December 7, 2007
The Annual Snow Week/DynoTech Research Adirondack Shootout was conducted with ideal conditions December 7 in Woodgate, N.Y. The annual “who’s the fastest” battle at the White Otter Fish and Game Club put the 2008 sleds on a snow-covered track that created high speeds and quick elapsed times (ET) with stock sleds.
Returning sponsors of the Shootout were Stud Boy and Spectro Oils. Pete Webb of Eastern Snowmobile Productions Inc. took care of the careful, accurate timing on the track, Jim King was the trackside announcer and Jim Czekalia of DynoTech Research performed the dyno verification of all the stock machines that hit the start line. All the stock sleds were run with driver Chris Russell on board to obtain the best consistency.
Like last year, a good track during the box-stock portion of the event created speeds approaching 100 mph in the Stock 600 class.
In addition to the first organized event across the Snowbelt that measures performance of the new stock sleds, the long-standing dealer competition vies for the Snow Week Golden Cup. Participating dealers are Big Moose Arctic Cat/Yamaha, Old Forge Powersports and White Lake Polaris.
The Stock 600 class remains one of the most competitive classes in terms of sales and performance. The 2008 models represented were the Arctic Cat F6, Ski-Doo MX Z 600 H.O. SDI X, a Polaris 600 Dragon and a Yamaha FX Nytro RTX.
This year, the speeds and ETs were not all that close, however. The Ski-Doo was the worst performer out of the box. It only managed a 83.64 mph pass for the quarter-mile with a 13.56 ET. While the Ski-Doo MX Z was the slowest machine in the 600 class, it should be noted that the Ski-Doo sleds had ECUs still in the break-in mode. After the break-in mode expires that performance will improve. The MX Z is an easy machine to sandbag with its adjustable TRA clutch, too.
The Arctic Cat F6 had a similar ET to the Ski-Doo of 13.583 seconds, but with a much-better speed of 91.64 mph. Much of the time delay can be blamed on poor performance off the line. The F6 bogged its way through a cloud of smoke, indicating the machine loaded up after spending too much time idling. Unlike all other dealers at the Shootout, the Big Moose Arctic Cat team didn’t run the sled on a jack stand before running it down the drag strip.
On the opposite end of the chart was the Yamaha Nytro RTX, ISR-approved to race against the 600 two-strokes. It posted a quarter-mile run of 12.538 seconds at 95.94 mph, the fastest in the class with its four stroke and an advantage of more than 10 hp. The Polaris 600 Dragon’s box-stock run was impressive. It covered the quarter mile in 12.54 seconds at 94.93 mph. On its second run, the 600 Dragon had a slower ET but posted the fastest speed for the Stock 600 class at 96.56 mph.
The sleds returned to the track after the allowed setup changes for the Dealer Improved competition. Changes are limited to clutching, suspension and airbox changes. Engine ECUs are marked during the dyno session to ensure that the sleds to not have different mapping than they have during the dyno verification.
After the dealer improvements, light snow was falling onto the track, not helping with the deteriorating track conditions from the Trail Mod runs with the aftermarket sleds at this year’s Shootout. Warmer temps and a battered surface didn’t help improve the ETs. At least not for everyone.
The first run for the Yamaha FX Nytro after setup changes was 12.771 seconds at 92.4 mph. Though the second run produced a higher quarter-mile speed of 94.33 mph, it took two-tenths longer to reach the distance at 12.907 seconds.
The Ski-Doo MX Z 600 H.O. SDI X ran a second-round best ET of 13.052 seconds at 87.71 mph, a 4.07 mph improvement from its box-stock pass with Old Forge Powersports and tuner Doug Smith’s changes. The ET improved as well, gaining a half-second in the quarter mile. The other run for the sled had nearly identical performance, with a 13.063-second pass with the same 87.71 mph speed, a nod to the consistency of the sled, track and driver.
