YAMAHA MOTOR - History of Yamaha Snowmobile Operations and Technical Development
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Yamaha



Snowmobile History before Yamaha
1927
Carl Eliason of Wisconsin, U.S.A. applies for the world's first snowmobile patent for his single rubber track vehicle.

1932
Carl Eliason makes an experimental snow vehicle powered by motorcycle engine.

1936
Joseph Armand Bombardier of Quebec, Canada, introduces a seven-passenger production snow vehicle featuring a wooden body and double rubber tracks.
1942
Bombardier Snowmobile Ltd. established.

1953
Japanese inventor Tatsuharu Nishiyama completes an experimental snowmobile "Todoroki-go." This machine can be converted to run on tires (three wheels) in summer.

1954
Hetteen, Hoist and Derrick established the forerunner of Polaris Industries.
1959
Bombardier Snowmobile Ltd. becomes the world's first true mass-production snowmobile manufacturer with the production of 225 units of its "Ski Dog" model.
1963
Fuji Jidohsha imports and markets the first snowmobile in Japan, the "Ski Doo."
History of Yamaha Snowmobile Operations and Technical Development
1968
 The SL350 is introduced as a test model.
 The SL351 is released as Yamaha's first production model snowmobile.
    
1971
The Yamaha SR433 wins the Snowmobile World Championship in Eagle River (U.S.A.). Yamaha also won the Manufacturers Championship on its first challenge.
1972
 The Yamaha SR643 wins the World Championship in Eagle River (U.S.A.), giving Yamaha its second consecutive title.
 Yamaha snowmobile production reaches 100,000 mark.
 Yamaha's first test facility opens in Shibetsu, Hokkaido, Japan.
1973
 The TL433 featuring Yamaha Torque Converter makes its debut.
 The GPX338/GPX433 debut as high-performance machines with aluminum panel frames and slide-rail rear suspension. Wins '74 Stock Champion World Series.
1976
 The ET250 debuts as a model that takes advantage of the lightness of a single-cylinder, small-displacement machine to offer nimble, exciting riding performance.
 Wins the World Championship in Eagle River (U.S.A.).
 Yamaha snowmobile production reaches 200,000 mark.
1977
R&D Minnesota established in U.S.A. as research facility for technological development.
1979
SRV debuts as first model to mount the Yamaha-original TSS (Telescopic Strut Suspension) suspension.
1983
 Phazer debuts as the lightest model in its class with innovative design that draws much attention. Its high performance ride wins many fans and it becomes the industry's No.1 hit model.
 Yamaha snowmobile production reaches 500,000 mark.
1984
The deluxe model tandem XLV is marketed for family use.
1985
Inviter debuts with a unique sit-in style design. Components like aircraft type handlebars and trigger-type throttle levers attract market attention.
1987
 VK540 debuts as first Yamaha model in the wide track segment popular in Northern Europe and Canada. It has since won many fans as a multi-purpose utility model.
 Sno Scoot debuts as a minimum size model developed to be a machine that anyone can enjoy.
 Yamaha establishes Japan's first snowmobile park, "Snowmobile Land in Otaru." in Hokkaido.
1988
Yamaha launches the Safe Snowmobile Riding Seminar.
1989
Facility opened in Hokkaido in '72 reestablished as Yamaha Shibetsu Test Center.
1990
 VK540 wins first Harricana International Snowmobile Rally in Canada.
 Exciter II makes its debut featuring plated cylinders and Digital C.D.I.

1991
 Vmax-4 debuts, winning attention as Yamaha's new flagship model with a liquid-cooled 4-cylinder engine and an all aluminum frame.
 VK540 wins second Harricana International Snowmobile Rally in Canada, giving Yamaha its second consecutive win.
 Yamaha opens Kiroro Resort, a large-scale comprehensive resort facility in Hokkaido, Japan.
1992
Yamaha opens Snowmobile World at Kiroro Resort as Japan's largest scale snowmobile touring facility.
1993
 Yamaha Shibetsu Test Course completed in Hokkaido, Japan.
 Vmax 500/600 series introduced with eight all-new models.
1994
Vmax-4 debuts as Yamaha's largest displacement model (800cc).
1995
 Vmax 600 XT makes its debut boasting ProAction Plus suspension with 10.5-inch travel.
 Vmax 600 ST debuts featuring Yamaha's SMART carburetor, the industry's first carburetor to automatically adjust for elevation and temperature.
1996
Vmax 700 SX debuts and immediately attracts attention with features like a new-design 3-cylinder engine, lighter body design and ProAction System Suspension, winning many fans with its unequaled sports performance.

1997
 SRX700 debuts as the first snowmobile to adopt the YPVS (Yamaha Power Valve System) to improve maximum horsepower and response in low- to mid speed range.
 Yamaha celebrated the line-off of its one-millionth snowmobile and 30 years of snowmobile production history.
 In the 1997 U.S. season, Chris "Air" Vincent rode to the MRP Snocross World Series championship in the Pro 600 class on a Yamaha Vmax 600SX, making a strong appeal for the potential of the New Vmax series models which had just undergone a full model change.
1998
 A contribution of 69 units of the Yamaha snowmobile VK540E II to the organizers of the 18th Winter Olympiad held in Nagano Japan in February, 1998, was a big help in logistics, making the Games run smoothly.
 In the 1998 All Japan Snowmobile Championships, Yamaha machines proved their unrivaled performance by sweeping 1st and 2nd places in both the series' two main classes, AS1 and AS2.

Note: Year listed denotes calendar year of introduction, not model year.





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