September 20, 2012

Tis’ The Season

Steve Janes Blog

           Fall is a great time of year for outdoor enthusiasts. The weather is outstanding (especially in eastern Idaho where fall weather is unquestionably the most pleasant time of the year). The kids are back in school so everyone’s schedule becomes much more predictable.

            It’s hunting time. The end of yard work is approaching. Some of the world’s best fishing is happening. And the snowmobile season is just around the corner.

Although it’s not officially “riding” season … it’s close enough to winter that we can start polishing up the sled and making any modifications for this year.

Fall is the time of year when men traditionally do men things—watching football, killing elk, and letting the grass grow. It’s harvest time. It’s when men proclaim the work is done and play begins.

It’s the season for snowmobile shows—whether it be in Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho or a number of other locations across the snowbelt; where we can spend a day or two looking at what’s new and rubbing shoulders with other enthusiasts.

It’s a time when the days get shorter, the football flies farther and the nights get colder. Life slows down a bit, allowing us to reflect on the past, and anticipate the future.

It’s fall. Do you know where your snowmobile is?


Views 163
September 20, 2012

SnoWest Newsletter - Sept. 20th, 2012

Making Tracks

Just how long is too long? When it comes to powering through deep mountain powder, just how much track can you run on a snowmobile?

That's always the 100 dollar question for sled designers. Track length has to be balanced with the ability to steer the snowmobile with the power to turn the track. And over the years, as technology improved in engine performance and suspension, the length of snowmobile tracks extended.

Ted George, friend in Jackson, WY, has toyed with this concept for several years. For the past two winters he has ridden his Polaris Pro RMK 800 with his own designed 189-inch track. And he has been very satisfied with the results.

This season he's toying with a 201-inch track. He's excited to test it. We're excited to see what he finds. It's always refreshing to see the innovations that come from the unique individuals within the snowmobile industry.

Just how long is too long? We're not sure we've gotten to that point yet.

View the Complete SnoWest Newsletter – Sept. 20th 2012

Views 179
September 18, 2012

And The Award Goes To...

SnoWest Magazine names its favorite features

the SnoWest Staff

Not that anyone has been keeping track, but it’s been 10 years since we last gave out awards of any kind in SnoWest Magazine.

Oh, we’ve talked about our favorite sled or favorite this or that part, but nothing where we’ve placed the official “award” moniker to it.

Well, we’re back in the award biz—sort of. We’re not going to tell you what the sled of the year is—we’ll wait until the snow dust settles from the Deep Powder Challenge later this winter to do that. But there is some excellent hardware on the western slopes these days with unique innovations. We wanted to highlight the little things that make snowmobiles work so well in extreme conditions, and some not-so-little things. You’ll agree with some while others might get your dander up a bit. That’s okay. Not even all of the SnoWest SnowTest staff agreed on everything but it was fun to “discuss” it as we generally settled on the major highlights of various mountain sleds.

We have created 28 awards that are likely overlooked by those other publications that like giving awards.

So here is what we think of various pieces and parts of each snowmobile manufacturer’s mountain machines.

Cat Awards

Vertical SteeringVertical: The New Horizontal Award: Vertical Steering

Back in the day, most snowmobilers kept their butts firmly planted on the seat and “drove” snowmobiles. But somewhere along the way riders started getting up off the seat and began riding their sleds. Cat realized that vertical steering allowed a rider to move around the sled more easily and provided more consistent handling in turning. So by moving the steering post more upright, it allowed a more consistent horizontal turn for the bars … unless of course you were pointing straight up a mountain, which then turned the post horizontal and the bars vertical … if you get the picture.

4-Stroke TurboTower Of Power Award: 4-Stroke Turbo

Arctic Cat features the strongest stock engine in the industry with the 4-stroke turbo. This monster produces 177 hp at 7850 rpm with 121-ft-lbs. of torque at 7300 rpm—regardless of elevation or temperature. The intercooled turbo works off 9 psi of boost while a waste gate control valve regulates intake pressure to reduce turbo lag.



PowerClaw TrackRiverboat Casino Award: PowerClaw Track

The 2.6-inch PowerClaw Track offers the thrust of a riverboat paddle … but once you point it up a mountain, the rest of your ride you’re gambling with gravity. This track works to get you up on top of the snow and up on top of the mountain. It’s like you’re gambling with gravity every time you point it up.



