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Yamaha lets area residents test newest sled

Yamaha and Seaberg representatives readied a group for a demo run of the 2014 Viper Thursday. Vicki Gerdes/Record

Snowmobile enthusiasts in the Detroit Lakes area had a unique opportunity to experience some of the latest in industry technology on Wednesday and Thursday, thanks to Yamaha and Seaberg Power Sports.

Pleasant temperatures and fresh snowfall brought roughly 65 area residents out onto the ice of Little Detroit Lake to try out Yamaha’s 2014 Viper snowmobile.

The free demonstrations for prospective customers were part of a regional tour by Yamaha representatives, which is an annual event, says Al Andreotti of Lake Tomahawk, Wis., who was one of the Yamaha representatives assisting with the demonstrations.

But this was the first time Yamaha had brought their machines to Detroit Lakes, said Rich Seaberg of Seaberg Power Sports.

“They (Yamaha) will typically do one demonstration in the Brainerd area, and one in Grand Rapids, but this was the first time in Detroit Lakes for Yamaha,” he added, noting that other companies like Sea Doo (personal watercraft) have brought their machines to the community for free demos in the past.

“It’s a chance for them to get their new machines out there, and get everyone to try them out,” Seaberg added.

A couple of his staff members assisted the Yamaha representatives in setting up the demonstration area and giving rides to prospective customers, he added.

One of those Seaberg employees who helped out was John Adamek, who was giving rides to the 40-some customers who came out to the site on Thursday.

“If you’re going to spend the money (on a new snowmobile) you want to know how it rides,” he said, explaining why so many people come out for the free demonstrations.

Andreotti noted that each 8-mile trip around the lakes included five sleds, two of them being driven by Yamaha or Seaberg representatives, and the other three by prospective clients.

“One of us leads, one of us chases, and the three potential customers are in between,” he explained.

“We have two models of Viper out here, and we stop once, about half way, so they can switch and get a feel for both models,” Andreotti added.

“The comments have been very positive. I haven’t heard any bad responses yet. They all seem to like it a lot.”

Every snowmobile sale that’s made as a result of the demonstrations also helps out the local economy, Seaberg noted, because many lakes area manufacturing companies like BTD and Team Industries make parts for the big snowmobile companies like Polaris and Arctic Cat.

“Yamaha and Arctic Cat are working together this year to make snowmobiles, which has been a big plus for the Thief River (Falls) economy too,” he added, because it has brought more jobs to the area.

“It’s a big benefit to us” having companies like Yamaha bring their free demonstrations into the community, Seaberg added.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454