By: Jason Giacchino
Blaster Performance Upgrades
for Penny Pinchers
Once attached, there are no visible
differences between the Hot Shots and
the stocker. You'll notice the upgrade
on the trails though.
ATV riders and racers alike are always
seeking means of increasing performance out of
their machines and fortunately the aftermarket
is such that performance enhancing modifications
are aplenty. One of the most effective methods
of opening up an engine's capabilities is to
install a rev box-- an aftermarket CDI box that
literally allows the engine to tap into a wider
RPM range. Enter Rick's Motorsport Electrics
Inc. out of Hampstead, New Hampshire. Rick's
specializes in all aspects of the powersports
electronics game and stocks stators, regulators,
coils, and CDIs for most major brands and
We know there are legions of Yamaha Blaster
aficionados out there seeking a low cost boost
in their quad's performance. How can we be sure?
Just look at the pattern of emails we receive
each month asking if Rick's Hot Shots series CDI
Box will work on their Blaster. Because of an
OEM part number switch, Rick's was forced to
list the unit specifically for model years
1998-2000. Thanks to the flow of questions
asking if the unit would work on any model year
Blaster, we decided to mount a Rick's Hot Shots
series CDI box to our 1995 Yamaha Blaster to
Installing the Hot Shots CDI:
To begin with, the Hot Shots series CDI looks
nearly identical to the OEM unit, the only
difference coming in the form of a reflective
sticker with Rick's logo that states the
intended model. Installation was literally a
one-minute affair: Remove the mounting screw
keeping the stock box in place and disconnect
the 5 wires right there at the connectors.
Connect the Rick's unit wires (which are color
coded exactly like the stock unit so it is a
simple case of matching up the colors) and
tighten the mounting screw. The task is a
cakewalk for even the most insecure tuner.
Perfect match. Those wondering if the
Hot Shots CDI unit hooks up to Blasters
earlier than 1998, it does.
Once installed, we simple replaced the
plastic cowl and stabbed the kick-starter. The
Blaster fired to life on the second kick much to
our delight. The claim to fame of the Hot Shots
series boxes are that they increase the redline
roughly 1000 RPMs. Interestingly, the low end is
quite unaffected by the transition (explaining
why Rick's claims their units make for perfect
replacements for defective stock CDI boxes). The
top end of the power band isn't explosive as a
result, but it definitely allows for more
overrevs in each gear. Even in its stock form,
the Blaster is geared with ample low end which
makes trail riding a pleasure. The Hot Shots
series CDI keeps the low end in tact while
adding the ability to wring each gear out an
additional thousand RPM for wide-open
situations. Best of all, with an MSRP around
$40, the Hot Shots CDI Box costs roughly $10
less than the OEM replacement!
- Duplicator circuits, an increased rpm
redline, and altered ignition advance curves.
- Design to enhance overall performance when
installing a high-flow jet kit.
- May be used to replace defective CDI box on
Whether a coincidence or not, our model ran a
bit rich after we installed the CDI unit. We
compensated by adjusting the carb settings.
Otherwise, the mod was about as close to a plug
and play upgrade as we've experienced.
Blaster fans rejoice . . . Rick's has
developed a product that surpasses the OEM unit
in every possible way. Best of all, it is
actually cheaper to upgrade than to replace a
spent CDI box with another stock unit.
For more information, head over to Rick's
or call 800-521-0277.