Questions and comments on my 2017 Yamaha Sidewinder

Lund

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I did not read everything from your original post but it seems your having RPM issues. Being a second owner with a sled purchased at the time with 3700km, why did you not replace the primary and secondary springs? Or did i miss that?
99% of issues of not being able to hit max RPM is caused by an over shift and clutches stalemating because of a loss in torque. On a 3700km sled generally would mean weak springs if mechanically everything is good. Yamaha springs are cheap as borscht.
That would had been my first go to over removing flyweight weight. JMO
 

174mcx

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If your going to use the max rpm recall be sure to apply power very slowly and don't go WOT till your on a good hill with fresh snow, If you jab the throttle sometimes in different snow conditions the clutches will not shift out fast enough to keep the engine loaded.

I've found the best way for new turbo riders to see the gauges is to do a intentional slow pass on a nice wide open slope, doesn't need to be huge hill, then when your good and slow at 1/4 throttle and on the hill open the throttle slowly (3-4 seconds slow) and just stare at the gauges the whole time, don't look anywhere else, then cut it off and turnout. The snow conditions and hill have to be good enough that if you didn't turn out you would get stuck, if you gain speed the entire time your trackspeed will read a little higher than if your in a turnout situation.

Once your used to the power its easy to check gauges while climbing, your eyes are so fast its all in your mind that you don't have time to look, it literally takes tenths of a second.
 
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I appreciate the info on the clutching springs and gauge readings Lund and 174mcx!
I phoned zbroz racing and the center spring is from them, unfortunately its a size too small for this chap. So will be ordering a fat sized one soon.
I might as well get some new clutch springs since they're cheap as borscht, and I cant verify when the last time they have been changed. I suppose there is internet info on the length they should be new, so I could measure up the old ones. But since they're cheap, just buy buy buy lol.
Yeah, I might have been exaggerating that I cant look at the gauges, but Im usually looking forward to my line. I did make a good long straight open pull where I had ample time to look and it was holding at 8500rpms.
 

174mcx

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keep your old springs in your trailer / truck, then you'll never have to turn around and go home over a broken spring. I had a friend calling me from sicamous last weekend looking for a chain, 15km from the truck and broke a link, which broke the site glass and leaked the oil out. He could have got something to cover the site glass and been back up and going but couldn't find a chain anywhere.

With that many Km you might consider looking in the chaincase as well, when you have time. I change my chains every 1000km as I've had to many break, I have a few spares now. Buy the yamaha one, I've had better life out of those than any aftermarket chain.

Keep the track tight, if it ratchets once it will likely round the drivers enough it will be hard to stop afterwards.

I guess all of that is relevant to what kind of horsepower your making, your stuff might still be good.
 
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Thats a good heads up about the chain. Ive got some time before the next trip so I will be changing out the oil and while im there Ill open the chaincase. Ill have a look at the chain and gears and asses what to buy. Yamaha parts arent so readily available in the vale/blueriver/mcbride areas that we usually ride in, so it would be great to have spares to avoid losing out on a trip. Theres another sidewinder in our group so maybe we can share some stuff.
I did have a ratcheting issue when I first got it, noticed it when the sleds front end was in the air, makes sense. Tightened the track and it has held up ever since with no damage to the drivers. The track is quite tight from what I remember from previous sleds but I am noticing an issue turning it.
How about the gears/gearing? Stock yamaha gear ratio or change? Like I said before I do enjoy the sled as it is so unless theres a huge positive for changing the gear ratio I would like to stay stock.
 

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Thats a good heads up about the chain. Ive got some time before the next trip so I will be changing out the oil and while im there Ill open the chaincase. Ill have a look at the chain and gears and asses what to buy. Yamaha parts arent so readily available in the vale/blueriver/mcbride areas that we usually ride in, so it would be great to have spares to avoid losing out on a trip. Theres another sidewinder in our group so maybe we can share some stuff.
I did have a ratcheting issue when I first got it, noticed it when the sleds front end was in the air, makes sense. Tightened the track and it has held up ever since with no damage to the drivers. The track is quite tight from what I remember from previous sleds but I am noticing an issue turning it.
How about the gears/gearing? Stock yamaha gear ratio or change? Like I said before I do enjoy the sled as it is so unless theres a huge positive for changing the gear ratio I would like to stay stock.


Hey there treemagnet! Welcome to the Elite of the sledding world. ;-)

I read the thread and see you're getting some great info - kudos to the boys on that.

If you're going into the chaincase, one thing you might as well do while in there is tack weld the two screws that hold the tensioner assembly together. Like this:

sidewinder tensioner.jpg

A few guys had these back out and cause chaincase apocalypses over the years.

The other one I picked up was the no-start when pointed downhill, when running low on fuel. This is actually quite normal even if undesired, and has to do with the fuel pickups. Level the sled and she'll start right up!

