SNOWMOBILE BLOG

September 21, 2011

Custom Graphics Kits

ArcticFX has unleashed its new 2012 lineup of custom graphic kits. The kits are available for most makes and models of snowmobiles.

Contact ArcticFX (586) 786-9851 or www.ArcticFXgraphics.com.


Views 129
September 21, 2011

HMK Peak Jacket, Pant

HMK has released new snowmobile gear for the upcoming season, including the Peak Jacket and Peak Pant.

The Peak Jacket is windproof, waterproof and breathable, features a laminated soft shell material, dual chest pockets, waterproof zippered hand pockets, a lower sleeve pocket and rear panel pocket as well as a switchback panel design and embroidered logos.

The jacket is available in XS-3XL (men) and Kelly Green/white, black denim/white/electric blue/white and black denim/gray.

As for the Peak Pant, it includes many of the same features as the jacket, including being windproof, waterproof and breathable and utilizing a laminated soft shell material. The pant includes thigh vents, a waterproof pocket and leg zippers, protected lower leg zippers for easy access, removable suspenders and embroidered logos. The pant is available in one color, black denim, and is sized XS-3XL.

Contact HMK www.hmkusa.com.


Views 203
September 21, 2011

P85 Primary Clutch Conversion

Fastrax Motorsports is in full production of custom P85 primary clutch conversions for all 600-800cc M-Series and 1M chassis 800-900 Arctic Cats.

This is far more than an old school taper bore job. FTX clutches eliminate a bunch of the vibration and shaking, they upshift more aggressively and, most importantly, they stay in one piece and are easy to maintain.

The uncalibrated kit includes: new precision machined primary, set up for your belt, balanced; custom alignment bar; custom puller; custom bolt; and alignment shims.

The calibrated kit includes all the above along with OEM weights and spring for your application.

The uncalibrated kit sells for $880 and calibrated kits sell for $995.

Contact Fastrax Motorsports (253) 848-0908 or

www.ftxmotorsports.com.


Views 238
September 21, 2011

Cover Your Tail

With more than three years of testing and development prior to Proven Design Products’ snow flap line launch in 2008, the company caught the attention of some of the most respected names in the aftermarket snowmobile community such as Timbersled, Fastrax Motorsports and Zbros/Exit Shocks. Proven Design Products now supplies those companies with their own brand of snow flaps.

The Michigan-based company is also an approved and recommended supplier of race snow flaps for RMSHA as well as Arctic Cat’s hillclimb team. The snow flaps are made from low density polyethylene and use screen printing to add logos, etc., not cheap stickers.

PDP snow flaps are rated for temps of minus-60 degrees F while under stress. The company also claims that with its Pro RMK snow flap, it’s not uncommon to see a drop of an average of 20 degrees F in water temperatures.

Contact Proven Design Products (248) 303-8777 or www.provendesignproducts.com.


Views 140
September 21, 2011

MotorFist Unveils Empress Clothing Line

The all-new Empress line from MotorFist represents the finest in women’s snowmobile outerwear. Full of warm features and a thoughtfully slim-looking design, Empress riding apparel is just the right fit for the “queen” of the snow. Using the finest waterproof and breathable technical fabrics will assure you rule over the harsh elements found in your winter kingdom.

Common features of the Empress jacket and bib include: Toray Dermizax fabric with two-layer construction, waterproof, windproof and breathable material, fully taped and waterproof seams throughout, YKK water-sealed zippers with garages and glove-engineered interchangeable zipper pulls, powder skirt, kill switch D-ring and reflective snowflake details.

The uninsulated shell jacket has a removable insulated softshell liner and uses 6-ounce insulation in the body and 4-ounce insulation in the sleeves. There are durable reinforcement panels on the shoulders and elbows and a 2-way front zipper with an offset chin and garage as well as 2-way zippers on mesh-lined armpit vents. The jacket also has two hand pockets, one chest pocket and one sleeve pocket. The shell and liner both have two interior storage pockets, a goggle pocket and MP3 pocket with headphone loops. The shoulders and elbows are articulated.

The bibs are insulated and have a wicking liner along with durable reinforcement panels on the seat and knees. Six-ounce insulation is used from the waist down and the chest and back above the waist are uninsulated for improved comfort. The bibs feature two hand pockets and one thigh pocket as well as a heavyweight fleece-lined seat and adjustable and powder gaitors with boot clips. Finally, there’s the articulated seat and knees with removable kneepads and a gusseted crotch.

Contact MotorFist (877) FIST-411 or www.motorfist.com.


Views 159
September 21, 2011

Xtreme Air Vents

Are you tired of scorching hot clutches and burning belts? Give your sled the benefit of cold air. If you don’t give that hot air a way to mix with colder air, the temperature inside will rise until a breaking point is hit and the sled stops working.

Belts and clutches are easy targets as the breaking point. Proper cooling solves the problem. Not only will Xtreme Air Vents help with cooling, they are made to last. Just getting near the trees is sometimes enough to damage those “other guy’s” vents.

Xtreme Air Vents are strong enough for all extreme riders. They are made of 16-gauge perforated aluminum with a super strong coated mesh covering. All clutch side vents have an extra layer of OEM spec waterproof material between the aluminum and the mesh to keep the fine powder and water out.

The vents can be ordered in any color: blue, yellow, red, white or black. They are available for Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat and Polaris sleds.

Contact Xtreme Air Vents (801) 822-4386 or www.xtremeairvents.com.


Views 212
September 21, 2011

New Mtn. Tamer Suspension

Timbersled has raised the bar on quality and innovative design of lightweight aftermarket suspensions. The all-new 2012 Mtn. Tamer has been re-engineered with all-new technology.

This new suspension will exceed your expectations in design quality, tuneability and smooth ride that you have come to expect from an aftermarket suspension. The kit now offers an infinite coupling control adjuster knob that can be adjusted on the fly. This allows your sled to feel light on the skis for fun playful boondocking and then can be adjusted in seconds to give your sled total control when hillclimbing.

Contact Timbersled (208) 255-5644 or www.timbersled.com.


Views 74
September 21, 2011

Ski-Doo Summit 800

The snow isn’t exactly crystal clear and pristine when it comes to nailing down which Summit 800 to focus on from Ski-Doo. For the past several years, the Canadian sled maker has been known for having a plethora of models to choose from and its lineup is sometimes tough to decipher with all the combinations of engines, tracks and packages available, but that has been getting a little easier to figure out as time goes on.

