Besides the actual snowmobile, the “big ticket” item is the Boondocker Sidekick Turbo that puts his sled in the 195-200 hp range.
“It's been since 2015 that I last ran a turbo,” he explained. “So this year I decided to give it a shot. Turbos are very fun. They change the whole dynamic of the sled, but you want to make sure you pick a company that is reputable and knows what they're doing. So I chose Boondocker Performance.”
Jenkins picked the Sidekick Turbo because it is basically a “plug and play.” It is pro-tuned for optimum boost on pump gas.
“I run about 6 lbs. of boost and that's it,” he explained. “It has the electronic boost controller, so if you start at 5,000 feet elevation and you go to 10,000 feet, you always have the same amount of boost. You don't ever have to manually change it.”
Another nice feature about the Boondocker Sidekick is that there are no air intakes sticking out of the hood. “This was the purpose of my sled build … to try to keep a clean look.”
With a stock sled you generate 30-40 mph of track speed in deep snow. But with the turbo, you are generating between 55-70 mph of track speed. This adds quite a bit more top-end speed that helps you stay on top of the snow better.
The more power you generate, the more big country you can access. So it can get you into more trouble. “I always tell people: ‘Learn how to ride a stock sled first. Then upgrade your suspension, and then [you’re prepared to upgrade] performance,’" he explained.
So with an extra 30 hp, you really want a sled you can control. That’s why Jenkins went to Fox shocks all around.
“We have the Fox QS3 coil-overs which are a product you can actually order right from the Ski-Doo parts accessories catalog,” he said. “I like the Fox QS3 because of the damping. You can easily go from Position 1, 2 and 3. Position 1 is the softest, 2 is firm and 3 being the hardest. It's a very simple system. You bolt them on your sled and go. You don't have hardly any tuning to do.”
Jenkins chose the Summit X 165 with a three-inch track. This works best for his riding style, which doesn’t include a lot of jumping and dropping off cornices. He sets his sled up so he can have fun in the trees and the deep snow.
“After a ride I might have a few damaged parts on the sled but I can usually return home each night uninjured,” he said. “Most of the guys that I ride with are more adventure types. You know … trying to find a canyon and get from point A to point B.”
Jenkins spends most of his time riding in the area from Island Park, ID, to the Wyoming border near Alpine. His favorite spots are in the Palisades Range, between Sheep Creek and Indian Creek.
“This is a very high risk area,” he explained. You have to pay attention to the avalanche forecasts and pay attention to the snow conditions.” Jenkins said it’s also important to ride with guys who look out for each other and are smart in extreme terrain.