The aftermarket kits on the market made good power at elevation, sure, but they also made the sled slow to react, unpredictable to ride, and were temperamental at best depending on the weather and the conditions. The reputation in the market was a turbo kit made power, and came with a host of compromises – trade-offs the RMK team, and RMK riders, wouldn’t accept.
The mission for the entire team was clear: a turbo RMK must feel like an RMK should in all areas on the snow – not just make it more powerful at elevation. The testing in the lab had been positive until this point, however there is no replacement for on-snow riding. In December of 2018, the Medusa project hit the mountains.
“The first few months of testing and riding were really tough. We struggled through a lot of control and calibration challenges to just get the sleds to run the same each day. We weren’t going to settle for anything less than NA response with turbo power.” said Hedlund.
The late winter and early spring of 2019 brought a lot of testing and developing for the team. They had all of the big pieces in place: the vertical turbocharger, external wastegate, intake reed valve, and control strategy was on the development sleds they were working on. As they say, however, the devil is in the details. Was he ever.
The sled had to work in all conditions and terrains. It couldn’t just work on the trail or in the big open meadows, it had to go from tight trees to a steep hillclimb and on the trail home without skipping a beat. Countless software and hardware tweaks and iterations were made, with the development team spending thousands of hours in the Rocky Mountains trying to get their creation to run consistently in every terrain mountain riders can find.