Snowmobile news and notes

World’s Most Amazing 2-Stroke

Are you happy with your sled, but looking to add some extra horsepower and a few extra pound-feet of torque with a new efficient, high-tech engine? The new Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C might be just the thing — a turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine that’s one of the world’s most powerful and efficient engines.

Aioi Works, of Japan’s Diesel United, built the first engines — available in 6 through 14 cylinder versions — all of which are inline designs. The engines are designed primarily for large container ships, which are often run with a single engine/single propeller design. Apparently what had been out there just wasn’t powerful enough.

The new generation engines have a 38-inch cylinder bore and a 98-inch stroke, while each cylinder displaces 11,143 cubic inches (1,820 liters) and produces 7,780 horsepower. Total displacement for the fourteen-cylinder version is 1,556,002 cubic inches, or 25,480 liters.

The engine produces 108,920 horsepower, but don’t expect to find it in a sled anytime soon – it weighs 2,300 tons, has a length of 89 feet and is 44 feet tall. Torque is even more impressive: 5,608,312 pound-feet maximum at 102 rpm.

While it may seem heinously inefficient (it consumes 0.278 pounds of fuel per hp hour), the big beast exceeds 50 percent thermal efficiency, whereas most automotive and small aircraft engines only operate at about 25 to 30 percent thermal efficiency.

More mind-blowing stats and information are available at

Arctic Cat’s Ole Tweet, Powersports Icon, Retires

Intent to reduce his workload and spend more time with his family, Arctic Cat’s Ole Tweet announced he’s stepping down from his position as general manager of the company’s ATV Division. The change marks a watershed moment for a man and company whose success and contributions to the powersports industry have been seamlessly intertwined for four decades.

“It’s impossible to adequately summarize Ole’s vast influence on Arctic Cat as a company, or to convey his many contributions as a person,” said Chris Twomey, chairman and chief executive officer of Arctic Cat.

“We’re a company blessed with many dedicated, passionate people,” said Twomey, “and Ole would be the first to deflect any personal praise and say that he was just one of many.”

Tweet’s career at Arctic Cat began in 1977 and reflects his considerable engineering and marketing skills, with titles that include Head of Engineering (1978 to 1981), Vice President of Marketing (1983 to 1992); Vice President of New Product Development (1992 to 2008) and most recently as General Manager of ATV.

Tweet play a key role in resurrecting Arctic Cat in 1983 following the bankruptcy and liquidation of Arctic Enterprises in 1981. As the reborn company worked to reestablish itself in the snowmobile industry, Tweet spearheaded important and breakthrough marketing efforts that contributed to the company’s monumental growth. When Arctic Cat moved into the personal watercraft and all-terrain vehicle markets in the 1990s, Tweet guided the development and management of its Tigershark, ATV and Prowler products divisions. Tweet also represented the company’s involvement in various industry associations and governance efforts. In recognition of these and other contributions, Tweet was inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in 2004.

“I’ve enjoyed a great career, working alongside remarkable people, to help grow an incredible Minnesota-based company,” said Tweet. “I’m ready to throttle back my workload and responsibility to focus more on my family. But I’m not walking away from Arctic Cat, and the company will progress forward with strong leadership and innovative talent.”

Maine Seeks $20 Million For Trails

North-central Maine could be in line for more trails and better snowmobile-trail funding if U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud succeeds in his bid for $20 million in federal funds to pay for multiuse recreational trails and bridges in his Second District, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News.

The request was inserted in a $450 billion federal transportation bill, with $15 million intended for new trails and existing-trail maintenance, and $5 million for bike and pedestrian trails. If it passes, the funds would be distributed over six years.

While $20 million may seem like an unrealistic amount due to its size, Rep. Michaud is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and has recently had success getting a $500,000 federal transportation grant for pedestrian and bike trails along Millinocket Stream.


In the story, Michaud cited the potential economic benefits of the project, and said volunteers have been working with landowners, snowmobile clubs and state and federal officials for three years to create a multi-use trail for ATV riders, bicyclists, hikers and snowmobiles.

If completed, it would connect the Katahdin region to the rest of the state’s multi-use trails.

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