How to Ride a Snowmobile without Getting Bucked

Do you love getting out snowmobiling? There is nothing as disappointing as dropping off a snowmobile with more than three feet of powder under the feet. While the risk of getting bulked is higher with newbies, even experienced riders at times suffer from the same problem. After working for more than 10 years in the Rockies, I have come to appreciate the fact that deep powder snowmobiling can get overwhelming and really frustrating. Here are some useful tips on how to ride a snowmobile without getting buckled.

Control the snowmobile speed

When it comes to snowmobiling, it is not about optimizing the throttle and racing fast ahead of others. In fact, you are likely to get off-balance and stuck. In Many cases, the snow condition keeps changing and trying to experiment with speed can easily make your snowmobile spin. It is advisable to keep the throttle only to the point you are conquering the dust but rushing afloat. If you must maintain speed, hit the throttle and then slowdown to ensure you are in full control.

Adjust the sitting position for balance and control

If you thought that snowmobiling thrill can be achieved when sitting comfortably, you are wrong. The snowmobile relies heavily on your body weight for extra firmness and thrust. Here, you have to be active by shifting positions to get full control. At times, a lean on one side to maintain the snowmobile might be your only defense from buckling.

Always stop on the tracks

Snowmobiling is not about leaving a mark! Many are the times when newbies stop on the dust only to find it hard getting started. With the snowmobile over 500 lbs, you need to avoid getting stuck by only stopping on someone else’s the tracks. A lot of dust will be cleared so that you can stop and start over again with little trouble. In the case you get stuck, make sure to take some moment packing the snow from the tracks using your feet before starting to lift the snowmobile. Remember that you should not risk this task for the first time, practice as much as possible before heading to the toughest section.

Understand your routes well

Keeping your head cool when riding a snowmobile is a rule you must always adhere to. This should always start with a clear evaluation of the routes to cover. The route should factor the terrain, latest forecasts, and risk of avalanches. Where possible, try to avoid very steep and deep powder tracks that can easily force you to spend the night out. Always remember that a 30 minutes ride could take 12 hours to walk to safety.

Ensure to prepare adequately

You can only stay on course and snowmobile safely by preparing well. First, you need to have the right clothing to stay warm and safe. As you learn how to ride a sled Ensure to have the right gloves, snow boots, and winter jackets. Besides, you need to be prepared to spend the entire night out if need be. This means carrying an avalanche beacon, probe pole, shovel, food, and water. Remember that just like your car, a snowmobile uses internal combustion.

Open post

Yamaha’s 2006 Line

Snowmobile News 


Tim Erickson
Monday February 7, 2005
For its 2006 snowmobile product line, Yamaha launched a new four-stroke engine, 11 new models, four new suspensions and updates to most returning models. Most importantly, the very model that propelled Yamaha to the forefront of high-performance four-strokes– the RX-1– has been retired.

In its place — in a revised Deltabox chassis and powered by a new four-stroke engine — is the new Yamaha Apex available in three configurations: Apex ER, Apex GT and the Apex RTX.

The Apex models are radically improved in all areas: engine, chassis, suspension and ergonomics. The GT stands for “groomed trail” and the RTX stands for “rough trail.”

All three Apex versions share a common engine configuration in the new Genesis 150 FI. The number “150” corresponds to its horsepower class. The new engine retains the bore and stroke of its 998cc predecessor, the Genesis Extreme.

The new and old engines also have the five-valve head design in common. However, the use of lighter components, revised intake and exhaust porting, and the addition of a Bosch fuel injection system increase the output by 8 hp to a claimed 149 hp.

Engine weight was reduced by 7 pounds compared to the previous Genesis Extreme. A cooling system revision in the form of a radiator and thermostat-controlled electric fan helps ensure the engine runs at consistent temps — which Yamaha says keeps the fuel injection system performing at its best.

The new engine revs quicker thanks to a crank that is 2.3 pounds lighter. Throttle response is improved with the fuel injection system, which features Mikuni downdraft throttle bodies with Bosch electronics to provide the proper mixture, grabbing air from a new airbox that is integrated with the hood design. Intake port design changes provide the opportunity for intake and exhaust timing revisions, which required a new cam design.

Most notably, the intake timing has a longer duration. It used to open at 31 degrees before top dead center (BTDC) and close at 57 degrees after. The new design allows fuel to rush into the chamber from 33 degrees BTDC to 71 degrees after.

