At Hay Days near Lino Lakes, Minn., the Big 4 kicked off the 2008-2009 snocross season by introducing their sponsored riders and the sleds they’ll be riding. AmSnow was there to get the low-down on all the new machinery.
Here are some early photos of the sleds and some highlights, but check out our upcoming December 2008 issue for a more detailed description. Full race sled specs will also be shown in our January 2009 racing issue.
Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 - This chassis was introduced last year and is arguably the best newer snocross sled on the circuit. Lots of changes were made for this season and top riders such as Tucker Hibbert and Ryan Simons are excited for the chance to race the updated version. The new sled has a 92 octane burning 600cc liquid engine with new cylinder and head design. The aftermarket gurus at Speedwerx work closely with Cat’s race team and have showed that the new mod motors have 5 more hp at peak rpm and over 10 more hp in the mid range. There's tons more changes too that are outlined in our upcoming December issue.
Polaris 2009 600 IQ racer - This is the reigning gold standard in snocross sleds and it has been for several years. Polaris has also showed a real devotion to snocross in the last several years both on the product and by spending money to sign many of the biggest names in snocross racing. The 2009 race sled has a new Independent front suspension and is easier to steer so racers do not get as tired over the course of a long race weekend. The geometry of the 2009 is different than the 2008 with new lighter aluminum idler arms which replace the previous steel ones, and new spindles were developed with help from Holz Racing Products. There's also an increase in mid-range power and top-end and plenty more updates.
Ski-Doo 2009 MXZ X 600RS race sled - Ski-Doo is back on track again this year with a much improved race sled. Many changes were made from 2008 to 2009. "The changes reflect our priorities of easier handling, better cornering and better suspension at race speeds – along with the need for extreme durability to keep racing costs lower," said Francois Tremblay, Ski-Doo’s Director of Marketing. Changes started with the powerplant where a new dual air intake system and a new tuned pipe support were added. The rear suspension got attention too with a new rear arm geometry and shock linkage, new stronger rails and new stronger coupling system. Also, there is a new track that is supposed to help with cornering and holeshots as well as durability. The Brembo brake calipers are new as well and there's a bunch more that's been redesigned on the sled too.
2009 Yamaha Nytro race sled - At present time the Yamaha Nytro race sled that Iain Hayden and Steve Taylor will be racing on the ISOC circuit this year has yet to be fully disclosed. The base sled Yamaha will use will continue to be the Nytro with its 1049cc 3-cylinder fuel-injected 4-stroke engine. Yamaha is the only team to compete in professional snocross with 4-strokes and hopes this season will be a turning point for the team to become feared contenders in every race. However, podiums are not the only thing driving the Yamaha team. "The direction of the race team has been, and will continue to be, a test bed for consumer development," says Wade West, Yamaha’s Snowmobile Marketing Manager. "The race program is a great place to also showcase Yamaha products and for sponsors to test their products and get more exposure. FXR, FOX and Camoplast all have a vested interest, and work together with Yamaha to make this program the best it can be."
Keep checking this site for updates on all the race sleds, racing news, results and rider info.