dealer will ‘first hear‘ of an issue and doesn’t alert service until a second or third complaint is received. The TSM also goes through the ‘first heard’ syndrome’. Many days can pass before it becomes clear we even have a common problem.

    Often we will find some issues only exist in certain regions or under certain conditions only effecting a select percentage of owners. Other times we discover a problem effects many but it is not necessarily perceived by everyone as an issue at all.

    Once we determine something is not right, it has to be investigated to discover exactly why. Sample parts need to be collected and shipped through the distributors to Japan. If the part is manufactured by an outside vendor, they need to be brought in and given opportunity to inspect. All this takes more time and when a snowmobile season lasts less than two months in some areas, well it can get a little tense for all involved.

    We are trying to streamline the process and I hope we can alter the system to where we can at least acknowledge certain issues before we have the final counter-measure issued. Currently we cannot say anything until all the above processes have taken place with the counter-measures developed and discussed with each country effected. And the required parts are ordered, the shipping date to dealers is established and the planets have all aligned.

    Meanwhile with all this is quietly happening behind closed doors, the conversation on the internet continues. Emotions flare, perceptions alter and for every positive suggestion comes an arguably negative one until we finally issue our solution.

    The best thing you can do when something is not right with your sled is contact your dealer and be prepared to give them as much detailed information as you can. It doesn’t hurt to ask them if they intend to contact their service rep if they don’t have a solution or ‘first heard’ of the problem. If you take it to the internet (and trust me on this one), give concise, detailed information under a clear subject line and hold back the language of frustration; the chances of me or someone else in the loop reading it are pretty darned good and you will be heard. I should also recognize the many forum mods and VIP’s who spend a lot of their time trying to help less experienced people shedding light on areas of concern, they also tend to respond better towards well worded questions and sincerely stated POV’s…

    So yes, we listen and in the end we always react to take care of our customers as best we can.
  2. nate007

    nate007 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Advertiser Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Iowa City, Iowa
    I'd nominate this one for a sticky. I think everyone on this site needs to read this, as it definately sheds some insider points of view for a commonly discussed issue
    Great read!!
  3. Convert

    Convert Paid Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Nicely done OLD man ;)!
  4. rage man

    rage man Newbie

    nova scotia
    :Rockon: :Rockon: :Rockon:
  5. MrSled

    MrSled Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator VIP Member

    Schofield, WI
    2014 Viper
    Thanks You Bounty... a perfect time...spot on!!!

    Great Job and a big thanks to Chris for such a well written article, my hats off to you !!!
  6. Yamahnator

    Yamahnator Newbie

    Central NY
    Excellent article.
  7. NOS-PRO

    NOS-PRO Paying Member VIP Member

    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    Very nice buddy!
  8. Tork

    Tork Newbie

    Kenosha & Presque Isle WI
    Hella nice job Bounty :Rockon:

    And Chris Reid, simply an awesome good writer and a corporate guy who really understands the value of the Internet. Not only understands the Internet but sees the value in some feedback and input from the company itself. Hope it is a growing trend with more Chris Reid types having voices and not being afraid to use them for the benefit of everybody. :flag: :flag:

    BOUNTYHUNTER Moderator Staff Member Moderator Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Well ole C.R. has been busy again, it just keeps getting better all the time here on TY as YAMAHA continues to work on SOLVING Key Issues.
    http://www.feedblitz.com/t.asp?/165109/ ... tatistics/

    January 8, 2008
    Good and Bad Statistics
    Some stats hurt a lot more to report on than others…

    I tried a little experiment this week which seems to have worked out fairly well. I had some input from one of our engineers regarding a few questions they were pondering on the FX Nytro. Being a new model and all, I suggested we post a survey on Totallyamaha requesting owners to provide the answers. The data I received looks good and with over 160 samples in a matter of hours, it should prove to be quite dependable. I asked the respondents at the very end, to indicate their overall level of satisfaction which you can see in this graph. I also asked the ones who were not satisfied to explain why not. I actually have some reservations about one very unsatisfied respondent even owning a Nytro (or Yamaha for that matter), I’ll leave it at that. But I am pleased with this result especially considering this is a first year sled and a fairly radical departure from our more conventional chassis. Once everyone gets the time to finish break-in, adjust to, and dial-in the suspensions, I expect the index to move up even higher. I’ll share some more details once I have the final results all compiled and reduced.