Exhaust port opening duration was shortened from the previous design. With the longer intake duration, the stronger power stroke empties into a new, more efficient 4 into 2 into 1 exhaust system.

The chassis for the Apex models is now called Deltabox II. The handlebars are raised and hooked, and the driver sits 6 inches more forward, compared to the Deltabox design.

It uses the same front geometry as the 2005 RS Vector. Front suspension hardware varies among the models from standard shocks on the ER to the GYT-R piggyback remote reservoir on the GT to Fox FLOAT shocks on the RTX.

Snowmobile News

The Apex RTX, for “rough trail,” is calibrated for more aggressive riders and comes from the factory with Fox FLOAT shocks.

Rear suspensions are the Mono-Shock RA, but the Apex GT has an Ohlins EC electronic shock. The shock features electronically adjustable compression, controlled on the left handlebar. It also has a clicker adjustment for rebound adjustment.

The Apex ER is a claimed 11 pounds lighter and the RTX is a claimed 14 pounds lighter than the ’05 RX-1.

The RX Warrior also disappeared this season, in favor of the new Attak. It uses the same Genesis 150 FI engine as the Apex series and adopts the same ergonomics from the Deltabox II. The Attak weighs a claimed 23 pounds less than the RX Warrior.

A version of the Mono-Shock RA is on the Attak. Rather than extend the rails and bolt it into the longer tunnel, the Attak’s version has new 136-inch rails, rear suspension arm geometry different from the short-track version and a longer control rod.

The 120 hp Class

Yamaha is hitting the popular 120 hp class with several new models with the same Genesis 120 engine it introduced in 2005.

Snowmobile News

Yamaha’s new Nytro, based on the RS Vector model, is a legitimate four-stroke ditch banger.

The new Nytro features: stand-up riding ergonomics; an optional, aggressive decal package and color scheme; and suspension calibrations to match. It will use Fox FLOAT shocks in front and a new torsion spring rear skid called the ProActive CK. This rear should offer better preload. The rear shock will be a piggyback KYB with a compression clicker.

We had the opportunity to pound this machine through a series of 2- and 3-foot moguls. The Nytro did nothing surprising, and handled the terrain admirably. Could Yamaha have produced a legitimate, four-stroke ditch banger? Based on our ride of the prototype, we think so. We’ll order ours with the skull graphics.

The other RS short track chassis changes vs. the 2005 RS Vectors are a new brake/disc combination and a magnesium chaincase cover that combine for a 2.5-pound weight loss.

The standard RS Vector will remain unchanged for 2006. It does get a sibling, though, in the Vector GT, which will be marketed to the groomed-trail rider. It will include new convenience features, such as a 12-volt accessory plug and a standard handlebar bag. The RS Vector ER will come back with the Mono-Shock RA rear suspension, a new brake and magnesium chaincase cover.

The RS Rage, with the136-inch track, now has the same rear skid as the Attak. In all, the machine is 17 pounds lighter than the 2005 version, and gets improved stopping power from a four-piston brake and new disc.

The 2-Up RS Venture touring mount has a new, taller windshield for improved protection. The easy-adjust rear suspension block changes the machine’s intent from solo to 2-Up touring and the rear seat removes easily for more solo touring cargo space.

Mountain Sled Upgrades

The RX-1 Mountain vanished from Yamaha’s mountain lineup as well, and is replaced with the Apex Mountain. It uses the same 150 FI engine as its trail counterpart, as well as other features like the updated rider position, styling and instrumentation from the Deltabox II chassis.

The key differences between the trail and mountain versions are the mountain-specific features. The floorboards are wider, the handlebars are taller and hooked for improved comfort and control. The increased floorboard area has new traction for limited slip and to avoid snow build up.

There is also a new rear mountain rack that increases storage space and offers more function. The exhaust tips are baloney cut to keep heat away from your packed lunch.

The tunnel is a new, one-piece design. Previous mountain RX chassis used the standard short-track tunnels with a riveted extension. Underneath the new tunnel is a new 16- by 162- by 2.25-inch Camoplast track. After riding the machine near Alpine, Wyoming, last month, the ergo changes and the new track make this machine more agile and capable.

The new RS Vector Mountain SE comes with the Genesis 120 engine, 16- by 162- by 2.25-inch track and a Pro Mountain 162 suspension. The sled offers increased weight transfer from previous designs.