Sledders actually have a couple of choices when it comes to 800 power plants from Ski-Doo. First is the Summit Sport with the 800R Power Tek engine along with the Summit SP and X 800s with the E-Tec engine. The Power Tek, a carbureted engine, gives sledders who like to tinker a powerplant to work on. The E-Tec is more high tech and still relatively new in Summit skin.

The Summit Sport 800 is a less expensive machine than the SP 800 (154-inch)—$9,999 vs. $11,849 respectively—due mostly to the engine difference. The least expensive X model is $11,899, and goes up to $12,649 for the 163. Ski-Doo considers the Sport 800 a “value sled” aimed at the snowmobiler who wants the power of the 800 but doesn’t want to shell out more than a thousand additional bucks to get the 800 E-Tec. Strictly speaking and without getting into the apples-to-apples comparison, the Sport 800 is the least expensive base model 800 you can buy by $650 to its next closest competitor, the Polaris 800 RMK.

However, we’re choosing to focus on the E-Tec version of the Summit 8 because that’s the more popular Rotax engine, and honestly, the one we like riding.

The SP name replaces the Everest moniker Ski-Doo used for this segment in 2011. According to Ski-Doo the name was changed because the changes made to the lineup were “so significant, there’s no comparison to the Everest models.”

Here’s a rundown of what is new and its impact on not only Ski-Doo’s mountain lineup but also the snowmobile industry.

Is the 2012 better than the 2011?

We think so, thanks to a handful of changes. Granted, the things that tend to change how the sled handles and performs, i.e., engine, suspension, etc., remain basically the same from 2011 to 2012 with the exception of the new Pilot DS skis and 2.5-inch PowderMax II track.

Another year also gives Ski-Doo, or any sled manufacturer for that matter, the chance to fine tune various parts of the sled, like the engine mapping or shock calibration. And Ski-Doo certainly didn’t lose any ground from its 2011 model to 2012.

What is the most significant change from the previous year?

That would probably have to be the addition of the PowderMax II track, with its 16x163x2.5 monster footprint. There are two other track options with the Summit, both with 16-inch wide tracks but in lengths of 146 and 154 and both with 2.25-inch deep lug tracks.

The PowderMax II track is ribbed to keep the same stiffness while reducing the weight as much as possible. If Ski-Doo would have designed the track the traditional way with the lugs not ribbed, it would have added about 1.5 lbs. to the track. The track pattern remains the same; only the height of the lug has changed. The lugs are 80 durometer at the base and 60 at the top.

Second would be the new Rev XP X seat with storage, which comes on the X, SP Summit. After years of bellyachin’ from us and other sledders, Ski-Doo finally designed a storage compartment in the seat. The size of the storage area is 1.3 gallons, which is big enough for a bottle of water or a pair of goggles or some other small items.

The Summit X gets a new tapered aluminum handlebar with 5-inch aluminum riser block. The bar is lighter and stiffer, and better for stand-up riding. The new bars move some controls down on the console, similar to the Freeride setup.

There might be an argument that the new Pilot DS skis should be considered one of the significant changes on the SP—the X already had the DS. Our jury is still out on the performance of the skis so it’s not high on our significant change list, although that could change as we get more time with the skis. The new ski, which replaces the Pilot 6.9, has a single keel and thin outer edges for better sidehilling. The Pilot DS is also shorter behind the spindle for easier countersteering.

How good is the powerband?

We’re just glad that more sledders will be able to enjoy the powerband of the 800 E-Tec. There was quite a ruckus last season after some sledders who had purchased Ski-Doo sleds with the 800 E-Tec engine were told there weren’t enough of them to go around and they would have to wait until this season.

You can bet Ski-Doo won’t let that nightmare happen again. Whereas you could only get the 800 E-Tec in a spring-only sled in 2011, Ski-Doo has expanded the availability to the in-season SP for 2012. We think that’s a great move on Ski-Doo’s part.

Back to the powerband. The 800 E-Tec is the strongest engine in this class—base model or not. The reason we like the E-Tec compared to the Power Tek is the smooth powerband, not a “stabbing” burst of power like you get in the Power Tek. The power delivery of the E-Tec is sure and strong, regardless of where you are in the powerband. And the E-Tec is a lot easier on your thumb.

It should also be noted that we didn’t experience nor did we hear about any engine issues with the E-Tec last season.

What did we like?

The aforementioned 800 E-Tec would have to be one of our absolute favorite things about the Summit 800. That engine really is a nice piece of engineering.

We also like the lightweight feel of the Summit. The machine floats on the snow, just exactly what you want it to do when you’re riding in deep powder.

The Summit’s ride in the bumps is excellent as well, regardless of whether you’re pounding a mogul-infested trail to the backcountry or launching off natural jumps. The HPG shocks get the job done. And the X-package suspension is phenomenal.

What did we hate?

Not much. Although the powder abilities are equal to anything in its class, it still can be challenging when it comes to holding a sidehill or making that crisp turn in technical terrain. It’s just not as easy to lay over in the powder or sidehill through the tight trees on a slope as its competitors.

Ten second response to “how did you like the 2012 Summit 800?

It’s a great snowmobile. Whether it’s the base model 800 SP or the ultra-premium X, the Summit is a mountain sled at its core with features that make it a versatile machine that appeals to gobs of western riders.


Views 586
September 21, 2011

POLARIS 800 RMK

There’s a common misconception floating around the snowmobile community that Polaris shot its wad last season with the new Pro-Ride line of snowmobiles and is looking to “maintaining and improving” last year’s line for 2012.

What might be slipping under the radar is that although Polaris introduced 11 new models last season, this year it is back with an additional nine all-new models that promise to dominate their respective classes for 2012.

Although six are in the 600cc class, three represent the 800 class. The three 800s added to the lineup for 2012 fall into two segments—two in the crossover segment in the Switchback package and one in the performance segment in the Rush package.

So you are probably asking yourself right now: What does this have to do with the 2012 Polaris 800 RMK? (Okay, you probably weren’t asking yourself that question … but since we brought it up, let us explain.)

Last year the top-selling model was the 800 Pro RMK 155. The second leading selling model for Polaris was the 800 Pro RMK 163. Although it would make sense for Polaris to just sit on its hands this season and recoup some of that R&D investments, by the emphasis of the company to continue improving its 800-class sleds, you can bet that the refinements for 2012 will make this year’s 800 RMK even that much better.

The RMK line has become a benchmark for deep snowmobility. And the Polaris philosophy for the RMK: Make it light. Make it simple. Make it work.