I'm with the other guys on chain life - I do it as preventative maintenance every 2000 kms or so. I used to run the Apex and Nytro ones to about 4000, no issues, all turbo'd.

Enjoy the sled and start scoping out shirts with longer sleeves!
 
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Sweet piece of advice, piston broke! too bad loctite wouldn't keep that together. Tack welding it is!
There has been plenty of great advice from the knowledgeable on here. It has helped me a lot, well at least steering me the right way.
It sounds like there is a lot of miles being put on these sidewinders, and that's great news. Every now and then we see another elusive sidewinder making a pull, but they're definitely not the majority out there. Had the no start on buddies sidewinder last trip, but after dealing with it once we knew what to do. No worrying this time.

Lovin that avatar ahaha!
 

174mcx

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I don't want to mislead you, I don't have a sidewinder. However I have got my share of miles with turbo Yammys. I've been out with a few sidewinders and rode a few as well. I know if your making good power and using it often the wear components take a ****kicking.


Look for problems, don't wait for problems. Ride out with ear plugs every once in a while, you'll be surprised what you can hear with them, I heard a broken link on a chain one time only with ear plugs in, couldn't hear it without just the scream of a 2871GTX!
 

Lund

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I don't want to mislead you, I don't have a sidewinder. However I have got my share of miles with turbo Yammys. I've been out with a few sidewinders and rode a few as well. I know if your making good power and using it often the wear components take a ****kicking.


Look for problems, don't wait for problems. Ride out with ear plugs every once in a while, you'll be surprised what you can hear with them, I heard a broken link on a chain one time only with ear plugs in, couldn't hear it without just the scream of a 2871GTX!

That is probably the best advice given about this sled. These Yamaha's out of the box ARE the most powerful production sleds available and with that are the most reliable snowmobile money can buy. You will ride longer trouble free days and seasons on these then any of the other three sled makers BUT in saying that, that power has a cost to it.
Clutches and drive train are stressed a lot more on these and as 174mcx says, they require a close attention. Don't wait till chit breaks but be preventative and your going to love racking up the kms while your buddies on their non Yamaha's are making their dealer richer.

I replace my primary spring every time i replace my drive belt, about every 1000-1200km, together its still much cheaper then BRP own drive belt. My secondary spring is an annual change, so is the gear box tear down and inspection. The chain is the weak link in any gear box and doing a close inspection is crucial to reliability, replacing the chain when in doubt will save you. 174mcx uses monster power in his Yamaha and takes it out to the limit, so heed his advice to fit your ride and style.
Always use Yamaha components in the drive, they are superior to aftermarket as mentioned.
Lastly, Yamaha's Winders always make you forget life's problems and always bring you home grinning. Enjoy
 
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I had some time before nightshift today, so I went ahead and ordered some parts, clutch springs, chain, ski rubbers, belt, etc.
The I started to dismantle the sidewinder and do some more maintenance
Removed both clutches and will be cleaning them and installing the new springs, reinstalling the weights at the different settings.
Removed the belly pan and oil filter inspection door, drained oil
Removed the oil reservoir from the chain case body, drained all the oil
Removed the chain case cover, drained oil and removed the chain(s) and gears
Cleaned them all up and dried them, ready for new sealant. Waiting for chain to come in. Unitl the new chain comes in Im not sure if the old one is stretched to far yet. Very messy, oily job, but pretty informative and lets me know how the internals work and they're condition.
I will be tacking the tensioner roller screw to prevent backing out, although it hasn't shown any signs of movement.
As for the bearings in the shafts, there is no play in either one. Im not sure about replacement, but I am guessing they should last a lot longer.

Non of these jobs were hard, definitely doable for the average person. It helped to have a clean dry heated area to work on it. Your tips and tricks have helped me out plenty, and I do appreciate it.
Here are some pictures of the internals
 

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174mcx

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When you put it back together be mindful of the tabs the screws go through on the chaincase cover, I've never broke one but a friend bought a viper that upon closer inspection had most of those broke off. Not sure how they did it but they did.

when I go in the chaincase of a viper I leave the engine oil tank together, just drain and remove, saves your re sealing afterwards.

Make sure to operate the reverse mechanism 3 times after reassembly, they need to set themselves.
 
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Knowing what I know now, I will keep the engine oil reservoir intact. Now it's just one more step to reseal. I guess I got a good look into whats inside that reservoir, nothing too exciting. I will check the tabs and operate the reverse mechanism as noted. Those are really great points! Appreciate it. Now I am just waiting for the parts man to get them in.
Has anyone had good luck with Yamaha dealers holding parts inventory?? If so which dealers, preferably around Edmonton. It seems like everything I every need other than oil needs to be ordered in. I get it, that this is the new way to operate a dealership due to costs blah blah blah. But if I found a dealership who kept a few things, I would be giving them all my business!
 