The RS Vector Mountain returns for 2006 with a few changes. A new seat design, with storage, is taller for easier stand-up riding and to meet the new handlebar position. Taller than in 2005, the new handlebars are wider, hooked and positioned to improve mountain riding ergonomics.


Open post

Trails Open In Eagle River

Time To Break In The New Sleds!

Snowmobile News 
Thursday December 2, 2004
Eagle River, Wisconsin — One hundred miles of snowmobile trails in and around Eagle River opened around noon on Wednesday, December 1, according to Holly Tomlanovich, Board Member of Eagle River’s Headwaters Trails trailgroomers, the group responsible for trail grooming and maintenance in the Eagle River area.

“All land trails are open and accessible on an average of 5 to 8 inches of snow we received in the past week,” Tomlanovich said in a press release from the Eagle River area. “But,” she emphasizes, “trails on area lakes are not safe until further notice,” she warns.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Conrad (Connie) Heeg, Eagle River’s Chamber Executive Director, “People are happy; people are enthusiastic; and people are excited — including me — I can’t wait to go home and take out my sled later today,” said Heeg, with a smile in his voice. “December 8 was the earliest snowmobile trails opened prior to this that I can remember,” said Tomlanovich. “God has been good to us,” she added.

Check for information on snow conditions every day at or call 715-479-5185.

Another exciting tradition in Eagle River, weather permitting, will be construction of The City’s Annual Ice Palace between Christmas and New Year, a decades-long tradition, where approximately 2,600 blocks of ice are cut from a local lake with old-fashioned equipment, transported to town, and erected by the local Fire Department and other volunteers, along a snowmobile trail running near the downtown area.

Built in a different style each year, and back-lit at night in vivid colors, snowmobilers, locals and visitors have their pictures taken in front of the Ice Castle, which stands into March (weather permitting).

Other important dates on Eagle River’s winter calendar include the 42nd Annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby, Jan. 7-16, 2005; and annual Klondike Days, one of the State’s most multi-faceted winter family events, Sat. & Sun., Feb. 19 & 20 (2005).

For more information, contact Eagle River Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Center: 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:; website:

Open post

Quebec Ruling Closes Trail

Snowmobile News 

Friday December 10, 2004
On Wednesday, December 1, a Quebec Court ruled in favor of homeowners living along a section of the Petit Train du Nord trail.

These homeowners filed a class-action suit claiming harmful noise pollution had occurred due to snowmobile use on a 40 km stretch of abandoned rail line that runs through Mont Tremblant Provincial Park.

The losers in this suit are the defendants (government of Quebec, the local municipal association – [MRC], the provincial association FCMQ, and FCMQ insurers).  Reportedly the Judge assessed a $3 million finding against the MRC and $2 million against the government of Quebec for allowing the use of snowmobiles on the municipal land.  There was no ruling against the FCMQ or their insurer.

Besides the damage assessed, the bad news from the ruling is that this FCMQ trail will be dead-ended to snowmobiling and the trail through the city will be closed.  The trail passes through a public park in the city.  The closure will dead-end the main trail that is part of the FCMQ system and the trail closure will impact on the community and other communities where the trail leads to. The economic impact of this closure could be severe.

The Judge stated that no snowmobile trail on municipal property should be located within 100 meters of any residential dwelling.  Her ruling contradicts the present standard which states that snowmobile trails should be 30 meters from all homes.  She stated in her ruling that the municipality made an error in allowing the trail to go through the city at closer than 100 meters from the homeowners.

The ramifications of this ruling for the FCMQ trail system are substantial since many municipalities allow snowmobile trails to pass through their towns closer than 100 meters from homes.

The FCMQ office is busy reviewing the ruling at this time.  The FCMQ cannot file an appeal against the ruling since they were not mentioned in the judge’s ruling and therefore they have no standing in the case.  Any appeal to the judge’s ruling must be filed by the Minister of Transport within the Government of Quebec or by the MRC, which represents the municipal government.

Bunke Earns Soo I-500 Victory

Polaris Team Holds Off Gentz’s Yamaha 

Snowmobile News 
Saturday February 5, 2005

Gabe Bunke earned his first Soo I-500 victory as the lead driver with his narrow victory earlier today in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Bunke had formerly won the race as a second driver, but this time he led the way — though he had a lot of help.