When we rode the 2012s last spring, we had in our minds a few questions that we were looking to answer. Here’s what we found out:

Is the 2012 better than the 2011?

Certainly. New is always better. Although there aren’t a lot of big changes for the 800 RMK, it’s an accumulation of small refinements that make the 2012 better.

What does the base 800 RMK have in common with the Pro RMK and Assault?

Size-wise, the three are about identical except for ski stance (the Assault is 2.5 inches wider). Although the 800 RMK doesn’t have quite the braking system as the other two (hydraulic vs. Lightweight Cyclone), power-wise it’s identical. The biggest difference is in the suspension package—the 800 RMK is good, the Pro RMK is better and the Assault is best.

How good is the powerband?

Some may claim the 800 RMK offers the least power in its class … but those making that claim certainly aren’t feeling it on the snow. The 800 RMK just flat out flies through the powder. Now this may be due to its light weight, giving it an impression that is has more power since it’s so responsive. But that doesn’t matter to us. When you grab the throttle, this sled flat out rocks.

What did we like about the 2012 800 RMK?

Well, just about everything. However, there are some things we did like more. For example, we preferred the 155 track to the 163 track. But this is mainly because we believe not all western riding is centered around deep powder. The 155 is very versatile—handling well in the bumps while still providing enough flotation for most riding conditions.

Ten second response to “How did you like the 2012 RMK?

If you’re looking for a “super hero” of snowmobiles, the 800 RMK is it. It will go anywhere, do anything. If you’re riding extreme terrain in extreme conditions, you want to be on the sled that can make you a better rider.


Views 186
September 21, 2011

Arctic Cat Proclimb M 800

Arctic Cat put all its chips in the pot and called it this year. For years it has had majority ownership of the mountain backcountry segment. The M-Series chassis that carried the first M7 in 2005 is gone with the last M8 of 2011. From here on out, it’s all ProClimb, whether the sport is ready for it or not.

Is the 2012 ProClimb M 800 better than last year’s M8?

Yes. While the 2011 is still revered as one of the most maneuverable and nimble mountain chassis ever, it lacked several things compared to its two main competitors. Suspension, ride quality, rider position and ergonomics are a few that immediately come to mind. What last year’s M8 lacked in suspension control and ride quality, the ProClimb M 800 dominates in.

What did Arctic Cat change on the 2012 ProClimb M 800?

Everything but the track and engine.

That’s what we mean when we said Arctic Cat has all its chips on the table. Cat went with the new chassis on every model across the board. Last year’s M-Series chassis is history. Replacing it is the all-new ProClimb chassis, which shares the same core chassis as the ProCross chassis, found on Cat’s 2012 short track performance sleds. Both chassis are derived from Cat’s race-bred and proven race chassis, which was brought out back in 2008.

Everything on the ProClimb chassis is new or updated compared to the 2011 M8. The front A-arms are mounted at a 30-degree angle to direct load into the chassis. The shock mounts sit at the base of a pyramid frame that tops off the chassis. The big A-arms connect to a new one-piece spindle made of forged aluminum. The steering radius tightened up by 5 degrees and a lot of the slop in the steering system is gone.

The ProClimb chassis is simplified and uses fewer parts. The taller spindle opens up the A-arm mounts, which opens up the air box design for a big increase in available air volume at the throttle body intakes.

The tunnel is a two-piece design that features a new tapered box design. If you look at the tunnel from the back, the tunnel sides taper in about an inch from the footbeds to the top of the tunnel. It’s something Cat picked up from the race sled that led to increased rider comfort. The two-piece tunnel is lighter and more rigid and the corner heat exchanger is gone. A wide heat exchanger runs to the tail of the tunnel on the underside.

The rear suspension has a new 8-inch tri-hub rear axle assembly that is lighter and more durable than two separate wheels. The skid also has a new track tension adjuster design and runs Fox Zero Pro shocks.

As for the drivetrain, Cat runs the power from its proven 800 lay down twin through its new Arctic Drive System or ADS. The ADS is a chain drive system that replaces the ACT Diamond Drive. Cat uses a new 10.75-inch driven clutch, which is mounted to the jackshaft and tied directly to the engine mounts. The Torque Control Link holds the center distance between the two clutches at a constant parallel and at a fixed distance. Cat claims the TCL increases belt life, improves performance (by being efficient) and drops clutch sheave temps. The jackshaft rides on self-aligning bearings at both ends, which allow the PTO side of the shaft to move with the Torque Control Link while the drive case side stays put.

Speaking of the drive case, the 2012 uses a magnesium drop case and cover with integrated oil tank. A self-adjusting chain tensioner controls chain tension inside the drop case.

Though the oil tank is magnesium, there is a sight glass that shows oil level and the instrument gauge shows a low-oil light when there is one quart remaining.

Magnesium is said to be 36 percent lighter than the same components made from aluminum.

Cat’s 2012 mountain sleds all get a new radial hydraulic master cylinder brake system manufactured by Hayes Brake. The system incorporates a new caliper and 12 percent larger rotor that is thinner and 6 percent lighter than last year’s rotor. Despite having a trackshaft and chain drive, the brake caliper and rotor are mounted to the track shaft, a move that Cat engineers say goes back to being able to still have working brakes in the event of a chain failure.

While the air intakes are still in the upper portion of the hood (below the handlebar), the intake on the 2012 M800 has a new noise reduction system incorporated into the hood plenum.

The 2012 seat is taller than last year’s by an inch, but has no storage.

And the pull rope handle has been moved to the center of the sled, above the fuel cap. Cat uses the same pull rope handle as it did last year.

Does the 2012 have the telescoping steering post?

Yes and no. Yes for the Sno Pro model, no for the base model.

The base model M800 does not have vertical steering nor the telescoping steering post. Its steering post is more horizontal, similar to how the Yamaha Nytro MTX is. The M800 Sno Pro and M800 Sno Pro HCR both do have vertical steering and the telescoping posts, so the feel is very similar to what you’re used to on last year’s M8. On those models, the lowest setting on the 2012’s telescoping post is about one inch higher than last year’s lowest setting. The highest setting for 2012 is 1.5 inches taller than last year’s.

The ski looks new, but is it just a new handle?

No. The 2012 mountain ski is new from front to back. It features a deeper keel, topside grips for your boot and new loops. And it’s lighter than last year’s ski.

How wide is the ski stance?

