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Embarrasing Me: Vintage Snowmobile Racing


11/20/2017 7:13:00 AM

True confessions...

I'm the guy at 1:03 on the Merc, who gets sideways yet still keeps it pinned.

I'm also the guy who kisses the wall at 1:35.

Real People = Embarrasing me.

|  posted in Video  |  comments (3)  |

The Cat that Arctic Cat Built?


11/17/2017 7:31:00 AM

The first Caterpillar side-by-side utility vehicle, built at Arctic Cat/Textron Off Road in Thief River Falls? It certainly appears to be the machine.

|  posted in Video  |  comments (1)  |

TBT: 1990 Arctic Cat EXT Special


11/16/2017 10:52:00 AM

1990 Arctic Cat EXT Special. Photo posted by ArcticInsider.com

At this moment 27 years ago, Team Arctic racers and mechanics were busy puting wrenches and hope into a snowmobile that would ultimately re-aim the trajectory of Team Arctic's race results.

The machine: the 1990 EXT Special. 

By the end of the season (and in the capable hands of growing contingent of Team Arctic racers), the machine would claim wins in the Jeep 500 cross-country, Eagle River World's Championship and dozens of other key races.

It would mark the beginning of a loooooong line of race-focused, limited-built "specials."

And it would launch the success (and fortune) of FOX Shox in the snowmobile arena.

Click to read more about this iconic machine.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (16)  |

Happy Birthday CJ Ramstad (and Thanks For All You Gave)


11/14/2017 7:25:00 AM

CJ RamstadIt's been 10 years since legendary snowmobile journalist CJ Ramstad and his son J.J. died in a tragic automobile crash.

Today would have been CJ's 72nd birthday. I’m remembering his life by sharing this awesome column he wrote for the Dec. 13, 1975 edition of Snow Week magazine.

It’s a column about subjects dear to his heart: cross-country snowmobile racing; the workingman racer; the independent spirit.

Like much of CJ’s writing, it captures the subject with honesty and insight.

Happy Birthday CJ. And thanks for the gifts you gave us.


|  posted in Features  |  comments (5)  |

Exit Interview: Team Arctic's Dale Lindbeck, World Champ and Regular Guy


11/9/2017 7:11:00 PM

Team Arctic's Dale Lindbeck, the ultimate independent.

When the sun set on this past summer, so too did the career of a truly remarkable snowmobiule racer who has competed for more than 35 consecutive years: Dale Lindbeck.

If you grew up going to races in the Midwest or reading Snow Week magazine, you know Lindbeck as a Team Arctic racer who raced in snocross, ice LeMans, cross-country and watercross, where he’s a 4-time World Champion.

At 57 years old, the married father of one who lives in Chisago City, Minn., will stop chasing checkered flags and start chasing new life experiences.

Dale has been one of my all-time favorite personalities since I started covering this sport as a journalist in 1989, and he was gracious to let me interview him about his career.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (13)  |

Sunshine Makes Me Happy! The Gift of a Generous Spirit


11/9/2017 9:08:00 AM

Sunshine Oelfke gets her Arctic Cat ZR 120 snowmobile.

Oh man, sometimes it's a story of human greatness that puts everything into perspective.

Five-year-old Sunshine Oelfke, who had been saving to buy a ZR 120 but then gave all her money to buy milk for her classmates, is one such story.

Yesterday Sunshine received a BIG surprise: a brand-new ZR 120, courtesty of Arctic Cat and Textron Specialized Vehicles.

Awesome!

Click to read one really, REALLY cool story.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (4)  |

Let the Riding Begin: Caleb Kesterke in Cooke City


11/9/2017 7:56:00 AM

Yep, the riding season has begun!

Arctic Cat Black Cat shredder Caleb Kesterke made some tracks in Cooke City, Montana a few days ago.

|  posted in Video  |  comments (1)  |

Speedwerx Hypershift Clutch Kits: Sending Your Snowmobile into Hyperdrive


11/6/2017 2:15:00 PM

Speedwerx Hypershift Clutch Kit at Arctic Cat dealers.

