Add Performance to Your Ski-Doo
You can get a serious performance boost from these shops
Story by Jerry Bassett, Photography by Jerry Bassett & Misc , Created Jul 15, 2010
When it comes to projects, there are plenty of add-ons available for the latest model Ski-Doo snowmobiles. Some of these listed below may require the deft hand of a true mechanic or experienced do-it-yourselfer. Some may be very simple. Either way, rest assured that you’ll find plenty of product and project ideas to go around if you venture onto the worldwide web and search for Ski-Doo performance parts.
We’ve listed a few places that we found interesting for their true performance boost. There are few places that will boost your Ski-Doo’s performance profile like Larry Audette’s The Crank Shop.
The Crank Shop
East Coast performance snowmobilers, especially Ski-Doo-oriented performance riders know that Vermont hosts one of the top Ski-Doo performance shops in the country. Founded by engine performance guru Larry Audette in the 1980s, The Crank Shop enjoys a well-earned reputation for building power from Rotax engines.
Audette’s shop has dealers across the snowbelt selling his performance equipment. While The Crank Shop specializes in Ski-Doo performance, the shop is known for the manufacturing of its trail and race pipes as well as its unique high-performance engines.
The Crank Shop offers a variety of performance work to include:
• Custom-build twin and triple cylinder reed or rotary based race motors
• Trail and race pipes for Bombardier and Polaris
• The Crank Shop’s custom flatslide carburetors
• Trail and race porting cylinders
• Big Bore Kits
• Crankshaft rebuilding
• Custom pistons to 98 mm
• Sand cast cylinders for Bombardier, Polaris, Arctic Cat
• Helix Throttle cables
Custom Build Engine
As a former drag racer, Larry Audette built a reputation for his custom-built engines, which include twin cylinder models up to 1140cc and triple cylinder engines up to 1500cc. The custom engine package includes base, RV cover or reeds, cylinders, crankshaft, head, piston and rings, ignition, miscellaneous o-rings, gaskets and bolts, and assembly.
You should note that The Crank Shop’s custom motor sizes 990, 992, 1140, and 1200 are race motors only.
CK3 Rolled Chain Case & Cover
If you have an older model CK3 chassis that you want to work with, The Crank Shop offers its CK3 Rolled Chain Case & Cover, which will move the drive shaft ¾-inch back and ¾-inch down. This allows for tunnel clearance for long studs, big drivers, or a 2-inch paddle track. This case is stock on top for brake and hardware, and will bolt in on stock mounts and use stock bolts. The drive shaft holes need to be relocated with a template that is provided. The chain case weighs 7.5-pounds.
To learn more about The Crank Shop and its services, go online at http://www.thecrankshopvt.com/.
Goodwin Ski-Doo Performance
Zion, Illinois-based Goodwin Performance specializes in high performance products. The company mainly focuses on clutch components and clutch systems, but also offers a range of quality performance products and also offer full service shop capabilities that include shock rebuilding, chassis dyno, crank rebuilding, machining services and complete motor rebuilds.
Specifically for the Ski-Doo fan, Goodwin offers expertise with the newest QRS clutch systems. The company states that hours and days of testing go into all of its Ski-Doo Clutch Kits. The bottom line for the consumer is an assurance from Goodwin that you will get some of the best acceleration gains over stock calibrations anywhere. The company states that you’ll get quicker backshift and throttle response without any sacrifice in reliability. Depending on your sled’s specific model and year, the clutch kit will include: a set of ramps, a proprietary Goodwin Performance primary spring and secondary spring, adjustable pins, Teflon coated helix, instructions and pertinent tuning info. If you are looking to update MXZX 440 or models older than 1998, you should call for availability and pricing. The base pricing for a standard kit to fit a sled with electronic reverse (RER) is about US$370.
In addition to clutch kits, Goodwin Performance has developed a much improved belt deflection adjuster for the QRS Driven Clutch. Made from billet aluminum it will not crack or break like the original equipment plastic one. The main benefits of this easy adjuster include quick and easy belt adjustment as well as fast belt removal. You can choose either an aluminum or black face color. The adjuster retails for US$76.95.
Goodwin Performance also designed its own transfer blocks for the Ski-Doo REV and REV XP suspensions. These blocks were engineered to decrease ski lift and enhance cornering. Sold as a pair for US$65.95, the blocks offer four adjustable settings and fit Ski-Doo’s REV and RE XP models.
For more Ski-Doo specific add-ons, visit http://www.goodwinperformance.com/.
Dynoport Ceramic Coatings
Upstate New York lists a good number of snowmobile performance companies in its area code. One such company, Dynoport, lists itself as the “industry leader in snowmobile exhaust systems and ceramic coating.”
To maintain its edge in the production of ceramic coated exhaust systems, the company has acquired state of the art grieve ovens and two new automotive keyhole polishers. Dynoport spokesmen note that they use Cermachrome from Techline coatings, which is used by the top ceramic coaters.
When the pipe first comes out of the Grieve oven it appears as a white pipe, but after just a few minutes in the company’s industrial tumbler, it shines right up for a polished look.
Dynoport is always looking for an extra performance edge on its race sleds and one of the things they found was the heat-retention properties of ceramic-coated pipes.
Notes Dynoport’s Rich Daly, “We’ve all seen the guys on the starting line running cycle after cycle through the engine to get the pipes as hot as possible. They do that because they know that a hot pipe is a happy pipe. But when it’s winter and you stop for a few minutes to grab a smoke or wait for your buddies at an intersection, your pipe is cooling off. The same thing happens just by riding in sub-zero or in snowy conditions. The result is that you’re not running at optimum performance. The mountain riders have known and enjoyed the advantages of ceramic-coated pipes for years. Aggressive trail guys are just learning about it. With the ceramic coating’s superior heat retention, your sled will maintain a crisp throttle response with less bogging and better acceleration.
“In our quest to maintain the same high quality standards we hold our standard black painted products to, we invested in our own ceramic oven and tumbler. By having all of the ceramic equipment in-house, we can turn around an order in less time, because we’re not dependent on outsourcing.”
If you’d like to get more information about ceramic coatings, their cost and benefits, visit online at http://www.dynoport.wingnutwebinc.com/.
Starting Line Products
One of the most prolific and respected names in powder sled upgrades is Starting Line Products, the western performance company founded by snowmobiling expert Jim Noble. This longtime supplier of deep snow products offers equipment for virtually all powder sleds, including the latest powder sleds from Ski-Doo.
A new product that will enhance your powder play and designed to fit Ski-Doo’s XP chassis from 2008 to 2010 is an angled footrest. These angled footrests mount in the footwell area of the XP models and are designed to provide a much more comfortable position for your feet when in the seated position. They give you added control in the seated position by allowing you to easily grip the topside of the footwell with the top of the toe of your boot. When riding in a standup position, they keep your feet from sliding forward into the footwell areas, allowing you to stay in the proper location for optimum balance and control. They are sold per pair and include all necessary mounting hardware. The angled footrests will cost about US$60 and are said to fit the 2008 to 2010 Ski-Doo XP platform. To find this item and more products specific to the deep snow Ski-Doo models, simply visit online at http://www.startinglineproducts.com/.