I was all over doing Yamaha's demo. It was an opportunity I was not going to pass up. If you didn't go and ride them you really missed out. They had various sleds in different packages. The Apex was the featured sled. When I talked to 1 of the reps. they said they did over 60 rides on Sat. Everyone was very knowledgeable about the sleds and set ups. It was disappointing not to be able to actually ride one sled for more than 5 mins. You got to switch & ride every sled on the ride. I ride an older 670 Ski Doo S chassis, so to step onto a new generation high tech 4 stroke was an eye opening experience for me. There would be 1 suggestion that I would make, that would be to present the sleds with the best packages available. Some of the sleds were the basic models, which I felt when ridden I couldn't wait to get off because of the differences of the same sled with a better set up I had already ridden.
All in all, I had a great experience & would definitely ride them again. It's not often that you can ride such a variety of sleds & be able to compare ride and behavior qualities. No way you could ride this many different sleds with your buddies out on the trails. In retrospect I would say that the black Apex with the upgrade Fox air shock package was the best for your seat. If that Apex would have had duel runner skis preventing it darting, it would have also been the best behaving sled on rutting trails.
The 4 stroke motors on all of the sleds were smooth and predictable to use. The new electronic steering didn't seem to isolate the rider's feel from the ground. It was responsive and light, yet still seemed to give feedback to the input the rider gave. The ergonomics were well thought out. All handlebar controls were easy to understand and use with the digital dash readings. M.P.H, heaters, fuel & others things were all easy reading. I found it unusual though to have such a high tech cockpit with an analog tach, why? If anything do the M.P.H. on the larger analog dial so it would be easier to read.
One thing to Yamaha, before you let someone ride, explain all of the controls and suspension settings so the rider can adjust before he rides to get the best experience. We were given a brief introduction of where we were going and what packages were on the sleds, but wasn't really given any cockpit or control acquaintance time. Other than those small items I was impressed with the way CLSC and Yamaha had everything ready & accessible. I look forward to doing again, maybe if other manufacturers would learn how much they could gain from the feedback from everyday riders, we could get them to follow Yamaha's lead with demos for us at CLSC.