I don't think its underpowered at all. In fact, that's the typical displacement of a 28" wide snowblower a few years now. For comparison, a Honda 928 has 270cc engine.
How much experience have you had operating a 2 stage snowblower? Have you operated the new Yamaha to assess that it is underpowered? How fast do you want to go? While its possible to have a 22 HP, 28" snowblower that will ingest all the snow it can handle, are you comfortable controlling it while it's going at a flank speed 10 miles per hour? It doesn't sound so fast until you realize the snowblower is chewing up the lawn and everything in its path in a near whiteout blizzard condition. It gets tiresome and uncomfortable for the operator within minutes. That's on a 28" wide snowblower. Imagine how much more of a beast to tame if you were behind a 45" wide snowblower with the same engine. Many trips to the gym is required to keep up with it. There's a tipping point when the snowblower controls you, jerks you around and you're just hanging on for dear life. And I'll throwing in that the surface the operator is walking on is far from being perfect, keeping balance on sloped driveways with ice can be a challenge all by itself.
Oh yeah, and there's the usual residential properties and parked cars. Snowblowers not only blow snow, it also excel at making projectiles that can break windows as well.
I don't have a high powered snowblower. Its 32 inches wide with 11hp / 337cc engine. It weights about 300 pounds. Well, this is on the large side of most homeowner's models. I seldom operate it at full ground speed, just unsafe and too dangerous. After half an hour, it's starting to get tiresome. In fact, I only bring it out when the snow condition demands it. For typical snow up to 8 inches, I'd gladly bring out my 163cc single stage snowblower. I'm happier this way. I get the job done quickly and safely, and I'm not soaking wet and tired as being behind a 2 stage snowblower.
I think the Yamaha is a better engineered than a typical big displacement snowblowers. It's more efficient and built with higher tolerances so the engine might have better output and useable powerband. What I find is that Japanese snowblower tend to favor discharge distance over volume throughput. The Honda and Yamaha have very impressive throwing distances, but it process snow slower. The snowblowers are typically crawling and tackling deep snow, which is fine because I have no ambition of wrecking a $3000 snowblower with $500 augers. :) After breaking a few shear pins, people do find their comfort speed.
I would gladly trade you my Honda for your 250cc Yamaha. :)
This message was modified Nov 12, 2013 by aa335