Arctic Cat and Speedwerx have had a very close relationship for a whole bunch of years, from race engines to concept vehicles to Black Cats sleds to high performance products to...well the list goes on and on.

For the first time ever, there are now Speedwerx Hypershift Clutch Kits available for most recent model machines, from all Arctic Cat dealers, and via the online store.

These kits deliver the same promise as all of Speedwerx's stuff: more perforemance.

Click to read the details and see if it's something you're interested in.

|  posted in News  |  comments (2)  |

The Winds of November Bring Winter


11/2/2017 8:36:00 AM

Winter arrived in Bergland, Mich., for snowmobiling in November 2017.

Winter arrived in Bergland, Mich., for snowmobiling in November 2017.

So far I REALLY like what Ma Nature is giving us for November!

These pix were taken yesterday near Bergland, Mich., where 12 inches of snow brought beauty (and a bit of a mess) to the Gogebic Area Groomers.

Right now there's snow on the ground on a large swath of snowmobile country. It's early, of course, and the probability is that some of this snow will melt before winter begins in earnest.

But so far, the winds of November bring winter!

Winter snow report for 11-1-17

|  posted in Features  |  comments (2)  |

Extra-Extra!: 2018 Arctic Cat Snow Accessory Reference Guide


11/2/2017 6:37:00 AM

2018 Arctic Cat Parts and Accessory Guide for snowmobiles

The annual Arcticwear clothing, parts and accessory catalog is an awesome source for all the newest and coolest snowmobile gear. But because of space limitations, it contains only a fraction of the accessories available through your local Arctic Cat dealer. Which is why Arctic Cat also produces an annual POGA supplemental guide.

This handy piece has it all, including ALL the accessory items that are in the annual color catalog, PLUS a whole bunch of items NOT in that piece. For example:

* Products (with associated info) for non-current Arctic Cat models

* Replacement pieces for past and current products (including the various straps, clip-attachments, buckles, straps, etc... for bags and covers; helmet lenses and hardware

* ZR 200 accessories such as a speedo, track (for racing), wheel kits

* Tools

* High-altitude kits

* The answer to whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone

In other words, it's seriously worth checking out.

CLICK HERE to download a 10MB PDF of the Catalog.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (0)  |

Havoc X: The All-New All-Rounder SxS


10/31/2017 7:55:00 AM

2018 Havoc X from Textron Off Road. American muscle side-by-side.

Today Textron Off Road took the final wraps off its new 2018 Havoc X, an American-designed-and-built side-by-side that aims to handle hardcore riding and heavy-duty chores. Yes, that means it's aimed directly at the General -- 100 hp; class-leading suspension with King shocks; class-leading ground clearance; extended cab.

From what I see, it's a bullseye hit.

Click to read what TOR has to say about Havoc X.

|  posted in ATV and UTV  |  comments (5)  |

Lifetime Memory: Ride Along with Your Kid at the USXC I-500


10/27/2017 8:33:00 PM

Team Arctic's John Sandberg follows son Calvin at a race in 2011.

This is a story about USXC’s Ride-Along class for parents whose kids will compete the 2018 I-500 cross-country race.

Parents who desire to can literally ride behind their kids for the entire 150-mile Day 3 portion from Thief River Falls to Bemidji, Minn., that comprises the Junior class. For those that do, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll have the time of your life.

I know because I unwittingly did something very similar back in 2011, which is captured in the photo above.

Click to read the story of that race, and what it could mean for parents of junior class racers this winter.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (6)  |

TBT: Tom Porter Snowmoto Oval Racing


10/26/2017 4:02:00 PM

Team Arctic Sno Pro Tom Porter, 1973 EXT.

This throwback is to 1973 (or 1975, see comments), with Team Arctic's Tom Porter roosting away on his factory EXT Sno Pro sled.

