Project Phazer Turbo

The Yamaha Phazer Mountain has a lot going for it. The ergonomics nearly match a modern motocross race bike for starters. The 500cc four-stroke motor is actually a very high-tech mill that’s essentially two YZ250F motors grafted into a 500cc twin. It’s fuel injected, and has a peak of 80 hp. at about 12,000rpm. It’s also the lightest four-stroke in the Yamaha range, at about 40lbs. less than the Nitro.

The downsides are 80 hp., just isn’t enough here in the Coast Range of B.C., where we have long, steep and deep ascents in thick snow. Up in the alpine, power to weight ratio becomes essential to get to where you want to go. What to do?
Well, add a turbo for starters. I used a Swedish system by MCXpress. It’s a rear mounted turbo that’s tucked under the seat, and is driven off of the exhaust. This doubles the hp. from 80 to 160 hp., when running a race gas mix of 50% 110 octane VP race gas, and 50% 94 octane pump gas, and 16 lbs of boost. BIG step in the right direction!
The MCX system consists of Turbo, intercooler, ECU, air intake, exhaust, blow-off valve, and all the requisite plumbing. Note: you need to add a head shim to lower the compression for the added boost.
Another problem with the Phazer is that the stock suspension sucks! With double the power the handling is bordering on outta control. Time to call Sweden again, this time to Ohlins to get a custom valved set of fully adjustable coil-over premium suspenders! Another huge improvement, actually, at this point it’s an entirely different machine altogether..
Other adjustments and updates included swapping out to a set of Apex Mtn. handlebars with heated hooks – which also raised the bar height about 1″. Moving the Yamaha powder skis in to the narrowest stance really improves handling in deep snow. Can side-hill and carve turns effortlessly all day long.
After destroying a guage cluster, I moved the unit down and mounted flush on the headlight shroud. Not only is it less prone to damage, I can actually see it while standing – which is about 90% of the time. The Boost guage is mounted at the base of the handlebars so you can keep an eye on it when pushing max boost, to make sure you don’t cross the line from max to grenade.
The Phazer is fast! It’s still accelerating hard and can lift the skis at 140kph. But that’s not really the point. I don’t know (or care) what the actual top speed is… we’re all about getting up in the alpine to play in the powder. You need that power and track speed to climb in deep snow at high altitude.
The last problem with the Phazer is that the stock 144″ x 14″ track is too soft. The lugs are not stiff enough and just fold when putting the power down. I upgraded to a 151″ x 14″ camoplast challenger extreme with stiff 2.5″ lugs. Huge improvement in traction and better float in deep snow.
Now let’s go back to bench-racing 101, and review power-to-weight ratio’s.
To put things in perspective let’s compare the Phazer turbo to say,
A 2008 911 turbo..
The 911 Turbo makes  480 hp and weighs 3500 lbs,
which = 7.2 lbs to move per hp.
The Phazer Turbo makes 160 hp and weighs 500 lbs,
which = 3.1 lbs to move per hp. hmmmm.
Let’s geek out even further..
The 911 Turbo makes 480 hp out of 3.6 L motor or 133hp per liter. Not bad.
The Phazer Turbo makes 160 hp out of 0.5 L motor or 320hp per liter!!! Hello.
For the 911 to have the same power to weight as the Phazer it would need to have about 1100 hp! Starting to get the picture?
With skills, you can go almost everywhere you could go with a helicopter in the Coast Range. Not to mention that riding snow with hp., is soo much fun! Gravity is no longer in effect. Going UP can be more fun than you ever had going down..

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