This week, the attention of grassroots organizers of the great sport of snowmobiling will be turned on the state of Nebraska, which will host the 53rd annual International Snowmobile Congress. This event is vital to snowmobiling – it pulls together grassroots organizers from far and wide to exchange ideas to protect, improve and grow our sport.
While getting ready for the drive to Omaha ourselves, we started thinking about Nebraska’s role in snowmobiling’s history.
Specifically, our thoughts drifted (pun intended) to the Kawasaki sleds that were produced in Lincoln, Nebraska – an hour up the road from Omaha, which will host the Snowmobile Congress this year. We thought it might be interesting to swing by the Kawi factory while in the general neighborhood so we did a little research and were SHOCKED to see that the “History” page for the Kawasaki Lincoln plant website never even mentions the word “snowmobile.” There’s information about the first motorcycles and ATVs they build there, and details on Jet Ski benchmarks, but nothing about the Invaders, Intruders, Drifters, etc. that caught our attention in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
So, we did the next best thing and dug into the Snow Goer file cabinets to unearth a 1981 Kawasaki Press Kit. Inside the folder, it explains, “Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Kawasaki Snowmobile Division includes marketing, service, product distribution control and management offices. New product research and development takes place in Shakopee, Minnesota, where Kawasaki maintains a multi-million dollar testing facility. Snowmobile manufacturing is maintained by the Company’s Lincoln, Nebraska, manufacturing and assembly plant.”
To help celebrate Nebraska snowmobiling with us, enjoy the following pages from the 1981 Kawasaki brochure, and then tell us in the comments box about your favorite memories with Kawasaki snowmobiles.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.