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BATTLE OF OLD FORGE IV

Shoot-Out at the Old barn Corral
The fourth annual Battle of Old Forge, now simply known as the AmericanSnowmobiler Shoot-Out, was fought on December 8th out behind the Ol' BarnRestaurant in Inlet, New York. The track stretched a quarter mile in lengthwith timing marks established at 60 feet, 330 feet, the eighth mile andquarter mile. There was about three inches of two day-old snow on the tracksurface. Temperatures ranged from upper 20s to low 30s. Four brand new 580-600ccsports sleds and four big bore muscle sleds were revved and ready for an11:30 AM start. They had been dyno-tested, weighed, studded up and now waitedin line for the first of two box stock runs through the speed traps.

On Monday, two days before the shoot-out, there was no snow in the OldForge area. But, with the work done by Ralph Murdock, owner of the testsite, and his construction crew, we were assured a shoot-out run in spiteof any weather conditions. This wasn't always the case.

About four years ago, Jim Czekala, publisher of DynoTech and owner ofC&H Dyno in Batavia, New York, and American Snowmobiler's publisherdiscussed the possibility of reviving a true shoot-out. Jim suggested thatGeorge Taylor, owner of Van Auken's Inne in the Old Forge area, might beinterested in helping out. Little did we know how instrumental George wouldbe in getting the shoot-out started and continuing over the next few years.

The first shoot-out was to take place in and around the Old Forge area,but a lack of snow had us all scurrying at the last moment. We finally arrivedin an upstate New York cow pasture just north of Utica. We marked off aneighth and quarter, unloaded radar guns, stopwatches and sleds. Test riderTim Bender aimed the sleds down the snow-covered grass pasture and gaveus the first shoot-out results.

There was controversy brewing, though, as all the sleds had come withsome modicum of advanced dealer set-up. What we had was a "kinda"shoot-out, but with more short course set-up than we really wanted. Thebig bore sleds had been dynoed, but initially we ran dealer prep.

The next year, after agreements between the participating dealerships,we instituted another segment to the shoot-out. With the sleds dyno-tested,we would run a box stock evaluation. Each sled would be set-up accordingto the sled maker's specifications and run twice through the straight linecourse. After those runs were completed, the dealers would have two hoursto make clutching, timing, carburetor and suspension changes in an attemptto prove how much better knowledgeable dealer set-up is over base line stock.

As far as American Snowmobiler is concerned, this compromise works. Itgives us a base index of performance for each sled and follows up with addeddata in dealer set-ups. Overall, each sled generally benefits from dealertweaks. Some more so than others.

The second year of the shoot-out found us out behind Ralph Murdock'sOl' Barn pitstop. He had converted a strip of land into a rough drag strip.That first year, we had frozen tundra to run on and were forced to shortenthe distance of our evaluation runs. Again, we used stopwatches and radarguns.

Last year, our second time out behind the Ol' Barn, the track had beenlengthened and we had snow. We tried wireless electronic timing gear, butwhile it works quite well for 400-600 foot courses, it wouldn't work onour longer eighth and quarter mile set-up. Back to stopwatches and radarguns.

This year, the procedure stayed basically the same, but everything cametogether so well that it was truly scary.

Jim Czekala and the dealers dynoed eight of the hottest sleds available;Cat's ZR 580 and Thundercat; Polaris' Indy Storm and 600 XCR; Ski-Doo'sFormula Z and Mach Z; and Yamaha's Vmax-4 and Vmax 600. We were preparedto accept an Indy XLT as the Polaris entry in the shoot-out, but Don's Polarisin Old Forge worked with the Polaris factory to get one of the limited production600 XCRs off a delivery truck and into the DynoTech dyno room in time forthe shoot-out.

The Murdocks made further improvements in the track, making it suitableto accommodate the shoot-out regardless of the weather.

But, the biggest improvement came with the arrival of Al Smyth and thePortatree Timing System. Al's timing gear is the best and most flexiblewe've ever seen for precision timing of an event like ours.

Wireless timing systems are quite good for short distances and we knowthat many drag racers use those types of systems. We won't bad mouth themat all. But, as we discovered last year, the wireless systems have limitationswhen it comes to stretching their capacity to a quarter mile.

Portatree is a hardwire system and had no such problem. In fact, Al Smyth,who sells his Portatree units to national hot rod association race trackpromoters, specially set-up this system expressly for the shoot-out. Whena sled made a pass through the quarter mile, the Portatree system recordedelapsed time (to the thousandth of a second) at 60 feet, 330 feet, the eighthand the quarter. The timing system captured top speed to the hundredth ofa mile per hour through 66 foot electronically timed traps at the eighthand quarter mile marks. As the sled passed through the timing lights atthe quarter, the computed data was printed out and available for scrutinyeven before the tested sled could get back to the starting line for thenext run.

In the past, we have been more than willing to agree that our data wasimperfect and that human error and radar variables could call into questionsome of the shoot-out data. Not this year. Thanks to Al Smyth and PortatreeTiming Systems, we have concrete data that we feel is incredibly accurate.

