SNOWMOBILE BLOG

September 18, 2012

Great Customer Service


Cory Long, Lake Stevens, WA

Dear Editor:

Myself and nine of my crew went to McCall, ID, to spend a week of self purification (right) and snowmobiling.

We had hit Island Park, ID, and Jackson Hole, WY, and then it was time to visit McCall (rated No. 6 on SnoWest’s Top 15 Trails in the West survey) the week of Feb. 20.

A few days into our ride one of the crew was experiencing a clutch problem with his new [Polaris] Pro (imagine that). It was like the clutch broke and the primary was frozen on to the shaft.

We found that Hinson Power Sports, located a few miles out of town at 13924 Hwy. 55 (www.hinsonpowersports.com) was able to look at it that day. We dropped it off around 11 a.m., visited a few of the local watering holes (for research purposes only of course), grabbed a pizza and then we got the call that the Pro was fixed and though the second year of the warranty was motor only, there was to be a bill of $700 plus dollars.

However, a team member of Hinson Power Sports named Kristy Kern took it upon herself to call Polaris to see if they would help and she got authorization for the entire bill. Kristy went way above what we have all come to experience as dial tone customer service.

Kristy and her team at Hinson Power Sports are amazing. If you’re ever in McCall you need to stop by the shop; it is awesome.

Thank you Kristy for your extra efforts of helping some “out of towners,” getting them back on the trail that same day and going over and above. You’re the best.

 

P.S. If ever in McCall, after you go to Hinson’s, visit Lardos for a shotski. Ask for Lauren.


Views 72
September 18, 2012

Are You Hiring?


Augustus Thompson

Dear Editor:

I’m wondering if you are hiring any test riders. I’m 10 years old and love snowmobiles.

I begged for one since I was 10 months old, no exaggeration. I would do anything to be a test rider.

My parents would let me be test rider and would even sign a contract. Please write back.

 

P.S. Snowmobiling is my life.

(ED—Sorry, Augustus, we’re not hiring test riders right now. But you’re at the top of my list.)


Views 61
September 18, 2012

Cat Announces Production Changes To Some 2013 Sleds

Arctic Cat announced a handful of changes it has made to some of its model year 2013 sleds as these machines head to production.

The following changes apply to all 2013 models:
• To create a tighter seal that eliminates snow ingestion between the bellypan and side panel, plastic backing has been added to the bellypan/side access panel on the left (clutch) side, with a threaded fastener added on the front of side panel.
• New ski dampers utilize added material to better stabilize the skis when airborne, to reduce unwanted ski rocking (or “flopping”) for more predictable handling.
• All ProCross/ProClimb models will come standard with a zippered belt holder that mounts behind the seat, on top of the tunnel. (LXR and Limited models come standard with the mid-capacity tunnel pack and the belt holder.)

The following changes apply to all 2013 M models only:
• To shave weight, M8 Limited models will be equipped with the lightweight RR-style brake disc and get the HCRstyle, front-only heat exchanger, producing a 5-lb. dry weight reduction and between 30-50 lbs. of reduced “riding” weight due to reduced buildup of snow and ice on the heat exchanger. Ice scratchers will come standard on all ProClimb models.
• M8 Limited models will now be offered with 162-inch length tracks, in addition to 153-inch tracks.
• M8 Limited models can be ordered with or without electric start.
• The two-hole steering mount spindles have been revised to have only one mounting hole for the steering arm. The new mounting hole location is 15 mm inboard (closer to the spindle) compared to the 2012 location, allowing the spindle to turn a total of 71.3 degrees (compared to 60.7 degrees in 2012) for a 15.5 percent decrease in turning radius.
• A new, finer mesh screen covers the clutch air duct to minimize snow ingestion.
• A plastic spacer has been added to the driven clutch to improve belt life when running at high speeds on all M and XF High Country models. The spacer forces the driven clutch to reach full-shift slightly before the drive clutch can reach full shift, thus allowing for the clutches to maintain belt squeeze at all times to minimize slippage. This spacer can retrofit to 2012 models.

