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Sno Pro 500 Part IV: Final Chapter


(11/11/2009)

To conclude this four-part series on the Sno Pro 500, I want to discus aftermarket options.

Historically, the aftermarket has jumped on the performance-enhancing opportunities that exist with stock snowmobiles like a silicone-toting plastic surgeon jumps on image-conscious starlets in Beverly Hills.

While the aftermarket has responded to the new SP5, it’s a whole different beast this time around for a few unique reasons.

One – the SP5 won’t be a huge-volume seller like an 800-class sled, nor does its engine see use in multiple platforms that would traditionally see high aftermarket activity (i.e. Mountain). Two – history suggests that the Twin Spar chassis will be replaced in the next few years, and the aftermarket are reluctant to put their resources towards a short-lived model. And three – the people who typically buy aftermarket engine mods begin with a high-hp engine.

In short… it’s a risk for the aftermarket to pour their resources into developing performance kits for a low-volume, low/mid-performance engine with essentially a single application.

Despite the risks, both Speedwerx and D&D Performance have hustled to develop engine mods for the SP5, probably because it’s abundantly clear that riders want the race-focused chassis, but with more than 85 hp.

So, what have these two Arctic Cat speed merchants developed?

Speedwerx comes to the table with some individual components (Y-pipe, exhaust pipe, VForce Reeds, stock cylinder porting, “Sleeper” head with replaceable domes, Power Commander fuel control and clutch kits) all the way to a 730cc big bore kit.

Their Exterminator Kit includes all of these bolt-on items for a trail-safe, premium pump gas performance package while retaining the stock bore. Horsepower figures aren’t yet known, but the kit will sell for roughly $1,500 and be available mid- to late-December.

 

Speedwerx 730cc Kit for Sno Pro 500

Speedwerx’s 730 big bore kit includes all of the above mentioned bolt-ons, as well as new cylinders (with gas-operated power valves), pistons and additional case grinding. The kit utilizes the stock EFI throttle bodies and requires the use of 91 octane fuel. The kit is based heavily upon the mod motors Speedwerx built in 2006 and suggests hp in the 135-140 range, with final testing to confirm these numbers set for later this month. The 730 kit should be available in late-December with a price tag of $3,500.

D&D Performance has a similar mix of products, starting with an interesting porting package that adds 16 hp and costs $979. Customers ship their stock cylinders and head to D&D, who then do the carving/cutting, add a Boondocker fuel control box and a plus-2 timing key and ship it back to the owner in four work days. Bolted-on and plugged in, the porting package delivers 101 hp and 69 ft.-lbs. of torque (up from 60 ft.-lbs. stock) on 87 octane. Their MagnaForce clutch kit will be sold separately.

D&D 720cc Kit for the Sno Pro 500

D&D also has a “Predator” 720 Big Bore kit that combines new cylinders, head/domes, pistons, Y-pipe, single pipe exhaust, timing key and Boondocker box that is currently producing around 135 hp on their dyno (download the dyno pdf here). It’s also available with a gas-exhaust-valve upgrade for $450 that further boosts bottom-end and throttle response. Using the supplied timing key requires the use of 91 octane fuel, however, owners can opt for stock timing and run 87 octane (with horsepower dropping to roughly 128). Price is $2,995 and the only additional requirement is a $189 MagnaForce clutch kit. Stock gearing (which is aimed at 100 mph) is retained, although those who are concerned with absolute top speed can gear higher.

I have already confirmed with both companies my intention to test some of their products this season, although it will be day-tests rather than season-long evaluations. Personally speaking, the bolt-on options and D&D’s porting package are especially intriguing, the latter of which achieves roughly the same hp as the carbureted 500 engine used in the Firecat (which produced 105 hp).

I also hope that visitors here who get their own kits/products will report back with their own opinions, either here or on the AI forum.

Regardless, it appears to me that riders who want the Sno Pro chassis and more than 85 hp have several good options, with total price tags that are in-line with stock 130-plus-hp sleds.

 



Comments (10):

moose says:
11/11/2009 12:07:00 PM

John, really great piece...(parts 1-4) this is the kind of stuff sled junkies like me really enjoy reading as we do not often get to see the behind the scenes info. that you have posted here. Keep up the good work. I myself have a 720 coming from D&D and am looking forward to this sled very much...
Blown Concepts Graphics says:
11/11/2009 1:27:00 PM

Im kind of mad that Sandberg left me out of this performance upgrade story as I believe I have the cheapest performance upgrade on the market for the Sno Pro 500. If you are interested, please contact me. My product Retails for $19.95 www.blownconcepts.com

INTIMIDATOR PACKAGE

? Your choice of 600/700/800 or 1000 decal to replace the 500 decal on the side pods.
? Fool-proof OEM-inspired design will make jealous believers out of your stupidest friends.
? Confidence-inspiring good looks will make you believe you are riding something faster.
? If you can talk a good game while keeping a poker face and your hood shut, this is the ultimate performance mind-bender in the industry.
moose says:
11/11/2009 2:25:00 PM

Very funny Rob, looking forward to see how your craftsmanship will look on my 720...as always your design and choice of matierals is the best I have seen...keep up the good work!
Brian Manderscheid says:
11/11/2009 3:12:00 PM

That D&D porting package sounds like something I would like.
I will have to ride the sled first but I think 101 HP would be good enough for me.
Ryan says:
11/18/2009 10:21:00 AM

OK, this sled has GOT ME! My dealer has one in the showroom now & i'm bent on looking at it TODAY! I have an '03 REV 440 & i'm POSITIVE that moving up to this 85hp girl will satisfy me WAY more than my (tough ass) little 440. Then i'll do the engine mods for next year...WITH FUEL INJECTION YESSSS!!
What i want to know is the actual difference in suspension & shocks. Going back to a Snow Tech mag, AC originally were using a diff suspension from the Sno Pro but were CHANGED their minds because of demand and installed the race suspension with a "lesser" set of shocks in it.
Can this be confirmed please??

Thanks,

Ryan
John Sandberg says:
11/18/2009 11:51:00 AM

Ryan: last spring Arctic Cat planned on using the FasTrack rear suspension (the same one they use in the F Series sleds) in the Sno Pro 500. For racing purposes though, they decided instead to use the same rear suspension as the Sno Pro 500. The only difference is the shock package: the 600 as the clicker-adjustable (and remote reservoir) Fox Zero X, whereas the 500 gets standard Fox Zero Pro IFP (no clickers or reservoirs). On the front suspension, both get Fox Zero Pro, but there are some detail differences (different shafts, eyelets, valving). Neither are remote reservoir or clickers.
Ryan says:
11/18/2009 3:55:00 PM

If i buy this sled i'd consider it a keeper for 5 years or so, warranty up motor mods begin lol. Warranty, wow, what's that lol.
I'm sure there will be an Evol X set available in the near future to get rebound & compression adjustment...plus bottom out.
I WISH the SP6 Cross Country was a fuel injected sled, but so amazing that this one is & retains the fuel injection with the motor mods in basically a race chassis. Checked it out at my dealer at lunch...she's FINE!!
James says:
5/1/2011 10:27:00 AM

I have a 2010 sno pro 500 and i can't what to buy the 720 kit!!
Ken says:
6/23/2012 3:01:00 PM

I think bmp or bikemanperformance has a 550 kit for this sled for about $1500 good for about 120hp. This would be my choice but won't be modding my motor.
paul says:
10/7/2012 6:04:00 PM

The BMP 550 kit is around 2300-2600 with all needed. But you get 116hp and long flat torque curve @ 72ft lbs. Next thing up is the 720/730 big bores. which will run about 4k when done.

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