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2015 AmSnow/DynoTech New York Shootout

Power fun at the beach!
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Polaris 800 Switchback Pro-S
The 800 Switchback had the fastest top speed of the 150 hp sleds, and the Polaris sleds certainly were the best appearing!
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
There is no other way to say it; the start of this snowmobile season was more conducive to sun-tanning than snowmobiling. But this isn’t the first time a season started off warm and ended cold and snowy!

However, this WAS the first year in over a decade that the New York Shootout returned to the Ole Barn in Inlet, N.Y. Once again, after a many-year hiatus, Van Auken’s Inne became the AmSnow/DynoTech Headquarters, the place where we rested our heads during the Shootout and Snodeo weekend. It was great to make “new roots” at former Shootout locations all weekend.

Everyone talks about the “good old days,” of the 1990s as being great times in the snowmobile industry as far as SNOW goes … boy, how quickly we forget! In our special Vintage section of this issue (p. 30) is an excerpt from an article on the 1991 New York Shootout, and guess what? No snow in 1991, either!
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Ski-Doo MXZx 800 E-TEC
Not only did Ski-Doo handle business on the 120hp side of the coin, but the 800 Ski-Doo had the best stock E.T., average mph, and average E.T. The MXZ’s were the sleds to catch!
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
STOCK SLEDS

120hp Class
Our first real look at the performance of this year’s crop of production trail sleds was surprising to say the least. Granted, we were running these box-stockers straight out of the crate and onto grass, sand and dirt this year, so things will certainly change once we get on the snow. The sleds we tested included the Arctic Cat ZR 6000 LXR 129 and the Yamaha SR Viper L-TX, both provided by D&D Powersports; the Polaris 600 Rush Pro-S provided by Sports Unlimited; and the Ski-Doo MXZ TNT 600 E-TEC provided by CJ MotorSports. All were running two studs per bar in the track per our specifications. All traction products were provided by Mack Studs.

On the acceleration course, the Ski-Doo TNT was the 120hp sled to beat! It had the quickest box stock 1000-foot elapsed time of 10.61 sec. and the fastest box stock speed of the 120hp class at 83.48mph. What was surprising was that, of our four 120hp class sleds, the E-TEC in the Ski-Doo ranked third in power after its time on the DynoTech Research dyno. DT owner and longtime Shootout coordinator Jim Czekala had the Ski-Doo sled making just 121hp, while the Polaris made almost 3 more hp, and the Yamaha made 10 more ponies. We say this every year, but the Ski-Doo sleds take longer to pass their self-imposed break-in time, so this sled should be even faster after the break-in counter on the gauge cluster finally reads zero. It was surprising, though, that a smaller power-reading sled did the best in acceleration testing.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Arctic Cat El Tigre 9000 Turbo
We saw the Cat turn its tail to us and run, in a good way! It was the fastest stocker.
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
The second-fastest 120hp sled was the Cat ZR 6000, with a 1000-foot elapsed time of 10.66 seconds and a 1000-foot speed of 82.56 mph. Those are pretty close to the same times and speeds that the Ski-Doo produced, and the two sleds are both light and very well matched.

At last year’s New York Shootout, the Cat 6000 and the Ski-Doo 600 actually had the exact same top speed! After a couple years of testing these sleds side by side, we can now safely say that their performance out of the box is the most similar of any of the 120hp sleds.

The third- and fourth-place sleds in the 120hp class were the Yamaha Viper and the Polaris 600, respectively.  However, the holeshot elapsed through 60 feet belonged to the Polaris, which definitely jumped off the line best in its two acceleration run attempts.  The Yamaha also tied the Cat for the best elapsed times at the 330- and 500-foot lengths, so it was close in the running.

For all the stock sleds, we gave the machines two runs in the box stock class. Then the dealers were given just an hour to make clutching changes and tune stock setups before they making another two runs in a “dealer-improved” class. 
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Yamaha SR Viper
Yamaha’s Vipers were torque monsters off the starting line and had the best average elapsed time
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
SNOSO0216_Chart2
Unfortunately, the weather was so warm that the track never “tightened up” throughout the day. As more sleds drove down it, the speeds went down and the elapsed times went up. This was fairly obvious in the 120hp class, but even more so in the 150hp or 800cc class and turbos. The top average 1000-foot elapsed time after factoring the dealer prep runs was the Yamaha at 10.67 seconds, and the top average 1000-foot speed after factoring in the dealer prep runs was just 81.63 mph. So, as you can see, the dealer prep runs actually brought the averages down. That is what happens sometimes when you don’t have snow!