The following changes apply to F models only:
• To further reduce mechanical sound from the track rolling around the wheels in the suspension, Arctic Cat-patented Quiet Track technology has been incorporated on the newfor- 2013 2.86-in. pitch Ripsaw track that comes on all F models (except the F5 and F570). These raised “bumps” between the internal-molded track bars on the inside of the track eliminate resonant vibration as the track rolls over the wheels to reduce sound.

The following changes apply to XF models only:
• A new, finer mesh screen covers the clutch air duct to minimize snow ingestion.
• On the XF High Country, the two-hole steering mount spindles have been revised to have only one mounting hole for the steering arm. The new mounting-hole location is 15 mm inboard (closer to the spindle) compared to the 2012 location, allowing the spindle to turn a total of 71.3 degrees (compared to 60.7 degrees in 2012) for a 15.5 percent decrease in turning radius.


Views 65
September 18, 2012

Dynojet Power Commander V With Fuel, Ignition Control

Dynojet Power Commander VFor select single and twin cylinder engines, fuel delivery and spark advance adjustments can now be made with the new Power Commander V with fuel and ignition control. Now you can realize all the benefits of the Power Commander V and the Ignition Module 5 wrapped in a single enclosure.

  • Includes all the features and accessory options of the Power Commander V for precise fuel control
  • Allows +/-20 degrees of timing adjustment
  • Adjust timing per cylinder
  • Adjust timing per gear
  • Raise your rev limit (only available on select models)
  • Adjust timing based on temperature or boost inputs
  • Built-in launch limiter
  • Gear position timing
  • Boost/nitrous retard timing
  • Pit lane limiter

Another feature of the Power Commander V with Fuel and Ignition is the ability to use any two of these functions at the same time: Map Switch, QuickShifter, Pit Lane Speed Limiter and Launch Control.

Contact Dynojet Research (800) 992-4993 or www.dynojet.com.


Views 238
September 18, 2012

Evolution CS, Evolution CTS Available For Ford Diesel Trucks

Edge EvolutionEdge Products has announced the release of the 2011-2012 Ford F-150 3.7L, 5.0L and 6.2L trucks on the Evolution CS and Evolution CTS. The top programmer in the market has added performance for the top-selling truck in the market.

All current Evolution CS and Evolution CTS products can be updated via Fusion Software to include these new applications. Performance gains are as follows: 26 hp and 34 ft-lbs of torque on the 6.2L, up to 25 hp and 28 ft-lbs of torque on the 5.0L and up to 28 hp and 48 ft-lbs of torque on the 3.7L.

Contact Edge Products (888) 360-3343 or www.edgeproducts.com.


Views 151
September 18, 2012

Klim Updates Top-Of-The-Line Parka, Bib

Redesigned Valdez ParkaKlim is gearing up for a great snow season and nothing shows they’re ready to ride more than the redesign of their top-of-the-line Valdez Parka and Togwotee Bib. The Valdez Parka and Togwotee Bib are the only pieces on the snow that have Klim-selected features and benefits like Gore-Tex ProShell construction technology—the most durable, breathable and Guaranteed To Keep You Dry waterproof technology.

Redesigned Valdez Parka
Klim streamlined the Valdez, removing pocket flaps and revising the fit to eliminate excessive fabric and bulk. The company even managed to get faster pocket access—even while riding. Second, styling is improved with an embossed fabric technology that adds cutting edge design (and a true black-out look to the black colorway) and dynamic texture to the most advanced jacket in snowmobiling. Featuring Gore-Tex Pro Shell Comfort Mapping construction— guaranteed waterproof and the most breathable, most durable motorsportsspecific shell material in the world—the Klim Valdez is the top choice if you want to stay dry year after year.

The Klim Valdez Parka retails for: $419.99 (S-2XL), $459.99 (3XL) and is available in black, red or blue.

Redesigned Togwotee BibRedesigned Togwotee Bib
The Togwotee comes into 2013 with a black-out style (all gray color blocking has been eliminated) and the same embossed fabric technology as the new Valdez Parka. Gore-Tex Pro Shell construction offers the most durable, most breathable and guaranteed waterproof technology on the snow, six cargo pocket options give you great carrying capacity and highly durable exterior shell materials keep it looking new season after season.