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Back from a couple trips to the Renshaw. I thought I would update this thread after everything I have done with the sidewinder.

Clutching - Seems to be better, if not right where I want it. With the reduction of the weight in the primary it now maxes out at 8700rpm. The didn't see any change with the stock new springs in the primary and secondary, but preventative maintenance is good.

The front track shock spring was replaced with a big boy spring from zbroz. Found there was some slight improvement, hard to tell as there was plenty of snow to mask any poor handling characteristics.

Oil change on the motor and chain case, and new chain install completed, all the removal and reassembly was pretty straight forward. Seems to be a well built system from yamaha. It was a good time to clean up the engine bay as the oil poured out everywhere anyways lol.

Discovered the anti stab wheels and shaft to be bent and one roller destroyed. Must have hit something good. Replaced with some high priced replacement parts from yamaha.

Installed the high windshield from yamaha for the trail rides up and down. Finally some coverage for those fast trail rides. It is ridiculously tall so it has to be removed once we reach the cabin. 4 screws to hold it down, pretty quick to remove and install. Unfortunately with no windshield in the backcountry it exposes the display gauges and key start. I never had an issue but I never blasted through any tree branches to damage anything. The key seems to stay put even in roll over situations.

I did have an issue with the cold air intake. These trips there was a LOT of fresh snow and we were the fortunate ones to get first tracks in many areas. After a couple of rollovers, oil eventually migrated into the air intake, no big deal BUT, on one downhill maneuver I laid the sled sideways pretty hard and popped off the big dong intake filter + cage. After realizing it I managed to retrieve and reinstall it. I found that with the oil in the tubing it made it a real PITA to hold together with the hose clamps, very slippery. Degreased it at home and it held quite well after.
Question- What do you guys think on the CAI that stays inside the hood? Im not sure I'm a fan on the dong hanging out of the hood. There was a lot of snow so cleaning it while riding was easy, but I always worry the hoses are going to pop off inside after a roll over.

Once again the sidewinder rocked. The ticket booth dude said there was 70cms of fresh up there the one day, I never probed but it was deep. I love the renshaw and I love the sidewinder. Its a confidence booster and a hell of a lot of fun. I love the climbing ability of these machines so much that I am spoiled. One of our group had to rent one day, and so a polaris850 163 came out. I took it for a good run and found that it did climb well, but I missed the turbo jam that the sidewinder offered. And trying to ride a polaris chassis after the sidewinder is a re education to say the least.

Later,
Adam
 

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Lunch_Box

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After crunching my first intake that I made on a tree I made a second one using a spring. So now when I roll it over or hit more trees it has the ability to move around. Second season with it now and no issues.

For the oil you can always route your roll over valve line and your breather line from your intake into a catch can if you want or just to the outside of the sled.
 
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Thanks for the info Lunch box!
I also wanted to make note of the great help that I got from Matt @ MB suspensions. I needed some shock help with my older apex with the single shock setup. I brought it to Matt at MB suspensions out of Sherwood Park. It was last minute and Matt took the time out of his busy schedule to inspect the shock and explain what to do going forth. Thank you. My business will be going there as I will eventually need to get the original fox float 3 shocks looked at on my sidewinder, or maybe be lucky enough to upgrade through him. And it was a great bonus to have a repair facility that was local!
 

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View attachment 231273 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

If you want more info I would PM Lund he has a wealth of knowledge on set up and getting the sled to work period . There a few others on hear also !!
 
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Back on the sidewinder maintenance,
I thought id take the shocks into Matt @ MB suspensions. The shocks, I'm sure are due for a rebuild after this many kms. Unsure if they were ever refreshed. I thought id stay with the stock shocks since they seemed fine for my riding style last year. Found that the collars for the front shock bolt holes were cracked and needed to be replaced. Pricey little pieces from yamaha! Matt suggested I go with a metal heimjoint/collar inserts from FOX. After getting the shocks back the metal inserts seem to be a lot more robust than the plastic ones
Had the rear track shock valved a little different for more weight on the sled. This way I won't have to pump the shock to 200psi. Reinstall of the shocks was straightforward.
So another great experience with this business and look forward to working these things down an ungroomed McBride 30km trail.
At the same time i had the CR racing intake cage cut down to 4" instead of 8". Found the 8" intake cage too long and always flexing the couplings when rolling the sled over.
 

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M1ryguy

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I have thought about shortening the stock cr intake, would need to find a shorter filter cover too. My buddy has the EVO intake and its much smaller, the CR intake is huge I wonder if they made it like that for a reason? I have no idea
 

MK4TDI

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I have thought about shortening the stock cr intake, would need to find a shorter filter cover too. My buddy has the EVO intake and its much smaller, the CR intake is huge I wonder if they made it like that for a reason? I have no idea
CR racing makes a shorter sock for intakes I'm sure you can get a shorter aluminum part.
 
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