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OK let's put your Arctic Cat bias aside and help me pick the 2017 innovation of the year from the following candidates. Please vote and add to the list if I missed something. In order to qualify the innovation must have the potential to be copied or used by the rest of the industry.

2017 innovation by Arctic Cat/Yamaha
Smaller diameter handle bar and grip improves ergonomics.
Automatic belt tensioner on secondary eliminates heat from sloppy belt.
Cylinder mounted throttle bodies used on turbo engine improves response.
Boast air from pop off valve plumbed to compressor improves response.
Forged crankshaft made with press process (no twisting) for strength.

2017 innovation by both Arctic Cat and Ski Doo
Narrowed running boards and side panels accommodate side hill operation.
Toe hold side opened up to allow more aggressive body position.

2017 innovation by Ski Doo
Cylinder liner process that sprays iron on aluminum to increases life.
Crankshaft with 4-stroke style oil passages to increase bearing life.
Stamped heat exchanger welded to tunnel creates multiple improvements.
New Friction Stir Welding (used on heat exchanger) improves strength.
Primary clutch uses rollers (not sliders) to reduce friction during shifting.
Stepped knee rest gives ergonomic connection for cruising or cornering.

2017 innovation by Polaris
Instrument display adds Bluetooth to GPS for more information.
Running board has bent rear edge for snow clearance.
 

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Skinny handlebars are not an innovation. It's nice for people with small hands, but it sucks for people with large hands. The previous bars were fine as they were.

As far as SkiDoo's innovations, only time will tell. That built in heat exchanger means that a damaged tunnel or heat exchanger gets a lot more expensive. That's not progress. I'm betting that the new cylinder lining won't last like Nicasil. The oiled crank bearings should be great, if properly executed.
 

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Skinny handlebars are not an innovation. It's nice for people with small hands, but it sucks for people with large hands. The previous bars were fine as they were.

As far as SkiDoo's innovations, only time will tell. That built in heat exchanger means that a damaged tunnel or heat exchanger gets a lot more expensive. That's not progress. I'm betting that the new cylinder lining won't last like Nicasil. The oiled crank bearings should be great, if properly executed.
Agreed on the bar diameter of past... No reason to downsize the diameter..

Not only does the tunnel or exchanger get MORE EXPENSIVE, so does the LABOR... :Bangin:
 

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I just don't see anything this year as truly innovative. Mostly just refinements. Most of which were copied from their competition.
 

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I'm pretty sure the centralized motor BRP has in the new G4 is more of a industry shaker than anyone is giving it credit for. Handling wise, it's a huge innovation. The next step in "mass-centralization" that Yamaha started in the late 90's and BRP continued to refine with the original REV. Not the huge leap that moving the rider forward gave us, but a big benefit in itself.
 

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Skinny handlebars are not an innovation. It's nice for people with small hands, but it sucks for people with large hands. The previous bars were fine as they were.

As far as SkiDoo's innovations, only time will tell. That built in heat exchanger means that a damaged tunnel or heat exchanger gets a lot more expensive. That's not progress. I'm betting that the new cylinder lining won't last like Nicasil. The oiled crank bearings should be great, if properly executed.
I wish my 015 came with the narrower bars. Hands get tired hanging on for 200 plus miles and the new grips are really nice.
 

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I wish my 015 came with the narrower bars. Hands get tired hanging on for 200 plus miles and the new grips are really nice.
Well, you people with small hands can buy skinny handlebars then. But Cat shouldn't make the skinny bars standard for everyone. That's the kind of crap that drives people to a different brand.
 

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Agreed on the bar diameter of past... No reason to downsize the diameter..

Not only does the tunnel or exchanger get MORE EXPENSIVE, so does the LABOR... :Bangin:

they did not change the handle bars at all. they added even more ****** grips. What they should have done was put ODI grips right from the factory. I know why they did not do this as the ODI are too soft and will wear out quick. The new grips are terrible. They basically copied the odi, made them harder with a bunch of nubs on them.
 

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I'm pretty sure the centralized motor BRP has in the new G4 is more of a industry shaker than anyone is giving it credit for. Handling wise, it's a huge innovation. The next step in "mass-centralization" that Yamaha started in the late 90's and BRP continued to refine with the original REV. Not the huge leap that moving the rider forward gave us, but a big benefit in itself.

IMO doo really did nothing with the g4. They will sell a ton of them, but in all reality the G4 is not really innovating. The only innovating things in the last 25 years has been the cat ZR, the Doo Rev, the etech and maybe the turbo 4 stroke. I use the turbo loosely as that really isnt anyting special, someone just needed to do it. Everything else has been engineering progression.
 

