I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my last article and the difficulties I was having with a rental sled that wasn’t performing anywhere near to my liking.
First of all, I can’t imagine any manufacturer releasing a machine that offered such a terrible handling package.
Secondly, I’ve spoken to some friends who’ve ridden similar sleds and while I didn’t get good reviews on the “pounce” – they did have wonderful things to say about the machine’s brute power and a willingness to hold an edge along an extremely steep side hill with very little rider input.
“… on the pounce”
Finally, I’ve taken stock of my own performance, the snow conditions and most importantly – what I didn’t do that day.
The last time I had a day like this was on a brand new, 2002 Yamaha Mountain Max 700. I had just turned in a 2001 with 7800kms (yes in a single year of riding) that I obviously loved.
“… brand new 2002 Mountain Max 700”
As many of you will remember, the only thing Yamaha changed on the 2002 Mountain Max was the colour of the bonnet. It was the identical sled in every single regard and yet it performed like a pig.
On my first ride I’d made no distance from the camp before I found myself sitting on the trail pondering a similar situation. I was analysing every possible cause when I remembered that my good friend Brian Seaward had my first sled for a full week before I ever got my hands on it.
“… sitting on the trail pondering”
Now Brian is a wicked rider (he’s the inspiration for the first Boondockers Video and is fully responsible for my transition from skis to sledding). He’s also a talented mechanic that is forever tinkering with his sleds.
“… inspiration for the first Boondockers video”
When I called he asked if I’d pulled the ‘Limiter Strap’ down on the suspension.
Had I adjusted the bars and installed the riser block he designed the year before (the boys at the paper mill’s machine shop had stamped out a two inch flat bar that we’d installed on my 2001).
Did you “roll the bolt down” on the skid to stiffen up the rear suspension and put more pressure on the skis?
Eh boy? Complaining about a sled while you’re acting like a youngster. It’s not a toboggan man!
“… not a toboggan, man!”
Yup, “Amateur Night” takes on a whole new meaning.
Now what’s Brian’s phone number again?