Selkirk Engine Armor

Chadx

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This is a dedicated thread for the Engine Armor product made by Selkirk Snowbike out of Coolan, ID. This setup has been discussed in a couple different threads, but not dedicated thread for pictures, build tips, field use, etc.

My particular build was on a 2020 YZ450F and 2020 Yeti 129. I mixed the Selkirk Engine Armor with C3 products that I'd already ordered. I'll note that Selkirk intended their kit to be used with the thermobob stat and their coolant-heated bars, but with adapters (available at Selkirk), the setup can easily be plumbed with the C3 thermostat and/or C3 heated bars which use much smaller lines than the Selkirk heat exchanger lines. The optional selkirk heated bars use larger lines than the C3 bars.

The Selkirk heat exchanger is on the thermostat bypass circuit; not the thermostat-open, radiator circuit like I'd assumed when I ordered. Marc explained his logic so I plumbed it as he intended and will see how it performs.

The heat exchanger on the Yamaha engine armor is on the front of the lower snowshield so in front of the engine. On the KTM/Husky, the heat exchanger is mounted to the skidplate so under the engine. The lower snowshield stays in place full time. The skid plate unbolts with 4 bolts for oil changes. The two upper side shields remove with 1/4 turn fasteners and you can run with or without them depending on conditions. The front radiator shields (these flow air) stays in place all the time but there is a solid radiator cover that goes on and off with a 1/4 turn fastener. It is centered and leaves the upper and outer portion of the radiators unblocked and flowing some air. Marc said he had, or would have, available a front cover that blocks off even more, if not all, of the radiator air flow but found it wasn't needed very often. Seems like it would be good to have one for those very deep powder days.

The heat exchanger can unbolt from the snowshield (on Yamaha) or from the skidplate (husky/KTM), but that shouldn't be needed too often. Since it's on the snowshield for the Yamaha, it's up front so out of the way for oil changes and the skidplate comes completely off and be be set aside. On the KTM/Husky, the heat exchanger is on the skid plate so when you unbolt the skidplate, it may hang in the way of draining oil from the pics I've seen. For KTM oil changes, I'd recommend putting a plastic bag over the skidplate/heat exchanger so the oil doesn't hit it directly as you drain the oil. Then pull the bag off and toss it or keep it for the next oil change. Will save some cleanup compared to draining the oil onto the heat exchanger/skidplate.

On my kit, I used a Selkirk provided adapter on the C3 thermostat, rather than the c3 provided fitting, to adapt to the larger selkirk diameter hose that runs to the heat exchanger inlet. Then another selkirk provided adapter, on the heat exchanger outlet to size down to the small C3 hose that runs up to the C3 heated bars. From the bars, the small C3 line goes down to the C3 provided silicon collector hose.

You must either trim the rear of your front fender, change to a smaller supermoto front fender or do away with the front fender all together. On my last 2 snowbikes, I've not run a front fender at all and plan to do the same with this build. For me, the front fender just seems to always get in the way if digging by the front ski, etc. and I like the look (old dakar bike look). Admittedly, the look takes some getting used to and is not for everyone. Ha.

As discussed in another thread, the Selkirk engine armor is expensive, but I took into consideration that it replaces an engine blanket, radiator covers, skid plate, pipe guards plus it has the heat exchanger to add coolant volume and keep ice melted out of the snowguard. Add up the cost of all those items and you get very close to the selkirk engine armor price. Considering that, I decided to try the kit on my new build. For a new build, it makes sense. Perhaps less so if you already have a skidplate, pipeguards, engine blanket, etc.

When I purchased mine, no instructions were available. I had a few false starts with panel and bracket installation order that required uninstalling, and reinstalling. Marc and Monica were always very responsive (both email and phone). Once the instructions became available, the install was pretty quick and straight forward. I love the look and am hopeful for the function.

I'll run it this year plumbed as it was intended, though I really would like a setup that has a heat exchanger in the radiator circuit. The C3-made tunnel heat exchanger only works with 2016 to 2019 Yeti kits; it will not work with the 2020 Yeti due to a new aluminum brace in that area. Word is C3 may evaluate the new 2020 Yeti design to see if there may be some other heat exchanger location options, but even if a design was identified, it will be a fair bit out. (If any 2020 owners are interested in heat exchangers, drop C3 a line and ask them to look into it. The more interest, the more likely they will consider evaluating it).

I'll start with a couple pics of the finished product.

IMG_2586.JPG IMG_2593.JPG
 
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Chadx

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An interesting aspect of the selkirk setup is the panels are specific to not only the bike make and model, but to your snowbike kit. The way the side panels flow back to your kit, the rear panel that fits up between the back of the selkirk snowshield and around the suspension mounts to block snow from the rear of your engine, and even the shape and location of a bikes rear snowshield/support bracket are all tailored to accommodate.