The 2012 M800 and Sno Pro have an adjustable stance of 40 to 41 inches. Last year’s M8 had an adjustable stance of 39 to 41 inches. Last year’s spindle allowed for two spacers, so you had three width settings. The 2012 M800 uses one spacer, so it’s either 40 or 41.

Is the 2012 lighter than last year’s M8?

No. Cat is claiming the dry weights are the same (although that could change slightly by production). Cat says its focus for the new platform is durability. It didn’t gain weight, so it’s still the second-lightest sled in the class.

What changed on the 2012 engine?

Nothing. It’s a 2011 engine pulled from an M8 and dropped into the 2012 M800. The mapping is different, but mainly to adjust for the increased intake air volume.

Is the rider position different on the 2012 M800?

Yes, and it’s one of those moves where Cat felt it needed to change to follow the trend in design and modern rider ergonomics.

The rider position is three inches forward compared to last year’s M8. But it’s significant to note that the rear suspension mounts are three inches forward compared to the 2011, too. This shortens the vehicle’s wheelbase. So while the rider’s hips are three inches closer to the spindles, they are the same distance from the rear axle.

How does the 2012 handle?

Interestingly, while the spindle-to-rear-axle length is shorter than the 2011 M8 and the 2012 M800 has a taller feel, it’s a more stable sled. Through rough terrain, there is no comparing the 2012 M800 to any previous M-Series model. Ride quality and suspension action are so much better with the M800’s Arctic Race Front Suspension and Fox Float 2 (Sno Pro) or Zero Pro (base model) shocks. It handles rough uphill terrain without flinching. Last year’s M8 would bounce off every bump and ricochet off every rut. The 2012 tracks straight over holes, ruts and bumps.

As for what it feels like to ride the 2012 M800 compared to the 2011 M8, the difference isn’t really apparent until you get off the 2012 and climb back onto the 2011. If you’ve been a Cat rider long enough to remember the King Cat’s 1M chassis, the 2012 feels about as different from the 2011 as the first M7 did compared to the King Cat. It just feels like a modern mountain sled.

What did we like?

There’s a lot to like about the 2012 M800. And as the snow piles up this year, we imagine more seat time will add to the list:

Running Boards. They have good traction and good snow evacuation holes.

Power. It’s the same engine we’ve loved for years. That means it has a reliable, proven power plant. Power delivery is smooth and strong from bottom to top end.

Skis. The deeper keel of the 2012 ski feels more like the HCR’s race ski of last year. It has a better, more positive bite.

Suspension. Finally, you can hammer through rough single-track trails or mogul-filled canyon bottoms without needing a chiropractor appointment. This is Cat’s best mountain suspension ever.

What did we hate?

It’s a first-year model, so there are the usual small things. But there are a few big things as well.

Tall spindles. It’s a catch-22, because they are responsible for the excellent front suspension ride quality. But in technical tree riding, they represent a lot of metal dragging in the snow.

Toe holds. There aren’t any. A lot of mountain maneuvers use the outside foot to pull up on the toe hold to lift and control the chassis. Without a toe hold, your upper body has to do that much more work to twist the chassis through the handlebars.

Seat storage. The price tags keep getting bigger and the simple features keep disappearing.

Automatic chain tensioner. That just means that it’s impossible to fix if it breaks out on the mountain. We’d prefer an external tensioner bolt and lock nut.

If we could make one change to the 2012, what would it be?

We think a narrower ski stance option would make this sled all the more agile in the backcountry. Something in the 37- to 38-inch range.

How do we really like the 2012 Arctic Cat M800?

It’s a great sled. There are certain technical riding aspects where it may not be that far ahead of last year’s model, but the trade-off for the modern rider position, race suspension and outstanding ride quality make it an easy pick over last year’s M8. You can always learn a few new ride techniques for a new chassis. But you can’t always make a weak suspension feel like it works like a race sled.


Views 603
September 21, 2011

MotorFist/eVent Product Tour

Behind the scenes at eVent’s test facility

Ryan Harris

By now, you’re likely familiar with MotorFist and its line of performance outerwear for snowmobile enthusiasts. MotorFist uses eVent waterproof/breathable membranes and stands as eVent fabric’s only user in motorsports. eVent membrane is also found in REI, Teva, US Army and overseas military products. MotorFist invited us to a product overview and test facility tour at one of eVent’s primary facilities in the U.S. at Kansas City, MO.

eVent is a subsidiary of GE’s Environmental Services branch, which operates under the Energy Services division. eVent was originally acquired by GE for its expertise in production of micro filtration membranes used in the gas turbine and medical fields.

The bridge to performance outerwear membranes was a natural one for eVent and the company maintains its presence in the micro filtration industries. It even manufactures membranes used by the United States Armed Forces for covering turbine-powered aircraft in sandy environments and high-temperature climates.

Insane In The Membrane

eVent’s engineers gave us a very technical overview of what the eVent fabric is, how it’s constructed and how it’s treated for different levels of waterproofness and breathability.

Basically, any PTFE membrane begins with polytetrafluoroethylene product in granular form. That is mixed with a lubricant to form a paste, which is then extruded to produce a tape. That tape is then stretched to create the membrane.

The membrane fabric in this stage is 90 percent air on the surface area. Stretching the tape opens up pores in the membrane that, under a microscope, look like a bunch of randomly interwoven strands. The stretching process determines how open the pores in the membrane are.

At this point, eVent engineers say that all PTFE membranes are the same. How the membrane is treated at this point determines its performance ability in different climates and environments.

Snow Stuff

GE Environmental produces two types of membrane: apparel (eVent fabric) and non-apparel. Non-apparel membranes are used for air pollution control. Apparel membrane has the characteristics of low airflow, high water holdout and thicker, tighter power structure. Apparel membranes are a liquid barrier and are gas permeable.

MotorFist uses eVent’s Apparel Grade Membrane, which—untreated—has an average pore size of 0.5 to 1 micron (effective pore size is smaller).

At this size, there are 100 million pores per square centimeter of untreated membrane.

Untreated PTFE membranes can become clogged with oils over time. Oils in the membrane change the surface tension of water molecules, which spreads individual droplets of water out and allows water liquid to permeate the membrane. These oils can come from gasoline or oil spilled on the sled where the garment rubs against the spill. Skin oils, hair care products or any product that can come in secondary contact with the garment can cause this contamination and waterproof failure.

This is why eVent recommends washing your gear at least once a year. Even treated membranes need to be kept clean. Once a membrane becomes contaminated, it can’t be washed out very well.

