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2003 RX1 Rebuild Complete… I think.


Sep 14, 2021
Northern Lower Michigan
2019 SkiDoo GT-L 600R
2005 RS Rage
2003 RX1
1980 Arctic Cat Panther
Hello all,

I recently posted about picking up a 2003 Rx1 that needed some love. Well, she’s ready for the snow. I’m sure the suspension still needs some adjusting.

I have some pictures of it. But they are too big to upload. I’ll need to resize them first. I’m on an iPad at the moment.

I got this sled for a very good price and I spent more than I originally expected rebuilding it. Really only due to finding the original track needing to be replaced and those really expensive K&N filters!

But I did sell the 2005 RS Rage that I rebuilt last year that more than covered all of the costs of the RX1. The RS Rage after mods was a good sled. But during a recent snow I got to rip the RS vs RX1 back to back. The RX1 engine wins hands down. So I decided to keep the RX1.

2003 RX1, About 5700 miles. This entire sled has been gone thru mechanically and is ready to ride for years to come!

One question: How fast should this sled be compared to more modern sleds? I don’t race or anything. Really just curious. The difference between the stock Rage and the RX1 with a few mods was considerable. Almost surprising.

Work completed:

Every bearing on the sled has been replaced. That includes Jack shaft, drive shaft and every wheel bearing. Some wheels were replaced.

All rear end bushings replaced. A few worn parts replaced, everything cleaned and re-greased with synthetic lube.

New sliders.
Chain case rebuilt, new seals, bearings and a couple of spacers and a spring. New gear oil.
Entire front end has Oilite brass bushing and control arms have brass bushings. Schmidt Bros Racing shims to remove all play.
Skis aligned.
Many steering components replaced and rebuilt. Schmidt Bros Racing steering play kit. Other minor fixes to remove steering play.
All shocks and springs front and rear have been tested and are good.
New windshield.
Barn of Parts Replacement exhaust couplings with new modified clamps and copper donut seals. No exhaust leaks.
New battery.
All heaters work.
Great compression and leakdown tests.
Brand new Yamalube oil and filter change.
New drive belt.
Carbs cleaned and completely rebuilt.
carbs synced.
Coolant changed and system pressure tested.
Primary clutch inspected.
New CR10EK is spark plugs.

Added aftermarket equipment:
121 inch to 136 inch extension kit including the tunnel extension and bumper.
Excellent condition Camso Cobra 1.35 inch track. Low miles take off from newer Polaris RMK.
Extrovert drivers.
4 inch handlebar riser and handlebars.
Helmet plug-in.
12 VDC power port.
Functioning rider tether.
Rage/Vector seat.
Fuel and carb heat coolant cutoff valves.
Additional in-line fuel filters.
Low snow wheels kit.
Schmidt Bros. Racing clutch kit. Includes Primary machined for overdrive.
Schmidt Bros Racing Primary quiet kit and primary lower engagement spring with recalibrated flyweights.
Schmidt Bros Racing Secondary spring and new Helix. New buttons.
Barn of Parts Secondary belt adjuster.
Barn of Parts oil tank saver kit.
Barn of Parts 13mm sway bar with correct links and new bushings.
Simmons Flexi skis, with optional snow scratchers.
New 4 and 6 inch Simmons carbides sets.
2x New Beamtec 12000 Lm headlights and new LED tail lights.
Barn of Parts Digital coolant temp gauge.
ECP (New dual K&N air filter kit with crankcase recirculation.) 165 main jets and silver CV springs.
120 VAC coolant pre-heater.
No tool control rod adjusters.

Sounds amazing!


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One question: How fast should this sled be compared to more modern sleds? I don’t race or anything. Really just curious. The difference between the stock Rage and the RX1 with a few mods was considerable. Almost surprising.

Your setup sounds very close to my 03 RX-1 but it had an Expert-X suspension extended to a 136" but did run an aftermarket primary and secondary clutch kit as well as the ECP Filter kit, Whiteknuckle QC-1 exhaust, 13mm sway bars and the Simmons Flex Skis. When I bought my 08 Apex LTX and when it was still stock, I always thought the ole RX-1 would give it a run for its money. Now that the Apex runs Ulmer Racing's clutch package with PCIII and Ignition module, that is no longer the case.
Thanks for the response.