ProClimb ChassisHolding The Line Award: ProClimb Chassis

There is nothing like the balance of the Cat. You pull it on its side and you can keep it there all day. The ProClimb chassis features a neutrally-balanced rider position on an ultra-rigid and strong platform. There is no unpredictability in this chassis. It is responsive and consistent. You pick the line and it will stay where you want it.

Tall SpindlesSears Tower Award: Tall Spindles

Spindles are as tall as the Sears Tower (especially when compared to industry norms). But the new design replaces the two-mounting-hole design with one mounting hole that is located 15mm closer to the spindle for a 15 percent increase in turning radius. The one-piece forged spindles are designed to reduce force/load transfer by allowing a longer distance between the upper and lower A-arms.

Telescopic SteeringReach For The Sky Award: Telescopic Steering

Whether you are tall or short, the telescopic steering post puts the handlebars right where you want them. The M 800 Sno Pro and HCR models feature a quick-adjusting Telescoping Steering system that allows you to position your bars exactly where you want them at that moment and quickly readjust them to the changing conditions. There are a dozen different setting locations (in 3/8-inch increments) accessible by a simple hand-operated locking collar.


Front-Only Heat ExchangerThe Heat Is On Award: Front-Only Heat Exchanger

Cat’s cooling system is designed to not only effectively cool the engine, but to create enough heat to eliminate ice buildup in the tunnel. The HCR-style front-only heat exchanger eliminates 5 lbs. of dry weight while potentially preventing up to 50 lbs. of ice build-up weight. This is like using a problem to solve a problem; efficiency in engineering.


Yamaha Awards

Ascent TrackOther Side Of The Tracks Award: Ascent Track

While the competition is based in the 2-stroke world, Yamaha designed the Ascent Track to deal with the power of a 4-stroke. The tips of the track lugs flex enough to allow the Ascent Track to get up on top of the snow. The lower two-thirds of the lug are designed to provide the thrust necessary to propel the sled forward, even when the track is powered on boost. Throw in a pair of single-piece extrovert drive sprockets and you have less rotating mass and decreased vibration.

ClutchingCool Under Pressure Award: Clutching

Yamaha doesn’t just put a clutch on its 4-stroke engines. Engineers literally match the clutch to the power of the engine to make them more efficient. By designing a clutch to operate at lower rpm, Yamaha has reduced heat and stress created between the clutches and drive belt. So you end up with better belt wear, better belt life and less engine heat build-up..


DurabilityClean, One Owner Award: Durability

No other sled allows you to the kind of dependability like Yamaha does. Putting 30,000 to 50,000 miles on the sled isn’t a problem with the sled … but it may be a problem with you if you don’t get out and ride. A powerful 4-stroke engine with advanced fuel injection provides spot-on power response when you flick the throttle. This sled was built to last. You don’t see many used 4-stroke Yamahas on the market, but when you do you know they are likely clean, one owner … who may or may not have only driven them on Sundays to church.

ProMountain Air Rear SuspensionCalling In Air Support Award: ProMountain Air Rear Suspension

The Nytro MTX features a totally redesigned rear suspension that is highlighted with Fox Float shocks for lightweight performance. The front suspension also features Fox Floats which eliminates steel coil springs, making the entire suspension cleaner and lighter. Once you figure out your own personal optimum setting, you feel like you’re flying through the air just looking for moguls or snow drifts to attack.

Yamaha Extended ServiceSatisfaction Guaranteed Award: Yamaha Extended Service

Does Yamaha offer the best service package in the industry? Say YES—Yamaha Extended Service. This package is designed to cover repair costs, towing fees, even replacement rental costs so you are never out any time on the snow. It’s a transferable protection service which increases the resale value of your snowmobile over the life of the sled. You can’t beat that.

Electric StartGentlemen: Start Your Engines Award: Electric Start

It’s nice to have a “turn key” operation. Every Yamaha snowmobile comes with electric start … which means they don’t come with a rope on a handle. Yamaha’s fuel injection system is designed to provide superior starting performance, even in extreme cold temperatures where a rich air/fuel mixture is necessary for instantaneous ignition.


Excellent Resale ValueBlue Light Special Award: Excellent Resale Value

No other snowmobile holds its resale value like a Yamaha. Since 2002, Yamaha has offered advances in 4-stroke engine design technology, just one of the reasons that Yamaha snowmobiles have maintained high resale values. Something as simple as Yamaha’s 3-cylinder low-pressure casting upper case and closed-deck type cylinder structure offers a functional lightweight design while accommodating a complex high tech powerplant.

