Old Sled Zone: 1982 Yamaha SRX

Lorne’s Vintage Sleds displays a bevy of snowmobiles in Lloydminster, Alberta

by Kyle Born

Some of Larson's Yamaha's are on display in Lorne's Vintage Sleds
Larson has an extensive collection of Yamaha sleds and equipment. Photo courtesy Lorne Larson

When it comes to old sleds, Lorne Larson’s snowmobile collection is unparalleled. He keeps his iconic rides on display at Lorne’s Vintage Sleds, his snowmobile museum in Lloydminster, Alberta.

Read an in depth article about Lorne’s Vintage Sleds to get a full grasp of how extensive Laron’s collection of snowmobiles truly is.

When it comes to Yamaha, Lorne’s Vintage Sleds has no equal. “I've got about 50-some Yamahas,” said Larson. “My Yamaha collection is pretty sweet.”

Today’s article highlights Larson’s 1982 Yamaha SRX.

“Yamaha recalled and destroyed them all,” he said. “The 440 liquid-cooled were in the SRXs from 1976 up to 1981. The '81 had some crank problems. In '82, they decided to go to a 500 cc and they continued to have problems. Yamaha was very conscientious about their reputation so they recalled them all and destroyed them.

“The story is that about 17 of them slipped through the cracks and are still floating around the globe. I think there's three or four overseas. The rest of them are in the United States and Canada.”

“The fellow that's the guru of the '82 SRX Yamaha is Jon Bertolino out of Chicago. Jon wrote a book on it, the history of the '82 and everything. I contacted him and asked if I could be on the list to get one of these things and he said, ‘The list is long.’ I kept bugging him and said it's going to go in the beautiful climate-controlled showroom with tile floor. It's going to be looking pretty sweet. He said he'd like to try to find one for me.

“A fellow that I bought a '78, '79 and '80 SRX from out of Alaska, his name is Carl. One day he pulls into the yard and guess what's sitting on the back of his truck? A totally violated 1982 Yamaha SRX. I said, ‘Where are you going with that?’ He said he was taking it to Jon Bertolino so I picked up the phone and said, ‘Jon, we've got to talk. I can hold this guy hostage, ha ha! He's in my yard.’

I managed to make a deal with Jon and he restored it. He brought it back to new, original condition.

“Eighty-five per cent of the '82 SRX is an '81. They're identical in styling but the engine is different. There are lots of different parts that are stamped, showing that it's an '82. So it's definitely all an authentic 1982 SRX. You gotta watch with something that rare that people don't try to pull a fast one. Out of the 17, there's six or seven of what they call mules. What a mule is, is they took the '83 540-cc engine and they put it into the '82 SRX to try to do some test runs on it.”

Got an old sled story? Photos? Share them with us at [email protected].

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