150hp Class

In the 800cc or 150+ horsepower class, we tested the Arctic Cat ZR 8000 Sno Pro 129 provided by D&D, the Polaris 800 Switchback Pro-S provided by Sports Unlimited, and the Ski-Doo MXZ TNT 800 provided by CJ Motor-Sports. Again, the big winner was Ski-Doo, but this time it was less surprising.

At DynoTech’s testing facility, the Ski-Doo was the big power machine in the 150+ hp class, garnering 158.3 horses. The Polaris Rush was a solid No. 2 at 152.5 ponies, which no doubt will make the Polaris faithful happy, as in years past the motor has not seen quite the power on the dyno that we all would have liked. However, you never “ride on a dyno,” so the real proof comes on the trail. Finally, the Cat ZR 8000 registered 151.0 horsepower, which is a little down from years past but still plenty strong. Different sleds and different days always produce slight changes in power output, but DynoTech does the best job in the industry of recreating consistent dyno pulls.

After seeing the power numbers, it was no surprise to see the Ski-Doo be the quickest sled down the track. The E-TEC 800 went 1000 feet and in just 9.93 seconds. The Polaris 800 from Sports Unlimited was fastest on top end, going 89.28 mph. After the dealer prep runs were averaged, the Ski-Doo 800 was still ahead with an average E.T. of just 9.89 seconds and an average top speed in 1000-feet of 89.45 mph.

The Arctic Cat ZR 8000 came in second in E.T. in the box stock run in 9.99 seconds and second in the average E.T. as well. The Polaris, which garnered the most on the dyno, was hot on the heels of the Ski-Doo and the Cat was too. The outcome was slightly opposite from last year, when Polaris and Arctic Cat took home the majority of awards.

Turbo Sleds
Like last year, D&D brought out both a new Cat El Tigre ZR 9000 129 (with the Suzuki turbo) and the new Yamaha Viper LT-X (with the Yamaha-approved low-elevation turbo kit from MPI attached). The Cat seemed the obvious favorite after pulling 172.2hp on the dyno versus just 168.8hp for the Yamaha. On the track, it was not much different.

The Cat had the highest box stock run of the day with a 91.64 top speed in 1000 feet and an elapsed time of just 9.91 seconds. The average E.T. (10.28 seconds) and average speed (88.03 mph) also were best for the Cat 9000. These drops in speeds and times REALLY show how the track started to slow as the day went on.
SNOSO0216_Chart1
*The boys at D&D found a crimped boost line on the Yamaha after the last run. They weren’t really sure when it happened, so in reality, none of the Yamaha Turbo runs should truly be counted, if we are keeping everything fair. Since we can’t really know when or where the crimped line happened, we are putting and asterisk on all these numbers so people can read this here and know the whole story.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Vince Musilino 2014 Arctic Cat ZR 9000
Vince Musilino’s 2014 Arctic Cat ZR 9000 (left) took top E.T. and speed honors in the Mod Trail class, covering 660 feet in 6.46 seconds at 102.98 mph.
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
MODS
There may have been a shortage of snow, but there was certainly no shortage of showcased modified snowmobile power at the track. Heavy hitters from across the snowmobile performance parts side of the business showed off their new parts on sleds they built.

Without snow, the biggest challenge with running high-revving modified sleds was keeping them cool. Leaf blowers were out in full force, blowing on exhausts, radiators and clutches to try and bring machines back to optimal operating temps after each run.

Many of the turbo sleds are dependent on more seasonal, cooler temps to help them run at peak capabilities. In the cold, speeds in the 130-mph range are what we’re more accustomed to seeing. It is a lot different when air intakes are sucking in 10-degree air rather than the 50 degrees Mother Nature provided us.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Sherlock Performance Arctic Cat 9000 El Tigre
Sherlock Performance showed some nice tuning abilities in this El Tigre 9000, running 500 feet in 5.11 sec. at 101.35 mph.
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
Trail Mods
The Trail Class featured a heads-up style with driver Matt Luke piloting owner Mike Hills’ 2016 Arctic Cat ZR 8000 running a Bikeman Performance Stage 2 bolt-on kit, and BCM Performance clutching and tuning. The other sleds were Rich Daly’s Cat XF 8000 and Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS 800R with Dyno Port mods.

