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September 2, 2009

Bonneville Salt Record

I was reminded twice this week about a statement I made in the post ‘Blackflies and Snowflakes’ regarding my decision to once again ride an Apex. To reiterate I was completely sold on the new Vector for next season, it is our best handling snowmobile out of the box and the injected motor leaves nothing on the table for corner to corner acceleration. So what made me change my mind?

yamcharger-assySimple answer: horsepower. A few years back Nick King who was with Kelowna Yamaha at the time, now with Vernon Motorsports built me up an MCXpress, front mount turbo Warrior with input from the ‘Bellymon’ Randy Swenson. The sled was a blast but not the most ‘user friendly’. Even with the boost dialed down well under ten pounds it still outran every single machine that I came up against. Funny though, in the two years I had it, I never really trusted it like I would have a ‘stocker’.

There is something about mod engines that leaves a nagging thought in the back of my mind. Kinda like when you go for a ride knowing the spouse or significant other has something else in mind for you and it ain’t sleddin. This surfaces often enough to counteract some of the ‘juice’ of riding a kick-butt, sleeper-sled. The only difference is, with one the worry is about what happens when you get home and with the other the worry is if you will even make it home… but I digress.

IMG_0924My Apex has been in the capable hands of Gilles Gagne and the good folks at G-Force over the summer. Gilles showed me a prototype supercharger last spring when I visited his shop that really caught my attention. Unlike many of the current boost devices, this system is designed to deliver only low pressure and requires no engine mods or octane. The logic Gilles applied is not everybody needs or wants a 250 hp plus snowmobile . The Apex is already so close to the perfect balance of power and acceleration that a little ‘kick in the pants’ in the upper range is all that most trail riders will want.

Gilles system is so simple it’s brilliant. Based on the fact that the Yamaha 4-cylinder engine is geared down to facilitate clutch durability and the crank turning over 10,000 rpm, a direct drive impeller has the potential to create enough boost to effectively increase the power, in this case, by a minimum of twenty horsepower from a completely stock motor.

IMG_0922The ‘Yamcharger’ is a work of art. It bolts onto the end of the crank and feeds a custom air-box through a simple duct tube, no inter-cooler, no belts, gears, head shims or exhaust mods. In fact all that is required is a simple relocation of IMG_0930the oil surge tank, some additional hood duct work and a filter. The required bits and hardware are all included in the kit

What it all boils down to is for the old school cost of a set of pipes and some cylinder grinding, you can have an additional twenty horsepower at your thumb and no nagging thought that the engine could grenade at any time, that’s not to say the wife may not be peeved when you get home but at least you’ll get there!

air-boxWe have a whole bunch of RX based engines still reliably spinning away out there with many customers waiting for the next iteration of the 4 holer. I’m thinking that the Yamcharger could be just the ticket to freshen up the old ride (RX-1’s included).

According to G-Force testing last winter the lake sled to beat was the Z1 turbo Cat, the stock Apex would hole-shot but given enough distance the boosted kitty would eventually real it back in, as it should having over 170hp. With a Yamcharger installed the Apex won the holeshots even more convincingly and also stayed out in front consistently.

I have a bunch of pictures and information on the development and testing of the Yamcharger and will save it for another day if anyone is interested. Note the images I posted are all of pre-production parts, G-Force is using hard tooling for production.

I’ll close now by saying Gilles is a perfectionist and has gone to great lengths to develop a kit that meets Yamaha quality and durability standards.

The Yamcharger is going into production later this month and will be available to Canadian Yamaha dealers direct from G-Force. The retail pricing as far as I know will come in well under 2500 Canadian loonies and installation is  a snap.

So let me ask you, if given the choice  and the cost wasn’t at issue, what would you pick to ride. A great handling new Vector FI or a mildly blown but reliable Apex beast? Yeah, that’s what I thought!

Right now Gilles and his team are in their final stages of preparation before leaving for the Bonneville Salt Flats on the 13th with their Yamaha powered streamliner set on breaking the world speed record for snowmobile. Bon chance mon amis! Storm in bonneville

cheers cr

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21 Responses to “Bonneville Salt Record”

  1. Dan Cochrane says:

    We might need to have a demo out west Chris! Then we can show all these turbo quys and gals that there are other options for performance.

