Sand Sports Super Show: Tubeworks Yamaha YZX Test Mule And More

The life of a crash test dummy is a precarious one. The same can be said of the vehicles companies use to prove their parts in the real world. This “test mule” belongs to Tubeworks; who are taking race technology proven on Pro-4 short-course trucks, desert racing Trophy Trucks and adapting it to UTVs.

Absent of the bright powder coating, and attention-grabbing graphics, the Yamaha YZX is built for work. Despite the unassuming looks crowds of savvy enthusiasts surrounded the car for the duration of the Sand Sports Super Show. What it might lack in form, it more than makes up in function.

The car has a long list of custom features including a GYTR torque assist gear kit, Tubeworks overdriven fifth gear, Tubeworks pressurized direct oiling clutch mod, dual diaphragm clutch, BF Goodrich 33×10.5R15 all-terrain KO tires on OMF/ITP custom beadlock wheels, HCR long-travel suspension, Weller Racing WR edition full dual exhaust system, King Shocks, and a PMG wrap to name a few.

Since this Yamaha may get upside down in its normal business, five-point harnesses, Sparco racing seat, and a Fabworx 4130 chromoly cage are necessary.

The HCR rear A-arms are beefy with King IBP internal bypass coilover shocks that have been mounted straight up and down. This way the coilovers operate on a 1:1 shock ratio. The shocks will travel the same distance as the arm when the suspension cycles.

When shocks are mounted at an angle, they travel at a reduced ratio. The shock may move a half inch for every inch that the a-arm moves. The benefit is more shock shaft travel and simple math for the engineers.

Tubeworks heat exchanger keeps transmission fluid temperatures in check. Mounted on the front of the transmission is Tubeworks’ direct drive high output alternator kit. It allows additional electronics like radios and lights that would overwhelm the stock stator to be powered. As soon as the voltage drops below 14 volts, the roller clutch engages and the unit supplements power to the car.

You have to look closely to spot the Packard Performance supercharger kit mounted to the engine. The engine has stock internals and still holds up to the additional four to six pounds of boost from the supercharger. Since the supercharger is belt driven, there is no lag in the provided boost. The instant low

Upon closer inspection, you can find a supercharger tucked up against the engine.

Since the supercharger is belt driven, there is no lag in the provided boost. The instant low end and constant power helps when you are testing gear ratios and driveline components.

Talking Off-Road With Innovator Jayson Miles

Jayson Miles of Tubeworks is well known in the offroad racing world. He has been designing some of the most cutting-edge drivetrain components for short course and desert off-road racing for years.

Known for their out of the box thinking, Jayson and Tubeworks have come up with major developments that have elevated the Pro4 short-course trucks to whole new levels of performance. The latest trend in desert racing is the move to four-wheel drive.

This is where you will find more of their innovative designs. Anything Owner Jayson Miles sets his sights on turns out amazing, and he is currently focused on UTV performance. We had a chance to sit down with Jayson at the Sand Sports Super Show and talk about what he is working on.

We had to ask Jayson about some products that are coming into the UTV market. “Our alternator kit is a direct drive unit that runs off the clutch basket,” he said. “It’s driven by a roller clutch so when you rev the engine up it accelerates the alternator and when you let off the throttle the alternator spins faster than the engine.”

“Because it freewheels, you don’t have the spiking speeds to the alternator so it lasts longer,” Jayson continued. “The charging system is also activated by voltage draws so as current is drawn on the vehicle from fans running, radios or extra lights, and the factory stator runs out of output dropping the voltage from 14 to 13 volts it automatically turns the alternator on and it starts producing current.”

It outputs over 1,000 watts of on-demand current and uses a six gauge wire to couple the alternator to the battery. It runs through the standard OEM fuse block so you can get fuses at any automotive parts store. There are no belts to drive it and is basically maintenance free. Their alternator bolts directly to the transmission housing so it’s compact and sturdy.

Tubeworks also showcased driveline components that draw from their four-wheel drive racing components. “We have a new one-way drive that goes on the front clutch output off the transmission,” Jayson said. “So the factory transmission has a little clutch pack that limits and controls biasing of the front and rear differential speeds. When you go around a corner the front end wants to go faster than the back.”

The test mule Yamaha was used to develop Tubeworks’ new one-way drive that goes on the front clutch output off the transmission.”We take that clutch basket from the front and remove it and replace it with our mechanical coupling that allows the front end to over-speed,” Jayson continued. “Anyone who has driven a UTV knows that when you enter a corner the four-wheel drive wants to push you through the corner. What this does is when you enter a corner, it mechanically uncouples the front end to make the car a two-wheel drive. It allows the car to swing around; you are drifting the car through the corner instead of pushing.”

“As soon as you apply more throttle, the kit re-engages the front drive output and you have the instantaneous drive that pulls you through the corner,” Jayson said. “We use the same technology on the Pro4 trucks racing in the Lucas Oil Series. We’ve been using this technology for ten years in Pro4 and 100 percent of the four-wheel drive Trophy Trucks use a one-way front drive device.”

Jayson Miles walked us around Tubework’s booth at the Sand Sports Super Show to explain everything that was developed.

Tubeworks is also doing amazing things with the clutch and gearing on UTVs. They are taking proven racing technology and applying it to the UTV platform. It is only a matter of time before UTVs are the new Trophy Truck.

Tubeworks’ stealth looking Yamaha YZX might have been the most high-tech car at the show. What do you think of the YZX? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Mike Ingalsbee

For more than two decades, Mike Ingalsbee has worked as an automotive writer and photographer and covered just about everything that burns fuel or throws dirt. His writing and photography has been published in over 20 magazine titles and websites in North America, Europe and Australia. He has worked as a design engineer for several manufacturers in the automotive aftermarket and is a founding member of the Association of Motorsports Media Professionals, (AMMP), an organization that consults with racing sanctioning bodies on safety and media issues.
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