As the year comes to a close, now seems a good time to look back and see the most-read stories on SnowGoer.com in calendar year 2017. There were literally thousands of stories that were read on the site during the year. Some stories – the results of a big race or a piece of breaking news about a land-use dispute – will be very popular for a day or two and have what seems like a ton of page views. In the end, however, often those stories will have a rather short shelf-life – which is to say that people still won’t be looking for that story two, three or six months later.
Therefore, for a story to crack the yearly Top 10, it generally (but not always) needs to have an initial burst of interest and then long legs. Better yet, as you’ll see below, a Top 10 story for the year will often be about something that people actively seek out information with a Google search (or Yahoo, I suppose, in theory?!) and then come to our site to learn more.
So what stories on SnowGoer.com caught the most eyeballs in 2017. Here are the top 10 stories, in order.
Top 10 Snowmobiles Of 2017 – Finishing the year as a top story and driven by a lot of people doing Google searches when looking to buy a snowmobile, our annual list of the Top 10 Snowmobiles started the year hot and stayed at the very least luke warm throughout the year – piling up page views week after week. Why the Top 10 from 2017 vs. the Top 10 from 2018, you might ask? Timing. The story on 2018’s top sleds wasn’t posted until December, so it had little time to accumulate eyeballs whereas the 2017 story kept getting read all year.
Snocross Victories Overshadowed By Deaths Of Two Young Racers Elsewhere – The snowmobile racing community was shocked and saddened when the sport lost two young racers last January on the same day. Hunter Houle, 18, was killed in a single-sled accident while testing on the surface of Pine Lake in Northwest Minnesota prior to the USXC cross-country race there, and Billy Travis, 30, was killed in a racing incident at a No Bull Triple Crown race in Michigan. The short story on our website caught a lot of views from people searching for the unanswerable question of “why.” Our heartfelt condolences are with their families as they come up on the one-year mark of the horrible tragedies.
It’s Official: Arctic Cat Name Is Coming Off Of ATVs, UTVs But Staying On Sleds – Likely the biggest snowmobile industry news that broke during 2017 was the sale of Arctic Cat to the powerful, multinational corporation that previously owned Polaris – Textron Inc. The move may have saved Arctic Cat long-term, but it also caused a lot of nervous consternation last spring as employees, customers, dealers and general Arctic Cat fans and followers watched to see what it all meant.
Top 10 Snowmobiles Of 2016 – See the note above on our most-read story from calendar year 2017… apparently a lot of people are seeking feedback on the best snowmobiles that are released in any given year. In fact, the Top 10 lists from years like 2008 and 2014 also attracted a lot of page views on our site this year even though those stories were buried deeply on our website.
How To Set-Up Your Snowmobile’s Suspension For Sharper Handling, Better Ride – The adjustability of modern snowmobiles is one of the things that makes them so great, but a lot of people aren’t sure when they should be adding preload to the ski shocks or sucking up the limiter strap, to cite a couple of different examples. That has made this story – originally posted way back in 2009 – a much sought out resource for the past eight years.
2018 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles: More 850s, New Starter System & More – Ski-Doo’s REV Gen4 chassis and 850 E-TEC twin caused quite a stir when it was introduced for the winter of 2016-17, so when Ski-Doo moved more sleds to this chassis/engine combination for model year 2018, plus added the revolutionary SHOT hot starting system, folks wanted more information.
Ski-Doo Tech Legend Gordy Radtke, 62, Has Died – For Ski-Doo dealers and their service personnel, Ski-Doo employees, select racers, snowmobile media types and many more, Gordy Radtke was an engaging, encouraging and inspiring individual unlike any other. His 28-year battle with cancer came to a sad conclusion in August, but not before Gordy had spent a lifetime impressing us all with his enthusiasm, zest for life and positive attitude.
Arctic Cat Wins Patent Lawsuit Against Ski-Doo – Arctic Cat and Bombardier Recreational Products (parent company of Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo) came into the year with a series of patent lawsuits against one another related to everything from personal watercraft braking systems to snowmobile chassis designs, and they are ending the year with talk of more judges rulings. This story – first posted on March 3 – related to the snowmobile chassis design suit first filed by BRP back in 2011.
Arctic Cat Inc. Being Purchased By Textron – There had long been rumors of Arctic Cat potentially getting a new owner or merging with another company, but they had always been just that: rumors. So, when we first heard over breakfast while in Ontario about the Textron offer for Cat, we immediately laid down our fork, abandoned our scrambled eggs and scrambled up to our room to collect more information and post this press release on our website.
Russian Irbis T150 Snowmobile Lands In U.S. – The maybe/maybe not inquiry about Russian meddling in the U.S. elections may have gotten the mass media all tangled up in 2017, but a Russian company meddling with the North American snowmobile market? That we were able to confirm right here on SnowGoer.com. An Irbis T150 snowmobile – built in China for a Russia-based company – made an appearance in our driveway in August before resurfacing at the Novi Snowmobile USA show in November. Future models will be built in Russia, we were told. Will the machine and brand have a future in the U.S.? Time will tell.