The Togwotee Bib retails for: $399.99 (XS-2XL), $419.99 (SM-2XL Tall) $445.99 (3XL), $465.99 (3XL TALL) and is available in black.

Contact Klim (208) 552-7433 or www.klim.com.


Views 177
September 18, 2012

New Tunnel Supports

New Tunnel SupportDesigned for select Ski-Doo XP/XR sleds, new tunnel supports by White Out Technologies (WOT) are made of 1/8- inch aluminum and benefit from the only integrated toe hold feature on the market. This toe hold feature effectively ties the outer rail to the tunnel for increased running board rigidity.

In addition to strengthening the running boards, the toe hold provides the rider with a location to place his feet when lining up with sleds on the lake or negotiating a hill in the steep and deep. The overall length of the support is more than double the length of similar products, creating a solid platform for the rider.

The tunnel supports are available in natural aluminum or black powdercoat finish. All mounting hardware is included. The supports start at $150 a set.

Contact White Out Technologies www.whiteouttechnologies.com.


Views 125
September 18, 2012

Mountain Addiction Patriot Riding Gear

Mountain Addiction Patriot riding gearMountain Addiction has released its Made in the USA Patriot riding gear. Utilizing the best fabrics to bring you the ultimate in waterproofing, windproofing and breathability, this gear incorporates YKK zippers and snaps, reflective piping and includes arm and back vents.

The jackets have comfort fit collars, fleece-lined inner pocket, D rings, an adjustable waist and are longer in the back to prevent that air gap between your pants and jacket. The mid-rise pants include full leg zippers, removable knee pads and boot lace gators. Both the pants and jackets come in black with quicksilver stitching or graphite grey with quicksilver stitching. Sizes Small to 3XL.

Jackets retail for $459 and pants for $399.

Contact Mountain Addiction (509) 881-7688 or www.mountainaddiction.com.


Views 124
September 18, 2012

Mercury Quicksilver Unveils Line Of Powersports Oils

Mercury Quicksilver Powersports OilMercury Quicksilver unveiled a new line of powersports oils designed especially for motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and personal watercraft. The ATV/UTV oil is available in a 5W40. The snowmobile and personal watercraft oils are for two-stroke engines. The entire product line is full synthetic, meets all industry and OEM standards and won’t void manufacturer warranties.

The Quicksilver brand is owned by Mercury Marine, a world leader in the design and manufacture of marine engines.

Follow OEM recommended maintenance and service schedules. However, when OEM oils are not available, Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants are a great alternative.

Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants also provide better protection when compared to standard automotive oils. Powersports engines are run in extreme conditions that require a higher level of protection that automotive oils do not provide. When compared to automobile engines, powersports engines generally have a higher horsepower per displacement, run at higher rpms, operate in extreme ambient temperatures and run in adverse conditions including snow, dust, dirt, mud and fresh and salt water. For example, unlike automotive oils, Quicksilver ATV oil contains corrosion inhibitors, provides easy starting at all temperatures and helps prevent clutch slippage and glazing.

Contact Mercury Marine www.mercurypartsexpress.com.


Views 107
September 18, 2012

Runnin' On Empty

Practical Joke Or Cruel Irony?

Lane Lindstrom

I’m either the victim of a pretty spectacular practical joke or a cruel ironic situation.

Let me take you back a few months to explain.

I don’t know how I got on this mailing list but I started receiving surveys in the mail from the National Parks Conservation Association, not a group exactly in love with snowmobiling.

The surveys dealt, in part, with snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. The questions asked if you were for or against snowmobiling in YNP and should sleds be allowed in the Park. Of course you know how I answered. Absolutely yes, we should be allowed to snowmobile in YNP.

I figured after I returned the first survey I would be quickly dropped from the mailing list but no, not hardly. I got three more surveys over the course of a few weeks. I filled them out exactly the same way I did the first one, figuring someone would weed me out. But it never happened. I never filled out the final survey I was sent. Maybe that would get me off the list.

However, not only am I still on the National Parks Conservation Association’s mailing list, I’m now getting membership cards in the mail, which, as you can guess, include a request for a donation. I haven’t returned any but am now up to my third membership card and request for money.