Polaris Top Features

Pro Ride ChassisSide Show Award: Pro Ride Chassis

Backcountry mountain riding isn’t about cruising down the trail to an open hillside and climbing it 30 times. It’s about pointing the front bumper in one direction and conquering any terrain you come across in the next 30 miles. The Polaris Pro Ride chassis is as comfortable on its side as it is flat on its skis. That means you can sidehill it for miles, through ruts, across hard ridges, over rocks and rotten snow … we’ve tried it all and if you’ve got a three-mile canyon with a nasty V-bottom to avoid, the Polaris will stick to the sidehill like a moth to a TV screen.

PowderTrac Running BoardsWhat's Missing Award: PowderTrac Running Boards

What’s missing is the annoying and heavy buildup of snow and ice on the running board. Half of the area on Polaris’ new extruded aluminum running boards is open for maximum snow evacuation. What’s not missing is the squishy feel of a flexible running board thanks to the PowderTrac’s rigid design. Careful here: jump the seat and miss the boards with your boot once and you’ll be giving it the Shredded Shins award.

Pro RMKConfidence Booster Award: Pro RMK

We’ve all been there: a weak moment on the rider’s part puts the sled in a sticky situation. It seems like it’s easiest to get out of a jam when you’re on the Pro RMK. The combination of its rigid chassis, smooth power delivery, throttle response and quick reaction to rider input make it go where it’s told to go, leaving the rider feeling like he can conquer anything. Almost anything.

QuickDrive Low Inertia Drive SystemYanking My Chain Award: QuickDrive Low Inertia Drive System

Polaris is yanking your chain for 2013—yanking it right off of the Pro RMK. The chain and chaincase are replaced with the QuickDrive Low Inertia Drive System, which is a lot of words for saying belt drive. The result is a 21 percent reduction in inertia which, according to Polaris, translates to 5 lbs. less effort the rider has to exert to flick the sled around. The QuickDrive includes the extruded drive shaft, lightweight brake disc and maintenance-free belt drive.


Pro Lite SeatBest-Designed, Least-Used Feature Award: Pro Lite Seat

Least-used feature? If you’re using the seat as a chair while you ride the western Rockies, you’re doing it wrong. Mountain sled seat design is changing to keep it out of the way as you hop from side to side and swing your leg across. The 2013 Pro RMK’s Pro Lite seat is shorter (lengthwise) by 5.5 inches, allowing you to easily swing a leg from one side to the other. It’s also 3.75-inches wider with a flatter area for more comfortable sitting. Ok, we get tired at the end of the day, too.

2013 Pro RMK 155Lightest Sled On The Mountain Award: 2013 Pro RMK 155

We’ve been demanding lighter mountain snowmobiles since … well, since the first one. Weights have fluctuated for decades, but Polaris has managed to keep its Pro RMK weight numbers headed in the right direction without any major compromise in durability. For that Polaris deserves credit. We’ve always wanted a 400-pound dry weight mountain sled and the 2013 Pro RMK 800 155 is within 17 lbs. of that.

Carbon Fiber OverstructureHigh Carbon Fiber Diet Award: Carbon Fiber Overstructure

Polaris feels that a rider exerts less energy and therefore rides better longer into the day if the chassis is both rigid and lightweight. Then the company put its money where its mouth is and designed a carbon fiber overstructure to lighten up the Pro Ride chassis while maintaining its rigidity. It’s a diet plan we can stick with.


Ski-Doo Awards

Ski-Doo Summit Rev XMGame Changer Award: Ski-Doo Summit Rev XM

The widely-heralded King of the Mountain—the Polaris Pro RMK—might just be looking over its shoulder this winter as the Summit X will be breathing down its snow flap and hot on its trail. The Summit X is that good and should challenge the RMK’s western dominance. It’s going to be a fun battle to watch—and participate in.



FlexEdge TrackFlexible Rate Award: FlexEdge Trade

Just like a flexible rate mortgage allows you to control and manage your monthly payments, Ski-Doo’s innovative new track gives you the flexibility to do what you want to do when you want to do it and how you want to do it. You are in control of the sled in all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of conditions from deep powder to hard pack.

