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SUPER-CHARGED YAMAHA YXZ1000R

–Turbo-destroying YXZ —

If you’re going to race a YXZ against turbo UTVs you’ll need a little more power than what comes stock. That’s why Nic Granlund bolted up a supercharger kit to his Yamaha.

 

Many manufacturers offer a turbo option for their UTVs, but there are still a few brands that have not jumped up to that level yet. We hear that there might be some sort of hyper-performance Yamaha YXZ1000R model happening soon, and we’re rooting for it to happen. There are many aftermarket turbo kits for the Yamaha engine, but what about a bit older technology that shaped how fast and high piston-engine fighter aircraft could fly? We’re talking about a supercharger! Sure, the turbos of today are performing very well, but a supercharger is an easy, effective, no-lag and mechanical way to gain some extra ponies.

The Weller Racing dual exhaust creates a superbike-esque tone. The Fox shocks are Kashima-coated to help reduce heat and add more performance. The LSR A-arms in the rear complement the front arms perfectly.

 

Professional-ATV-rider-turned-professional-UTV-driver Nic Granlund knows his way around a track or desert loop. Granlund has won championships in both desert racing and Supermoto racing. He’s a top contender in the Pro UTV classes at the WORCS races now. Nic races the Pro Stock class in his fully built YXZ1000R, along with the SXS Pro class in a built YXZ1000R. Granlund was finishing well in the SXS Pro class, but with his turbocharged competition, it was a tough fight on the starts and on the straightaways. That was until he acquired supercharger specialists Packard Performance as a sponsor!

The LSR MTS long-travel suspension utilizes the stock-length shocks. Granlund modifies his own shocks to handle the extra leverage of the longer A-arms. The total width is 71 inches compared to 64 inches stock.

 

SUPERCHARGED FUN

Packard offers a turbo kit, but they’re seeing a lot of performance out of the three-cylinder Yamaha engine when it’s supercharged. This car is using Packard’s bolt-on supercharger with their number-two pulley. It’s the smallest pulley that they offer, and fine-tuning with the pulley is where most of the power is gained or lost with a supercharger. With this pulley, Nic’s YXZ is producing over 130 horsepower to the wheels. Nic will eventually go with a bigger pulley, but he’ll need to add Packard’s intercooler to help keep the temperature down. Installing the supercharger only takes between two and four hours, and the physical installation doesn’t require any special modification.

That isn’t to say that the engine doesn’t need modifications to get the best race reliability. Packard connecting rods help handle the extra power from the supercharger. CT Racing used their expertise to perform a five-angle valve job, which makes the engine produce more usable power. Nic has his own shop, Nic G Motorsports, and he performed his own head porting to allow more flow. A Hess radiator relocation kit mounts two fans and a larger radiator behind the driver for increased cooling capacity. This kit prevents heat from entering the cab from the stock radiator location. A full Weller Racing exhaust system added a thrilling sound and more potent power to this UTV.

As you can see, the seat position and the lowered cage made for a much lower center of gravity. This helps tremendously with the handling of the car.

 

MORE THAN JUST POWER

The YXZs have good suspension in stock trim, especially for short-course settings, but most racers widen their UTVs for better stability and more travel. This YXZ uses Lonestar Racing’s MTS suspension that widens the stance from the stock 64 inches to 71 inches. Summer Brothers extended axles were used since the stock axles won’t work any longer. STV handled the billet tie-rod kit. This setup doesn’t change the overall wheelbase, so the YXZ still handles properly. Another reason this YXZ stays planted so well is because of Double E Racing’s adjustable rear sway bar kit. This is a better setup than stock. It sits higher, is adjustable, stronger and resembles that of a TT quad sway bar.

Helping the UTV hook up is a set of 27-inch Kanati Mongrel tires. Nic grooves select knobs off with a grooving tool to gain more traction and take away weight. His Kanati tires are protected by TireBlocks’ flat-prevention system, and the car sits on 14-inch DWT Sector Zero beadlock wheels.

Packard Performance’s supercharger creates power no matter what rpm it’s at. With the other engine mods and the smallest supercharger pulley, it’s putting 130 horsepower to the wheels!

 

SAFE YET COMFORTABLE

Nic is a big guy at 6-foot-5, so the stock seating arrangement doesn’t work well for him. An NRG bucket seat allows him to sit farther back in the car, while the NRG quick-release steering hub and steering wheel extend closer to him. To meet the safety standards of WORCS, a full race cage from STV was added for strength and to keep the occupant safe in case of a rollover. An STV five-point harness also keeps the driver safe. Bumping, but not intentionally rolling someone is legal in WORCS, so STV front and rear bumpers were added.

With the jumping, whoops and hard cornering that is in a WORCS race, frames can become weak, so Nic welded in STV’s frame-gusset kit to help with the stress.

Since Nic Granlund is well over 6 feet tall, he needed more room. His NRG seat sits low and the sides are bolstered. To accommodate him sitting farther back, Hess Motorsports makes the longer steering quickener and mates it with a NRG quick-release steering wheel.

 

CHARGED UP! 

We met up with Granlund at the WORCS round at Glen Helen to check out his supercharged YXZ before the race. After the interior mods, the car is comfortable for a taller driver. The NRG seat puts the driver in a lower position to lower the center of gravity. Granlund’s car is a big improvement over stock. Thanks to the Hess 2:1 steering quickener and rapid steer kit, you can turn lock to lock without taking your hands off the wheel. Being that this YXZ is a manual-shifting model, that is extremely important, as Granlund has one hand on the wheel most of the time.

