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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.
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 models.

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 find out.

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.
Perfect match. Those wondering if the Hot Shots CDI unit hooks up to Blasters earlier than 1998, it does.

The Ride:

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!

Features include:

  • 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 stock machine.

Conclusions:

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 site: www.ricksmotorsportelectrics.com or call 800-521-0277.


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