Archive for September, 2013

Arctic Cat and Yamaha Celebrate Joint Snowmobile Production

Posted on September 30th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article

First Yamaha SR Vipers Are Off Assembly Line in Thief River Falls, MN

The Arctic Cat factory in Thief River Falls, MN

The employees join in the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Arctic Cat factory in Thief River Falls, MN

Thief River Falls, Minn. (Sept. 30, 2013) – As the very first Yamaha SR Viper units rolled off the assembly line at the Arctic Cat factory in Thief River Falls, MN, employees involved with the snowmobiles gathered to celebrate. The milestone was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony with executives from both Arctic Cat and Yamaha.

Arctic Cat Chairman and CEO, Claude Jordan addressed the crowd stating, “Every employee standing here should be proud of this history-making day. We are very excited how our relationship with Yamaha continues to grow and the successful future that lies ahead for both companies. Jordan closed by saying, “Going forward we believe this relationship will provide tremendous value to Arctic Cat, our customers, our dealers and our shareholders.”

Arctic Cat Chairman and CEO Claude Jordan addresses the crowd.

Arctic Cat Chairman and CEO Claude Jordan addresses the crowd.

The all-new Arctic Cat 7000-Series snowmobiles are the result of an industry-first in the modern era: Arctic Cat is in a supplier agreement with Yamaha to leverage their respective strengths. For the first time ever Arctic Cat riders can match the renowned Arctic Cat ProCross chassis and handling with high performance Yamaha 4-stroke power. The C-TEC4 1049cc, three-cylinder engine is widely regarded as the most responsive, highest performing 4-stroke in the 135-hp category.

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA president, Toshizumi Kato stated, “Together we have made a snowmobile which has the best of both our snowmobiles DNA. I look forward to a future of mutual and beneficial growth for both Arctic Cat and Yamaha. Today, let’s celebrate our accomplishment thus far, for tomorrow the opportunities are endless.”

Garth Kaufman Joins Team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat

Posted on September 26th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

Garth KaufmanSeptember 26, 2013 – Longtime Team Arctic racer Garth Kaufman has joined team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat as a mechanic for Tucker Hibbert, the reigning ISOC National Snocross Pro Open Champion. Kaufman will work side-by-side with Kirk Hibbert on the testing and tuning of Tucker’s practice and race snowmobiles.

“Garth is a great addition to our tight-knit, hard-working team,” said Tucker. “He has a lot of racing experience and works well with my dad. The fact he’s my cousin is a bonus. I trust him and know he’ll do what it takes to get the job done.”

Kaufman has a storied career in snowmobile racing and is one of the world’s most diverse riders. He was a pioneer in freestyle and backcountry riding, took a run at hill climbing, then established himself as one of the world’s top cross-country and snocross racers. His highest racing honors include multiple top-three cross-country finishes and taking second in the 2009 National Snocross Pro Super Stock Championship.

“I’ve always admired the way Tucker and his team operate and am stoked to be a part of it,” said Kaufman. “It feels like a natural progression from racer to race mechanic. I’ve always enjoyed the development and testing part of racing and am excited to put my experience to good use.”

To stay connected to team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat, visit www.tucker-hibbert.com and link to Tucker’s multiple social media sites.

Test Results Released on E-15 Fuel Impact on Snowmobiles

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

Haslett, MI, September 19, 2013 – The US Department Of Energy (DOE) released a study conducted by Michigan Technological University which was designed to evaluate the effects of E-15 fuel on current and legacy snowmobile engines and vehicles. Three test scenarios were conducted to evaluate the impact of E-15 including cold-start performance and emissions; snowmobile drivability; and laboratory exhaust emissions over the useful life of the engine. Eight engines were tested over a two year period. The vehicles were tested in the laboratory and on the trail in real life driving conditions.

The conclusion of the testing by the DOE is that E-15 fuel is NOT approved for snowmobile use. Observations made during the study support the US EPA’s decision to NOT APPROVE E-15 fuel for snowmobiles.

The testing was conducted since E-15 fuel is being introduced into the marketplace and is viewed by some as an important fuel enabling the United States to achieve the goals of the Reformulated Fuel Standard passed by the US Congress.

Ethanol is being produced throughout the United States. Ethanol producers use corn, switch grass, and other related plant products in the production of ethanol. It is the directive of the present administration that 13.8 Billion Gallons of ethanol be produced and distributed in the marketplace. The goal is challenging because US Gasoline consumption is declining rapidly.