Should this sled at least keep up with most 850 2 strokes? I don't image it would handle nearly as well.

Yes, it will certainly keep up with them but may not out run them head-to-head. I rode my 03 until the end of the 2011 season and during that time my riding buddies were riding their 800 Renegades and had no problems running with them on the trails; running across the lake though, didn't feel like a fair fight. ;)!
she will keep them all honest. loved my 05 rx warrior that was clutch for corner to corner in our local trails. i had curve xs skis, ulmer clutching, green cv springs, 13 mm sway bar and full olin's shock package on that sled. on the big open up trails, she was a bit shorter legged on top end because of the clutching but get into the tight twistys and a lot of guys would have trouble keeping up. brother has it now with a mountain mod apex seat and 09 mtx skis on it and it still is a good ride. only reason he has it was so that he had a sled with better fuel economy that was reliable.
Good point Cam about the Ohlins as I forgot to mention that along with ditching that stock suspension for an Expert-X suspension, I also had Ohlins on the front. Tried the straight rate springs guys were running at the time but Kevin of Port Yamaha had a steal on a set of Ohlins at the Novi Show years back that I couldn't pass up. Thanks to Cannondale27, they were just refreshed and ready for the season. Having the RX-1 properly setup, I too agree with you about keeping up with those Renegades corner to corner. Heck, that is why I rode it until 2011. Thought why should I update but then eventually wanted the more forward riding position the Apex offered and now do not ride it as much; friends love it and did not want me to sale it. :dunno:

Many of the mods the sled came with. I felt like I could track most of them back to this site. So I'm almost sure the guy that did the original work was on here. The guy I got it from was originally from Texas and didn't take to it I gathered.

The main reason I was wondering was that my other sled is a 2019 Ski-Doo GT-L 600R. But it's been pretty much stripped of all of the two-up gear and is essentially a Renegade Adrenaline with X shocks. When not loaded up the sled is actually quite surprising. The rumors of them running with 850s to 70-75ish are pretty accurate. But at about 80-85 she slopes off pretty hard. She goes completely flat at 100 mph on the speedo. Compared to the Rage the Doo felt like it really made the low end hit harder. But that Rage seemed to pull up top better. But I'll be honest. I never got to run them side by side. Just a handful of rides on the Rage. Mainly because there was no snow last year. But the modified RX1 really impressed me for what I could do in the couple acres I have that are open. Noticeably faster than the Rage. In just about 2 seconds I had a 100 foot strip of bare dirt in my yard and I was grabbing a handful of brake! The sound also adds to the experience.

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The three holers were clutched terribly out of the box, lots to gain. If you clutch one of those sleds properly it should show your 600 Ski-Don’t it’s snow flap from start to finish. Been there, done that.
^^^^this is true. I still remember the time with Nytro where I added Ulmer Racing's clutch kit and CR9EK spark plugs and was riding with a buddy and his Polaris 800 who had ridden with me prior to making those changes and after a run down the trails asked what in the hell I did to my Nytro. When I told him all I did was add a clutch kit and spark plugs, he stated he could tell a difference in trying to keep up.
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The three holers were clutched terribly out of the box, lots to gain. If you clutch one of those sleds properly it should show your 600 Ski-Don’t it’s snow flap from start to finish. Been there, done that.
Might be. Power is only a slight advantage to the 600R. It’s kinda heavy but I don’t think it’s quite as heavy as the Yamahas. I was going to clutch the Rage but sold it to pay for the RX1 project plus a big back. Pretty excited for some snow to give it a rip!

No, it won't be quite as quick as 850's. Should run with most 800's however.
Kinda figured that based HP/weight numbers. But the power delivery is so different between a 2 stroke, 3 cyl 4-stroke and a 4 cyl 4-stroke. Until you run them there’s no telling. The Rage ran like new after work. But the throttle response of the RX1 is nuts. The 600r is a bit rougher at idle but as RPM increases it quickly gets glass smooth. At most trail speeds it feels like an electric motor. I like them all. I’m thinking that the RX1 gonna have the same level of throttle response.

But the Old Yamahas have gotten my attention. Now that I’ve completely torn a few down and put them back together I pretty much know exactly what to expect. As long as the motors are solid they can be fairly easily bright back to better than new with a few aftermarket parts.

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