Watch As The Yamaha Soo I-500 Sled Comes Together

Not a crazy amount of studs, you don't want it too tight especially the way the Nytro works. Plus this track has to survive for 500 miles and not wear the rider out.

We sent one of our sledRacer.com correspondents to complete an assignment: find out what the heck is going on with the Yamaha Soo I-500 effort! So we hooked up with Ross Erdman and Brian Strawsell at the shop in Hawley, Minn., and snapped a few shots of the Nytro as it went together. It is getting prepped for its maiden test run as we speak.

Here's the bare chassis with the skid frame behind it. See anything different?

The engine in the chassis. If you've ever tried to work on a Yamaha at this level you know it is sometimes more involved than working on any other brand, but you also know how well-engineered they are.

That's Brian Strawsell. He's been wrenching on Yamaha's race program since they race snocross with Nathan Titus back in the day. Ross Erdman, the teams No. 1 rider for the Soo, says the Nytro is over-engineered in a lot of areas, but it is this level of engineering that will help make the sled survive at the Soo.

Here is the sled with the racing suspension subframe installed. This is what has caused so many people to get upset about the Nytro running the stock class in cross-country racing. For the Soo? No problem.

With a-arms installed. This suspension is more durable than the stock suspension and corrects a lot of the geometry problems that limit the sled in racing situations.

Well on its way to completion, you can see the oil tank, the radiator and all kinds of other stuff. Yamahas have a real advantage at the Soo sith the 4-stroke's power, durability and fuel mileage.

Almost complete, Brian buttons up the final details.

That's Ross calling to see if his sled is ready. Kidding. Seriously, the Yamaha racing program is smaller than their competitors at this point and this is typical of how it works - everyone on the team wears many hats and multi-tasking part of the job description.

The seat doesn't match but it's only temporary. The sled is ready for testing. The team will hit the ice later this week, then race the USXC event in Oslo, MN, then it is off to the Soo.

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