Since we cover a winter pastime, people often ask what the staff does in the summer, but there’s rarely a dull moment working for Snow Goer magazine any time of the year. The solstice is always busy as we write and publish the magazine, prepare for the fall show circuit – which begins with Haydays in less than 90 days – and make preparations for the upcoming snowmobile season. Here’s a run-down of what’s been happening at the Snow Goer office lately, where you’ll see that we’re moving, fixing things and learning more about new features of some 2016 snowmobiles:
New Office – Speaking of offices, staff of Snow Goer, and its sister magazines (including Powersports Business, Rider, Boating Industry and Thunder Press) will be moving into a new physical office this month. Some of the staff has been working out of a temporary office suite in the new building while our parent company’s (EPG Media & Specialty Information) permanent space is under construction on the floor above it. Other company employees have been working out of home offices – including Snow Goer Editor/Publisher John Prusak and Sales Director Mark Rosacker. I’ve been working from my home office, too, where I’ve enjoyed breezes through open windows that we just don’t get to experience inside of office buildings. Oh sure, we’ve gotten together for a few meetings and conducted a few conference calls and Google+ video calls, but we surely do miss the day-to-day interaction and being able to bounce ideas off one another, so it will be good to reunite soon.
Trailer Ramp Rehab – The off-season is a good time to address trailering issues. Being nearly 10 years old, the ramp for one of the Snow Goer snowmobile trailers was in rough shape after hundreds of carbide wear bars and thousands of studs have sliced and poked their way up and down it. The ramp’s plywood-on-frame design was heavy and clumsy for one person to handle, too. So I removed the plywood, had a few more frame supports welded in place by a local shop and then I reinstalled new wood – though, considerably less plywood to reduce weight and make it easier to carry. The finishing touch was installation of new ski glides and track grabbers. Now with the ramp rehab complete, it weighs considerably less and is easier to handle, plus it has a fresh, youthful appearance.
New Yamaha Tuner 3 Ski – At a Yamaha press event last month, we learned about the new Tuner 3 ski. The new design has replaceable loops rather than the one-piece, molded loop of first- and second-generation Tuner skis. This means the ski is serviceable in case the loop is damaged, and owners can customize with black, red or blue loops – future loop colors will include white and orange. Yamaha Snowmobile Marketing Manager Wade West said the new design also speeds up the manufacturing process (Yamaha couldn’t keep up with accessories orders when Tuner skis were introduced a few years ago). The bottom of the ski is unchanged, but redesigned webbing on top affected the weight bias to be more toward the front of the ski, so the bite will be slightly more aggressive. A Tuner 3 weighs one quarter-pound pound less than a Tuner 2, West said. All 2016 Yamaha Viper LE and SE models will be shod with the new Tuner 3 skis.
New FLOAT Shock Pump – Also at the Yamaha event last month, we learned about a new, high-volume air pump for Fox FLOAT shocks. Thanks to its larger capacity, the pump will make quick work of filling air springs in FLOAT Evol dampers that, in some cases, are spec’d at 150 psi or more. FLOAT Evol shocks are standard on some 2016 Yamaha and Arctic Cat sleds.