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Questions and comments on my 2017 Yamaha Sidewinder

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SPNF7815.jpg Long post but here it goes,

This is my first post on this forum.
I have been on snow and mud for many years reading, exploring and generally burning up useful time admiring the forums posts.
I finally thought I would give my two cents on the new to me sidewinder. And hopefully I can get some info back from fellow sidewinderians.

I have been through many two strokes from old to new, most makes and models. But this is my first turbo'd four stroke.
Many years I have wanted a turbo but was never sold on the 2stroke turbo reliability nor could I afford a Yamaha turbo build. I only make it out half a dozen times a year so reliability was number one. I could never rent one nor did my buddies ever own one to try (until after I bought one lol),

SO I made the jump and bought a used 2017 Yamaha Sidewinder MTX 162" LE.

I was sceptical at first because I never did get a great personal review from one of these machines. I always heard it was heavy blah blah blah. I remembered the ease of maintenance and operation of my old nytro, I liked that. I remembered back a couple years, we came upon one in Allen creek. The owner said he really liked his and made a comment that stuck with me - "You have to ride one for a few days to really appreciate it, but you will."

When I bought it it had 3700ish kms. Looked nice with the blue and white colouring. Had the 3" powder claw track and fox float 3 suspension (not my first choice but....). It had the CFR handlebars and risers, CR CAI, CR resonator exhaust with cooker, and a burly front bumper, and a cat? magnetic tether with an excessively long cord lol. Mountain addiction 3gal gas can and storage bag. The previous owner said it didn't have a "tune".
It was missing a snowflap, one scratcher otherwise very appropriately priced and worked for me. The previous owner didn't have much knowledge of the machine just said it wasn't for his riding style, fair enough. It was a pleasant transaction.

Brought it home and started going through it before the first trip this year in December. I went through many posts on here looking how to set it up, from clutching to suspension.

Primary clutch -
-yellow red yellow,
-STM heavy hitter weights 60Y with one tungsten weight on the heel (7g), 4 washers in the middle (4g), and 1 tungsten weight on the toe (7g) = 78grams on each weight theoretically. Weighed each one = 79grams close enough. Seems high tho, but what do I know.
-rollers stock and in good shape

Secondary clutch-
Stock helix and spring from what I can tell, 3-3
Replaced rollers to hurricanes harder and slightly larger rollers. Found flat spots on the originals

New belt, cleaned and dried before install

Changed chain case oil and set the tensioner to spec

Track tension seemed to be a little loose but in the old days we ran them a little looser so I wasn't concerned

Fox floats
-85psig in the fronts
-Midway for the front shock spring
-Rear set to approx 200psig

Skis stock and set to middle position

Seat stock, great for trails but a little high to always swing your leg over

Still very unsure if there is a tune on it or not, could not tell
Otherwise the sidewinder ran as a Yamaha should run so I wasn't concerned in that department. Maybe a little loud in the garage but makes a sweet symphony in the hills with the CR racing resonator

SO first day out:
Renshaw-
Down the trail the sled ran flawless, nice turbo sound around 5000rpms and up, blistering speed at the flip of the switch. The seat was glorious and the suspension was pretty decent. You could find a nice centering seating spot to deal with the whoops. The windshield sucked - no biggie but it funnelled all the air right into my knuckles and face
In the hills (small amount of fresh approx 1foot) the sidewinder was well nothing short of a beast, a good beast that didn't have the turbo hit that ripped your arms off at half throttle. It just had linear power throughout the throttle range. It was very torquey if that makes any sense. it climbed through areas where I was losing track speed and getting stuck with previous sleds. It felt really balanced maybe even a little tippy on the climbs and responded well to where my feet were located on the boards. The turnouts were awesome as it gave me lots of time to think about it before sticking it. Coming down the hills I could get it on its side and attempt to spin it back up. Yes it did take a little more English but once you found the balance with the throttle and the body position it gave me confidence in the machine.

Weight weight weight. Ive rode many sleds that weight was an issue, this one not much. It is well balanced. Get on the gas and the sled moves where you want. It tips on its side and stays there pretty damn well. Its heavy when stuck but which ones aren't, get strong buddies lol.