    Dan the Man!

    You mountain guys have been spoiled this one is for the flat-landers! 😉 cr

  2. tmk50 says:

    Any plans to distribute this in the US?

    Plans are in the making, there will be more info available soon but right now Gilles has his plate full with Bonneville, I’ll keep you updated… cr

  3. sledfreak says:

    Any chance, they will be making this for a Nytro? I had to find this out after I sold my Apex? I wish I would have none this then…

    I don’t think the Nytro kit is being developed, a lot of the magic is based on the high RPM produced by the 4-cylinder, the triple does not use reduction gearing and spins at a much lower rpm, consequently it’s a ‘torque monster’. The good new is MCXpress has developed a low boost turbo kit for Nytro which is being distributed by Prince George Yamaha in North America. I understand it is designed to sell for significantly less money than the other systems and requires fewer modifications (read reliability). Now the Phazer is another thing entirely (hello Gilles! 😉 ) … cr

  4. sledfreak says:

    Will he have this setup for the Nytro?

    Also, with reguards to an Z1 Turbo… In stock forum, they are not that quick, My buddies F1000 (Well setup, pipes, air box mods, pc3, clutching etc and he can beat a stock Z1 with no problem. I can trade wins with him on my Apex with a modded airbox, PCIII/ignition controller and Excell Exhaust. So will it perform better then that? I know these questions maybe a little hard to answer, but a little more info will be appreciated.

    God, I hope he makes one for a Nytro, since my plan was to by some of the same things for my Nytro XTX?

    Thanks,

    Andy

    All I can say is the ‘proof is in the puddin’, I’ll post how mine works once the lake gets hard… 20 horse is 20 horse, combined with some of the other set-ups guys are using, it’s gotta make a difference. Big believer in under-promise / over deliver. cheers cr

  5. dnr says:

    Will work great with out taking in snow and ice build up. Seem like a glorified air induction, similar to scooping at 140 km.
    Maybe a little tough just to shake of the flow rights and go, in the deep stuff.

  6. PhatboyC says:

    Wouldn’t MCXpress low boost turbo kit for the Nytro be easily adaptable for Vector FI being the same block? If so that would be the best of both worlds. Light, great handling and fast! Just thinking out loud here as I’m still with my SRX 700.

  7. Darren Leblanc says:

    PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE. for our friends in Quebec at G-FORCE “S’il vous plait” develope a kit for the Nytro…Take my $$$ I need just that little push to get me infront of my buddy’s F7 and stock Apex…

    Seriously, this is what i’m looking for, ridden lots of Turbo RX-1’s and Apex’s and its not fun to ride all day….small boost is just the ticket….but after selling the Apex and buying a Nytro XTX, I just can’t go back to the old….

    So again “S’il vous plait” a kit for the FX Nytro please….you would make me and hundreds more Nytro owners VERY happy!!!

  8. Jamie says:

    Chris, if installed by the yamaha dealer this a product yamaha is going to support with continued warranty? Will it be a complete kit with clutching as well?

    How are they getting around the need for extra fuel with extra air? ECU reflash?

    Now Jamie, just because a dealer installs something doesn’t circumvent our warranty parameters. Our policies leave the final decision up to your dealer and ultimately Yamaha as to whether a modification contributed to the failure. The fall back wording is any modification to stock will render the warranty void, that said we do apply discretion based on investigation… cheers cr

  9. Yellowknife says:

    Very cool. The development details would be great to see.

    Cheers,
    YK

  10. Ike says:

    Any news about shipping that kit for european customers? I´ll be willing to test it out for you guys… Free of charge of course ! ; )

    Anyways, really interesting and simple looking system.

