The SXViper Shock Kit

Yamaha Makes the Ride - Smoother

Feb. 01, 2003 By Matthew Baynard
Yamaha is not making money on this deal - what a bargain for YOU!

We've seen a steady increase in e-mail over the last year since we started the Project Vipers project with a pair of model year 2002 SXVipers, one red and one blue. We loved the sleds stock and then we started tuning the performance with the help of Bender Racing, USI, Camoplast and a few others. We built the engines up a bit (a lot) and the sleds really came to life. For a reasonable amount of cash, we really made the Vipers venomous and an absolute rush on the trails.

One thing was a bit weak and it quickly became a sore point, literally, with the SXViper owners. The ride was a bit shall we say harsh. Even on the pristine trails around Montpellier Quebec Canada, the ride was tiring and made you wish for an M-10 or Expert X. We did just that and installed an Expert X in the Viper ER and the ride became a joy immediately. We still might try the M-10 too, that's another story however. That's a pricey solution and something the average owner may not want to endure.

Yamaha heard the owner's complaints thru the dealer network and calls directly to Yamaha's customer service line. They, being Yamaha Motor Company US and Canada, made a decision to do something that no other manufacturer has done to-date. Offer a complete shock replacement program for all four shocks and springs. For $189.00 USD your dealer will replace all four shocks with four shiny new Kayabas shocks and springs. Installation is included in the price too!

Since we wanted to make sure we had this straight, we decided to get the low down directly from Yamaha's Greg Marier himself.

Greg Marier stated that, "If you are a 2002 SXViper or SXViper ER customer from the United States looking for a softer ride, go to your dealer and he will confirm the current adjustment level of your suspension. If the adjustment range is not enough to fit your weight and riding style, you may decide to take advantage of our shock absorber replacement offer.

The offer consists of four new spring and shock absorber assemblies
and different control rod calibration installed on your 2002 SXViper
or SXViper ER in exchange for $189.00 USD plus your old spring/shock
absorber assemblies.

There is a similar program for our 2002 SXViper or SXViper ER customers in Canada - please see your local dealer for the Canadian costs and details.

The program is specifically designed to increase customer satisfaction among 2002 SXViper or SXViper ER ustomers looking for a softer ride to match their specific weight and riding style. For these customers, the nominal cost of $189.00 plus the old shocks should be very attractive to them."

This is one heck of a good deal when you consider what the retail price is on for Kayabas shocks - somewhere north of $1300.00 USD. The new shocks will have a much softer compression damping (the rear arm being the most drastically changed) and improve overall ride immediately.

Yamaha has also announced that the 2003 SXVipers with electric start and reverse will come from the factory with the new valve shocks. The SXVipers without reverse and electric start will also have shocks with a new valve damping settings that are firmer than the 2002 replacement shocks, but slightly softer than the original 2002 shocks.

We've finally received one set from our local dealer; the container strike causing some of the delay, and had our blue Viper outfitted with the new shocks. The new setup only has 100 or so miles on it, but the initial seat of the pants feeling is simply - great. Yamaha should have done this from the start is the next thought we had. Yamaha did the consumer good on this one and they do deserve a star and a plus mark on the report card. We'll post an update after we get more miles on the ride and get a chance to fine tune the settings. We're not sure how long this sweet heart of a deal will last, but I would expect Yamaha to pull the plug at the beginning of next season.


For More Information On The Yamaha SXViper Shock Exchange Program - Contact Your Local Dealer.

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