April 24, 2006 – Snowmobile Report

Polaris recalls sleds for steering hazard
Polaris Industries Inc. has recalled about 1,380 snowmobiles with electric starts and 1,940 electric start kits designed to be installed on certain 2005 or 2006 snowmobiles.
The recall includes 2006 Polaris 700IQ Classic, 700 IQ Touring, Select Model Year 2005 900 Fusion, 900 RMK, 900 Switchback, Select Model Year 2006 700 IQ Fusion, RMK, and Select Model Year 2006 900 Fusion, RMK Switchback Snowmobiles with Accessory Electric Start Kits.
The sleds were sold nationwide from August 2004 through March 2006 for between $10,000 and $12,600.
The Medina, Minn.-based manufacturer says the fastener torque securing the starter motor to the engine crankcase may not have been accurately applied during the manufacture of these snowmobiles or during the installation of an accessory starter. The company says an improperly torqued starter motor fastener bolt may become loose and fall out, allowing the bolt to interfere with the lower steering drag link. This could allow the consumer to experience a loss of steering control.
Polaris has received 18 reports of incidents involving loss of steering ability, with one reported minor injury.
Polaris says consumers with recalled snowmobiles are being sent direct notice. Consumers are asked to stop using the vehicles immediately and to contact a local Polaris snowmobile dealer to schedule an appointment for a free repair.
Death Toll Reduction In Michigan
Snowmobile-related deaths in Michigan decreased this season for the third year in a row.
In the 2005-06 season, 23 fatalities were reported, down from 26 last year and 29 in the 2003-04 season, according to a report from the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents, with data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. This season was the safest since 1989, when 10 deaths were recorded in Michigan. The deadliest season was 2002-03, when 46 fatalities occurred.
Team Industries Drops Snocross Team Sponsorship
Bagley, Minn.-based Team Industries will not return as a primary sponsor of the Team Industries/Polaris snocross team after five years of financial backing, said Dave Osterman, the company’s general manager.
“Financially, we spent a significant amount of money to field the team,” Osterman said. “And we started to ask, ‘Is that the best place to spend our marketing dollars?’”
Though the company won’t spend cash on snowmobile race teams, sponsorship will continue in the form of product and technical support. Team Industries makes snowmobile performance products, including clutches, for consumer sale. Team also sells components directly to snowmobile manufactures, which contributed to the decision to end team sponsorship.
Osterman said it’s tough to to pick one brand of race sled to support when the company makes parts for three brands on the racetrack.
Arctic Cat Names new race manager
Arctic Cat announced March 27 that Russ Ebert will be the new Team Arctic race manager.
“Russ is one of the most experienced and well-respected members in the snowmobile racing community and will be a huge asset to Arctic Cat,” Vice President Sales and Marketing Robert Bonev said. “It is our intention to not only dominate in snocross but also increase our involvement in all forms of racing, from hill climb to ovals and drag racing, and Russ will be instrumental to that end.” psb

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