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Play Hard, Look Good

R&M hoods perfect for thrash and bash

Published online: Oct 08, 2007 Feature
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For years we've battled with a common problem that has plagued snowmobilers who like to boondock-how do you clean up all the pine tar and scratches from you snowmobile hood?

If you ride the trees, you know what we mean. Even though you've taken good care of your sled, mechanical-wise, because of tree branches and scrub brush, it still looks like it's been "ridden hard and put away wet."

At SnoWest, we also have our own project sleds which sport $1,000 custom paint jobs. Do you ride these sleds how they've been built to use . or do you keep them nice and safe on the trails or in the meadows?

Our solution: We build them to ride, but we design them to be pretty. Paint looks great at the snow shows . but when the snow starts to stack up, we hang the painted hood on the shop wall and install an R&M Lightning mesh hood. These tough and functional hoods can be beat to death and still look good. And at the end of the season, we can always put the painted hood back on and our sled looks brand new (and the same goes for a stock hood).

And for the record, a clean, scratch-free hood increases the value of your snowmobile when it comes time to resale.

The reason we've chosen the R&M hood is because it serves several functions. First, it's lightweight. And just the weight savings alone makes it worth its cost. Second, it allows a high volume air flow under hood and expels hot air, yet keeps the snow off the carbs and clutches. Third, it's tough and flexible. If you roll your sled or rub it into a tree, you can bend the hood back into shape. We've broken a lot of branches off on our hood and have yet to snag or tear the fabric (we're not saying that it can't be done . but if you do hit something hard enough to tear the fabric, it would have destroyed your stock hood). We like to refer to the R&M hood as our "thrash and bash" hood for a very aggressive style of boondocking.

Did we say it was lightweight? The laser-cut lightweight flexible aluminum covered with high volume air flowing PVC covered mesh and cloth can save up to 15 lbs. and is available in multiple colors and custom graphics.

A base cost for an R&M hood is around $425. But you can also add molded plastic hood pods, headlight kits, gauge mounting kits, side panels, etc.

So don't run the risk of trashing an expensive hood and devaluing your snowmobile. And don't limit your riding opportunities because you're worried about scratching some paint. There's a whole new world of deep untouched powder in the trees.

For more information contact R&M Lightning, (801) 467-2442.