October 28, 2013
I enjoyed the Toronto Snowmobile Show this year. It felt busy and upbeat to me, more-so than in previous years. I spent a couple of hours touring the floor with Masa and Sage Sawai, kicking tires, pointing out products, features and technologies that impact our business. It was interesting to observe their reactions. I noted some things I take for granted were eagerly viewed and others I tried to champion, were met with little exuberance.
We had a small display comprised of three rear suspension rails bolted together side by side. Two rails were off the same (used) skid-frame, the left one had production hy-fax and the right had a Dupont hyfax (impregnated with Vespel inserts). The third rail had a brand new stick of the Dupont in place. The used rails had just over 1100km of southern Ontario scratching on them and the difference between the material wear properties was blatantly obvious. The standard Hyfax showed significant wear ahead of the front idlers, with an uneven undulating pattern towards the rear. The Dupont stick showed almost no wear, remaining straight and flat along its entire length.
It was fun having this tool when trying to explain why someone would want to spend a C-note plus for a stick of plastic and a pleasure to announce it’s inclusion on the production units coming out of our Japan factory. To that point, the Japanese Dupont’s have less Vespel inserts than our accessory parts as they are quite labor intensive to produce.
The question was posed and the answer yes, we have prepared the Duponts with a T-cut specific to the SR Viper skid-frame which is common to many Arctic Cat models and AC will also be making available through their dealers. So-if you have any friends riding green that smell like burning garbage bags in the morning – we have the cure!
It was no dull surprise to read a thread on TY where a lot of Viper owners have received their accessories already. Now all they need is a sled to put them on. Good news is: a steady train of trucks are leaving TRF daily, loaded with Vipers and heading for a dealership near you. I noticed several guys are asking about the tracks on the Vipers. Ripsaw-2 / 2ply on the RTX / LTX and Cobra 1-ply / 3P on XTX SE. There is 9T extroverts on 129 / 137 – 8T extroverts on 141. The drive belt is shorter on SR compared to Apex / Vector (8DN) so you can’t interchange and I wouldn’t suggest you even consider for a spare unless its an emergency. It’ll fit but you’ll be driving around in 3rd gear so to speak…
Another question from the show… ECU calibration. The ECU is the same on Viper as it is in the 7000, horsepower output is identical. How it is put to the ground is another story. One that will be told on the snow. I’ll watch for any more scuttlebutt, ugly rumors or out and out horse-pucky and weigh-in when I can… cheers cr