I really thought they would get the hint. Now I’m beginning to think the National Parks Conservation Association is continuing to hound me in what I consider a cruel turn of irony.

Or, one of my “friends” out there is somehow managing to keep my name on their mailing list.

Either way, it’s annoying.

Normally, I just toss the National Parks Conservation Association mailing in the trash (no, I don’t recycle them). But the last one I received, I opened and read a couple of statements that I thought I might share.

These “fun” statements include this one:

“You see, the most important aspect of our national parks is that they are open to everyone. All are welcome to visit a national park to restore the spirit, refresh the body and inspire the heart.”

Everyone is welcome unless they want to, say, ride a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park. Fortunately we can still ride in the Park, but we’re going on 10 plus years of fighting for that privilege.

Here’s another fun one:

“These and other American treasures of wilderness and history are threatened as never before by air and water pollution, commercial development, motorized misuse, and other dangerous threats.”

No doubt some of that is probably true. However, the National Parks Conservation Association isn’t making any points with me by continuing to send me annoying junk mail.

My suggestion to the National Parks Conservation Association would be to stop sending me junk mail and use that money to help fund the parks that need to hire rangers and repair infrastructure.

Here’s another suggestion. Perhaps the association could stop filing lawsuits and instead send that money to any number of national parks which could use it for lots better reasons.

And if this isn’t cruel irony but instead a practical joke, whoever out there did this, fess up. I want to kindly repay you. Maybe a week-long trip to a Sierra Club convention. Or tree sitting with the Earth First! crowd. I’ve got plenty of ideas.


Views 66
September 18, 2012

Thanks Arctiva For The Gear


Rick Jackson, Serling, CO

Dear Editor:

As one of the 12 Days of SnoWest contest winners, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and Arctiva for the comp pants and bibs.

The combination makes me look much “faster” than I am but at least while stopped, I look great. I have been riding for 30 plus years and have worn every rider gear product known to man. After using the outfit, it is quite obvious the Arctiva folks put tremendous thought and technology into these items, making them very rider-friendly.

I am a loyal reader of SnoWest and look forward to many more freebies.

Keep them coming.


Views 82
September 12, 2012

Shaping Up (Part 2)


Steve Janes Blog

On my last blog I mentioned the need to start getting in shape—this coming from a guy who has a buffet table next to his recliner so he doesn’t have to get out of a chair during the televised football games.

            But aside from that, I do my part to stay in riding shape. I always walk and carry my clubs on a golf course. I walk two miles a day with my wife while she vents (it’s always better to allow your wife to vent while walking in a public place daily than to allow her to build up the pressure and explode while you’re trying to watch a good football game on TV). I even occasionally take the stairs up to my fourth floor office at work. But then, I usually take the elevator back up to my office after slipping out at morning break to get a cookie from Great Harvest.


           
Taking all this in consideration, I guess I’m not the best one to offer tips for getting in shape for the snow season. But the bottom line is that I believe I’m in better shape than Lane (who’s only exercise program is lifting a 44-ounce soft drink twice a day) and Ryan (who frequents Burger King so often that they once called the office to see if Ryan was sick because he hadn’t picked up his breakfast burrito that morning).

            Perhaps the reason we harp so much about lightweight sleds is because we need the snowmobile manufacturers to off-set the extra pounds we tend to collect around our waists during the off season.

            So when it comes to getting a little more serious about getting in shape, I guess I’m going to have to just bite the bullet and lay off the cookies. But I do hope that it’s a chocolate-covered bullet with a caramel filling.

SJ


Views 108
September 12, 2012

SnoWest Newsletter - Sept. 14th, 2012

Hay Days—The Start of Winter


           If you need an excuse to dust off your snowmobile and get excited for winter, nothing beats Hay Days. Thousands go there. Even more thousands claim that they want to go there if they could only get off work … or a hundred other excuses.

But the bottom line is it is the unofficial start of winter.


             Although there isn’t one thing that makes Hay Days such a big event, there are lots of little things the attract snowmobilers—grass drags, swap meets, aftermarket displayers, new snowmobile intros, enthusiasts—just collecting as a crowd of like-minded people have made it an event.