An example being the angled rear bracket to accommodate CMX kits since they sit so far forward. Something to think about if you know you'll be changing snowbike kits. Not a deal breaker, though, as it's all modular and you'd be good to go after swapping out a few panels or parts.
 

jrlastofthebreed

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I really like the look and finish of the kits. My concern is ive been out on days where i had both rads blocked and my blanket on and in the afternoon all the covers come off. With ridged armor you cant easily take off and store on the bike. The heat exchanger dosn't look big enough to handle the temp swings. Im interested to see how they do. Also durability. Ive banged and crashed into a lot of stuff. Broken plastics and destroyed 3 radiators, damaged and dented more even with Unibiker steel guards. I assume the armor is aluminum? It seems fairly wide? one its taken a single hit will it not warp and make install and removal a pain? constantly fighting tweeked metal? Again I personally have not ran them. Just voicing my concerns and i hope im proven wrong so i can buy a set next year for my next build!!!
 
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Here’s a video review I did on the Selkirk system fitted to an ‘18 husky fc450 and ‘19 CMX 129”. I’ve been on two short rides with a third planned for today, both days were warm, just around freezing and I ran it without the upper side panels and temps stayed steady at 170-200. Heated bars work well. Note that the radiator covers are some type of plastic. I’ll do another review as I have more time with the system.

I’m not sure if a link to YouTube is ok so please remove if this is not allowed.

 

Chadx

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...once its taken a single hit will it not warp and make install and removal a pain? ...
It will be interesting to see how it holds up. I may not bang into stuff quite as much as you, but we all smack stuff now and then. The skidplate comes fairly far forward, but yes, the lower snowshield is slightly wider. The plastic sections seem like kydex or similar so will likely bounce back, but all speculation on my part. I did install bulletproof radiator guards on mine under the selkirk. The selkirk act more like shields than guards so if one wants side impact protection, you'll still need either braces or guards. I went with guards to give front impact protection from those sneaky pointy downed trees that we all joust with now and then.

From my discussion with Marc, the intent of the heat exchanger is not to remove as much heat from the engine as possible like a tunnel cooler. It is to keep the area under the armor clean of snow and ice and to add more coolant volume to absorb and slow temp swings. For that purpose, it seems about the right size. Since it is plumbed into the bypass circuit rather than the open-thermostat radiator circuit, if it was bigger, it might cool too much. Like you, I'll reserve judgement until real world users give some reports and until I experience it myself and then make adjustments from there.

The side panels are very light though kind of long (on my bike, but for some bikes, they are much smaller), but look like they may fit in a tunnel bag or backpack if conditions warrant both using and not using them on a single ride, but I think the intent is to leave them at the truck or run them all day rather than swapping back and forth. I don't know that they will make a huge temp difference on warm days so I plan to leave them on unless I know there will be zero powder like in the spring. The radiator shield will likely make the bigger difference and it is smaller and will easily fit in a pack or bag. Again, real world experience may prove all of this wrong, but fun to think through and talk about until the snow is deep enough here. Ha.
 
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Chadx

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Here’s a video review I did on the Selkirk system fitted to an ‘18 husky fc450 and ‘19 CMX 129”.
Thanks for posting, Zad. I was hoping you were on snowest. I'd watched your video quite a few times and even though no instructions, it helped me determine where a few fittings went since I had no instructions available when I first started my install.

I think it is very fun to see how different the side panels are shaped from one bike to the next and different capacity gas tanks. Compare yours to my Yamaha above. Really impressive how these are so custom and fitted.

I was even going to link your video into this thread today so glad you posted. Thanks!
 

MountainRider05

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Here’s a video review I did on the Selkirk system fitted to an ‘18 husky fc450 and ‘19 CMX 129”. I’ve been on two short rides with a third planned for today, both days were warm, just around freezing and I ran it without the upper side panels and temps stayed steady at 170-200. Heated bars work well. Note that the radiator covers are some type of plastic. I’ll do another review as I have more time with the system.

I’m not sure if a link to YouTube is ok so please remove if this is not allowed.

Great video. In the process of installing on a ktm now. Fit and finish is awesome! What saw is that mounted on ur fork?
 
Jan 8, 2017
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The saw is a Stihl, the shorter of the two options. It comes with the sheath and I bought a couple Velcro straps to attach it to the fork and a zip tie to secure the saw in the sheath. The sheath has a click lock for the saw bit it isn’t very secure. A zip tie around the top of the sheath compresses the click lock onto the saw and makes it much more secure. I used the saw twice today getting a friend unstuck and it cuts very well.
 
Thanks for the excellent video. I fully agree with you as I am very pleased with my Selkirk setup. Ran it all season last year in all conditions. Great product and super helpful people to work with. Most of the riders in our area are using the system.
Also, we just finished installing one on my brothers new ktm 450sx. The instructions (with pics) are on the website and make the install easy to do. Great fun! Can't wait to ride. Let it snow!!
 