GE has patented a unique chemical treatment process that protects the membrane from contamination without inhibiting its existing ability to act as a liquid barrier and be gas permeable.

eVent’s chemical treatment process treats the entire membrane fabric on both sides. Some other common PTFE treatment methods include applying a polyurethane coating on one side of the membrane. eVent engineers told us this type of coating is very durable (some of its military contracts require a polyurethane treatment), but closes pores and causes the membrane to lose permeability. For performance outerwear fabric like MotorFist gear and REI, breathability is key.

Stuck Like Glue

A high-tech treated PTFE membrane is one thing. Mating it to a rugged fabric and turning it into a high-tech finished piece of outerwear is another.

That’s where the lamination process comes into play and that process is every bit as high-tech as the PTFE manufacturing process.

Basically, you can’t take a porous membrane like eVent fabric, slather it with glue and stick it to a Cordura shell. It would lose most all of its breathability. That’s why eVent engineers kept driving home the point that while anyone can say they use a PTFE membrane just like the big brands, the processes from production to finished garment make a world of difference in how that membrane performs. Delamination, base material failures, improper membrane application ... all can be traced back to the varying specifications used by the membrane supplier and the manufacturer of the final garment.

eVent uses an adhesive-selective lamination process to bind the membrane to its consumer’s fabric. It does not impede the membrane’s function. A gravure roller, which has a pattern of glue-application dots, deposits adhesive on the fabric in such a way that the connection is permanent and durable, yet it doesn’t hamper the membrane’s ability to do what it’s designed to do. eVent does its lamination process at a GE facility in Shanghai, China.

Once the membrane is successfully laminated to the consumer’s fabric (in this case, MotorFist’s Cordura shell), it still has to be patterned out and sewn together. And a needle piercing the fabric creates holes for water to pass through.

For that, eVent developed its own seam tape, which seals up the seams and creates a waterproof seam.

Lab Coats

While at the Kansas City location, we were shown eVent’s own internal membrane and laminated product testing facilities.

eVent tests its apparel membranes for tensile strength, air permeability, oil repellency, waterproofness, prolonged heat, killer wash cycles, surface abrasion, flex testing in water, accelerated aging and more. If it’s a real-world condition, eVent has a machine that replicates it in their lab.

One of these tests is the J1S1099 B2 Inverted Cup waterproof breathability test. In this test, the test sample is placed on the surface of water. An inverted cup containing potassium acetate is placed on top of the test sample. The cup is weighed after a standard period of time to determine the fabric’s breathability. A higher weight means it has absorbed more water vapor, which means that test sample has higher breathability.

Another test shows the fabric’s waterproof resistance under pressure, such as sitting on a wet seat or kneeling on slushy snow.

The test sample has a standardized column of water pushing against it. The test sample we watched finally failed waterproofness at 106 psi. Your knee kneeling on concrete is under a pressure of about 14 psi.

And beyond all of its test equipment, eVent inspects samples of its membranes under an electronic microscope, which we were also able to watch. At this level, you can see the individual pores in the membrane.

On its chemically treated membranes, the individual nodes are thicker than untreated and the coating on the threads is visible. On a sample of its military-grade polyurethane-coated membrane, you can see a fairly solid coating on one side of the membrane, while the opposed side of the membrane looks like an untreated sample.

In the MotorFist

eVent is a high-performance waterproof/breathable fabric that the most hard core backcountry sledder can count on. And it’s found in MotorFist’s line of snowmobile outerwear.

To see more, visit www.motorfist.com.

To learn more about eVent, visit www.ge-energy.com/eventfabrics.


Views 189
September 21, 2011

Team Secondary Clutch From Team Industries

Clutch setup is a fascinating science that intrigues most snowmobilers, although few are willing to put in the time to fully understand how centrifugal forces work.

But every snowmobiler understands the importance of clutching when it comes to transferring the greatest amount of power from the engine to the track. And Team Industries has been successful in finding ways to free up the most amount of power through the transfer process.

This past winter we took two of our stock snowmobiles and installed the Team Tied secondary clutch to see if we could improve the performance of these sleds. We installed the Team Tied secondary clutch on the Polaris 800 Pro RMK and the Ski-Doo Freeride.

Although Polaris features a Team clutch, the big change here was going to a Team roller clutch. With the runs we made comparing the two clutches on the same snowmobile, the Team Tied clutch improved the Polaris stock Team clutch by 50.67 feet in 10 seconds.

The most significant improvements came on the Ski-Doo. Here we did a few more changes, not only with the secondary but also the primary clutch. The Team clutch improved the Ski-Doo by 100.6 feet in 10 seconds. (See charts)

“The Team Tied clutch is different from the stock Team clutch because the two sheaves are coupled by a second set of rollers,” explains Jason Koskela, product development and testing coordinator for Team aftermarket products. “The moveable sheave does not rotate as it shifts like the Team TSS-04 model that comes stock on the Polaris.”

Koskela says all the rotation is done in the post that is pressed onto a roller bearing, creating a more torque-sensing setup. “All the torque is driven through the helix,” he explains. And less rotation of the moveable sheaves means faster backshift and throttle response.

The addition of the Team Tied secondary was the only change we made to the Polaris 800 RMK.

Adding the Team Tied to the Ski-Doo Freeride, however, was a little more complicated.

“The Ski-Doo clutch is not an enclosed roller setup, but its function is similar to other roller drivens except the clutch is cast onto the jackshaft,” Koskela explains. “That design does not allow for any clutch alignment to be done easily or allow the clutch to float on the shaft.”

Koskela says the spring pressures in the Ski-Doo setup tend to be a lot stronger than a typical Team setup. “Typically we see at least 25- to 30-degree cooler belt temps than a stock setup,” he says.

Along with the Team Tied clutch and jackshaft installation, Koskela also installed a slightly stiffer primary spring and heavier adjustable pins to the stock primary clutch.

Clutches cost $299 without spring or helix.

For more information, visit

www.teamaftermarket.com.


Views 216
September 21, 2011

Destination

West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone For better or worse, just about everybody in the world of snowmobiling has heard of West Yellowstone, MT.

That’s probably not exactly how you would expect a story to begin when touting the snowmobiling in a particular area. Especially if it’s an area that is particularly good for sledding.

Let us explain.

As you might know, West Yellowstone is joined at the hip—quite literally—with Yellowstone National Park.

For the most part, that’s good, as Yellowstone National Park is one of the most amazing and unique places on earth. But in some rare instances, being associated with Yellowstone National Park can be a drag. With all the hullabaloo going on with snowmobiling in the Park and the rancorous debate, some folks think the only snowmobiling available in the area is in the Park. Wrong. Some of the best snowmobiling in the West is around “West” (as the locals call this tiny town).