    Ike

    I suggest you contact G-Force, aside from the required export papers, should be no problem to ship… cr

  11. Coyote. says:

    Bonjour M. Leblanc

    Darren Leblanc says:

    PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE. for our friends in Quebec at G-FORCE “S’il vous plait” develope a kit for the Nytro…Take my $$$ I need just that little push to get me infront of my buddy’s F7 and stock Apex…

    Seriously, this is what i’m looking for, ridden lots of Turbo RX-1’s and Apex’s and its not fun to ride all day….small boost is just the ticket….but after selling the Apex and buying a Nytro XTX, I just can’t go back to the old….

    So again “S’il vous plait” a kit for the FX Nytro please….you would make me and hundreds more Nytro owners VERY happy!!!

    Dans un futur projet de recherche, Gilles vont travaillé pour un kit pour le Rx et bien sur le Nytro. Mais sa demande beaucoup de temps et $$$$

    Merci !

    Coyote. Passion-Yamaha.com

  12. Ron says:

    This is exactly what we need! Could we also get a Yamaha programmer like the 2010 YZ450F too? Can this be done with no modification to the hood? I really don’t want to start hacking on the hood of a $10K plus machine, plus no hood mods+true “sleeper”!

    The programmable ecu is just now hitting the radar, I anticipate it will be a while coming for snowmobile, there is a small mod for the hood but it is reversible as far as I understand and will still be ‘sleeper’

  13. sledfreak says:

    Hey Chris, what can you tell us about this new ski. http://www.ty4stroke.com/viewtopic.php?t=75743&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

    I will post some background on this shortly. IMHO The Haydays showing and print release may have been a bit premature (note: we have not released anything on these skis in Canada yet) but if all goes to plan, this ski will offer a viable alternative to the other XO skis on the market. cr

  14. Ron says:

    Any idea on a time frame for G-Force setup(i.e. this season next season)? Honestly I think this is a sweet setup especially for us that don’t have huge incomes or want huge credit card bills. I have been toying with the thought of an MPI SC or a turbo setup but for the type of terrain I ride (bushwhacking, boondocking) that is a lot of money for the amount of true use it would get, but another 20-30 horses for this kind of money would be just right.

    Hey Ron, They are now in production and Gilles will be shipping in November. He asked that contact is made on line through G-force and prefers to deliver through Yamaha dealerships in Canada but will accommodate American sales directly. I am waiting for him to return from Bonneville to update the subject. cheers cr

  15. Ron says:

    Excellent!

  16. Bob Hogg says:

    Of the 2 choices – the Vector…but a stock Apex from the few I’ve ridden ….is the one for Ontario trails.

    We have never trail ridden or raced anything but engines in their “as they were delivered” configuration…Yamaha has always had the HP…always.

    The last time I heard a similar exhaust note to the Apex, was when Lorna and I used to watch the boat races in Dunnville…(that’s the only race format she would ever attend with me) the big mercs running close to shore with muffled 2/ exhaust – well – they just made HP…just like the Apex…

    For me – a few holes drilled around the Apex chassis….here and there ….to slightly move some things – for my preference…and I’d be very happy.

    I was talking with an ex turbo Apex owner a few weeks ago…and he was aware ….and is scheduled to get a SC on his Nytro..dealer installed.

  17. Geoff says:

    I’m very interested in this product, but having trouble getting around the potential ecu issues. I have riden sport bikes for years and typically mods=powercommander if you want it to work properly. There was a huge diff in my R1 when I added the PC3R and had it custom mapped.

    I ride my 2006 Apex below 2000′ elevation. Will I actually realize an improvement without modifying the ecu and fuel delivery? The air is already nice and dense around here lol! Also, I already have to carry spare relay cause this is a known weakness in this model.

    According to Gilles, relocating the airbox sensor to atmosphere causes the ECU to default to a sea-level map (actually slightly below) which is enough o richen things up to compensate for the extra 02… cr

  18. Tony Smieja says:

    Trying to reach Darren LeBlanc… saw he was searching for a Jr. Snocross sled and we are building them….snoscoot based, 4-stroke, full custom suspension, fast and light. Sorry, I just can’t seem to find any other way to contact Darren. Thanks!

    The bolt-on direct drive turbo is ingenius and will sell like crazy. Nicely done!