The Kashima-coated Fox RC2 shocks work well stock , but Granlund re-valved them so they work extremely well on a WORCS course. The car floats effortlessly over jumps, through chop, across whoops and over rocks. The most impressive pieces to the suspension puzzle were the LSR arms and Double E Racing sway bar. Having the wider stance aids confidence when driving the YXZ hard in any situation.

This larger-than-stock Hess Motorsports radiator is mounted behind the driver for less cab heat, has dual cooling fans and is less likely to get mud packed in it and overheat the machine.

 

The engine runs flawlessly on this machine. The supercharger is unlike most turbo setups. Both are compressing the intake charge, but turbo power can be inconsistent. They run harder when the turbo gets hot or when the engine is under a load. A supercharger has a mechanical drive. There is a certain amount of engine power that is required to spin the supercharger to compress the intake charge, but the effect is consistent power that’s always on tap in any rpm range. When stabbing the throttle from a standstill, you must shift very quickly to avoid bouncing the engine off the 11,500 rev limiter. On one section of the course, Granlund hit 86 miles an hour before he ran out of room, but there was more speed on tap.

Not only is the engine supercharged, so are the RevUp graphics. STV Motorsports’ cage is welded to the OEM frame for strength, and it’s built beefy with extra gussets in all corners.

 

CONCLUSION

Granlund confirms that the Packard supercharger feels very different than a turbocharged machine, but he had all positive notes about the difference. The supercharger means that the power is always going to have the same feeling throughout the powerband, and there is no lag whatsoever. That’s what they’re designed to do. Now, the supercharger probably weighs more than a turbo, but it depends on what setup you’re looking for in a power choice. We watched NG get third on the start of the SxS Pro race against turbocharged UTVs. He then went on to win the race—his first win of the season in that class.

The Packard supercharger gave him the edge he needed to take home a win for Nic G Motorsports and the rest of his sponsors. It just goes to show you that technology from many decades ago can still perform with the technology of the future!

 

PARTS AND SUPPLIERS

STV Motorsports: www.stvmotorsports.com, 702-701-7101

Race cage and metal work $1,800

Billet steering rack and tie-rod kit $900

Frame gusset kit $300

Five-point harness $79.99

Billet gauge panel: $99

Switche $11.99 per switch

Rear bumper $200

Front bumper $200

RevUp Graphics: www.revupgraphics.com, 888-44-REVUP

Full wrap, number plates, and stickers q$1,600

Fox: www.ridefox.com, 800-Fox-Shox

2.5 Podium RC2 shocks $3,995.99

Packard Performance: www.packardperformance.com, 801-335-4013

Performance supercharger with #2 pulley $2,695

Connecting rods $600

Short shift billet shifter $195

Billet rear diff pinion carrier support $495

Billet body hardware kit $49

CT Racing: www.ctracing.net, 562-945-2453

Five-angle valve job $576

Nic G Motorsports: www.nicgranlund.com, 702-375-1837

Shock tune (includes springs) $1,200

Head porting $750

Weller Racing: www.wellerracing.com, 480-507-4771

Full tuned exhaust system $1,399.99

Billet thermostat housing $85.99

Thermostat housing billet end cap $45.99

Temp gauge $186.99

Air-injection block kit $45.99

Head stud kit $179.99

Double E Racing: www.doubleeracing.com, 985-507-3307

Adjustable rear sway bar kit $950

Torco Advanced Lubricants: www.torcousa.com, 909-980-1495

SR-5R 20w50 100% synthetic racing engine oil $24.65 per bottle

T4MXR 15w-40 transmission oil $14.70 per bottle

MTF-E differential oil $13.15 per bottle

Unleaded Accelerator race fuel concentrate $20.95 per bottle

LoneStar Racing: www.lsracing.com, 480-834-2990

LoneStar MTS +3.5-in. A-arm suspension kit $4,200

DWT Racing: www.dwtracing.com, 800-Race-Rim

DWT sector bead lock wheels 7×14 5/2 offsets $297 per wheel

GBC Motorsports: www.gbcmotorsports.com

Kanati Mongrel 27×9-14 $190.93 per tire

NRG Motorsports: www.getnrg.com, 626-369-2668

FRP-300-BL Bucket seat $264.95

Quick release steering hub $134.99

Two-button steering wheel $129.99

CryoHeat Metal Treatment: www.cryoheat.com, 619-940-4227

Treated and micropolished CVs $59.96 each

Treated axles $29.96 each

Galfer USA: www.galferusa.com, 800-685-6633

Wave brake rotors $137

Rear brake line $99.40

TireBlocks: www.ridetireblocks.com, 253-973-5111

Run flat inserts $960

Hess Motorsports: www.hess-motorsports.com, 940-759-4597

2:1 Steering quickener $600

Radiator and relocation kit $900

Rapid steer kit $275

Rugged Radios: www.ruggedradios.com, 888-541-7223

Short-course system $683.91

IMG Motorsports: www.imgms.com, 951-471-1615

B-flap kit $299.95

Summers Brothers Racing: www.summersbrothersracing.com, 909-395-5555

Rear axles $245 each

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