And even if some people can make the distinction between snowmobiling inside the Park and outside it and know there is a big difference, when snowmobiling takes such a beating as it does in some circles, it tends to dampen the enthusiasm for snowmobiling in the entire area.

We may not be the only experts on snowmobiling around West but we’ve ridden there much of our lives and we know what the snowmobiling is like. We’ve listened to and even participated in the debate on snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park (for the record, we think it should be open to snowmobiling with certain restrictions) and know the effect it has on the town.

Can Stand On Its Own

Because of our experience with West Yellowstone and the surrounding area, we can quite confidently state: There’s no doubt West Yellowstone can stand on its own when it comes to spectacular snowmobiling, with or without Yellowstone National Park.

Now we’re not throwing Yellowstone under the bus. Far from it. We are just as weary of the debate about snowmobiling in the Park as everyone else. We do think there is a place for snowmobiling in the Park and think everyone who wants the chance to snowmobile there should have that opportunity. If you think Yellowstone is spectacular in the summer, well, you should see it in the winter. It truly is an amazing place.

As we write this, the Park is going through yet another Environmental Impact Study with the National Park Service’s recommendation for winter recreation due out later this year. You can stay tuned to www.snowest.com as we’ll try to keep sledders updated on our website.

Think of the snowmobile debate surrounding Yellowstone this way. If something is that controversial, it’s bound to be good. It most certainly is that good.

So while the debate simmers to the east of West, let’s focus on what’s available outside the Park in the surrounding national forests.

Ample Opportunities

Many sledders from the Midwest are drawn to West Yellowstone because it offers hundreds of miles of groomed trails—something those riders are accustomed to—as well as plenty of off-trail riding. For those snowmobilers who live and ride in the West and really only use trails to get to the backcountry for off-trail riding, there are ample opportunities there too.

As previously mentioned, we’ve ridden West Yellowstone for much of our riding lives and we still manage to find pockets of sledding that we’ve somehow missed before. Just last winter we found an area just a few hundred yards off the groomed trail near the Two Top Trail that was untouched and a fun challenge. The same thing happened on a ride the year before, this time north of West Yellowstone off the Big Sky Trail.

We admit there are times when it looks and feels like every square inch of snow has been used up around West Yellowstone. There are likely three reasons for that. First, West Yellowstone is a snowmobiler-friendly town that welcomes snowmobilers with open arms. That tends to attract sledders who like to feel appreciated, or, at the very least, not scorned for wanting to ride a certain area. Second, and this might be considered part of the snowmobiler-friendly part, is that you can ride your snowmobile to the trails from your lodging and you can ride to the restaurant or the store or to get parts for your sled. Except for a couple of the major thoroughfares through town, you can snowmobile on the streets legally (snow permitting). That’s a big advantage, especially for someone coming from out of town and renting a sled.

Third, you can usually find snow in and around West Yellowstone. Even if the snow is a bit skimpy down in town, you can typically find plenty to ride on in the surrounding mountains, where you can gain nearly 4,000 feet in elevation

“It’s Crowded”

We’ve heard the complaints over the years about how crowded the snowmobiling is around West Yellowstone. At certain times of the year, that’s true. But even during those times, which included one weekend last winter, we still were able to find lots of untracked powder to play on. And we really didn’t have to work that hard to find it.

There’s no doubt West Yellowstone is popular—it’s been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in SnoWest Magazine’s Top 15 Trails in the West survey since we started it 15 years ago—but it’s popular for a reason. We’ve just listed three reasons but we can add more.

If groomed trails are your thing, how about 400 miles of groomed trails? Plus the 200 miles in Yellowstone National Park? And throw in another 500 miles of groomed trails in Island Park, which is just over the Continental Divide from West Yellowstone with many trails linking each other from one system to the other.

At the top of our list though, is the terrain. It doesn’t matter if you drop into the West Yellowstone area over the Continental Divide from Idaho or you’re driving from the north along U.S. Highway 191—the town is surrounded by mountains and you get a feel for what’s out there for riding by just driving to town. And it’s not like you have to head north of town for great hillclimbing but the best boondocking is west of town. Head any direction except east (that’s where Yellowstone National Park is and you’re limited to guided snowmobile rides on groomed trails there) and you can enjoy the riding you like.

Here are just three of our favorite areas around West Yellowstone.

Tepee Basin Located north of West Yellowstone and a bit of a trail ride on the Big Sky Trail but the area is well worth it. There are some fantastic tight canyons to match wits with and wide open meadows to open the throttle in. From the ridge tops you can look east into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness (off limits to riding) and a bit farther into Yellowstone National Park. You are riding along the Wilderness boundary in some places north of the trail so you have to be aware but there are excellent boondocking and hillclimbing areas.

South Plateau Trail This is a great early season ride area because there is usually always snow that stacks up in here. The trail, which heads south out of town, flanks the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park so there’s not much wiggle room between the Park and the trail but there are pockets of great riding where you can bail off the trail into some deep powder. The Park boundary is marked but you have to be paying attention so you don’t wander across the border. A bit farther down the trail, near where it meets with the Black Bear Cutoff Trail, is a burned out section of the forest, which provides some wide open cross country riding.

Mount Two Top Call us old-fashioned or sentimental but this is still one of our favorites. Mount Two Top (elevation 8,710 feet) is actually in Idaho but the Mount Two Top Loop Trail roughly follows the Montana/Idaho border and provides access to both trail systems in Idaho and Montana. The view from on top of Mount Two Top is one reason this area is so famous among snowmobilers. On a clear day you can see three states (Montana, Idaho and Wyoming), the Centennial Mountains (including Mount Jefferson and Sawtell Peak) in Idaho, the Teton Mountains (and on a good day the Grand Teton) in Wyoming, as well as Yellowstone National Park and Lionhead. Last winter we left West Yellowstone on the Two Top Loop headed south, but before we got to the Mosquito Cutoff Trail we hung a right and rode cross country toward Mount Two Top. It was an incredible ride up a canyon and through the trees on untouched, deep powder. It was one of those rides we’ll think back to when we hear people say, “all the snow is tracked up,” and we’ll tell ourselves, well, they aren’t looking hard enough.

You just don’t have to look hard for a great snowmobile adventure in West Yellowstone.