The track, which is still 16 inches wide, uses fiberglass reinforcing rods that are only 12 inches wide, which means the outside two inches on each side of the track flexes, allowing easier roll-up and giving the sled some “bite” while sidehilling. Think of it as having the maneuverability of a narrow track and the flotation of a wide track.

Rotax E-Tec 800R EngineMr. Clean Award: Rotax E-Tec 800R Engine

There’s a reason you don’t hear any arguments as to which sled manufacturer has the cleanest 2-stroke engine. Plain and simple, it’s Ski-Doo. Not only is the E-Tec the cleanest two-stroke on the snow, it’s the most powerful in the 800cc class with a claimed 163.9 hp.

There is virtually no smoke or smell, even when firing the sled up or while the sled is idling and the E-Tec has the lowest emissions of any 800 on the market. E-Tec technology also helps the engine to be a leader in low oil consumption.

Ergonomics on the Rev XMLocation, Location, Location Award: New Sled Ergonomics On The Rev XM

Wow, where to start. Much of mountain riding has to do with where the rider is on the machine. Body position makes a lot of difference in deep powder riding, sidehilling, hillclimbing. To get the rider farther forward on the Rev XM chassis, Ski-Doo made changes to the area at the front of the running boards. Riders can now put their feet 8 inches farther forward on the running boards compared to the Rev XP chassis. Speaking of running boards, Ski-Doo has redesigned those as well, giving 87 percent more surface opening to allow the snow to fall through and your feet stay planted instead of slipping around. The extrusions are taller on the edges and three times stronger than the Rev XP extrusion.

The days of planting your butt in the seat for lengthy periods of time are long gone as mountain riders want a seat to be there for an occasional rest and not be in the way when jumping from one side to the other. The seat on the Rev XM is shorter by a whopping six inches and a half-inch shorter height-wise. Bonus: there’s still a small storage compartment.

tMotion Rear SuspensionMotion To Recess Award: tMotion Rear Suspension

Recess as in taking the work out of mountain riding. Rolling the Summit up on its side to play in the powder or sidehill has never been easier and is just about as simple as shifting your body weight to the uphill side. Keeping it up is just as easy. No more does the sled want to lay flat on the snow and the rider struggling to keep the sled tipped up.

The tMotion uses an inventive mix of features to accomplish this, including a ball joint on the rear scissor arm and split front arm that allow the skid frame to flex laterally while allowing four degrees rotation movement of the whole rear skid for easy sidehilling.

Pilot DS 2 SkisSki No Evil Award: Pilot DS 2 Skis

We’ve had plenty of evil (that’s kind of strong, but probably true) things to say about previous Ski-Doo skis but with the new DS 2 skis you will hear no evil from us. The DS 2 skis have a deeper keel while the back of the ski is now flat rather than tipped up like the DS. The flat back helps cure the Summit of wanting to creep up a hill when you’re sidehilling. The skis are also shorter behind the spindle, which helps in countersteering. The skis are a nice complement to the tMotion Rear Suspension and FlexEdge Track.

Engine Throttle ResponseFirst Responder Award: Engine Throttle Response

We must be pretty impressed with the Rotax E-Tec engine to give it two awards. Darn impressed. We already crowed about it having the most power on the snow but what’s equally as impressive is its smooth-as-butter throttle response and broad powerband. The E-Tec power flat-out gets you where you want to go regardless of whether you need to blast up a mountainside or feather it through the trees.

Views 845
September 18, 2012

What's The Real Story?

Sal Caccavallo, Gendive, MT

Dear Editor:

What’s the real story? In January’s issue, Volume 39, No. 1, page 19 [“Project MLC (Mid-Life Crisis), SnoWest] Project Mid-Life Crisis has the new [Polaris] RMK 155 at a staggering 530 lbs.

Then on page 26 [“Project Xtreme Mountain King: Breaking The 400- Pound Barrier,” SnoWest, January, 2012] the same sled is listed as 431 lbs. Which is true?

Keep up the great work.

(ED—The numbers you’re referring to are wet vs. dry weight. The smaller number is dry—no coolant, no oil, no fluids whatsoever in the sled.)

Views 81
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 ( 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 104
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 88
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 90
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

Views 335
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

Views 287
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

Views 243
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

Views 171
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

Views 189
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

Views 145
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 94
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 110
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.


Views 151
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 121
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.


Views 141
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 134
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.


Views 149

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