Of course, as we always state, the data presented in this article ispertinent to a specific date, location and event. In this case it is pertinentto the proceedings on December 8, 1993 at a test site in Inlet, New York.As you'll note from the data supplied, results could easily vary on anygiven day, especially between some of the models. However, on December 8,1993, at Inlet, New York, this is how it all shook out:

Arctic Cat Thundercat - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 161.5 bhp @ 8,250 rpm -weight is 626 with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds
-
Box StockRun 1
Box StockRun 2 Dealer PrepRun 1 Dealer Prep Run 2

ET @ 60'
1.921 1.785 1.694 1.700
ET @ 330' 5.531 5.263 5.233 5.220

ET @ 1/8
8.034 7.769 7.756 7.783

MPH @ 1/8
95.94 95.33 95.60 95.58

ET @ 1/4
12.484 12.263 12.169 12.155

MPH @ 1/4
105.26 105.73 106.83 106.43

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
4.450 4.494 4.413 4.417

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
9.32 10.40 11.23 10.85


Polaris Indy Storm800 - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 3 8.3 bhp@ 8,000 rpm - eight is 608 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times inseconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2
ET @ 60' 2.257 2.240 2.071 2.360
ET @ 330' 6.159 6.164 5.942 6.214

ET @ 1/8
8.941 8.946 8.686 8.930
MPH @ 1/8 85.94 86.22 87.87 88.89

ET @ 1/4
13.876 13.878 13.480 13.667
MPH @ 1/4 94.71 94.55 97.06 98.31

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
4.935 4.932 4.794 4.737

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
8.77 8.33 9.19 9.42


Ski-Doo Formula MachZ - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 55.0 bhp @8,250 rpm - weight is 614 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2

ET @ 60'
1.675 1.714 1.775 1.778

ET @ 330'
5.338 5.284 5.346 5.364
ET @ 1/8 7.909 7.965 7.942 7.942

MPH @ 1/8
91.03 90.74 92.17 93.24
ET @ 1/4 12.587 12.675 12.580 12.475
MPH @ 1/4 98.38 99.03 98.90 103.18

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
4.678 4.710 4.638 4.533

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
7.35 8.29 6.73 9.94


Yamaha Vmax-4 - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 140.7 bhp @ 8,000 rpm -weight is 612 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2

ET @ 60'
2.209 1.925 1.941 1.881
ET @ 330' 6.057 5.709 5.739 5.580

ET @ 1/8
8.717 8.408 8.426 8.261
MPH @ 1/8 89.87 88.39 88.98 88.89

ET @ 1/4
94.04 94.85 95.76 95.13
ET from 1/8 to 1/4 4.797 4.885 4.821 4.851
MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4 4.17 6.46 6.78 6.24


Arctic Cat ZR 580 - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 91.7 bhp @ 8,000 rpm -weight is 536 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2

ET @ 60'
1.803 1.865 1.784 2.091

ET @ 330'
6.070 5.841 5.755 6.177
ET @ 1/8 9.176 8.870 8.733 9.190
MPH @ 1/8 76.33 77.45 79.47 78.60

ET @ 1/4
14.782 14.475 14.123 14.617
MPH @ 1/4 82.23 82.14 84.20 84.97

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
5.606 5.605 5.390 4.977

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
5.93 4.69 4.73 6.27


Polaris Indy 600 XCR - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 91.7 bhp @ 8,250 rpm - weightis 528 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2
ET @ 60' 1.906 1.829 1.768 1.748
ET @ 330' 5.846 5.776 5.724 5.691

ET @ 1/8
8.756 8.712 8.632 8.593
MPH @ 1/8 81.34 80.99 82.28 82.23

ET @ 1/4
14.039 14.024 13.786 13.748
MPH @ 1/4 86.57 87.46 90.59 90.47

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
5.283 5.312 5.154 5.155

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
5.23 6.47 8.31 8.24


Ski-Doo Formula Z - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 101.5 bhp @ 7,750 rpm -weight is 572 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2

ET @ 60'
1.783 1.858 1.707 1.846

ET @ 330'
5.667 5.894 5.631 5.788

ET @ 1/8
8.555 8.849 8.538 8.711
MPH @ 1/8 82.19 80.35 81.75 81.53

ET @ 1/4
13.808 14.213 13.750 13.970

MPH @ 1/4
86.58 87.48 88.33 88.39

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
5.253 5.364 5.212 5.259

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
4.39 7.13 6.58 6.86


Yamaha Vmax 600 - C&H Dyno Horsepower - 94.1 bhp @ 7,750 rpm - weightis 546 pounds with 5 gallons of fuel - all times in seconds

Box Stock Run 1 Box Stock Run 2 Dealer Prep Run 1 Dealer Prep Run 2

ET @ 60'
2.034 1.937 1.774 1.817

ET @ 330'
6.208 6.078 5.763 5.928

ET @ 1/8
9.245 9.133 8.741 8.977

MPH @ 1/8
78.17 77.45 80.05 78.28

ET @ 1/4
14.803 14.765 14.077 14.428

MPH @ 1/4
82.49 81.83 86.72 84.95

ET from 1/8 to 1/4
5.558 5.632 5.336 5.450

MPH gain from 1/8 to 1/4
4.31 4.38 6.67 6.67


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