May 3, 2010: Snow Digest

Ski-Doo beefs up race sled

Ski-Doo couldn’t wait for the introduction of the 2011 Ski-Doo MXZx 600RS, so the OEM is debuting it earlier than in past years. The two biggest updates are the addition of more horsepower to the engine and a completely new rear suspension, according to Ski-Doo.

Despite the success seen on the 2010 race sled, the engineering team in Valcourt has stepped up with improvements for 2011.

“In racing you never stop developing your product, and because winning is part of our heritage at BRP, you can expect that we would continue to improve the MXZ race sled to be much better than last year,” stated Denis Morin, vice president of engineering for BRP. “The changes will provide better starts and more speed along with a very controlled ride tailored specifically for race conditions.”

The MXZx 600RS engine will come with new cylinders and a new combustion chamber shape to significantly improve power at all RPMs. Ski-Doo said racers will see better acceleration, stronger mid-range response and more top-end power as a result of these changes, which lead directly to better holeshots and better pull out of the turns. The clutch calibration has changed substantially to make sure the extra power is delivered to the track, along with quick back shifting and instant throttle response.

The new rear suspension — dubbed PCX — is intended for race use only. The PCX features a stronger re-designed coupling system, new shock motion ratio geometry and the durability a racer demands. In addition to taking the big hits of jumps and bumps, the PCX will deliver better cornering and better holeshots by controlling the chassis pitch more thoroughly throughout the travel, along with improving the sled’s cross country capability.

“We’re really excited about the changes for 2011,” said Ski-Doo Race Manager Jeff Goodwin. “The new suspension has been a huge step forward and will really make a difference for the racers in all conditions. Combine that with the extra engine power to assure great holeshots, and we have a great race sled for next season that will be hard to beat.”

Racers have until May 1 to complete an application for the new MXZx 600RS. It’s available online at www.ski-doo.com on the X-Team home page.

More details, photos and specifications will be offered in the fall.

Polaris vehicles now available to large educational group

Polaris Industries Inc. has been awarded a new contract with an educational provider that will make the company’s vehicles available to more than 1,700 colleges, universities, prep schools and other institutions.

Polaris recently announced the contract with Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing (E&I), the largest member-owned buying cooperative for higher education.


“Polaris offers a broad range of work utility vehicles that will enable enhanced productivity and value for school groundskeepers, security and event management,” said Dave Huguelet, director of business development for Polaris. “This contract is an efficient and effective way to showcase our products to the education business customer and will streamline their purchasing process.”

The contract went into effect March 1 and the offering will consist of Polaris’ full range of snowmobiles, ATVs, side-by-sides and parts and accessories.

Yellowstone saw decrease in snowmobilers this winter

The Yellowstone National Park reports it had about 22,200 snowmobilers in December through March, down from about 23,400 during the same period last season, a decrease of about 5 percent, according to the Associated Press.

This season’s numbers went down from the 2007-2008 season as well, when the park counted about 100,000 visitors.

Yellowstone park officials say light snowpack this year limited the number of days snowmobiles and some types of snowcoaches could enter the park.

The daily average for snowmobile use this season was 187, down from 205 last season and 294 the season before.

The peak day this season was 293 snowmobiles, down from 426 last season and 557 the previous.

Yellowstone now operates under a temporary plan limiting snowmobile use to 318 daily.

Wisconsin Snowmobile Bill goes to full assembly

With the goal of reducing snowmobile accidents, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety in Wisconsin voted to approve a bill that would tie together OWI (operating while intoxicated) violations on a recreational vehicle, including a snowmobile, boat or ATV, to one’s regular driver’s license.

The bill (AB 841) would make the second offense for OWI on a recreational vehicle within 5 years of a criminal offense. The current law says the operator has to be arrested for OWI twice on the same type of vehicle within 5 years before it’s a criminal offense.

Although this past riding season tied as the second safest snowmobile season in 15 years, many recreational groups support the new bill, believing it could lower accidents even further.

The current law expires this summer, and a renewal has passed the state Assembly and is waiting for a state Senate vote, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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