In the end, Luke rode Hills’ Bikeman/BCM ZR 8000 past the 660-foot marker at 90.18 mph in 7.15 seconds, and Daly posted 89.11 mph in 7.5 seconds with his XF. Track conditions were a hot topic of debate, and Daly elected to run his sleds without studs.

The first biggest, baddest sled in the Trail Class came from the Bikeman/BCM 2014 ZR 9000 turbo sled that finally broke through with our first 100+ mph pass of the day. With Luke again behind the bars, the sled sporting Bikeman’s Stage 3 pump gas ECU tune with launch control, clutch setup and 3-inch Big Mo exhaust tuned by BCM tore through the 660 line in 6.46 seconds at 102.98 mph. Boyd McGarry and BCM certainly have the Bikeman sleds set-up for performance, and this is not the first time this year that McGarry has had super-fast sleds at an AmSnow event. Check out the December 2015 issue, and you’ll find his record-setting sled that Kyle Shilts drove at the Super Sled Shootout in Martin, Mich.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout D&D Clark Racing Dylan Roes Arctic Cat
Dylan Roes piloted Clark Racing’s D&D improved stock turbo sled to a 4.75-second elapsed time in 500 feet at 107.14 mph. D&D mods on this sled included porting, pipe and more.
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
We know stock 800s are capable of big speeds in the quarter mile, and even 1,000 feet if conditions are nearly perfect. The fact that Mike Hills’ Bikeman/BCM Cat 800 was able to better the stock Cat 800 run by almost a quarter of a second in 660 feet on a far more deteriorated track (they ran after all the stock passes) says a lot about the quality of products that Bikeman and other performance companies are offering to consumers.

And looking at the charts of the Bikeman/BCM Cat Turbo sleds compared to the stock run of the Cat Turbo, you can see an even larger gap developing. With the Bikeman Performance parts and the BCM tuning, the mod sled covered 660 feet nearly a full second quicker and 11 mph faster than the stock sled did. Showcasing performance gains like this is a big reason we do the New York Shootout.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Kurtz Performance Arctic Cat
Kurtz Performance ran its East Coast hill dragger on the flat track and showed what a good hookup looks like: 60 feet in 1.39 seconds!
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
Lake Racers
The boys came to play for the Lake Racer class. This was entertaining for the crowd and again a great chance to see these sleds. Between the four performance shops represented by the six sleds, we saw all sorts of variation between stock and aftermarket parts employed for high-horse capabilities. These machinery marvels are the true showstoppers of the day, and the majority of the attendees stayed for the fastest action on the track. The distance for Lake Racers was shortened to 500 feet, as track conditions and temperatures did not warrant anything more.

Bikeman and BCM Performance were at it again with a pair of Arctic Cat turbo sleds. Bill “Skip” Stoddard’s 2014 Arctic Cat XF 1100 improved stock turbo sported a Bikeman 3 stage ECU tuner (220-260-300+ hp) and custom exhaust, along with BCM’s custom clutching. It cruised through 500 feet in 4.84 seconds at 101.12 mph to set the early pace.

The D&D Powersports crew set what many thought would be the day’s best MPH with track conditions waning when Clark Racing’s 2016 Cat XF 9000 High Country raised the bar to 107.14 mph, covering 500 feet in 4.75 seconds. This “improved stock turbo” sled used the stock factory turbo with a number of engine mods and a Vi-PEC ECU.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Boyd McGarry Bikeman BCM Arctic Cat
Matt Luke took his turn aboard Boyd McGarry’s 2013 Arctic Cat turbo, bringing home the day’s super fast pass at 117.81 mph.
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
Two newcomers to the shootout in Kurtz Performance and Sherlock Performance gave it a good go as well. The Kurtz Performance Arctic Cat XF 1100 owned by Mike Fratrik shot out of the blocks, covering the first 60 feet in 1.39 seconds. But this sled is built for hill drags, and the 159-inch track with 252 Woody’s Chisels was just too much friction to overcome on a soft track. We won’t be surprised if we see a few strong showings from the Kurtz Performance team once hill drags get underway.

