Area51 Project - Burton's 2006 Skidoo REV 500ss:


Machine Specs:


2006 Bombardier GSX 500ss

REV Chassis

Rotax 600cc Liquid Cooled

Front: R.A.S. A-arm, Trail Shocks

Pilot 5.7 Skis

Rear: SC-4 Skid, HPG Trail Shocks

121x15x1.25" Camoplast Rip Saw Track

21/43 Gearing, R.E.R. Reverse

White belly pan, A-arm guards, Hand Guards & Grills

X-Package Handle Bars & Windshield

Custom Clutching

Powermad Pivot Adaptor & 6" Riser

Custom Polished Aluminum Number Plates

Black & White Shock Covers

Custom Black Tunnel

Equus 8262 Temperature Gauge


In 2007 Maffer sold his 1994 Skidoo Scandic (see project Stealth 503) and jumped on the Skidoo REV revolution with the purchase of a 2006 GSX 500ss short track snowmobile. There was simply no comparison to the old Scandic with regards to ride comfort, power, stability, and handling. Without a  doubt the snowmobile industry took a huge step foreword with the release of the REV chassis from Bombardier in 2003. This machine, although labeled a 500 is actually powered by the 600cc power valve two stroke engine from the previous ZX chassis sleds. This engine has a proven track record for reliability with only a 10% difference in horse power to the newer 600 H.O. engine. Maffer's GSX model added electric start and different graphics then the MXZ machines.


In his first year of ownership Maffer stripped off a lot of the factory red & grey decals for a sleek, clean look.


He then installed an X-package handle bar kit, 6" riser block & pivot adaptor, a low profile black windshield, and White accessories such as belly pan, A-arm guards and Acerbis Hand Guards. He also installed some blue under hood lighting which made for a real neat look at night!



In 2009 Maffer was busy in the shed once again. The rear suspension was removed for the installation of a new 121x15x1.25" Camoplast Rip Saw track a great upgrade over the OEM 1" profile track, and new hyfax. While the rear skid was out, all worn bogy wheel bearings were replaced to prevent trouble in the future.


 Since the chain case was apart for the installation of the new track, he swapped the stock 22 tooth top gear for a 21 tooth gear for a little more low end response.


Other modifications for this season included painting the grills in the hood White to match the Accessories previously installed, and some custom clutch work thanks to Todd.


In 2010 Maffer and I made custom number plate panels out of aluminum diamond plate. Todd had installed a set of vinyl number plates on his REV 500ss so we used the paper from his decals as a pattern to fabricate Maffer's.


They turned out fantastic and certainly go well with the theme of the sled. This year the remaining red & silver decals were removed for an even cleaner look.



Fall 2012 Update: 

Maffer has owned this machine for 6 years now and every year we give the sleds a once over to see what/if any repair work is required. Upon inspection we found that the Y-Pipe was leaking as there was burnt oil all over the front of the motor. It's a common problem for the Y-Pipe bolts to work loose in REV chassis machines, and sure enough about half the bolts could be removed with our fingers.


We removed the exhaust and ordered new Y-Pipe gaskets & donut gaskets for the expansion chamber. The mating surfaces were cleaned, fresh gaskets in place and old bolts reinstalled with red lock-tite and torqued to spec.


Another little problem that Maffer has had for awhile now is a sticking mechanical fuel gauge. A search on the forums found an answer with a no cost fix! We removed the console and pulled out the fuel gauge as its a press fit inside a rubber grommet. Sliding the float all the way up lets you take out the flat metal bar in the middle (as seen in the pic). We followed the instructions and trimmed off about 1/4" from the pointy end, and filed down the shoulders of the bar right where it gets wider. We reinstalled the bar and voila, the gauge worked great! There is a full write up on this in the How To's Section on the Garage Projects Page.


Other maintenance items performed included changing the chain case oil, repainting the white grills to freshen them up, installing a replacement hood strap next to the hinge, and giving the sled a good cleaning. We also removed the stupid black plastic cover riveted to the belt guard which traps heat and can lead to an overheated drive belt.


The pilot 5.7 skis were treated to a new pair of carbides to replace the very well worn stockers.


After admiring the look of the freshly painted black tunnel my own 2006 REV 800 H.O., we decided to do Maffer's as well since polishing is a loosing battle and it never looks great for long. We removed the bumper and rear plastics, but left the seat and gas tank in place. The tunnel was prepped by cleaning with brake parts cleaner, thoroughly sanding with 120 grip sand paper, and finished with a final wipe down of 99% pure rubbing alcohol.


We taped off the running board edge grip, seat, tank, and the center of the rear tunnel covered by the plastics.


The product used was Duplicolor truck bed liner in a blue aerosol can (from NAPA not the water based product in the black can at Canadian Tire) and was applied in one generous coat. The tape was peeled while the product was wet for nice clean lines, especially around the serial number decal and reflectors.


So now project REVolution is ready for another season on the snow, with a new look to boot. I'm sure we will see a lot more miles logged on the sled this year then in recent years!



Winter 2016 Update:

Maffer's sled has been running great, it sees less use now that he has his new 2012 Can Am Outlander ATV but its still regularly called into service. Unfortunately at the 2016 Annual Winter Cabin trip Maffer managed to pile his sled into the floating wharf down by the pond while blasting through the fresh powder at night. The panels weren't lining up and the ski was pushed back so we knew there was something seriously wrong.


With limited tools, we got to work taking off the muffler to view where I figured the damage was. The right ski hooked the pontoon on the wharf which twisted the NUN which in turn bent the bulkhead under the engine.


It was a pretty serious kink! This is the type of damage I wanted to avoid by installing the bulkhead braces on my own project REV.


We tried hammering on the bulkhead without much success.



Plan B was to try and pull the machine back into alignment by exerting an opposite force to the one that caused the problem.


With a strap tied to the outside bottom control arm & anchored to a tree Maffer made a dozen or so plucks backwards which actually worked to remove a lot of the twist in the nun and started to pull the bulkhead straight.



Next we used a strong straightedge and 2 C-clamps  working back and forth to press the rest of the kink out of the bulkhead.



Once straight we made a brace out of the only thing we could find at the cabin, we folded over a piece of 1/8" Angle Iron and bolted it in place to add some strength back to the weakened structure. The end results were pretty impressive, although not 100%, the sled was a solid 90% fixed. The panels lined up decently and handling was pretty much back to normal.


Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith