The third element of the sharp performance success is the cam timing. “Again, we were working toward throttle response, not squeezing every possible horsepower out of this engine,” explained Vizanko. “We probably spent the most time working and tweaking the cams on this engine for sharp acceleration. The turbo took care of the power.”
The brass at Yamaha is very conservative by nature, and the original claim of 180hp that we were told at our Sneak Peek event back in January was undoubtedly conservative. While there have been a few sleds over the years which have been promoted as mid- and upper-170hp sleds, no factory has ever said before that they had a 180+hp production sled, as that’s a pretty bold statement. That said, after we hit the gas on the Sidewinders, the Arctic Cat Thundercat and the Cat 9000 series (all with this new engine in them) we knew immediately that this sled was pumping out more than 180 ponies.
A friendly wager
Editor Mark Boncher and Yamaha’s Snowmobile Product Manager Rob Powers made a friendly bet on what our independent dyno testing facility (DynoTech Research
out of Batavia, N.Y.) would find once we finally had a chance to test one of these machines. Boncher guessed 192hp and Powers guessed 193. The verdict? Both were off by double digits! The top number was 204.1hp at 8850 rpm! In full disclosure, again, this was a pre-production model with 800+ miles of testing. That means it was fully through its break-in paces.
also had many chances to wring out this new generation of super performance 4-strokers from Yamaha and Arctic Cat back in late February. We consistently saw 116mph for a top speed on our frozen lake test area. Both brands, several different riders and still 116 … and it seemed like there was power to keep going if gearing/clutching were different! Our veteran drag racer, Butch Veltum, got off his first pass and (with some colorful language) let us all know that this new engine was severely under-reported at 180hp.