The Sherlock Performance Arctic Cat showed plenty of promise. This is a full weight sled with stock clutches, EVO Turbo and Dynamo Jim ECU flash. It covered 500 feet in 5.11 seconds at 101.35 mph.

But it was another Bikeman/BCM Arctic Cat that ruled the Lake Racer class. Boyd McGarry’s custom-built race engine is every bit of a true modified Lake Race machine. It claims 500+ hp, and every one of them seemed to be on display on the dirt track as it angrily blasted through 500 feet in 4.34 seconds at 117.81 mph.

Snowless conditions aren’t an ideal day for any of the sleds. Even with winter’s poor start, one thing is certain: anticipation for sled season is heating up … if only the temps would cool down!
Photo by JJ's Outlaw Photography
The smooth Ski-Doo MXZ TNT 600 E-TEC was really the star of the show this year, with the best top speed (83.49 mph) and E.T. (10.61 seconds) among 600cc sleds.
Mack Studs give good grip
Being a Midwest guy, with seemingly no accent, I love accents! The first time I talked to Jim Salerno of Mack Studs over the phone, I automatically liked the guy and his cool New Hampshire accent. How can you not like someone who sounds like all the happy restaurant owners in any mob movie ever made? He may as well have said, “Come on in, make yourself comfortable and let me take care of you. Can I get you the best studs to come out of New Hampshire?”

Anyway, Mack Studs was the Official Traction Sponsor of the New York Shootout. The company has been making quality traction products for almost 20 years. We’ve tested these studs, and I actually have family members with the same original set on their sleds from almost 10 years ago. Yes, the quality, durability and wear are that good on the N-Vader Mega Studs, Mega Studs and Standard Studs from Mack Studs.

I recently talked with Jim at the Shootout and at Snodeo in Old Forge, and he said many of his customers literally have a hard time wearing out their product. “Mark, seriously, if I were a better businessman, I would make my studs wear out quicker,” Jim said to me. But that is not the kind of company these guys are, nor the type of person Jim is.

Mack Studs makes traction for both single and 2-ply tracks, as well as trail and ice racing studs. They have a choice of square, circle, double, and oversized backers,
plus all the support nuts, washers, drill bits, track templates, and more. This all-American company even offers the choice of single or dual carbides. Mack Studs has all the stuff the big companies have.

At the Shootout, all the 120 horsepower stock trail sleds that American Snowmobiler and DynoTech tested and then ran down the strip were equipped with two studs per bar. The 150+ horsepower sleds and the Turbo stock sleds all had three studs per bar. Depending on whether the sled was a 121-, 129-, or 137-inch long sled, the overall stud counts on each sled were different, but the studs per lug stayed the same. More Info: www.mackstud.com
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Van Auken's Inne
Where the party is!
If you haven’t heard already, the place to be after the AmSnow/DynoTech Shootout and Snodeo festivities is the newly revamped Van Auken’s Inne. Owner Jim Moore and his son Andrew have made this into a new powersports lover’s dream destination. With over a dozen sleds available to rent and a performance shop soon to be on the premises, this is a great place for riders to stay. Nice clean rooms, a historical atmosphere upstairs, and a big party downstairs make it the place to be for this (and probably every other) weekend you spend in Old Forge. AmSnow folks and DynoTech’s Jim Czekala can remember fixing sleds in the downstairs cellar, which Jim Moore has turned into the coolest bar in town. The new Wakeley’s “speakeasy” has roots back to the days of prohibition, when tiny getaways happened in the old basement. By the way, Jim and Andrew are some of the best musicians in the Adirondacks, so there is ALWAYS live music on the weekends.
AmSnow Dynotech New York Shootout Van Auken's Inne
Shootout dealer info
A huge thanks to our participating dealers at the 2015 New York Shootout!

Arctic Cat / Yamaha
D&D Powersports
4527 State Route 410
Lowville, NY 13367
315-376-2111
DDracing.com

Polaris
Sports Unlimited
5654 Horatio St.
Utica, NY 13502
315-733-3823
Sportsunlimitedny.com

Ski-Doo
CJ MotorSports
8711 Industrial Drive
Boonville, NY 13309
315-942-4756
Cjmotorsportsonline.com
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