Is liquid nitrous right for you?

December 2003 Feature SPIDER?HELIX Viewed 985 time(s)

(ED-We asked the crew over at Boondocker to give us the heads up on exactly who a liquid nitrous system would be best for. You'll find out from reading this that it's not for everyone.)

1) Hard Chargers: By its very nature, nitrous is perfect for sledders who strive to beat their buddies. These are the snowmobilers who buy 800cc and up sleds. Whether it's down the trail, up the hill or through the trees, sleds on nitrous get the extra boost that nitrous supplies by allowing more complete combustion of the fuel, thereby giving more power. This extra boost (and extra power on demand) can be added to virtually any combination that aggressive riders are likely to run including pipes, big bores and even turbos. If you are running a basically stock sled and add a liquid nitrous system, you might be surprised at how close you'll be running to mod sleds when you're on the juice.

2) Hill Bangers: Also know as highmarkers, hill bangers are riders that drive up the trail in search of steep, powder-laden mountains. When a likely candidate is found, hill bangers take turns at the hill, each looking to out-do the mark set by the previous rider. When the hill is marked up (no unridden lines left) the group moves on to the next hill. Liquid nitrous is perfect for highmarkers, because as a sled starts to bog down as the hill gets steeper, hitting the nitrous button gives the sled an almost immediate 300-400 increase in rpm. This extra rpm usually puts the sled back up on top of the snow, where it was before starting to fall off its powerband.

3) Mountain Flatlanders: People who live in the Midwest, but ride in the West are mountain flatlanders. Their numbers seem to be increasing yearly, not just because snow has been hard to find the last few years, but also because after western riding, ditch-banging usually doesn't hold the same allure. These riders can benefit from liquid nitrous for the same reason hill bangers use it. Increased power makes hills easier to climb and powder easier to negotiate. Mountain flatlanders drive a long way to find the mountains and powder that westerners take for granted, so why should they stay on the groomed trail? Since it is more fun to be riding than digging out, and the extra power provided by nitrous will mean less stucks, it makes since to add a mod that keeps you moving through the fluff. As a side benefit for flatlanders, the Boondocker system will also give them back the power their sleds had at lower elevations.

4) Trail Riders: If your idea of a great day of snowmobiling is unloading the family at the parking lot, riding to the warming hut then back to the truck, all while seldom, if ever, venturing off trail with your 2-up sled, you probably won't benefit from liquid nitrous. You are unlikely to find a situation where you'll use the extra power from nitrous. Your hard-earned cash would probably better serve you with a set of Simmons or Starting Line SLT skis.

5) Boondockers: It only makes sense that the type of rider this product is named for would benefit from using it. Boondockers climb mountains like hill bangers do, but also ride through creek bottoms, trip over logs, meander through trees and find other types of off-trail challenges. These obstacles can be more easily conquered with a shot of nitrous when the going gets sticky. Though the goal of a boondocking journey is sometimes to go until you get stuck, the addition of a nitrous system will allow even rougher and crazier terrain to be conquered before the "sticks" come.

6) Pull-the-Ropers: These snowmobilers are not into mods or heavy maintenance. They want to add gas and oil, pull the rope and go. The only time they open the hood is to warm their hands on the pipe or add oil. Though they may fit into any of the above categories that would find a liquid nitrous system useful, the thought of installing a system and keeping the bottle filled is enough to scare them away from nitrous.

Boondocker has come up with a solution for these riders so they, too, can enjoy the benefits of nitrous. The system is simple to install. It doesn't require re-jetting and comes with complete model-specific instructions. If you don't know a combination wrench from a salad fork, the installation is best left to one of Boondocker's large network of dealers. After the system is installed and these riders get used to the extra power and extra fun they have, they will realize the bottle will have to be filled. This can be done without even opening the hood with an optional Boondocker lightweight seat. Simply unhook the line and take the bottle to a Boondocker dealer. Or, easier yet, take it to your own garage and refill the bottle from an optional Boondocker 20-pound refill station. If these solutions still won't work for you, you may be happier riding your sled stock.

7) Big Guys: If you're a "big guy" (over 220 lbs.) you've probably looked on in envy at the "little guys" (under 160 lbs.) as they climb the steepest hills with ease. Heavy guys also can have a tougher time in deep powder. Good snowmobile performance in the West is really just a power-to-weight-thing and if you are packing extra pounds, your sled has to pack those pounds too, naturally decreasing its performance. A liquid nitrous system can help your sled feel like you're a disciple of the Atkins diet, giving you back the power you lost to Twinkies. If you're a "big guy" with muscles instead of fat, accustomed to stomping "little guys" on the street, you should be able to do the same thing on the hill when on the button.

8) Newbies: New riders can have a pretty tough learning curve in the mountains. One of the easiest mistakes to make in the powder is overpowering the track, causing it to trench down and the sled to become stuck. Inexperienced riders have a tendency to do this even with the power of a 600. The instant boost provided by liquid nitrous could make this problem even worse, adding to a newbie's learning curve. After a control of the throttle is developed, however, the extra power provided by nitrous can make the novice rider able to go places and cut lines that once only more experienced riders could make.

9) Racers: You won't be able to run liquid nitrous in stock or improved stock in most circuits. The mod classes, on the other hand, usually do allow it. When on the button, the main racer advantage is great holeshots. Races can be won on the strength of holeshots alone and racers running liquid nitrous across the snowbelt last year proved it with multiple victories, including a Mod King of The Hill at the Reno hillclimb by Tyler Backus.

10) Yellowstone National Park Rangers and 4-Strokers: Since the speed limit in YNP is 45 mph, liquid nitrous is not recommended for park rangers. Another thing that makes nitrous unsuitable for rangers is that using it ups your "fun" factor, and might actually make rangers enjoy snowmobiling. This, of course, would be a violation of several statutes. If you have a 4-stroker, are not a ranger, and use your sled anywhere besides YNP, liquid nitrous is a good choice for you. The Yamaha RX-1 kit yields a terrific power increase on this 4-stroke. Using liquid nitrous will help close the gap between you and the 2-stroke 800s.

11) Tweener: If you can't find your specific riding style from these choices, you may be in between several riding styles. If so, pick the closest mentioned style of riding you do, and go with that.

If you still can't decide if liquid nitrous is right for you, contact Boondockers for additional recommendations at (208) 542-4411 or

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