Such a badass photo!

It's a reminder that yes, even 4-plus decades ago, winter could be cruel and the races could be as much moto as they were snow.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (4)  |

Gone Electric: 2018 Prowler EV & EV iS Side-by-Sides


10/21/2017 1:30:00 PM

2018 Prowler EV from Textron Off Road.

I'm of the opinion that the human race is well on its way to FAR, FAR more widespread use of electric-powered vehicles. I also believe the approaching sea-change should NOT induce fear or loathing.

On the contrary, every experience I've had with EV has been awesome. The future is awesome!

Case in point: the new 2018 Prowler EV and EV iS side-by-sides from Textron Off Road.

Click to read the stats on this newly named machine.

|  posted in ATV and UTV  |  comments (10)  |

'17 October in TRF: A Couple Days at Arctic Cat


10/18/2017 10:59:00 AM

An October trip to Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

The air was brisk and the activity bristling at Arctic Cat last week.

The two days I spent there were a strong reminder that winter is coming, and that the energy here is infectious.

Click to see what was happening.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (14)  |

LED Headlight: See Into the Future


10/18/2017 9:21:00 AM

Arctic Cat LED headlight.

As the years tick by, my weary eyes need ever-increasing light to see with the clarity that I expect.

The LED headlight that comes stock on select, recent Arctic Cat snowmobiles delivers improved performance in exactly this way.

Now this headlight is available as an accessory for 6000 and 8000 series models.

Click to see the light.

|  posted in News  |  comments (8)  |

Heat-to-Toes: Champion Jacket & Mid-Weight Wool Socks


10/18/2017 7:07:00 AM

Arctic Cat Champion Jacket and Mid-Weight Wool Socks

Arcticwear continues to round-out its clothing line for snowmobilers, with the new Mid-Weight Wool Socks joining the Champion Advantage Jacket for the coming season.

Now that grey is the new black, the Champion Jacket hits the bullseye of current style trends.

The socks won't get much notice, aside from whoever wears them and appreciates their warmth and dryness.

Click for a few details on each.

|  posted in News  |  comments (0)  |

Caterpillar UTV in Collaboration with Textron Off Road


10/16/2017 1:36:00 PM

Caterpillar UTV Textron Off Road

Today Caterpillar announced plans to enter the utility vehicle market.

Which is particularly notable because Caterpillar has entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. and will offer UTV models sold through participating Cat® dealerships starting in 2018.

The machine will feature a rugged steel cargo bed that can reliably handle up to 1,000 lb (450 kg) of material and tools, plus a 2,000-lb (900-kg) towing capacity. The UTVs also provide ample headroom and legroom for tall riders.

Click for more info.

|  posted in ATV and UTV  |  comments (11)  |

2018 SHOF Inductees and Ride With The Champs


10/9/2017 5:57:00 PM

2018 SHOF Inductees

The Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Germain, Wis., announced today its four inductees for 2018: Team Decker Racing, Bryan Dyrdahl, Trapp Brothers Racing Team, and Rick Ward.

These honorees will be inducted into the SHOF on Feb. 17, 2018, in St. Germain, coinciding with the annual Ride With The Champs and other events. All snowmobiling fans are invited.

Click for more info on the inductees and the upcoming event.

|  posted in News  |  comments (3)  |

Wicked Wildcat Weekend


10/9/2017 1:56:00 PM

Wicked Wildcat Weekend - Arctic Cat and Textron Off Road machines

The Wicked Wildcat Weekend is a bi-annual gathering of Wildcat owners, with the purpose of riding and having.

A few weeks ago the most recent edition drew 87 Wildcats from all over North America.

Click for some great photos and a little history of this cool event, along with an invitation to join the next one in spring 2018.

Here's a brief story of past events written by Josh Nave, along with his invitation to join future ones.

|  posted in ATV and UTV  |  comments (0)  |
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