Built to exacting tolerances, YETI’s Carbon Fibre chassis is manufactured with a Kevlar centre layer, and is as strong as steel but 7x lighter. It takes abuse, bit hits and drops with ease, although it is very strong, it will flex when needed and return to original shape with zero fatigue, over and over again. The YETI’s Chassis design has been FEA ( Finite Element Analysis) analyzed, and features variable thicknesses in critical areas to create strength by design, .140” thick in the main drive assembly areas, .120” thick in YETI’s rear structural arches, .080 on top.
Few people ride harder than the competition hill climbers or back country big iron chute climbers with 300+ horsepower who bail, while seeing who has the biggest kahonie’s to pull “That vertical chute". The YETI SnowMX chassis, now in it’s fifth evolution has come from seven years of carbon fibre experience. Carbon fibre has no fatigue, which means it can flex up to it’s breaking point millions of time with no strength change noted, but once it reaches it breaking point it will break. All other materials, once welded, bent, or vibrated, ridden etc., are starting to fatigue from day one, carbon doesn't.
The YETI’s chassis has been load tested and simulated through FEA (Finite Element Analysis) simulation software, and through these learning’s, plus our own experiences we have been able to strengthen the YETI chassis exactly where it need to be strong, while keeping it light where no structural strength is needed.
The final YETI chassis is a combination of .140” thickness (up to 16 layers of carbon fibre) in the drive assembly area’s, .120” thickness in the load carrying paths and in the edge of the chassis ( 13 layers of carbon fibre), and .080” thickness in the top cover of the chassis ( 6 layers of carbon fibre). Resulting in a very strong, yet flexible carbon chassis, that weighs 12lbs.
The YETI chassis is an all CAD experience, right from the start. Design, followed by the CNC fabric cutting of the carbon cloth, through to the autoclave process, then to the precision trimming. Each YETI, CNC built to our exacting tolerances by industry leading experts, who have the capacity, process, staff and knowhow to produce each YETI consistently one after another.
CHASSIS TECH TIPS
It is good to check the suspension cross shaft bolts that go through the carbon fibre and into the titanium suspension plates that are riveted to the carbon chassis for tightness every few rides. These are M8 bolts should be torqued to 22 ft/lbs each.
The carbon chassis can be power polished with an automotive type power polisher using cutting and polishing compounds and buffer wheels back to an amazing shine and finish, ONLY using water soluble cutters and polishes. After polishing the water soluble waxes and polishes can be pressure washed away from the tiny nic’s and imperfections that might collect the post wax solution.
CHASSIS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I have heard rumours that the carbon fibre cracks in the cold. Is this true?
A: No, carbon fibre has been used in the air force for many years in temperatures below -100F. It is used specifically in these applications due to its strength to withstand constant vibration, flex and temperature change.
Q: Can the carbon fibre chassis be repaired if I crack it?
A: Yes the carbon fibre chassis can be repaired, however once you patch up a carbon chassis it is hard to make the patch blend in nicely with the original chassis, it will be obvious most times. The chassis is very strong, however in the past 4 winter of riding with a few hundred riders we have had one rider crack his chassis by driving it in to the rocks. In the end it was easier to replace that chassis, and it also helped us launch our Carbon Fibre Chassis Exchange program.
Q: Why are titanium suspension plates that are pop riveted to the chassis?
A: These titanium plates are protecting for the carbon chassis when the suspension bolts fall out due to the customer forgetting to tighten them. Over time we leaned that bolts can and will loosen off and fall out, if not properly maintained, while the bolts are falling out they will oblong the hole that they go through. These titanium plates stop that from happening. We have all had this happen on our snowmobiles and it makes a mess of an aluminum tunnel if you don’t catch it in time.
Q: How strong is the carbon chassis?
A: It is really hard to explain how strong the carbon chassis is simply. Carbon fibre is 7x lighter than steel at the same strength rating. Most of the worlds supercars, F1 cars, fighter jets are made of carbon fibre. The best part about carbon fibre is it has zero fatigue. This means it can flex millions of times with no failure, or any fatigue. We believe it is the perfect material for the YETI SnowMX platform.
Q: How much does the chassis weigh?
A: The carbon chassis weighs in at 10.5 pounds.