Second trip to Renshaw-
We got good snow and fresh groom everyday -oh yeah and blue sky! 3 days!
Fresh lines and deep snow is where these machines shine, they haul the mail and climb climb climb- they hold a great sidehill in the deep (as most machines should) and power up the climb at a moments notice. Gotta watch body and foot position climbing as they react quite quick especially on the gas. The sled engages quickly and has great throttle reaction, great combo for me. NO turbo lag. This linear power abled me to reset myself during many runs and not lose to much momentum.

Coming down the hills the engine braking was not as strong as I was used to on the 2strokes but sufficient enough to come down controlled with the brake.

The windshield sucked again in the deep funnelling all the snow and having its on the goggle warmer and instrument cluster, no biggie.

The track looseness was a factor as I found it ratcheting when the sleds front end picks up - No problem, just tightened it up.

Now some of the long pulls I had two flashing lights come on each side of the warning light dash. Mostly at full throttle. I let off the throttle and got back on it, the lights went away. This happened a couple times.
Now from what I researched there are some tuners out there that have a "Knock sensor". So maybe mine has one and its telling me there's a knock scenario????

At WOT with the clutching mentioned I was only pulling 8350 rpms max. I believe buy the posts I read that Im leaving some power on the table - should be more like 8700-8800. But geez the thing had a lot of power and track speed to spare.
I took the 4 gram washers out of the weights after the trip. 4grams = approx 400rpms. We will see here in January.

Now this machine is a powerhouse but I still got stuck, usually..... actually always because of me.
When it rolls, stop the machine ASAP so you don't get oil in the air intake. Yes I cleaned and checked the anti roll over valve. No big deal it just barfs like a diesel truck after you WOT. Clears up pretty quickly.
And rolling over this machine is not that hard, I expected a tough tug but it wasn't anymore of an issue than the other long track sleds. Hold it wide open on a stuck and you either pop out or dig it to china.

Now for suspension this combo worked for me. On a short run steep climb the sled wants to flip backwards if you hit the hill straight and at full throttle. No issues when I hit the hill on an angle, using the brakes and throttle, and foot position back. Now this is not for the long azz hillclimbs up to the atmosphere that some people with bigger nuts than I have can do. I find the sled controlled and quite a confidence maker. Coming down I am able to get the front suspension to compress enough for me to get the sled on the downhill line I want.

As for the track, I just don't know. It worked great in the deep snow and low snow. I can't compare as this is my first high horsepower sled (above 200). Does a harder 3" lug do better, probably. But this track worked great for me.

Oh yeah one more weird thing on this sidewinder and my buddy's (tried mine and bought one). So it happened in the same scenario for both of us. Flipped over running, then shutoff asap. Rolled it over onto the skis and the sleds were pointed downwards (say the tunnel was 2 feet above the skis, nothing wild). The sleds wouldn't start, turned over but no fire, no codes all fluid levels were good. Pulled them ahead so they were flat and they fired right up. Weird and scary to me. Maybe some sort of fuel pickup in the tank, or air in the line? I don't know but scared me, as there is no backup starting system. But now we know, next time won't be a shocker.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I had to tell my Yamaha story. I really like this sled! Suspension, power, clutching, handling. There are some improvements I could do, yes, but for this boy Yamaha hooked me in again. "You have to ride one for a few days to really appreciate it, but you will."

If anyone knows any info on this sled it would be greatly appreciated (tune, clutch setup, etc). Someone on here must have owned it before!

Thanks for everyones time, and thanks to all the great info on this forum
Adam
Sherwood Park
 

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M1ryguy

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They are great sleds, every time I get out on mine I like it more and more. You could always take it to central sled in Wetaskiwin and have them give it a look over and tune it if your not sure. From what I hear they are great stock but I haven't ridden one stock, me and a buddy both have ours tuned and they rip, hoped on a couple two strokes last weekend and they felt so underpowered lol. Your clutch weight seems high for just a pipe and intake but I could be wrong. Cheers :beer:
 

Danrix

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I just bought my first 4 stroke turbo as well. Same sled (2017). In the deep it shines that's for sure. The last ride was set up and I had a tougher time getting the thing on its side and keeping it there. What holes do you have your limiter straps set at ? I've been playing with suspension settings and after going to maximum weight transfer, it seems it made it harder to get over on it's side and keep it there. Looking for any pointers.
 