    If you own an FX Nytro and completed the survey, my thanks to you… if you haven’t and would like to, here’s a link to take the FX Nytro Owners Survey Note: if you don’t own an FX Nytro please don’t click the link as you won’t find anything of interest there and you’ll skew the data.

    This coming weekend is the second round of WSA world championship Snow Cross racing. It’s a double header being held at Canterbury MN . I’m already bugging Greg for an update which I’ll pass along next week. It’s been quite warm and melting in the mid-west so hopefully the track conditions will be OK.

    The early snowfall seems to have boosted total industry sales with the USA currently up almost 10% over last year at this time and Canada closer to 20%. I’m still optimistic for a good riding season even in the face of the record warm temps and melt-down we’re having in the east right now. Many lakes and swamps did not have a chance to build ice and ‘tighten up’ before the big snow prior to Christmas and the grooming has been limited. Now all we need is another cold snap followed by some white lube, which is in the long range forecast. I spoke to Brendan, our west coast manager today and he informed me this is turning out to be a very bad avalanche season, the latest just slid on Big White in Kelowna. There have been several sled and back-country ski deaths already. Make sure to take extra precautions, I understand the slides are occurring in areas normally considered safe and stable. In Ontario the lake ice is rotten and should be avoided. I saw lots of sled tracks on the week-end near my cottage that left me shaking my head… please be careful folks, this is an odd-ball season for riding conditions… My heart goes out to the families of those lost… Okay, ‘nough said.

    Ride Smart! Ride Safe! Ride Sober!!!

    Cheers cr

    Now I ask you.... Any Other Snowmobile Manufacture Doing This ?

    Way 2 Go YAMAHA :Rockon: :Rockon:

    LDL :flag:
  10. Doug

    Doug Paying Member VIP Member

    I don't want to get in any trouble here, I'm not a troublemaker, but I can't resist anymore:

    Looks like Yamaha isn't reading the hotgrip threads, or doesn't believe we have cold hands?
    Or simply chooses to not care?

    I suck it up, but my wife is devastated her $11,000 sled cant keep her hands warm. We have installed the extended handgaurds, and wear some of the best gloves money can buy.

    Sure, the engines are great, but who cares about that when your hands are froze.
  11. Yamaha Sled Talk Blog

    Yamaha Sled Talk Blog Paying Member VIP Member

    Hopefully Canada
    Hey Doug, I for one am reading the posts and pushing the info along the chain. Not sure what year and model your wife is riding but there have been some changes and offers made over the years. Also those same posts offer lots of additional advice and solutions which I can't condemn nor support. IMHO the grips could be warmer on everything we offer (my hands freeze easily after several seasons of Arctic seismic work) but at this point they are what they are. BTW I grew a beard before I finished reading all the posts on the subject! cheers cr

    BOUNTYHUNTER Moderator Staff Member Moderator Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member


    BOUNTYHUNTER Moderator Staff Member Moderator Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member


    I believe it Chris :jump:
  14. Doug

    Doug Paying Member VIP Member

    Chris, thanks for your honest reply!


    Lol, I figured they were reading, it's just hard to keep the faith, feel "left out in the cold" on this one.

    I know how it is, I work for an OEM, but our customer base is so small, we'd be out of business if we left our customers hangin like this.
    Sorry, I'll shutup now, this aint "Doug's bitch thread"

    Thanks guys.

  15. Handy

    Handy TY 4 Stroke Master

    Anola Manitoba
    I have been reading some of the reviews in the new magazines and it seems everyone has a different opinion on Yamaha hand warmers. Some think they are great, some classify them as the worst in the industry and others say they are average. I think there could be a problem with product consistency.

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