Ski-Doo to build Elite

Ski-doo will send its Elite side-by-side snowmobile into production for this season. “We went to Club Bombardier and asked dealers if they would buy the Elite if we could build it,” said Jean-François Guertin, Ski-Doo’s director of marketing. “Their response was so enthusiastic, we took orders before the meeting was over.” Ski-Doo will make “a few hundred,” and the machine will sell for $17,999 in the U.S. and $24,999 in Canada.
Manta Inventor Dies
Bob Bracey
, the enthusiastic inventor and builder of the Raider, Manta and Trail Roamer snowmobiles, died of cancer on March 26 at his home in Almont, Mich. He was 66.
Bracey’s twin-track, cockpit-style machine, the Raider, first hit the snow in the 1970s. It was followed by the Manta in the 1980s. He tried to make a comeback in the late 1990s with the Trail Roamer, an updated version of the Manta.
The Trail Roamer was built for creature comfort. It used a four-stroke engine, a twin track and had heat, a stereo and a GPS system built in. He eventually ran out of funding for the machine’s production in 2001. He is survived by his wife, Carol. At Bracey’s request, there was no funeral or memorial service.
Yamaha Manuals On Demand
Yamaha Motor Corp.
, Cypress, Calif., will contact with Crestec Inc. to produce its manuals. Crestec Inc. offers custom, on-demand printing of books, as well as digital services, and will publish Yamaha manuals in all its motorsports lineup, including snowmobiles. For now, the books are only available in hard-copy form, but Crestec plans to have them in digital form by next year. The service will cover more than 7,500 Yamaha products going back 20 years.
Order the publications online at www.yamahapubs.com. The books will ship within 48 hours. As in the past, manuals will continue to be available at Yamaha dealerships nationwide.
Air Shock Testing
Fox Factory Inc.
, San Jose, Calif., is testing a springless snowmobile front shock. Initial applications likely will be for high-end mountain and 440 race sleds, though Fox Vice President Michael Daws talked about an Arctic Cat Firecat application for the 2003-2004 riding season. Air shocks can save 4 to 6 pounds per sled by eliminating the springs on the front end.
The system is fully adjustable with a working range of 0 to 400 psi, Daws said. Normal operating range is 50 to 90 psi and the shocks come with a portable pump for easy adjustments.
“Most springs are straight rate,” Daws said. “Air is completely progressive. You’re not going to feel any little bumps and the spring rate goes so high, you won’t bottom out the shock.” The company is also working on a track shock.
New WSA Affiliate
The World Snowmobile Association (WSA), Maple Grove, Minn., will add an Alaska snocross affiliate. The new affiliate, the Fairbanks Snowmobile Racing Lions, is under the direction of David Kapla. Kapla said the deal isn’t totally in ink yet, and expects it to be finalized in late April. The club is scheduled to run six WSA-sanctioned races next winter: two in North Pole, two in Big Lake, one in Soldotna and one in Valdez.
Snow Hawk Goes Hollywood
A custom-painted version of the Snow Hawk appeared on the big screen. The machine was featured in the action movie “Agent Cody Banks,” released on March 14. The MGM-Studios release features the Snow Hawk in an “unusual” color scheme, according to the Quebec-based manufacturer. “The Snow Hawk is well known in the snowmobile industry, but this movie will allow the general audience to see something they’ve likely never seen,” said Vincent Melanson, A.D. Boivin’s Sales and Marketing Director.

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