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First deep bush trip

Feb 20, 2022
2022 Yamaha VK Pro 2
Took the 2022 Vk pro 2 on its first real trip into the Alaskan bush. 40-50ish miles to a remote cabin. Across frozen rivers and up mountainside chutes. Over ridges.
Since Yamahas are not very popular in Alaska, i got a lot of flak friends: Its too heavy (roughly the same WET weight as a skandik though). You’ll get stuck. wont start etc. Even stuff i read on the internet as this being only useful as a trail groomer.

I went out almost second-thinking of my purchase. I almost didnt go, not wanting to get stuck in the deepest snow winter the interior around here has pretty much ever seen.

I must say, im glad for the guys pushing me. This thing FLEW up chutes flawlessly. Boondocked through spruce very easily in low gear. Went down steep drops like nothing. I never side-hilled, i approached everything head on. Cut through thick willows just fine…..and was the most comfortable ride on the long river stretches.
I cant, for the life of me, understand why these things arent more popular in Alaska. They are very fine and very capable machines. Obviously incredibly reliable.
I have lots of new found confidence in this thing. I just needed to go out with some crazy Alaskans to push it to its limits. I never did get to its limit. I never got stuck.


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I returned from a bison hunt last week. Eight days, 100 kms per day, wall tents, hunted six days, animals sighted five times, guns drawn three times, shots fired twice, one casualty, a 5-6 year old bull named Burger. I'm the only Yamaha and I hear about it too. I can't really buy a skidoo ever since the head of sales and I shared our opinions of one another.

I couldn't get to the places we went on my own ... very reliant on two experienced riders on SWTs. The 2021 Scandic is a harder starter than earlier Ace 900s and the older 800 four stroke. But still edges out mine in the cold. Last year when one sled was going down I pulled both of our loads without trouble. I went one season without the 11 inchs skins and that was a mistake. One feature to consider is a Goldfinger left hand throttle which is not a possibility with the skidoos.

I hear ya 74Nitro, not everyone is cut out for this country but if you are there is nothing that comes close.

One feature to consider is a Goldfinger left hand throttle which is not a possibility with the skidoos.
That is genius. Me and a buddy were just talking on this trip that they should all come with two throttles, and here you go… someone already thought of it, wow. Im going to definitely get one.

A guy on this trip was running a 1995 sled and was the one breaking most of the trails. I realized how much more of it is rider skill vs machine capability…..

Any motor will have a hard time starting in -30. Before i bought this, i was told of the yamaha cold start issues, then i realized i started a 2021 Yam Grizzly i own many times this winter in -20 to -30. It took a few tries but it always did.
The Amsoil 0w-40 seemed to actually make a difference in cold starting.

Im kinda glad it turned out to be such a good sled, ‘cause ive known a few people already with skidoo reliability issues. I love japanese reliability. Truck, 4wheeler, now sled are all japs.
Forget about Polaris, i cant understand how they even stay in business. Brand new 4wheelers and sleds breaking down all around me.
I have the VK Pro 2, 2016 model. They are a brute of a sled, cold weather starts are a pain! However, they are warm sled to ride. Last week at -35, I appreciated the extra wind deflection on the frozen sea ice. Overall, 6 years of ownership has taught me that the Yamaha VK is not your "multi-use" type of sled. It excels on flat ground, decent trails, side hilling or rough ground is a no go...... if you can help it. Excellent for pulling heavy loads but a brute to move if you get stuck. The 600 and 900 Ace 4 strokes whether the Expedition or Renegade doo's are more comfortable ridng and better cold weather starters. But cold sleds to ride. I prefer the VK on shorter trips- need to ensure I have my booster pak under the seat if I'm out overnight at the cabin or stopping for more than 2 hours at -30.