So now that winter is here, or at least close enough that we can smell the fragrance of two-cycle oil, its time to pull the sled out of storage and put fresh fuel in the tank.


            It may not have snowed yet, but who wants to be caught unprepared. Let’s ride.

View the Complete SnoWest Newsletter – Sept. 14th 2012


Views 87
September 06, 2012

Shaping Up


Steve Janes Blog

By the looks at what's happening in the neighboring farm fields, I would suspect that we're on our last leg of summer. That means it's likely too late for many of us to begin to get back in shape for hunting season.

Why is it that during the summer, when we’re the most active with yard work and family outings, we somehow become a six foot Twinkie—primed for puking up the gooey white filling on our first hike up a steep mountain trail.


But all is not lost. If we just start to get in shape for the elk hunt now, we should be able to climb a 20-foot incline without coughing up a lung the first time we step out of our trucks during the hunt. And at this pace, we just may be able to be in enough shape to load our sleds when that first flake o snow falls to touch off the winter season.


Although it’s not critical to be in perfect condition for the hunt, it’s imperative to be in shape the first time you hit the snow. After all, chances are like 1 in 8 that you shoot a deer or elk that will require you to drag it back to the truck. But your chances of getting stuck in four feet of fresh fluff are 100 percent.

And when you have a sure thing, life’s great.


SJ


Views 109
September 06, 2012

SnoWest Newsletter - Sept. 7th, 2012

Beating Summer


          Since the last newsletter, the SnoWest staff has been busy wrapping up summer and preparing for the upcoming winter season. Since winter left us last season in so much haste, it left a rather lengthy void that needed to be filled with warm weather activities.


            For some, golf can go a long ways in soaking up the sun until the start of a new winter season. For others, fishing hits the spot.


             But with the extend summer, we turned to ATVs and side-X-sides to beat the heat. Although this activity can in no way fulfill the need for snow, it's still an activity that involves speed, power and Mother Nature.


             The biggest drawback with wheeled toys, when compared to snowmobiles, is the lack of freedom. Although there are some great trails that expose you to some spectacular vistas and backcountry, it can never match the sensation of floating through snow and climbing to the tops of the tallest mountains. But on the other hand, when the snow is gone, the sleds must be parked.


             You may not have the freedom that snow offers, but you can still ride.

View the Complete SnoWest Newsletter – Sept. 7th 2012


Views 95
August 14, 2012

On the road again (Part 2)


Steve Janes Blog

            Summer is that awkward time between spring riding and winter; when we make the big choice whether we’re going to keep our sled for another season or trade it off for something new.

            The nice part about summer is that eventually it becomes fall. And that’s when some of those open houses occur at favorite snowmobile dealerships. One such is happening this weekend at Seeley Lake, MT.

            Kurt’s Polaris is pulling all stops to make its third annual “Snow Check Party” a huge event. To set up Saturday’s open house, Kurt’s Polaris is hosting a Round of Golf to promate the Montana Snowmobile Association.

            Well, since I find a great way to pass summer is by playing pasture pool, this provides a great excuse to head on up to Seeley Lake to spend some time with Curtis Friede, Levi  Lavallee, Chris Burandt, Dan Adams, Keith Curtis and a bunch of other notables in the snowmobile industry.

            The golfing is on Friday (Aug. 17). The open house is Saturday (Aug. 20). Hopefully I’ll see you there.

SJ


Views 99
June 21, 2012

On the road again


Steve Janes Blog

Last week Lane Lindstrom and myself asked Ryan Harris if he wanted to drive over to Pinedale, WY, with us. We told him we were taking some sleds back and knew he wanted to test his new Dodge diesel truck’s towing capacity.

            Ryan pulled into my place around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday and we hooked him up to our four-place enclosed trailer and hopped into his truck. As we drove down the highway, Ryan noted that he could feel the trailer a little more than what he thought he should.

            “For just a couple of sleds, it sure seems heavy,” he remarked as we headed up the road.

            When we pulled into Bucky’s Polaris and dropped the back door of the trailer, Ryan noticed that not only were there two snowmobiles that we were returning, but also two side-by-sides.

            “No wonder the trailer pulled heavy,” Ryan said. “Why did you put the side-by-sides in here?”