MountainRider05

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The saw is a Stihl, the shorter of the two options. It comes with the sheath and I bought a couple Velcro straps to attach it to the fork and a zip tie to secure the saw in the sheath. The sheath has a click lock for the saw bit it isn’t very secure. A zip tie around the top of the sheath compresses the click lock onto the saw and makes it much more secure. I used the saw twice today getting a friend unstuck and it cuts very well.
thanks for the info. Seems like a perfect spot to hav it mounted.

Did any of you guys have to cut or grind your stock radiator plastic covers to make room for the top armor cover to work?
 

Chadx

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...
Did any of you guys have to cut or grind your stock radiator plastic covers to make room for the top armor cover to work?
I don't think most run the stock plastic radiator roost guards. No mud getting kicked up in the winter and i don't know that they'd protect from pointy sticks very well. Most run radiator guards to protect from spearing downed trees and branches with the side benefit of radiator guards providing side impact, tip over protection (at speed or stationary in the parking lot or garage. Ha).
Selkirk on the Yamahas use a selkirk bracket in the middle of the radiators. Looks like the ktm and huskys use bolts along the edge of the radiators to hold the selkirk panels.
 
Jan 8, 2017
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I rode today in minus 2 celsius and about 70 cm of very heavy, power-robbing snow. When I was breaking trail I was wot, as was the 800 Alpha I was riding with. I used the upper side panels and left the small front radiator panel at home and despite the heavy work the motor was doing I was steady at 170-190. I ended up closing the bypass off entirely to get more heat to the bars and it did help. I was surprised that the motor didn't get hotter, must have been the added air flow along with lots of snow spraying up on the radiators. I suspect I could have used the front radiator panel and as the temps drop I will for sure. I don't have a radiator fan on this bike.
 

snowpromod

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My Selkirk is in the mail - I have all new C3 stuff sitting on the shelf, T-Stat and bars - wondering if I should ditch the C3 and use Selkirks T-Stat and bars to complete the build as they intended...any thoughts on this?


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Chadx

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My Selkirk is in the mail - I have all new C3 stuff sitting on the shelf, T-Stat and bars - wondering if I should ditch the C3 and use Selkirks T-Stat and bars to complete the build as they intended...any thoughts on this?
All you need are the two selkirk adapters and you are good to go (one for the c3 thermostat to go to the bigger selkirk hose and a second to go from the selkirk heat exchanger outlet to the smaller c3 heated bar hose.

I can't speak to the difference between the selkirk and c3 heated bars but they are similar enough likely no functional difference. Just bar bend difference and fitting location (if that makes a difference for needed clearance for ones specific build). I had already chosen c3 when i decided to buy the selkirk. Would probably do it again because i did c3 risers, bars (prethreaded for handguards), top clamp and handguards. They were all designed to work together and so all bolted up perfectly aligned with no bending or adjusting required.

Thermobobs are inline and c3 thermostats replace the outlet right on the engine so kind of a looks think and a bit different getting them to fit into tight spaces (i think the c3 wins there) but again, really no functional difference.
 
thanks for the info. Seems like a perfect spot to hav it mounted.

Did any of you guys have to cut or grind your stock radiator plastic covers to make room for the top armor cover to work?
Hey MountainRider05,
The plastic radiator guards on my '19 ktm 450sx are pretty beefy (for plastic). Did not have to modify them for the Selkirk program to fit. Not sure what bike you have...hope that is helpful.
 

MountainRider05

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Hey MountainRider05,
The plastic radiator guards on my '19 ktm 450sx are pretty beefy (for plastic). Did not have to modify them for the Selkirk program to fit. Not sure what bike you have...hope that is helpful.
I must have got a one of the first sets made. Looks like they made some changes from looking that the instructions on their website. Bike is a ktm 17 factory edition 450 def had to some Trimming and grinding of the plastic rad cover. And also had to re bore the top holes of the Selkirk cover since they did not line up. Wondering if should if just went with the trail tech rad braces they sell but not sure those would even work?? 6B43EE3E-18C5-4EAC-BCE3-964FF17CC205.jpeg
 

Chadx

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...Had to extend shifter as was difficult to reach, small trimming on backside of Selkirk plastic to clear yeti
Nice shifter extension. I found the same thing as you with the selkirk; the shift lever was now just a little nub. I extended mine the way I've done it on the last three snowbikes; slipped a piece of reinforced braided nylon tubing over the shifter. The first bike I did that on was to protect the top of my boot from scuffing because the shifter was really abrasive and snowboots didn't account for shift pads on the top of your toes back then. I found the second benefit of being able to add a 1/2" to 3/4" to the length. Too much and it gets in the way, but adding a bit made shifting easier with insulated boots. So this time, I went back to my scrap drawer and cut another section off the same 1' length of tubing I bought in 2013. It'll last 4 or 5 more bikes. Ha. So this time, due to the engine armor, I just used a bit longer length. Heat it and slide it on and it stays fine. In the cold, it's rigid but will give a little bit if you smack something. Don't have it in front of me, but it's this type of tubing I've attached.
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