About – 2008 sleds
Arctic Cat, page 19,
“ The F Cats also have an excellent turning radius due to the sleds increased steering angle. Yet we’ve questioned ski grip.
Cat has addressed that understeer, or push, for 2009 by adjusting the front end’s spindle angle forward by 1.5 degrees. Plus, the ski’s single runner has been moved forward so half is in front of the spindle to improve grip. Late season testing shows the new setup dramatically helps the sled stick better in corners.”
Polaris, page 20, 21
“Yet, most of the test riders thought the Shift felt heavy on the trail, heavier even than the Cat. That perception grew from the Polaris’ heavy steering. Nearly everyone who rode it during the season said they were tired after a day’s ride, and as one seasoned tester said, I got tired of wrestling it to keep up.”
“Our main concern is handling when the trail turns twisty. The feel is heavy and less precise than the TNT, and tougher than the Cat in particular. There’s some darting here, but mostly the front end pushes heavily into turns, so you find yourself hitting the brake harder than you might like to slow up entering a tight turn, cutting the momentum you can carry through a corner.”
“Less than stellar handling.”
Other’s comments: the machine darts all over the place
Page 13, GSX
“Ski Doo originally planned to use the single keel Pilot SL (straight-line) skis that are designed for less darting and hunting. However, after further testing, the GSX model will use the more aggressive Pilot 5.7 skis.”
Page 18, 2nd paragraph
“Also helping handling are the Pilot 5.7 skis with their dual runners. These are about the best stock skis on the trails; darting is not a problem and there’s good grip for steering in all snow conditions.”
Yamaha, page 22,23, 25, 26, 27
Page 22, 5th paragraph
“Our challenges with this sled revolved around suspension transfer and cornering ability.”
Page 23, 6th paragraph
“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t dial in the handling on this sled. When we took a corner at speed, ski-bite was unpredictable and often the sled felt like it wanted to tip…. we felt the only way to solve the problem was by re-designing intimate pieces of the front-end.”
“Thankfully, Yamaha has done just that for 2009 with new A-arm, tie rods, spindles, ski-rubbers, front frame and more.”
Brian Moore, Racer & Test Rider
“I had trouble turning this thing.”
Page 25, 9th paragraph
“To make the sled more stable, the castor angle was increased from a more up and down 22 degrees to a relaxed 25.8 degrees. The trail at the ski bottom was increased here from 21.4mm to 42.5mm and a revised spindle and shorter A-arms were used to accommodate the caster angle change”.
“Camber also was increased and ski stance narrowed…. Talking with Yamaha engineers, they have experimented with slightly more “toe-out” on their 09 sleds. This was something we also worked on this with our 2008 demo sled.”
“Front end. We like the changes here and believe about 30-40% of the Nytro’s darting and unpredictability in the corners has been dialed out.”
Page 27, Odds & Ends
Yamaha: The “Trail” of their ski is larger
“This means that the distance between the contact area of the ski and imaginary contact point of the steering axis with the ground was increased. More trail tends to mean more stability, while less makes for more positive steering”.
SnowTech, Sept. 2008
2009 Nytro XTX, page 85
“They also added 15mm of “trail” (less upright spindle) and reduced the caster angle by four degrees”.
“Basically, the new front suspension has much less bump steer, which was what we were feeling as the sled wanted to wander through the bumps. The steering response is now slower and not as twitchy; far more stable and predictable is how to describe it. Steering is more consistent, cornering is flatter, it darts less, tracks straighter, and now you can ride faster with more confidence (fewer white knuckle rides)”.
2009, Artic Cat, Crossfire R, page 79
“Your knees are no longer above your hips, which means you don’t have to bench press your entire body weight to get your butt up off the seat when you want to stand up.
… And now you get an even better handling sled, despite the slightly taller seating position, along with more stability”.
2009, Polaris, IQ 600 / 800, page 88
“We don’t believe they have quite as responsive of steering as the Ski-Doo’s or even the 2009 Cats, but they’re plenty adequate and can be given more responsiveness with simple carbide replacements and suspension adjustments”.
2009, Ski-Doo, MXZ TNT 1200 4-Tec, page 91
“Combined with the REV-XP platform, it provides the best handling four-stroke to date, as well as the lightest one.
Rehashing the past