Next up was the 600 Dragon. The launch off the start line helped produce a 12.861-second ET at 94.53 mph, a bit slower than its box-stock best run. The Arctic Cat F6 showed a solid ET gain. Instead of making its Dealer Improved runs with the engine loaded up, the Big Moose team cleaned out its F6 on a jack stand and launched it in a 13.229-second pass at 92.02 mph. The gain was three-tenths quicker and slightly faster as well.
The Big Moose Arctic Cat, with Mark Pierson the chief crewman, posted improvements to the F6 that were admirable, especially against deteriorating conditions. The crew would have to improve on the F1000 more in Stock Open, though, to overtake Doug Smith‚s Old Forge Powersports crew for the Golden Cup after its improvements on the Ski-Doo MX Z 600 HO. SDI X.
While the Stock 600 is close competition between the manufacturers, the Stock Open class was for each manufacturer’s top performance machine for 2008. The machines do not compare directly head-to-head, so we do not consider the machines in this class as a direct ET and top speed comparison. The machines were, however, a part of the dealer competition.
The machines that hit the track for the top performance class were the Arctic Cat F1000 Sno Pro, Ski-Doo MX Z 800R X, Polaris 700 Dragon and a Yamaha Apex GT.
The first machine out of the gate in the Stock Open/Top Performance group was the first machine to hit the 100 mph mark. The sled was the Yamaha Apex GT, dressed in 40th Anniversary trim, breaking the quarter-mile light beam at 12.026 seconds at 102.97 mph. The next machine to hit the triple-digit mark was the Arctic Cat F1000 Sno Pro with a 100.89 mph run and a 12.279-second ET.
The Ski-Doo MX Z 800R X had a best box-stock run of 12.516 seconds at 92.21 mph. The Polaris 700 Dragon, with its 100cc disadvantage, hit 98.25 mph during its 12.719-second pass.
Like the Stock 600 class, the dealers worked their setup magic to the machines. After their improvements, light snow fell onto the track and compounded the deteriorating conditions, and warmer temps meant sleds were making a little less power.
The Yamaha Apex GT returned to the track after Jack Lloyd and the Big Moose Yamaha division put down a best-run dealer improved quarter mile of 12.151 seconds and 100.66 mph. The second pass had a faster speed of 102.27 mph but it was almost a tenth slower to the mark.
Next on the line was the Ski-Doo MX Z 800R X. With improvements coming easy with clutching, the sled pulled to a 12.154-second ET at 101.12 mph. The gain was huge — 0.362 seconds faster (at least two sled lengths) and 8.91 mph faster.
Comparing its first- and second-round best runs, the White Lake Polaris team, under the guise of Don Haehl, made the 700 Dragon gain .125 seconds in the quarter-mile with its 12.595-second pass at 95.94 mph.
The last machine to run in the Dealer Improved class was the Arctic Cat F1000 Sno Pro. The sled’s best run was a 12.119 ET at 99.99 mph. The second run resulted in breaking the 100 barrier at 102.27 mph, but its ET was a slower 12.246 seconds.
The F1000 made gains. The best ET in the second run improved over the best first-round, box-stock run by 0.16 seconds. Also, though the ETs were slower, the Big Moose crew propelled the F1000 Sno Pro to speeds 1.38 mph faster.
And The Winner Is…
Though the break-in mode made the Ski-Doo MX Z 800R X the slowest sled in Top Performance, it was also the easy sled to turn into a winner due to factory clutching that was off the mark. It was an easy improvement to make, and one that proved insurmountable for the other dealer contenders.
“During the first run, the sled was pulling 8,400 rpm,” Smith said. “The dyno showed the most power at 8,000.” The solution was to put more weight in the primary and make the easy adjustment to the TRA clutch from position 6 to position 3. The big gains from the easy tuning meant Smith and his Old Forge Powersports crew took the Snow Week Golden Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
Click here to discuss the results.