Vermilion River
The Vermilion River in far-northern Minnesota

It is crazy busy at the Snow Goer office – well, at the office, but also in the truck, on airplanes, in rental cars and pretty much everywhere else – including lots of time spent on the seats of snowmobiles. The throttle is wide open and the engine is definitely running on the pipe.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve traveled east, west and north (but not south) seeing – and in some cases test riding – next year’s snowmobiles. I wish I could tell you about them right now, but I can’t. Soon, though. I promise.

I’ve gotten in some rides on our demo sleds, too, and bolted on a few parts at the SG shop near the office. Here are a couple of quick notes before I get back to writing stories for the April 2015 issue of Snow Goer, which will largely be about those previously mentioned 2016 snowmobiles.

  • Composit track
    A buddy and I installed this Composit Talon 32 track in our 800 Indy SP demo last week.

    A buddy and I installed a new rubber tread from Composit Tracks in our 2015 Polaris Indy 800 SP demo sled. The process of installing the track in an Indy will be the subject of a Service & Repair article in the April issue, which mails in March. Editor John Prusak spun the first 450 miles on that new track earlier this week in Michigan’s U.P. – we’ll have the results of our full test in an issue of Snow Goer next fall.

  • While Prusak was in the U.P., members of my snowmobile club and I were trail riding in far North-Central Minnesota, where conditions are actually quite good. We burned some miles on our Ski-Doo MX Z TNT 600 H.O. E-TEC, Arctic Cat XF 6000 Limited, Polaris 600 Switchback Pro-S and Ski-Doo GSX LE 900 ACE and got to know each machine better. The biggest surprise? That 90 hp ACE engine created an impressive top speed of 94 mph (on a closed course with a professional driver, of course).
  • Motorfist
    Friends say bright sun makes me take on an astonishing resemblance to Gilbert Gottfried.

    Weather was quite cold during parts of that ride, but I was bundled up in my set of MotorFist Redline jacket and bibs. I’ve been quite impressed with that apparel’s quality, warmth and comfort, but the fit is roomier than it needs to be.

  • Also in recent weeks, we tried out a new trailer from Triton, a new SnoCap that was recently installed on our roughly 10-year-old Floe 3-place aluminum trailer, and I installed and tried out a cell phone charger from PowerMadd. There are C&A Pro skis and Fast Trac studs on our MX Z, PowerMadd Sentinel handguards and Woody’s studs on our 800 Rush Pro-S.
  • Speaking of those Fast Trac studs, I was really impressed with how nicely they installed on our MX Z. Their thin profile lets them pull in flush so they’re less abusive to bogey wheels, and quieter, perhaps. I retorqued the nuts to 11 foot pounds last week before my trip. This was definitely a necessary step because most of them took about three-quarters of a turn before the torque wrench clicked. Have you checked your studs lately?

OK, I had better get my nose back to the grindstone. I know not everybody has snow very close to home, and winters like this can tax the snowmobiling spirit. But in chasing snow this winter I can tell you that every trip has been worth the effort. I’ll be heading out toward the Minnesota Arrowhead Region tomorrow morning for a weekend saddlebag run with Snow Goer contributor Jeff Oberg.

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