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Archive for October, 2009

October 27, 2009

Sled Start – Shock Builds -SnoScoot

I received an interesting belated comment to my post ‘Injection Is Cool But…’ from Angus (‘Doc’) regarding snowmobile 4-stroke operation in the extremes of the high Arctic. Rather coincidental, having just been on the phone with Kurt from SledStart. I am looking forward to trying out a SledStart on my Apex this season but not because I’m adverse to sledstartwalking outside to start my machine. I think this device could be a life saver in certain conditions as it has an auto function that will self start based on preset time or temperature. I have lived in regions where the mercury falls below minus 50 for days on end. You simply don’t turn off your engine for any length of time, if you do, good luck cranking it over (doesn’t matter what it is). This gizmo will fire up the engine when it gets cold and idle until heat-soaked when it will shut down until the block cools again… SledStart looks to be well built very well thought out.

On another subject, shock absorber maintenance is something that is often overlooked. oilUnder certain conditions, ice crystals (comprised of water, salt, dirt, etc.) can build up on the damper rods. Hit a good bump and the rod is knocked past the seals and will deposit it’s payload in the warm shock oil. Combine this with the constant cycling of the oil through the damping system and it doesn’ take too long for the oil to break down and become contaminated. Most of our shocks are rebuildable if you have both the know and parts. Our factory is only able to supply complete shock assemblies to us from the shock vendors which largely takes us (and our dealers) out of the loop for shock rebuilds. The good news for Canadians is there is an option. Factory Connection Canada located in Drummonville Quebec is now offering complete shock service for Ohlins, Fox, Soqi and KYB. They provide both retail and dealer sales. I’ve heard good reports on their service (they are the certified FOX warranty rebuild center). The recommended interval is every 5000km or less depending on use. Factory Connection is also available in the USA. You might be surprised at what a difference a clean fresh shock means to your ride.

While I’m endorsing some cool stuff outside of genuine Yamaha offerings, check ouphoto courtesy of Bullheadmotot Bullhead Motos site. They have specialized in SnoScoot and SnoSport restoration and mods. Pretty cool, I know one eight year old in particular that would absolutely love a pink (or maybe blue) one!

Jon and I have been kicking around some more ideas on how we could include some of our Sled Talk friends in  select development projects. It’s hard given two can only keep a secret when one is dead but I think I have an idea, we’ll call it the ‘YBTT’, y’all know how much we here at Yamaha like our acronyms!… stay tuned.

cheers  cr

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Posted @ 11:51 am in Accessory Stuff,Tech Talk   

October 16, 2009

Ice Scratchers

Jamming to write an overdue post this morning before heading down to the Toronto Int’l Snowmobile and Motorsports Show. I am curious to see how this years show is going to play out with the manufacturers and federation joining the circus.

Had a bad run last week starting with the discovery of a cracked frame on my full suspension mountain bike which forced me to ride my Ti hard-tail on the technical trmy purple nurpleails of Buckwallow. I took a nasty highside on a rather large rock structure and impaled myself on my handle bar taking the butt end in the chest. Finished the ride by blowing out a rear wheel, popping a bunch of spokes and packing my sorry butt back to the cottage and my old pal the Cap’n

Nytro_MTX_SE_162_‘Nough about me. We’ve been working on an interesting accessory over the summer. Ice scratchers have been on the market for quite some time, evolving with the track applications found on  mountain sleds. The combination of taller lugs, fewer idler wheels and spring conditions created a need to have more lube and cooling to the skid and exchangers. No one in Canada has taken this idea very seriously with the average trail rider in mind, that is until now. Our new Tric Ice Scratcher, is designed for trail use with a simple ‘plug and play’ installation.

I  saw the first version in Europe a few years back and after a little investigation, discovered our fTRIC Ice Scratcheractory has been building and supplying the Euro Yamaha distributor for a long time. The easy route would have been to import them to Canada but after getting the cost estimates from factory, we decided to pursue our own version. The factory scratcher mounts directly to the front sway bar link and is a plastic coated steel cable with a captive, non replacable, hardened steel pick. We have upgraded this system by using a flexible, stainless steel, braided cable with an adjustable stainless steel fitting, threaded to recieve a standard, replacable, carbide traction stud.

adjustable stud headThe Tric scratcher also comes with a universal mounting bracket which allows you to Universal mounting bracketmount it anywhere on any sled given a maximum height (8 inches) from the ground. The cable can be rotated forward and aft to get the optimum angle and preload plus the stud can also be rotated to get the prefect 90 degree contact point… The benefit is a nice spray of ice and snow crystals to supply the hy-fax and heat exchangers in marginal snow conditions. Thus increasing slider life and insuring enough engine cooling. There is no worry about reverse gear or trailer loading with the flexible cable provided your mounting point is not too close to the track.

We haven’t released this yet to our dealers but the suggested retail is only 89 bucks for a pair including the universal brackets for retrofit to sleds without a sway bar link arm.

cheers cr

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Posted @ 9:58 am in Accessory Stuff,Opinions and Insights