Brand Bashing – Stereotypes, Puns and Poor Taste
Marty Anderson | On 15, Jan 2018
Snowmobilers love to pick apart problems they perceive to exist with brands of snowmobile different from the one they choose to own and ride. This obsession with brand bashing is usually just good-natured ribbing between friends, and not meant to be taken to heart.
However, there are some who practice brand bashing with sincerity. In perhaps a misguided attempt to be funny, or possibly in a jealous attempt to justify their own poor choices, some sledders will go to great lengths to find issues with competing brands. These issues are often then exaggerated into preposterousness. Sometimes, these brand-specific arguments have just enough truth sprinkled in to make them irrefutable in the eyes of the wisecracker, and therefore irresistibly delectable. Especially so when a repeat occurrence of an issue reinforces their belief, cementing stereotype into infamy.
With that in mind, here is a quick look at some of the most common stereotypes of brand issues, along with some helpful suggestions of what to focus on instead. Whether based on real-world problems or simply perceived faults—we have all had just about enough of these brand bashing arguments.
Brand Bashing – Stereotypes, Puns and Poor Taste
Yamaha’s weight. If you take a picture of a bulldozer and say, “Sidehilling my new Yamaha,” it’s old. Same goes for tank jokes. Whale puns are outdated as well.
Sure, four-strokes are heavier than a comparable two-stroke, simply due to the design and sheer volume of moving parts. How quickly we forget the years of Yamaha setting the benchmark for lightweight, with innovative models like the beloved Phazer. But yes, since they’ve dedicated themselves to building four-strokes across the entire product line, their mountain category sleds have been heavier than the two-stroke competition.
While they have made amazing strides in technology and design to bring the weight down, the competition has been working equally hard to shave pounds. The fact that the new Yamaha mountain sleds are lighter than what the two-stroke mountain sleds were only a few short years ago is lost in this debate; the stigma that came out with the bulk of the original RX1 continues to add weight to these puns.
Thank them for making four-strokes a viable option in the mountains. Yamaha’s innovation has forced the two-stroke manufacturers to step up their game in terms of fuel efficiency, emissions and durability.
Ski-Doo belts. Any belt joke, packing of spare belts, cases of belts.
Back in 2008, some of the owners of the then new XP chassis Summit had belt heating issues (mostly as a result of not enough weight in the primary IMO, but that’s another entire debate). The reoccurrence of some belt issues on the new Gen4 (I won’t point fingers here but there are a LOT of good tuners out there who don’t have belt issues at all) has solidified this in the hall of fame for overdone jokes; The non-Ski-Doo faithful are quick to belt-out this insult.
Thank them for inventing the snowmobile, manufacturing the first dedicated mountain sled (arguable, I know) and heck, let’s thank them for being Canadian! And no, they are not the company (Bombardier) that regularly receives bailout money from the government! Put that one to rest as well while you’re at it.
Arctic Cats and fire. These comments include any reference to wiener or marshmallow roasts.
Back in 2006, there was a recall over fuel tanks—which had the potential to crack—on the beloved Arctic Cat Firecat model. In January 2017, a fuel tank recall which expanded to include some 2007, ’08 and ’09 models has rejuvenated the tragic tale. According to the US Recall notice, there have only been six reported fires. But through the magic of photographs, the permanency of the internet, and the fact that all sleds pretty much look alike when they are on fire, the flames have been fanned on this overcooked sled roast.
Thank them for bringing us out of the dark ages with an A-arm suspension. If it wasn’t for Arctic Cat we might still be repairing bent trailing arms with a stick and bailing twine. We can also thank them for being brave enough to make a leopard print seat cover, of course.
Polaris Glue. Including comments about sniffing it.
It is true, Polaris started using structural bonding technology from the automotive and aerospace industries to save weight and improve strength. Some joint failure issues with A-arms back around 2012 led to the start of this little needle. This was followed up by some individuals who couldn’t figure out how to remove a bonded chaincase, and a legend was born. It’s time to unstick this witticism for good.
Thank them for setting the benchmark for lightweight, and forcing the rest to step up.
Now, I know it may be hard to refrain from making some of these comments, but the originality is long past—if ever there was any in the first place. It is also good to remember that sarcasm is hard to get across in an online conversation, so it’s best to keep the brand bashing to Friday nights over a cold one with your buddies, and not aim it at complete strangers. No matter how funny what remark you are typing might sound in your head, I promise—it will not come off like Rodney Dangerfield to a stranger reading it. If your sled is truly better than the next guy’s, show him on the hill. That’s where it really hurts.