Dear Ralph: I am the proud owner of a Yamaha RX-1 and am having trouble with the track jumping a cog when accelerating hard....

Dear Ralph:
I am the proud owner of a Yamaha RX-1 and am having trouble with the track jumping a cog when accelerating hard. I‘ve checked and rechecked the track tension, and it’s tighter than a rubber band. I’ve heard of others fighting this problem, and am looking to your wisdom and seat-of-the-pants insight on how to handle this. Other than this problem, I’m in love with the consistency, economy, and the copious amounts of broad torque. HELP!
Rick Morris

Yamaha has documented several cases just like yours where the machine has been inspected, and the track tension simply was too loose. According to Yamaha, setting the track tension by “feel” will set the tension too loose. This new-style engine with it’s half as often power stroke (compared to a two-stroke) sends greater torque spikes through the driveline, so the track does need to be good and tight.

With the sled raised (unloaded), if you pull straight down on the track (at a point just in front of where the idlers are up in the tunnel) with 22 pounds (10 kg) of force, the track should deflect from 1 to 1.25” (25-30 mm). While Yamaha (and all sled makers) have long used such specifications to quantify track tension, none have been as critical as the four-strokes.

Normally you could do this with an accurate fish scale, but you can also order the actual tool that Yamaha technicians use for the process (part #YM-03170, tell your dealer to order it from K&L Supply).

Now for the real world. Riders of RX Mountain models have found the tension required to keep the track from ratcheting in deep off-trail conditions to bee too great for their liking (friction robbing horsepower), so many have installed a set of extrovert drivers and an all-open window track (either a new track or an existing track with the closed windows punched open). This allows for both internal and external driving of the track (internal drivers on the internal lugs and extrovert drivers through the open track windows), allowing it to operate without ratcheting with much less tension. The aftermarket has been doing it this way for years, and now Ski-Doo has implemented this on their high-end mountain sleds for the very same reasons.

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