More Options Search

Pick 16

Key new features of the '08 models

Published online: Oct 15, 2007 Feature

Yamaha

 

Reverse

2008 Apex MTX buyers should enjoy the model's new standard reverse. Getting the massive machine moved around in tight situations, like parking lots and trails. Reverse also aids in getting the sled out of a jamb, if used cautiously. While the mechanical reverse does add a few pounds to the sled, the advantage will be worth it.

 

Snow Panels

Phazer riders wondered why Yamaha left a few parts off the 2007 model, like close-off panels for the tunnel openings. All 2008 Phazers feature the new snow panels. The panels cover the gaps and openings in the tube-frame tunnel, where snow on the mountain models would blow through and swirl around the rider.

 

Genesis 130 FI

All of the Yamaha hype this season surrounds the all-new Genesis 130 FI triple four-stroke engine. The triple features four valves per cylinder, a 1050cc displacement, a dry sump oil system and 11:1 compression ratio. That means this potent engine runs on regular unleaded. The130 FI weighs 10.2 lbs. less than the Vector's triple engine, which is just one reason why the Nytro is so much lighter than the Vector. The 130 FI is a direct-drive setup, so no gear reduction box is needed. The new engine has dynoed at 138 hp, which is 15 more than the Vector engine made. It also holds its peak power longer. The triple revs quicker than the Vector, thanks to a lighter crankshaft, lighter cam shaft, lighter wrist pins and lighter valves. The reduction in moving mass allows the engine to spin more quickly. Improved intake and exhaust porting flows more air than the old triple and the new camshaft design changes lift and duration for increased throttle response.

 

EBRS (Engine Braking Reduction System)

One inherent problem with four-stroke engines is engine braking or compression braking. Yamaha's Apex is a good example. When you let off of the throttle quickly, the engine's compression slows the crank and puts the stops to the drivetrain. The new Genesis 130 FI engine features Yamaha's new EBRS, which eliminates the issue. The EBRS is essentially an air bleed bypass that allows air to enter the combustion chamber when the throttle body is closed off. It's just enough air to let the engine freewheel.

 

Arctic Cat

 

Float Skidframe

Arctic Cat engineers redesigned the M Series rear suspension for 2008. They removed the two torsion springs and rear shock and replaced them with a single Fox Float air shock. The new skid, which also features new rail designs and a new rear torque arm, is 8 lbs. lighter than the '07 version.

 

Race Spindles

Looking to shave a little more weight and improve the M Series chassis, Arctic Cat updated the steering spindles on all 2008 M6, M8 and M1000 models. The race-inspired spindle is lighter than previous designs, but what's really important is that the spindle increases the sled's turning radius by 10 degrees. Up to this point, Arctic Cat mountain models had one of the worst turning radius' in the segment. But now, they are one of the tightest.

 

Electronic Gauges

All '08 mountain sleds received new digital/analog gauges. The rpm and speedometer are interchangeable between the digital readout and the analog dial. The gauge features an odometer plus two tripmeters, clock, fuel gauge and warning lights. Sno Pro models get a deluxe version that also features an altimeter, heater settings, reverse engagement and other lights.

 

New Running boards

We have to admit, we're more than impressed with Arctic Cat's new running board design on its '08 M Series sleds. The boards feature an open cross-grate bed design that lets snow fall through easily and prevents ice buildup. Hot engine coolant now flows through the edge roll, which has an improved foot grip as well. Despite weighing less, the new board design is rigid and resists flexing and bending.

 

Polaris

 

Series 5.1 Track

When it comes to track design, Polaris has never left well enough alone. Polaris has, it seems, a new track design every year or two. 2008 is no different, though the latest version is more of an upgrade than a redesign. Last year's Series 5 track had lugs that overlapped one another and a gap between the center lugs. The new Series 5.1 tack has new lugs that don't overlap and that have closed that centerline gap. It makes the most of every square inch of snow it covers. And, it's available in a new 163-inch length.

 

800 CFI

The '07 700 CFI was a hit, especially in the western market. That same engine technology has been applied to a larger displacement. The 800 CFI twin features the same dual-injector design and mono-block cylinders. The engine makes a claimed 154 hp, putting it atop its class. The Cleanfire injection technology is self-calibrating, adjusting for atmospheric changes and engine operating temperatures.

 

Ice Scratchers

It may be something that western riders have been doing for years, but it's till a move we're surprised to see an OEM make. The 800 Dragon RMK 163 comes standard with ice scratchers mounted to the slide rails. The scratchers allow all of the running wheels in the rear suspension to be removed. The front heat exchanger is also pulled off of this model. But remember-ice scratchers only work if you use them.

 

Raw Freestyle Seat

The Raw chassis concept has been taken a step further with the new freestyle seat. The new seat is 2.3 lbs. lighter and features a new narrow shape for better rider movement. The seat has more in common with a motocross bike seat than the traditional snowmobile seat.

 

Ski-Doo

 

Rev XP Chassis

Where to begin and where to end. The Rev XP chassis is all-new from the ground up. Only the handlebar controls and skis were carried over from the previous year. The XP chassis has several improvements over the old Rev chassis. Mainly, it's about 50 lbs. lighter (including other changes, like the seat, suspension and handlebars). But beyond weight, the XP is superior to the Rev in rider position, ergonomics and steering. The secondary on the XP was relocated to a more upright position compared to the primary clutch. This opened up the foot wells for an additional eight inches of foot room. The XP features a 33-part steering system, which is 100 fewer parts than the Rev's. Every aspect of the chassis was designed to be lighter and more rigid. Overall chassis weight is reduced by 11 percent, yet its rigidity increased by 37 percent. The Rev XP chassis will be the catalyst of a lightweight movement in the mountain sled segment.

 

New Secondary

The XP chassis' over-the-tunnel-drive design places the jackshaft above the carburetors rather than below them. The new drive system features a two-roller on five-axis cam design. The clutch is designed to be more efficient and backshift better than the old style, and it is also 2 lbs. lighter than the old HPV roller secondary. Belt removal is a new concept, where part of the clutch must be disassembled first. After the belt is reinstalled, the deflection must be re-set-which is good from a tuner point of view, since each belt is slightly different. But casual riders may find the belt changing process a bit tedious. Cam changes are also simplified with the new clutch.

 

Digital/Analog Gauges

Ski-Doo has gone the longest with a dated gauge design. So it was only fitting to release a new digital/analog gauge with the XP chassis. The basic digital/analog gauge (which comes on Summit Everest models) features two dials-tach and speedo-and a small center digital readout for the odometer, hourmeter and fuel. The gauge features warning lights for high beam, reverse engaged, low oil, engine temp, low fuel, battery and DESS system. The premium digital/analog gauge (found on X-package Summits) features a much larger center three-zone digital display that is capable of digital readouts of rpm, speed, altitude (upper zone), air temp, compass, fuel consumption (SDI only-middle zone), odometer, trip meters, hour meter and clock (lower zone). The premium gauge can also show peak speed, peak rpm, average speed and average fuel consumption (SDI). It can also record data for up to 10 minutes and be played back. It's definitely a premium gauge.

 

Hydroformed Drive Shaft

It's just another factor in the XP movement, but the new hydroformed driveshaft is worth noting. As seen in other models, hydroformed shafts are incredibly light compared to standard hexagonal drive shafts. It looks big, but it is a hollow ribbed tube. But another factor of the hyroformed drive shaft design is that the drivers cannot spin on the shaft-a rare but hear-of problem with hexagonal shafts on high-horsepower applications.