It started with the Pro-5 Polaris team, which has enough I-500 trophies to fill their small shop in Roseau, Minnesota.

But Bunke also got some late help from four-time Soo winner Corey Davidson, who served as a substitute driver on Bunke’s team after Bunke’s other co-driver, Josh Davis, left the race with cramps. Davidson’s own effort was derailed by mechanical problems.

Mike Gentz of Marquette, Michigan, finished second aboard a Yamaha RX-1. He was the only other driver on the lead lap, and he finished 29 seconds back. Another Yamaha, piloted over the course of the day by Todd Krikke and Chad Gueco, finished third, three laps back. The Cat of Justin Winter finished fourth, six laps back.

Here’s a quick look at the top 10, according to unofficial results from the Soo. Look for a complete report and behind-the-scenes details in an upcoming issue of Snow Week magazine.

1. Gabe Bunke, Pol
2. Michael Gentz, Yam
3. Todd Krikke, Yam
4. Justin Winter, Cat
5. John Hoos, Pol
6. Ryan Spencer, Cat
7. Brent Vermeersch, Pol
8. Paul Vanderploeg, Yam
9. Kriag Caralash, Yam
10. Doug Cammerand, Pol 

Freestyle Snowmobiler To Appear On Letterman

Calling all snowmobile fans

Colby Johnson
Snowmobile News 
Wednesday February 23, 2005
Be sure to watch The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, February 28 to catch freestyle snowmobile rider Jay Quinlan perform the ever-popular back flip — on the streets of Manhattan.

“We’re there to promote the 2005 Winter Gravity Games and to talk about the sport,” Quinlan said. “It should be entertaining, funny and all around fun.”

SCS Racing’s Steve Miller will be designing and constructing a full snow ramp in the alley behind Letterman’s studio in New York City. The task will require18 dump trucks full of snow to travel four hours to the site. The SCS crew and Quinlan will have exactly four hours to build the ramp, nail the jump and tear the ramp down.

“Not easy to do,” Quinlan said with a slight laugh. But a month of planning will ensure it will get done, he added.

The 18 dumpsters of snow approach was just one of many ideas the group considered. Everything from flipping dumpsters upside-down and blowing snow on them to creating a dirt track was discussed.

The Late Show will film the stunt around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, then the 25-year-old freestyle rider will take a seat on Letterman’s couch to talk snowmobiles and the Gravity Games.

The idea of talking with Letterman might scare the pants off of most people, but Quinlan said he’s not too nervous. “I’m nervous about the sleds breaking, that’s it,” he said. He and his crew plan to take three sleds, including Ski-Doo’s 2006 Freestyle, on the trip.

He’s not too nervous about successfully completing the back flip either, he said. “Steve Miller knows my riding style,” Quinlen said. “I’m really anal about [the ramp] being perfect and he knows exactly what I want it to be like.” Miller is also designing and building the freestyle course for the Gravity Games.

The 2005 Winter Gravity Games will be held March 3-6 at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Quinlan has been involved with organizing a freestyle demonstration, which is the 20-minute show will take place on both March 5 and 6 at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Quinlan is sponsored by AMDS, Red Bull, DVS Shoes, Fox Racing Shox, Blown Concepts, C&A; Pro, Ski-Doo and

Open post

Arctic Cat Crossfire

The new Arctic

Arctic Cat Crossfire has entered the melee of hybrid sleds. Half M-Series, half Firecat, Arctic Cat claims it’s equally comfortable on trails or in powder.

This early 2006 release comes with

Cat’s 698cc, 140 hp EFI engine and it uses the ACT Diamond Drive. From the M-Series mountain sled, the Crossfire adopts the high mountain handlebars, a reinforced steering post, wide running boards with a flatter stirrup and star-punch running board traction.

The hood draws air through intakes near the headlights that feature removable snow screens. The side panels feature tool-free removal for access to the engine, clutches and brake.

The front suspension is the Firecat standard AWS-VI double wishbone A-arms with lightweight aluminum Arctic Cat gas (IFP) and M-Series inspired 42- to 44-inch adjustable ski stance. T

here’s a FasTrack Long Travel System slide-rail suspension Arctic Cat IFP shocks and a Torque Sensing Link rear arm for the rear suspension. New to the machine is a 15- by 136- by 1.25-inch Ripsaw-patterned track. The sled is available in black or orange.

Scroll to top