            “Two reasons,” I replied. “First, so you could see how well your new truck towed a heavy trailer. Second, because Lane and I aren’t riding back home with you.”

            And with that, Lane and I hoped into the side-by-sides and started on our two-day trek back from Pinedale through the mountains to Idaho Falls—about 230 miles on backcountry roads and trails.

            As for Ryan … well it likely was a quiet ride back to Idaho Falls. But hey, somebody needed to make the sacrifice. (You can read about our ride to Idaho Falls in the next issue of Dirt Toys Magazine.)

SJ


Views 101
April 19, 2012

Oh Canada

Steve Jane's Blog

Steve Janes

Oh Canada

            It had been over 25 years since I was last up to Canada snowmobiling. And back 25 years, most of the riding was limited to trails and a few open play areas where the slopes were gentle and the snow somewhat settled.


           
This time, however, with new technology the snowmobiles go almost anywhere—actually, the will go where you have the guts to take them. The country near Revelstoke, BC is vast and endless. From any given mountain peak you can see unlimited riding possibilities.


           
The main difference between Canada and many areas in the western United States is the size of the mountains. Sure, both areas feature elevations climbing around 10,000 feet. But in the United States, the climb usually start at about 6,000 feet (making mountains appear about 4,000 feet tall), in Canada the mountains start at about 2,000 feet (making them appear about 8,000 feet tall).


           
Although there are those popular areas where snowmobilers tend to conglomerate, there are so many little drainages and play areas where you can go to find fresh untracked snow.


           
As I reflect on the change in perspective over the past 25 years, the one though that keeps coming to my mind is “why did it take 25 years to go back?” All I know is that it certainly won’t take any time for me to start planning my next trip north.


SJ

 


Views 151
April 02, 2012

Out Of Control

Steve Janes's Blog Mar 30th

Steve Janes

Out Of Control

            When you ride in extreme conditions, you quickly learn the need to have total control of your snowmobile. Mistakes at elevation can be costly, if not disastrous.


           
If you happen to lose control of your sled in steep technical terrain, even if it’s only for a second, the chances of gravity taking charge and depositing you into trees or rocks below is very real.


           
The other day I was experimenting with a new ski design from a company that isn’t known for building skis. The skis had a unique look and feel to them … but the predictability and control were terrible. So what could have been a fun ride turning into a white-knuckle experience trying to keep my snowmobile in control.


           
The result was a very timid riding experience where the easier line was always chosen and became more difficult than expected. What I learned for this is that skis make a real difference in your riding experience. Good skis allow you more freedom in the lines you choose. Bad skis can strip you of your confidence and keep you on the defensive for your entire ride.


           
These skis did not bode well … and were removed from the sled immediately after the ride. My only regret for the ride, however, is that I had to pass up some great snow a time of year when our rides are numbered. I won’t make that mistake again.


SJ


Views 106
March 22, 2012

State of Racing

Steve Janes Blog March 22nd

Steve Janes

            Times have changed. About a decade ago I was flagging races in West Yellowstone where even in the Women’s class there were a dozen or so racers on the track providing an exciting show for the 2,000-3,000 race fans in the snow bleachers.


           
This year in the Pro class there were four racers stretched out around the track with about two dozen fans in the snow bleachers watching … about as exciting as watching a group of tourists ride rental sleds down the Two Top trail.


           
I don’t want to disparage the quality or racers … it’s just that with quantity there is quality. And we ain’t got the quantity.


           
Almost everyone in the industry may have an opinion as to what’s happened to snocross racing. But the bottom line is that across the board it stinks—here, in the East, in the Midwest. When the most competitive classes are with 120ccs, you know we have a problem. And when there aren’t competitive intermediate classes for the young racers to progress to the upper classes, it’s unlikely we can sustain the enthusiasm shown by those 6-year-olds (or rather their parents) as they progress in future years.


           
And if the lack or race sleds don’t discourage them, the cost of the sport will.


           
Now I don’t have the answers. But I am concerned that our industry is becoming so specialized (especially in mountain sleds) that we are losing a segment of our sport where people like to get out and go fast on an inexpensive, reliable sled.


SJ


Views 98
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