Sled sales off to mixed start
With the nation experiencing its coldest winter in nine years in December and snowstorms blanketing much of the country, the snowmobile industry is off to a fairly good start.
The wintery weather has pushed people to get out riding, says Ed Klim, president of the International Snowmobile Manufacturer Association (ISMA).
“Sled registration is very strong across the board,” he noted.
Every region in the United States trended colder than normal, according to private weather forecaster Planalytics.
As far as snowmobile sales, a recent survey by Powersports Business shows mixed results. More than 28 percent reported improved sales vs. a year ago, but close to 60 percent reported declining sales.
Klim agrees that some regions are doing better than others. “As your results show, some states/provinces are realizing a sales uptick compared to a year ago,” he commented. “We don’t see any real significant decline by area or region, but I believe the word significant is relative.”
It’s not just unit sales that are faring well thus far. Klim says traffic is picking up in PG&A.
“Sales appear to be strong,” he said. “We have a few months to go, so we’ll see how the season ends up.”
— Karin Gelschus
Speedwerx issues recall on certain mufflers
Speedwerx has issued a recall on all Z1 Turbo Mufflers purchased prior to the updated version.
The mufflers must be brought in before Jan. 20. If it’s not sent in prior to the deadline, the warranty will be discontinued and the customer will not be eligible for the update.
The company says it’s vital to follow the full installation directions before operating the vehicle with Speedwerx’s muffler installed. The entire side panel needs to be covered with heat tape to ensure that the panel is protected from the heat the muffler radiates.
Speedwerx offers heat tape (MSRP: $79.95), or the company suggests using a Frogskinz vent to help bring cold outside air into the muffler compartment (MSRP: $14.95).
For more information contact Speedwerx at 651/982-6020 or visit www.speedwerx.com.
N.H. Motor Speedway proposes snowmobile racing
For the first time in nearly 40 years, snowmobile racing could return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, according to the Associated Press.
Speedway officials are seeking permission from the Loudon Planning Board to hold a “snodeo” Feb. 20-21. Unlike the snowmobile races from the early 1970s, the races would be held in a parking lot south of the grandstand rather than on the track’s oval.
Pink Ribbon Riders events
You can support the Pink Ribbon Riders by visiting their Web site at PinkRibbonRiders.com. It has information about fund-raising events and opportunities, including the purchase of raffle tickets to win a snowmobile.
Snowmobiles can actively participate with the Pink Ribbon Riders by joining them at one of their upcoming winter events: Feb. 13 and 14, Eagles Lodge, Gaylord, Mich.; Feb. 19 and 20, Eagle River Inn, Eagle River, Wis.; Feb. 26 and 27, Ole Barn Inlet, N.Y.; March 19 and 20, Togwotee Mountain Lodge, Moran, Wyo.
Fire sets back Yamaha 2011 product shoot
At Yamaha’s Wyoming photo site, a chimney fire got out of control, destroying the base lodge, according to Snowmobile.com.
Yamaha reported the staff on site lost a lot of their equipment. The computers and hard drives that were damaged were sent to Denver to see if anything could be recovered.
Yamaha said no one was hurt as most of the staff on site was housed in separate bunkhouses at the resort or at another lodge 30 minutes away.
Maine airport unhappy with snowmobilers
Officials at Central Maine Regional Airport say the snowmobiling across and near runways must stop, according to the Associated Press.
The airport put up plastic fences and signs warning snowmobilers to stay away several years ago, but the signs have been ripped up and the fences cut. Airport operator Kristina Wallace says if snowmobilers continue to ride in the area, the airport could lose $1.2 million in federal funding for a new runway.
Wallace told the Morning Sentinel that a single piece of ice tracked across a runway could damage a plane. And she says riding on the runway is just plain dangerous for snowmobilers and pilots, who would have to pull up if a snowmobile crossed a runway as a plane was touching down.