    Tony

  19. Angus Gillingham says:

    I have been working on all types of vehicles for the past 30 or so years and have been a very dedicated mechanic to the learning aspect,new tech release,upgrade learning of all newer technology etc and feel as though I should get something off my chest here.I have spent the last 7 years around the Arctic regions of Canada and have seen a dramatic increase in the unrealiability of snowmobiles since the 4 stroke has been introduced up here in this region.I understand completely that the population of 38,000 people is not going to make a big panic at the OEM top levels of development and research,but feel that the concerns of the persons living here and buying the latest technology in vehicles should be addressed though.What I have seen with the development of four stroke snowmobiles,in my personal oppinion,is the transfer of all technology used on road vehicles used in the populated southern regions of north america just simply added to a fourstroke engine in a snowmobile and it has not been working well at all in this colder climate.I am the person in this small town who is depended on,and I feel like the only one,to answer any and all questions pertaining to the problems with those newer machines so I have been studying the problems as they arise and find that the same problems that the road going vehicles,cars,trucks,etc,have here in the north are the mostly the same problems being had with the 4 stroke snowmobiles and other 4 stroke atv’s.
    The main problems I find with those machines here in the Arctic are as follows; very hard to start because of the extreme cold causing voltage drops in inadequate batteries and thereby resulting in a lack of power to turn over the engine and at the same time activate the mass of relays used in the systems. (2)I have seen new machines that have shut down because of wire coatings snapping off and breaking wires around the handlebar region of the wire bundles.(3) the base oil getting so cold that the engine will not be free enough to turn over with the available power.Yet again,in springtime the locals find that the aircooled machines run much to hot and the watercooled run much better in this time of the season.(4) MAF sensors cause a lot of problems here in the extreme cold and sometimes get filled with moisture causing problems.(5) the cooling resevior is in a bad place on the snowmobiles for this region because of the terrain being windswept leaving small rocks exposed on the surface which in turn punchure the resevoir because of a lack of protection in that area being at such a low point on the machine.(6) there is no manual starting option on the engine which can leave a person stranded in a harsh enviroment.(7) the OBD technology should be tested more in colder enviroments so as to have an optional machine to choose from just for this region of the world because even if the cost of this machine is a little more,at least there will be a high Arctic model to chose from.
    Those are some of the main problems I am finding with the newer four stroke machines up here in the high Arctic where we are having temperatures every day here in the -25 to -65 range all winter,and any machine which will work fairly well in the southern regions would have many more issues here.It is going to take a bit more cooperation between the OEM’s,mechanics,and customers before this gets to be worked out and until then I personally will and cannot suggest a person buy a 4 stroke snowmobile up in those cold regions of the north,but when I see a setup that will work I will be the first on board to push this technology.Lives are at stake up here and I am going to answer questions put to me with complete honesty.

    Hey Doc, your points are well taken, I can remember one season back in 75 when I spent 5 months on the pack ice off-shore of Ellef Ringnes Island (near the magnetic North Pole) in a portable seismic camp practically living in a Bombi. We never shut any engine off for any length of time instead they would be fueled before bed and idle all night. Minus 65 with no breeze is not an exaggeration, been there , got the T-shirt! I will pass this along and post my experience with the new remote starter available from Sledstart It has a temperature function that will automatically start the sled and idle it until heat soaked then shut off and repeat as necessary. Would be a very good thing for the high Arctic I’m thinking. Thanks for the input.. cheers cr

  20. Angus Gillingham says:

    CR,
    This is one option,”The Sledstart”,as long as the machine idles long enough to replentish the used battery amps used for frequent starts I guess.The other problems may well be worked out in time because it is not an impossible task to adapt a machine to extreme conditions.I have some ideas on this and I think I will start working on those.Thanx for responding to this urgent need.
    Angus (Doc) Gillingham

  21. Mike says:

    Just finished installing one here in Moncton N.B.This is a flawless install without any problems a great kit from Gforce.
    Now all that we are waiting for is snow.
    This is a great fix for our current apex but i am still waiting for 180hp apex out of the creat from Yamaha.


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