December 8, 2006
Cold weather and a great, hardpack snowy base on the runway created perfect conditions for posting fast stock times at the Snow Week/DynoTech Research Shootout in Woodgate, New York, December 8. Conditions contributed to a 98 mph run by the Polaris 600 HO CFI IQ. Spectro Oils and Stud Boy traction were event sponsors.
The two most important stock classes, 600 and 1000, were the focus of the annual dealer competition between Big Moose Arctic Cat/Yamaha, Old Forge Powersports (Ski-Doo) and White Lake Polaris. As in years past, dealers first ran each sled box stock. After the better of two runs was recorded, the dealers were permitted setup improvements to clutching, airbox and suspension and go again against the clock for the best improvement. The best-combined improvement in elapsed time (ET) between the two classes was awarded the Snow Week Golden Cup.
Prior to the machines hitting the track, four of them were exchanged, in crates, with random dealers to ensure we were using unmolested stock machines. The machines were all uncrated and set up in front of the competing dealers on December 3, then hauled to Jim Czekalia at DynoTech Research for performance verification on his dyno.
The crews at each dealer spent a lot of time and manpower testing and prepping for the improvements. Two teams were from Big Moose, one each for Yamaha and Arctic Cat. Mark Pearson was wrenching for the Yamahas
Driver Chris Russell pulled the trigger on all the stock hardware as well as many of the trail mods as well as some of the lake mod machines, too. The official timing systems was care of Pete Webb of Eastern Power Productions and Jim King was the announcer.
Stock 600/120 HP Class
The Stock 600 class had a few surprises, starting on the dyno. The 2007 Arctic Cat F6 posted a high peak of 128.5 HP at 7800 rpm on an engine that was unchanged from last year, when it posted 120.2 HP. There was good air this year, with measured intake temperatures of about 37 degrees, so and all the engines made good power.
The gain looked suspicious but the F6 SnoPro used in the Shootout was one of the machines swapped for another. Also, we realized that the sudden power surge was the exhaust valves opening; a slow, steady pull on a dyno takes longer to build the pressure to open the valves.
The Ski-Doo MX Z 600 H.O. SDI Adrenaline recorded 123.1 HP at 8200 rpm, the new Polaris 600 HO CFI IQ put 128.5 HP at 8500 rpm and the Yamaha Nytro recorded 120.6 HP at 8600 rpm.
The numbers on the track were good, too, thanks to ideal conditions.
In the quarter-mile, the F6 ran a best time of 12.743 seconds at 91.46 mph in the box-stock runs. It wasn’t the top runner, though. The new Arctic Cat was beat by the new Polaris 600 HO CFI IQ, which posted a best run of 12.463 seconds and 94.53 mph, despite its higher speed in run one: 98.68 mph!
The Ski-Doo had the best open-box run of 12.429 seconds at 96.56 mph, and the Yamaha Nytro posted a quarter-mile run of 12.939 seconds at 93.16 mph in the full quarter-mile.
Old Forge Powersports stuck to clutching and some chassis adjustments for its 600. The crewmembers working on it were Doug Smith, John Sarkisian and Bruce Boterus. The MX Z 600, the machine with the quickest 600/120-HP class stock ET in the first round, retained that title. It was unable to improve, and made its best run in round two with a 13.059 ET at 93.16 mph.
Big Moose, with Jack Lloyd, Mark Pearson and John Martin spinning wrenches on the Yamaha machines, put a Big Moose clutch kit in the Nytro and changed the suspension settings to improve weight transfer. The Nytro performance did not increase with the condition and setup changes. The best ET in round two was 13.071 at 92.78 mph.
The Cat crew from Big Moose went with D&D Big Dog clutch weights and a new spring in the primary. They had intentions of doing some chassis changes, but ended up back to the stock specs, according to the team consisting of Jason Pallotta, Alex Ross and Mark Irvin. They were unable to make the F6 any quicker than its first-round pass. Air temps climbed several degrees, and for the best run after the setup improvements the F6 had a 12.748 ET and broke the light beam at a speed of 94.33 mph.
Don Haehl and the rest of the pit entourage from White Lake Polaris/Yamaha were focused on clutching and a few chassis changes. “And a fresh coat of wax,” Haehl said. Helping him were Larry Hoffman, Phil Lasher, Joe Birch and his brother, Cooter.
In the second round, the Polaris 600 IQ’s best run was 12.64 seconds at 94.14 seconds. It, too, was not able to improve on the times posted in the earlier morning hours when the air was colder and the track firmer. The running surface was looser and softer and was to blame for the slower ETs.
The crowd lined the fences a few people deeper when the 1000s were taking to the track. Polaris was unable to get its new top-performance Dragon, so there were only three machines in the class.
The most newsworthy machine was Arctic Cat’s new big bore F1000 Sno Pro. The sled posted 166.7 HP at 7200 rpm on the DynoTech dyno. The Ski-Doo Mach Z was 173.8 HP at 7800 rpm, and the Yamaha Apex RTX ER was 147.7 HP at 10,700 rpm.
There was a lot of anxiety to see the speeds for the Stock Open class. The Arctic Cats were again the first sleds off the line, which meant the new F1000 Sno Pro was first to the line. It also posted an aggressive time to beat.
The Cat posted a 11.772 ET at 105.38 mph much to the crowd’s “Aah!” sign of approval. The Ski-Doo Mach Z in its first run was beat by the 600. It managed only 12.673 seconds at 95.54 mph. Last year’s stock ET winner for the class, the Yamaha RTX ER, had a 12.182-second ET at 102.27 mph.
The Cat certainly had the most potential with its first run, setting a benchmark. Other machines would have to get some substantial setup improvements to take the fastest stock ET for the class.
The Big Moose Cat crew put full D&D Big Dog clutch kits in the primary and secondary. The changes made more use of the available power, and overcame the weakening track conditions and improved their quarter-mile run to 11.658 seconds at 104.4 mph.
Smith said the Old Forge crew made a slight airbox mod, some clutch adjustments to the primary and secondary and some more center shock to its Mach Z. They also removed the clutch cover to keep the belt cooler in the quarter mile. It improved its run to more than a second better, pulling 1.145 seconds out of the ET to a 11.528 at 108.95 mph. Russell flopped down two very consistent runs, the other being a 11.539 at 108.95 mph.
For the Apex, Lloyd and the Big Moose crew performed a similar operation as they did to the Nytro. They changed the suspension and added their own clutch kit, and the changes resulted in an improvement to 12.158 seconds at 99.77 mph.
For the third year in a row, the setup improvement of the Mach Z was too much to overcome. Despite the lost time in the 600 class, the Old Forge Powersports team combined for a net gain of .515 seconds to claim victory for a third consecutive year and take the Snow Week Golden Cup. The Arctic Cat crew from Big Moose had a net gain of .109 seconds.