How the FX Nytro Went from Concept to Reality
Even though the product planning brains of a company know what they want a sled to be in terms of power, suspension and ergonomics, it still has to be styled and designed to appeal and perform.
Yamaha Product Manager, Adam Sylvester explains: “Yamaha has a very involved design process. We start with a table full of concept sketches and drawings and begin to whittle them down and combine elements into just a handful of options. From there, the final concept gets rendered in multiple views and serves as the guide.”
While the beauty techs work on colors, lines, textures and graphics, the mechanical testing team is cranking away on proving designs, testing setups and getting the prototype sled ready for its final approval.
“The whole time each of the teams are working on their respective areas, they communicate necessary changes. For instance, all of the early design work had curved lower A-arms on the front suspension. In the end, the testing and engineering team opted to go with a straight design. The sketches are not iron-clad. It’s a very fluid and dynamic give and take process.”
When the mechanicals are nearly complete, the project enters the ergonomic fitting. Sylvester adds: “We have a number of processes we use to determine the final dimensions and shape of the consumer product. For the FX Nytro, since we wanted it to have a very racer-like feel to it, we brought in two of our racer/test drivers to use as models. They got on the full-scale clay models and moved around as if they were in a race. In that way, we are able to identify any ergonomic issues like hard edges hitting knees or awkward handlebar angles.”
Once the final body sculpting is complete and the color and graphics decisions have been made, the clay model is dolled up and presented for the final approval.
“It’s amazing how close the final product resembles the initial concept sketch on the FX Nytro,” Sylvester commented. “It just shows how much thought goes into product development right from the start.”
Read “THE PERFECT SNOWSTORM: An Exclusive Look at Yamaha’s 5-Year Plan To Launch The FX Nytro” in Supertrax Volume 19, #2.