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 walking 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. Under 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 out 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.