Since it appears the E-15 fuel will be made more readily available throughout the United States, it is important that owners of snowmobiles and of other gas-powered products realize that E-15 fuel may impact the various engines.

The 69-page study highlights that one of the key issues related to snowmobiles is that exhaust gas temperatures and muffler exit temperature consistently increase with the use of E-15 fuel. The increased temperatures range from 15 to 40 percent, depending on the vehicle. This rise in temperature occurs because of the leaner air-fuel mixture.

Since it has been recommended that E-15 not be approved for snowmobile use by the EPA, there is concern in the marketplace that mis-fueling of snowmobiles can occur. Recent surveys show that approximately 50% of all Americans fill up their portable gas tank or vehicles that they are towing with the same fuel used to fill their tow vehicle (car or truck). Also approximately 2/3 of all Americans say that they assume that any gas sold at a gas station is safe for all of their vehicles – including snowmobiles, generators, boats, etc. Approximately 50% of Americans check the fuel pumps for warning labels when filling up their vehicles.

With various fuels entering the marketplace, it is more important than ever that customers carefully read any and all labels on gas dispensing pumps and understand the guidance messages placed on those pumps.

It should be noted that E-85 fuel has been available in the marketplace for many years. E-85 is a blend of fuel which is designed to be used in flex-fuel equipped cars and trucks only. E-85 is 85% ethanol. It should NOT be confused with E-15 which is 15% ethanol. E-10 fuel is 10% ethanol and has been available and used throughout the United States for years and is approved for snowmobile use.

The conclusion of the testing by the DOE is that E-15 fuel is NOT approved for snowmobile use.

The complete study is available online at http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/60115.pdf

2014 Polaris® IQ® Race Sled Unveiled

Posted on September 11th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

2014 Polaris® IQ® Race Sled Delivers Improved Holeshots and Enhanced Handling With New Lightweight Crankshaft and 128″ Rear Suspension

Polaris® snowmobile racers will enjoy the competitive advantages of the innovative new 2014 Polaris IQ® Race Sled that features a new lightweight crankshaft and new 128″ rear suspension. These improvements and other updates to the race sled are designed to provide Polaris racers with better holeshot performance, enhanced throttle response, improved traction and greater stability in the rough for Terrain Domination.

Polaris Race_600_14_3Q1The new 2014 Polaris IQ Race Sled is the result of integrated collaboration among Polaris snocross and cross-country racers, race team personnel and Polaris snowmobile engineers. Together, they developed the new features and validated them through extensive testing that included use in selected races last season.

The Polaris Racing Department has historically led the industry in developing innovative racing technology that “Wins on Sunday, Sells on Monday,” including legendary Polaris IFS, powerful 2-stroke engines and more.

“This season’s race sled is the refinement of a legendary vehicle, with a focus on holeshot and throttle response improvements,” said Matt Prusak, Race Program Leader in the Polaris Snowmobile Division. “The benefits will be seen by snocross and cross-country racers alike.”

Polaris Race Manager Tom Rager, Jr., said racers and teams have been impressed with the performance of the new race sled in testing and on-track evaluations.

“The industry’s only purpose-built race sled just keeps getting better and better,” said Rager. “A lot of the sled’s development credit goes to several of our riders, Ross Martin in particular, who tested it and made it so good.”

Feature Updates on the 2014 Polaris IQ Race Sled

Re-engineered elements of the 2014 Polaris IQ Race Sled include:

NEW Lightweight Crankshaft – The new lightweight crankshaft features a design that provides the same balance as the previous crankshaft – with a 2.5-pound weight reduction in rotating mass. This results in a 25% reduction in inertia, improved throttle response and increased acceleration. Racers will achieve better holeshots, and the engine will reach its optimal operating RPM faster.

NEW 128″ Rear Suspension – Polaris® racers will benefit from the increased traction of the new 128″ rear suspension and new 128″ track. This new setup delivers better holeshots, better stability in whoops sections, and improved cornering. Similar to the setup that Polaris teams have raced with great success in the Mod class for more than four seasons, this new rear suspension is based on the original IQ® Race geometry, with new rail beams and tunnel components to package the longer track length. The 2014 Polaris IQ Race Sled utilizes an aggressive new 128″ Sno-XT track. Along with the new 128″ rear suspension, additional improvements were made to enhance performance and reliability.