M1ryguy

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I just bought my first 4 stroke turbo as well. Same sled (2017). In the deep it shines that's for sure. The last ride was set up and I had a tougher time getting the thing on its side and keeping it there. What holes do you have your limiter straps set at ? I've been playing with suspension settings and after going to maximum weight transfer, it seems it made it harder to get over on it's side and keep it there. Looking for any pointers.

My 2017 has the fox QS3 shocks, on the trail I set the front end stiff (if I remember) once in the alpine I set the front end to the softest setting, it makes it much easier to hold a line on harder packed snow. I find that if I lockout the rear shock it is noticeably harder to get it over on its side, so kind of opposite of what your finding. The stock shocks on the 17 are pretty bad and really don't suit the winder that well for climbing. the fox QS3 with lockout is awesome and you can adjust it in seconds for different types of terrain. I havent rode with the fox floats but I would think if your setting it up for max transfer your going to flip the thing over when climbing. I would say check your front shock pressure and make sure its not too stiff for starters. Or look for some QS3 shocks, sometimes you can find a good deal on some used ones.
 
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So here's an update after last trip to blue river.We rode groundhog and Redsands, both in great condition snow wise. Not as much as the last picture I posted in renshaw but enough to work the machine.Clutching: I removed 4 grams from each primary weight (removed the 4 middle washers) as I was only pulling 8300ish rpms. Now I am up to 8500-8600 on the longer pulls. At least that's what I can see when I get a chance to look down lol. Do I pull more weight? Maybe but it seems definitely better than last time. The motor sounds better. Not sure if that means anything. Tough to compare since the snow loads where different. But not once did the sled miss a beat or underperform. At the same time I cleaned out the clutches and inspected the parts for wear. All rollers/bushings and springs seemed in good shape. I do have the primary clutch rattle but that seems to be the norm. I am getting spoiled- the extra track speed and power get me out of a lot of stuck situations.They haul butt up the mountain, the extra speed that I build up makes me feel like there's no stopping it. But I turn around once my brain kicks in and tells me "Im way to high" haha.The suspension stayed the same throughout the two trips, I didn't make any changes to the air pressure. I am 210lbs + gear. Plus I was hauling 3gal gas and a 10lbs bag of stuff on the tunnel. Maybe the fox floats are crappy but I'm getting used to it. Maybe in summer Ill get the QS3 lockout for the rear.Oh yeah and the aftermarket bumper and oem a arms are like a bulldozer. Many times I had to plow through small trees (probably tree tops) on my ascent. This was not by choice- but I didn't want to get stuck. The front end on this is pretty tough, My old xp/xm - definite nun replacement, my polaris axys -twisted a arm, my old M1000 - bent a arm and spindle bolts. This sidewinder nothing yet lol. Probably just lucky.So I hit an open creek too fast to outmaneuver. I hit the other side dead on. I used to hit the throttle in these situations to raise the front end but I was too late. All I did was torpedo into the other side. Ouch, the left side of the bars hit me in the gunt. I tried so hard not to shat my pants because the boys would never let me live it down. After digging out the front end I see that the skis have yoga posed themselves all the way back to the cold air intake. Yikes. Made it out that fiasco, no front end damage, all was good. Then I noticed my brake handle dangling down and brake fluid leaking, damn, broke the casting of the master cylinder- Day was done, time to head back, but hey at least I never crapped my pantsWord of advice - don't fill the oil reservoir cold. Im sure there's a post about it, read it. It looked like diesel rolling coal- not cool. Easy to drain excess oil tho.Thanks for the replies Danrix and M1ryguy. Danrix the suspension setups are still the same as my first post. Foot (front to back of boards) and body placement is everything on these chassis and it makes a big difference for me. I like how the power is linear, when I hit the throttle to dig the track in, the bars don't fly out of my hands due to a turbo hit.I will call up wetaskawin sled shop and ask a few questions, as I am still in the dark about the sleds tune. This time out I never saw the knock warning lights come on.Im still really enjoying the sidewinder. And the seat cushioning is glorious during the ride out.Till next trip,Adam
 

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E-Zmoke

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Pull more weight out you want 8750RPM

Stingray mods or Zbroz front track spring is a excellent purchase to replace that stock spring that is jacked way up in the pic. The spring change is a huge benefit to the overall handling and how the sled feels in every aspect.
 
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Thanks for the info E-Zmoke, I will contact Zbros for the spring. Never noticed any issues with the front track shock/spring, but you're right it seems quite compressed.