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Centralizing the motor in the chassis is a big step forward. It may not seem like it now but trust me, when you ride one side by side with an XM or XP you will see how much less effort is required. You can do all the same things, but with less effort and literally be fresh at the end of a hard day.
We had this idea back in 2008 with the first XP during our famous beer-thinking sessions back at my old job. Moving the secondary above the bulkhead would allow a person to move the motor to the middle of the chassis. Made perfect sense.

It may not seem like it now but trust me it kinda is.

EDIT: You know, from trail riders and high mileage perspective, you're right Greg, not a big deal at all. Wrestling a big 4-stroke isn't a problem for these types of riders which I realize most or at least some of you are. For finesse riders it is a big deal. The high-performance sect, and mountain riders alike will greatly benefit from this new chassis change. I know from my own experience that wrestling my 4-stroke on a daily basis take a lot out of a guy meanwhile I can ride any of my 2-strokes day in and day out without the fatigue that the 4-stroke gives me. I understand this is not the case for all types of riding.
 

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they did not change the handle bars at all. they added even more ****** grips.

The new grips are terrible.
This >> "Smaller diameter handle bar and grip improves ergonomics" is exactly HOW I read/perceived the OP's post.....

If the ODI grips suck as well, why install them from factory? They should have just stuck with the previous grips IMO.. Better yet, go back to the grips on the '98-2001 Sno-Pro racers... Those were "real grips"....
 

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The next step in "mass-centralization" that Yamaha started in the late 90's and BRP continued to refine with the original REV.
"Mass Centralization" began with development of the ZR440 race chassis, and worked forward to the "often claimed" title of "leaders in" CRC and LCG "claims" by two of Cats rivals (even though Cat had it mastered first)... However, neither one begins with the consonant "Y"
 

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This >> "Smaller diameter handle bar and grip improves ergonomics" is exactly HOW I read/perceived the OP's post.....

If the ODI grips suck as well, why install them from factory? They should have just stuck with the previous grips IMO.. Better yet, go back to the grips on the '98-2001 Sno-Pro racers... Those were "real grips"....

o they changed the grips some time after 2012 and did not change the part number. "running change" The grips on my 2014 RR are rock hard and are slicks now. They are not the same grips the old zrs and your/my sp500 had as my zr dose not have slicks. Watch next season people will be raving how good the cat hand warmers are. They made them softer and shaved them down. The handle bars are the same. The ODI grips are awesome but they are super soft and will only last a season if you ride hard or a lot. They start tearing. Cat copied the ODI made them with a bunch of really hard nobs on them
 

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now food for thought for you guys. I am not a smart person. But this will be next innovation and cat has the upper hand on it.I am thinking out side of the box here. A 2 stroke engine dose not care if it is upside down or backwards. all sled engines are mounted vertical as of now. Since cat has the intake and exhaust on the same side of the engine think of what could be done. They could rotate the motor and mount the case to the front of the bulk head. have the the injectors firing downward and the pipe going up. They could make the center of gravity stupid low and so far back it would be sick. That will be next game changer IMO.
 

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"Mass Centralization" began with development of the ZR440 race chassis, and worked forward to the "often claimed" title of "leaders in" CRC and LCG "claims" by two of Cats rivals (even though Cat had it mastered first)... However, neither one begins with the consonant "Y"
While I agree in principle, to some extent, my claim comes from the fact that Yamaha is the one that claimed "Mass Centralization" in the snowmobile world. Look it up, in '96 or 97 they came across the phrase for the Pro-Action and ran with it until Ski-Doo jumped on board with the ZX and the Series III motors, then blew the phrase apart with the advent of the REV.

We are Cat folk, and seem to think our brand has been the leader in most every category when developing new ideas, sometimes we need to step back and realize that all 4 OEM's and many aftermarket companies bring to fruition quite a number of "innovations" that we may only see for the first time because we are only interested in our own brands propaganda.

I mean the '93 ZR440 was a masterpiece, my dad's friend had one and I rode it constantly as a young kid. Not too many people could beat me on the trail down the mountain when I was on it. (I still have a '94 ZR700!) But other than going to an aluminum bulkhead and updating the front suspension here and there, they used that chassis until the 2006 KingCat. Can you say resting on their laurels? By that time the chassis was quite dated in both trail and mountain configurations. However we do have to remember the Indy came out 10 years prior and dominated everyone until the ZR and later the S-Chassis came out in the 90's. To say they lead the chassis and suspension race in the past 25-30 years would be a far stretch.

I'm not here to debate who claimed what and my opinion on who brought what to the table first. I'm just trying to get the discussion away from, 'are smaller diameter grips the innovation of the year'
 
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