Views 106
September 21, 2011

Back To The Basics


Amber Holt

Throughout my 15 years as an instructor in various physically demanding trades and recreational activities, I have found there are three points of common correlation to achieve finesse of a task, no matter what the level of difficulty of obstacles and environment.

There are three “Points of Common Correlation” for snowmobile operation. 1) The pilot (human physical and emotional factors combined); 2) the vehicle (gear or machine used during the motion being carried out); and 3) the governor (that which controls the speed and amount of efficient energy of motion to carry out the task easily and safely).

From pulling a fire hose up three flights of stairs into a burning office building, to turns in the backcountry on a snowboard, the factors of these three points need to be in balance to have safe and successful results.

In 2008 I refined my straightforward ABC-123 Curriculum for Backcountry Basics and created a learning platform I call the “Pivotal Pyramid” concept, otherwise known as a Three Points of Common Correlation.

The Pivotal Pyramid is the combination of the pilot (rider input, geometry and body language) the vehicle (snowmobile) and the governor (throttle control and input).

I want to focus on just a few important tips through a very basic exercise that will improve the most complex part of the three, the pilot, better known as the rider. What makes the rider the most complex common of the Pivotal Pyramid is the instinctual psychology that is always present and how it can create a positive or negative result to a rider’s physical input, geometry and body language. The key factor that affects this psychology is balance or lack of balance.

The most significant tip I give all my clients about mastering balance is head placement. “Where you look is where you go.” This is required for anything we do involving motion and plays an enormous role in rider confidence and situational reactions.

Looking down causes a rider to use more upper body strength or sometimes known as trying to “muscle” the sled. This compromises balance, which in turn decreases confidence, increases respiration and dehydration and directly fatigues the mind and muscles in only a short period of exertion, especially at higher elevations. And that can lead to injuries or accidents.

Over the course of my veteran instructional experience, this is the No. 1 physical input that novice to advanced individuals struggle to overcome correctly. In many cases, this is usually the culprit for advanced riders, holding them back from fluid skill advancement. However, once they overcome it they are usually unstoppable.

If we think about it, even for those individuals without sight, they always lead with the direction of the head leading first. This leading of motion with the head naturally will create good posture and correct balance down into our shoulders, trunk and eventually our legs. A common mistake I also encounter with clients is they sometimes believe they are indeed leading with their head, when in fact they are actually trying to lead with eye movement while their entire head remains stationary.

When a rider is looking where he wants to go it allows for optimal rider input. Newer chassis—like the Arctic Cat ProClimb—are tremendously sensitive to this rider input and allow a rider to have precision directional control through head placement, which in turn will shift rider weight. Transferring all our energy to our lower extremities and maintaining a quiet and rigid upper torso eliminate fatigue commonly experienced by an unconditioned rider. The benefits are maximum upper body core strength while bringing proper lower body alignment to act as a “shock system” that is neutral, relaxed and more loose from the hip joint down to the arch of the feet.

Optimal balance is gained when the balance point is distributed across the arch of the foot and not on the ball or heal region. This is especially important while sidehilling if a rider encounters any impact force of hard snow or obstacles. When the rider is in correct positioning, it allows the impact to be absorbed and displaced equally through the rider’s lower extremity region which avoids direct impact injury to the hip or any other joint areas. In some cases, incorrect rider foot placement and balance may displace the rider from the running board completely.

From head to toe, rider input and positioning should work as one. When a rider is looking forward he is processing line of travel information about the environment and his body commonly reacts first through the nervous system long before he traverses the terrain. By looking ahead, the brain has plenty of time to react confidently and appropriately. When a rider is looking down, the result is only good for the reaction time to the present situation, which is normally too late, which creates a sense of not being in control at various levels and that compromises confidence.

Proper head placement will directly affect any fluid throttle control or lack of and how the machine reacts overall. A common result is on and off throttle hesitations and fluid “roll on/roll off” control which can result in becoming stuck and in more serious situations, injuries or accidents.

We will address throttle control more in detail in an issue to follow. Always remember, where you look is where you go.

Holt owns and operates Backcountry Basics and teaches riders of all skill levels how to improve their snowmobiling skills at locations across the snowbelt. For more information,

visit backcountrybasics.com.


Views 82
September 01, 2011

SnoWest Newsletter - August 31, 2011


Steve Janes

White Outs … (Staff Blogs)

 

Let’s see, it goes “30 days past September; April, June and November …” By my math, that means October is the only long month left we have to wade through before we see the snow fly. And that month is loaded with snowmobile shows across the country.

So now that we’re into September (which only has 30 days … including Haydays), I’d say the season is officially upon us. It’s time to start placing those orders for snowmobile accessories that will make this winter the best ever.


Okay, so some of you may not like the way I do my math. The temperatures have been in the 90s. Most of us are either in the harvest, getting (our kids) back in school, and stock-piling an ample supply of beverage for the upcoming football season.

But don’t look now, the winter is coming full bore (take a look at some of the winter forecast links below) and it’s time to get the sled ready for riding.

And look at the bright side. By the time you get through this newsletter, the season will be that much closer.


SnoWest Newsletter 08/31/11


Views 105
August 31, 2011

SnoWest Newsletter blog – August 30

Winter Begins

Ryan Harris

There’s something about the last week of August. Everything shifts from all the summer stuff back to winter planning. Any earlier and I’d still rather be outside getting dirt in my shoes and a sunburn on the back of my neck.

But when September is knocking on the door, you can almost hear the snow crunching beneath your boots in a snow-covered parking lot.


Even though we’ve already put a couple issues of the mag together by now, what really gets the winter bug spreading around here is mapping out the new project sled.


Last season, we built one of the hottest Polaris Pro RMKs on the snow. This year, we’re putting together a sweet 2012 Ski-Doo Summit 800 E-Tec.


It started with plans for the engine. Summer seemed only half over, but already you’re beginning to anticipate that first October ride. Then we started on the wrap design, controls, suspension... it snowballs from there.


All of a sudden, it’s 85-degrees F outside and we’re sitting at the computer drooling over skidframes, piggyback shocks, seats and skis. Snow on August 31st would have been welcome... in the mountains, anyway.


Like I said, any earlier and I’d rather be out picking rocks out of my elbows from dumping a bike in a nice, loamy berm with the sun beating down and dust floating in the breeze.

But it’s September. The bug is here. Let’s get on with winter.


Views 114
July 22, 2011

SnoWest NewsLetter - July 21


Steve Janes

Although summer is raging across North America, there are still some of us stuck in snow mode ... which isn't a bad way to be based on the record high temperatures being posted.