I will be removing more weight from the primary cam arms. I do have a question - Where should I remove the weight from? At each end of the weight I have a 7gram puck (both heel and toe as shown in the picture). I already removed the middle washer stack (4g) and I am at 8500-8600rpms
Do I remove weight from the heel or toe? Or both equally?Or evenly weigh each hole????
I do have a bunch of choices - 7gram pucks, 1gram washers. The weights are 60gram unloaded. These are STM heavy hitter weights.
Id hate to mess up a good thing as the clutches and belt stay relatively cool (warm to the touch). And I have no issues with belts.
 

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E-Zmoke

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I have no experience with the STM weights. They look kinda hokey pokey in my personal opinion, and would make it very challenging to make adjustments on the mountain? I run dalton quick adjust weights for this very reason to make quick adjustments on the mountain when required. I’ve also ran just the stock Yamaha sidewinder weights loaded right up with steel pins and they work great with the intake and pipe combo as well.

If your going to keep those weights and you have already pulled weight out of the center I would have to say if it was me I would be pulling 2 grams or so out of the heel to achieve the 8750 RPM
 

M1ryguy

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treemagnet I have a set of dalton QAY 62 that would work for you if your interested PM me, I'm in sherwood park
 
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The weights are not pleasant for making changes. Ive only made the changes in the garage. Ive never been a on the hill tuner because my time in the mountains is limited to a few days at a time. I really should spend more time trying different setups on the hill, but I enjoy the ride more than the wrenching when I'm up there. I will try what you suggest, removing weight from the heel and see what that gets me. I appreciate the input. If it doesn't work out ill PM you M1ryguy for the daltons. The Daltons/LR yam weights seem to be the goto choice for these machines from what I am reading in these forums.
 
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Well I dug into the sled again since I had some spare time,
I changed the cam arms to 73.5grams from 76grams (weighed on "food" scale). Took a couple 'ish grams out of the heel.
So we will see where that gets me, should be closer

Now I unbolted the centre shock/spring to have a look at what Im dealing with.
The shock seemed fine but I have another question. Is this spring stock? I measured it to be approx 8" unloaded.
The only number on the spring is at the end and it says "175". Any idea who makes this and would this be considered a 175# spring? I love used sleds, its like a new surprise every time I open it up lol.
 

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E-Zmoke

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What is the ID / OD of the spring? What does the spring coils measure? Did it have any reducing retainers on the top/bottom of the spring? They are little Teflon bushing type things that go on both ends of the spring.

Here is a pic of the ZBROZ spring...you can see the reducing retainers in the pic if you zoom in on the end of the spring

b909586404deec3db52dacfb4e0e4557.jpg
 

E-Zmoke

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Looks to me like you already have the zbroz spring and that it was installed incorrect with wayyy to much preload. Put the shock back in the sled with the spring on, and adjustment collars backed all the way off. Take the weight off the sled by lifting the back up or by putting the sled on its side, hold the spring with one hand to the top of the shock and turn the adjustment collar up until it makes contact with the spring. Mark the collar with a paint pen, and turn the adjusting collar up 3-6 turns until it starts to get tight and you can’t turn by hand anymore. Then turn the locking collar up and lock into place.
 

E-Zmoke

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You got something going on here as well, there shouldn’t be anything in between the locking collars?

6a812c301e47fb4cc84949596bd4e17c.jpg
 

canuck5

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Couple things for a reference the stock mtx weights are 55.5g stock if your pulling something as high as 73-78 I would be surprised if there was not a tune. With a 240hp tune I was pulling 66ish on the way 62 Dalton’s. You have the qsl shock on rear you can get away with less pressure and adjust your shock with quick switch 1 stock 2 stiffer and 3 lockout. The front shock of the rear skid in the stock form was terrible I wouldn’t be surprised if that spring was changed. Also just my 2cents 85 psi in front shocks is way high try dropping it to 65-67 especially if you have qs3 and can firm them up. As ^^ Ez smoke said target 8750-8800 keep taking weight out until you pull that in the most loaded conditions where you take weight out will affect how quickly it spins up.
 