Updated Shock Calibration – Polaris engineers, race teams and the technicians at Walker Evans Racing have combined forces to recalibrate the Walker Evans® shocks used in the race sled’s front and rear suspension. The updates are designed to ensure consistently outstanding performance from green flag to checkered on demanding terrain such as extreme snocross tracks.

NEW Brake Pads – The new Hayes™ Type 126 brake pads were developed to deliver consistently reliable braking as brake systems heat up during aggressive racing action. Racers will also see an improvement in brake pad life.

NEW MY14 Racing Graphics – While Polaris racing teams will customize their sleds with team graphics, racing numbers and sponsor logos, they’ll start with a new look that features a white hood, red belly pan, accents of red, white and blue, and Polaris graphics. The 2014 race sled also has a low white windshield.

Race-Winning Power & Suspension – The 2014 IQ Race Sled is built on the strong, durable and lightweight Polaris-exclusive IQ® Chassis. Advanced assembly techniques minimize the parts count to keep weight to a minimum while delivering maximum strength and reliability. The race sled is powered by the Polaris Liberty® 600 engine. It delivers class-leading acceleration for outstanding holeshots as well as impressive horsepower across the entire RPM range. The liquid-cooled Polaris Liberty 600 twin has twin Mikuni Rack TM 40 carburetors, NiCaSil-lined cylinders for efficient heat dispersion and the Polaris VES (Variable Exhaust System) for maximum power and instant throttle response. The power delivery is managed by the legendary Polaris P-85 drive clutch and a Lightweight TEAM™ Roller driven clutch. Polaris racers can fine-tune their front and rear suspension performance with the Walker Evans 16-click compression-adjustable shocks. The race sled’s IFS uses Walker Evans Aluminum IFP 16 Position Compression Adjustable Shocks with Piggyback Reservoirs. Recreational riders can enjoy the same outstanding IFS as Polaris racers, as the race sled’s IFS design is used on Polaris Switchback® models and on RUSH® models built on the PRO-RIDE™ Chassis. In the IQ® Rear Suspension, the front track shock is a Walker Evans Coil Over Shock with 16-position compression adjustability, and the rear track shock is a Walker Evans Aluminum IFP 16 Position Compression and Rebound Adjustable Large Body Shock.

The new Polaris IQ Race Sled was developed for use by Polaris snocross and cross-country racers. The suspension and shock packages described here are intended primarily for snocross racing, and the Polaris Racing Department is providing cross-country racers with shock tuning information and setup recommendations for terrain racing.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.

Team LaVallee Signs With FXR World Class Outerwear

Posted on September 10th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

LaValleeFXR is proud to announce that nine-time Winter X Games medalist and current world record holder for longest snowmobile distance jump (412ft.), Levi LaVallee has now joined Team FXR manufacture of World Class Outerwear. Levi and the rest of Team LaVallee, including Kyle Pallin, who’s race highlights include a bronze at Clash of Nations in Sweden, Jake Scott, who holds fifteen Eastern Racing Circuit titles and last years Pro Lites Champion, and new comer Andy Lieders, the second place overall points champion for the 2013 Pro Lites class, have entered a multi-year contract with FXR.

A revolutionary icon in freestyle snowmobiling, Levi who was named the nineteenth most influential person in Action Sports by ESPN, has been on FXR’s radar since he stepped onto the ISOC circuit. Over the past five years Levi has consistently won the ISOC fan favorite award, making him the ideal person to represent FXR on and off the racing stage.

Levi’s mutual interest in FXR’s style on the track dedicated to development and consistent commitment made us his first choice when he was looking for a clothing sponsor to partner with for 2014 and beyond. FXR has always focused on working with top athletes to develop high performance outerwear that meets the demands of the most skilled athletes; FXR is looking forward to doing the same with Levi and Team LaVallee. With LaVallee’s freestyle and race experience he will be asset to our R&D team.

Levi’s first appearance in FXR was at FOX’s Time Square celebration for their initial public offering into the NASDAQ Stock Market, where Levi performed a ramp-to-ramp jump on his snowmobile in front of a crowd of thousands.

Sporting FXR’s Podium Warp MX gear, Levi lit up the big apple in an epic start to the FXR- Team LaVallee relationship.