Here at SnoWest, we're actually hitting full speed in preparing this fall's issues. Winter is just around the corner and it's never too soon to make plans for the upcoming season ... which promises to be the best one yet.

This week there are a few things worth noting. In the snowmobile industry the western hillclimb circuit wrapped up its season in April with the first ever Powder Mountain Snowmobile near Eden, UT. Also, for you techno geeks, two new mobile phone apps from Polaris have hit the market for Apple iPhone/iPad and Android phones/tablets. And finally, Arctic Cat unleashes its lineup for 2012.

If you haven't been keeping up with the forums, below we have some links to some pretty fun stuff.

First, there's been a lot of buzz going around about Ryan Harris' ride with "overly competitive people" in July. It's fun to see diehards highmarking in the middle of summer.

There's an interesting thread about a New Orleans lawyer trying to secure a title from FHA. Plus there's an informative discussion on the new Timbersled Mountain Tamer suspension.

If you're looking for hope to get you through this long hot summer, there's a weather forecast for this coming winter that you don't want to miss. Some scientific explanation about La Niña and atmospheric cycles and solar activity; when you put this all together with a PhD and some impressive words I can't pronounce or spell, you have a forecast of record-breaking snow. (Where's my Snobunje?)

Finally, forum member ACMtnCat revisits the place where he almost spent the rest of his life earlier this winter. It's nice to see someone stare death in the face … and then catch fish.

SJ
 
SNOWEST NEWSLETTER - 072111

Views 104
July 21, 2011

Road Trip Report

SW Newsletter blog - July 21

Steve Janes

I’m looking forward to next week’s 50th Anniversary of Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls. I was there for the 25th Anniversary … and I hope to be around for the 75th. It’s a great milestone for Cat, which has facilitated years of enjoyment for me via their product.

            Also, I’m looking forward to the drive to Thief. I don’t fly for various reasons. You can call it my own personal “no fly” list. I like driving. I like seeing the land as it lays out … the geography of things. And I like being behind the wheel, not wedged between two fat guys and behind a screaming 3-year-old who don’t understand that his ears will eventually pop.


           
While driving, I like the opportunity to study the mountain ranges along the way. Through Montana alone are the Gravelly Range, Madison Range, Bridger Range, Beartooth Range and the Crazy Mountains. In North Dakota I have the … uh, well, there’s that big buffalo on a mound of dirt.


           
The 50th Anniversary also provides the opportunity to meet and mingle with other snowmobilers killing time during the summer. And Cat has planned two days of non-stop activities like factory tours, demo rides, displays, music, etc. Of course, this leads to hours of standing in line in 90-plus F temperatures … just to get to the porta-potty.


           
This is an event where friends from the north (Roseau) put differences aside and drive down to enjoy the festivities (primarily sitting at the beer garden until they pass out from either heat stroke or alcohol abuse). There will be more green there than at a Saint Patty’s Day Parade.


           
So if you get a chance, slip on over to Thief and say hi. I’ll be the short fat guy with white legs wearing green shorts. That sounds like finding a needle in a hay stack.


Views 111
July 21, 2011

Summer Sledding Send-off

SW Newsletter blog - July 21

Ryan Harris

For the last two years, a group of pro racers, pro backcountry riders, some industry faces and a redneck from the shadows of the Grand Teton have gotten together for a summer sendoff ride in the mountains east of Afton, Wyoming.

Because of the competitive nature of most of the guys on this ride, the action gets almost as intense as the trash talk. I go along to take pictures, but really all I'm interested in is getting guys like RMSHA pro racer Rob Kincaid riled up about something and listening to the string of one-liners that ensues.


This year's ride took place over June 30 and July 1. The snow was fairly rotten and littered with dirt, water blowouts and trenches, but it was still deep. Maybe 5 to 6 feet in some areas. Aside from a few dry spots just after where we left the herd of pickups, we never ran into dirt on the mountain.

But that doesn't mean we didn't run out of entertainment. Tony Jenkins snapped a steering post on his M8, which nearly sent the sled tumbling off the mountain side. He and Kincaid rode two-up for a while after, which set the table for Kincaid's "Sit down and shut up" theme for the rest of the day.

David McClure bent the rails on a sled from jumping it. He kindly came down and parked next to Kincaid, got off and said to Kincaid "Here, you can ride it for a while now," as he walked to Kincaid's sled and took off again.


Bret Rasmussen dropped into a very tight, steep drainage and did a dead-on impression of a Jamaican bobsled run gone wrong.


Geoff "Phatty"Dyer jumped uphill over an exposed cliff band, giving his sled's rear suspension a chance to blow all its shock seals.


I even had a mishap of my own, coming over a ridge that ended in dirt and trees. The sled tossed me over the hood like a monkey throwing poop and then endoed, tapping me on the helmet with the same tenderness as a sledgehammer hitting a fence post.


Anyway, we made it out alive, though in three separate groups and partially after sunset. You can check out photos and comments from the ride on the SnoWest forums
(follow this link:
http://www.snowestonline.com/forum/showthread.php?t=271455).


Views 212
June 17, 2011

Go Away June

SW Newsletter blog - June 16

Ryan

June is the the bastard child of the Mother Year. At least for me anyway.

When the snow starts to melt, we kind of lose interest in the effort it takes to go sledding. I didn't say we lose interest in riding, just all the work that goes into getting there and back. And the snow creates a mess in the mountains for the dirt bike and UTV, so that's kind of out for a while.

Basically, there's a four-week period that hits every year which costs me a lot of money. I get bored, and sitting in a chair inside my office doing actual work isn't an option.

I think coming off a sledding high every spring leaves me kind of wanting to be outside searching for something interesting to do. Years before, it's been guns, bows, cameras, trucks, golf, etc.

This year? Radio controlled trucks. You heard me. I'm what the shrinks call a grown-ass man, too. I try to play it off as something that I got for my son and I to do together, but I guarantee you I've logged double the time on my truck than he has on his. And I shudder to think of how much I've dumped into a total of six different trucks in a 6-week timeframe. We finally have some pretty sweet trucks, and you'd be amazed at the abuse they take and the crap you can jump with them. But I realize that's also pretty much the same as saying that rollerblading and fanny packs are pretty sweet once you find the right ones.

Just like every year, though, the worst part of the story is that once the weather cooperates for that first good dirt bike ride, I completely loose interest in whatever I was doing.

Can't wait 'til next spring. I should have these trucks paid off by then...


Views 111


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