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Right on E-Zmoke. That info helped. I had a look previously on the zbros website. The spring seemed very similar but I couldn't get the number to match. It does have the Teflon bushings. Reading through their instructions, you're right there is way too much compression on that spring. Ive placed it back together ( not into the sled yet) and will set it to spec.
The collar on the shock seemed to be okay, there is a space to the locking ring but it looks like that is by design, maybe not but it seems to work fine.

Thanks for the help, I am interested to see how the sled rides now. Because it was quite fine before.
I will update the clutching and suspension changes after the next trip since we are severely lacking snow around here.
I attached a pic of the spark plugs as I changed them out after 4500kms, not sure when there required but I had extra time on my hands.
 

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Thanks canuck5
signs point to a tune on the sled, I just don’t know what type. Clutching, dash lights, excessive smiles lol
Anyways, hopefully the clutching change will get me where I need to be
I do not have the qs3 with lockout, something for the future but not complaining now. Rear shock set to 200 ish pounds. Front end comes up but nothing that bad. I’ll adjust the fronts to try it out, I do t mind where they are, but hey maybe I’ll have to force it less with 65psig. I really liked the sled the way it was, after all your guys great suggestions this thing should be a cadillac.
 

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Things to keep in mind, basics of clutching with your weights.
The three holes and effect's. Base hole tunes low end, center hole tunes mid range, top or tip hole is top end all the way to WOT.
A even as important is "profile" of the weight will also effect over all delivery. An aggressive profile will be flatter and will load an engine harder and will cause the engine to create more HP. (easier for engine to make max HP)
While a more curved profile is less aggressive or softer and lessen the load on an engine and allows an engine to spin more freely. For NA engines running at elevation, these are the most common weights.(the lesser the engine is loaded the harder to make max HP)
When you run a turbo asperated a heavily curve profile will defeat the purpose.
Cam angles(helix) play a huge role in weight effect.
The shallower the angle the more the weight multiplication will be, while the steeper the angle the lighter the weight effect will be. The beauty of multi angle cams in some situations.

Adding and subtracting grams from your flyweights might seem good but if your not allowing the torque curve to fallow the HP curve the sled will always be an under performer.
4strokes or 2strokes, makes no difference. I see under performing sleds every time i go out.
The biggest thing i see are overly sprung clutches and installed tunes in an attempt to compensate for BAD clutching.

BTW the center spring is OEM, "175" is the spring rate. Its too light for most riders. You should replace it with one that matches your weight from Zbroz.

Good luck
 
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Thanks for chiming in Lund, I’ve read your posts, enjoyed your builds, and noted your upgrades and tuning. I’m glad to hear some knowledge from you.
thanks for the clutching explanation, it’s going to help, I was working towards that 8750rpms. The difference between 8300 and the 8500rpms I was seeing last trip was minimal power wise. Now saying that the sled was still a speed rocket, so being new at the sidewinder game I am still holding on tight and only momentarily seeing the gauges. The motor noise sounded a little different, I guess that’s the higher rpm. Makes sense to me.
the machine runs so well that I’m not sure if the “clutching” is bad. Trying to match max rpms, keep clutches cool, and belts to stay together. So far I have been lucky.
realistically I would love to get it as good as possible, set it and forget it, and ride it trip after trip and be smiling. I know maintenance and cleaning is always required and sometimes a good pass time. So far I’m getting a lot of good info on here and the sled hasn’t left me stranded.

as for the center spring, well I guess I’ll be calling zbros tomorrow. The problem is I don’t know the effects of a “bad” center spring. The machine performed and handled with this one attached to it. Does anyone know what the spring rate for the zbro 200-240lbs rider is?
 

Lund

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A weak or under sprung center spring will make your sled feel heavy at the bars and some handling characteristics will suffer(harder to do). Sled will feel tankish. LOL
When you call Zbroz just give them your weight geared up and they will send you the correct spring.
When you install the new spring you will start soft and ride some, then stop and tighten the collars more to get more preload on the spring. You do this till the ass end of the sled wants to bounce around, like side to side. This means your pushing hard on the front of the rails and the rear of the rails are too light (unloaded). You then back off the collars just enough to remove the unruly ass end effect, generally 1/2-1 turn. And your set.
The spring will break in and depending on how much you ride you might need to tension it up some after.

For future reference, that is how you set up a center spring on ANY sled no matter the make, air or coil sprung.

BTW your Winder has a MAX RPM memory recall, you don't need to look at the gauges for that. Read your owners manual.
 
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