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Head Case: What Once Was Cool


6/14/2018 10:32:00 AM

Sweet Arctic Cat vintage helmets from the Ische Family collection.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, snowmobilers didn't wear helmets. It was roughly the same era that snowmobiles had transitioned from rear-engine mounting to front-mounting.

I'm talking the late 1960s, which is older than the internet.

Once speeds and injuries and frostbite ramped up, so did the use of helmets. This was in the early 1970s, before Facebook and Instagram.

And like so many of the emerging trends in snowmobiling during those early years, helmets were all over the map in terms of shape, design and color.

Here are just a few examples. Beautiful, funny, weird, cool...these brain buckets deserve all kinds of likes and appreciation.

I wonder if 45 years from now, snowmobilers will look back on the ultimate lids of this era with the same level of smirk?

|  posted in Features  |  comments (6)  |

Reflecting on the Sign of the Times


6/4/2018 6:33:00 PM

Textron and Arctic Cat sign in Thief River Falls. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

In a sign of the times, last Thursday the display sign in front of the plant in Thief River Falls changed.

Gone was the "ARCTIC CAT" that had stood for many years. In its place, the sign you see here.

I know that for many people in TRF and around the world, the change was shocking. Some people are a little saddened. A few are mad.

Everyone I talked with was also damn glad there's still a sign, still an Arctic Cat and is thankful that Textron stepped in when they did. Because they know that the alternative would not have been pretty.

Click to read some of my thoughts on the subject.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (25)  |

TGIF: The June 1, 2018 Edition


6/1/2018 6:54:00 AM

When ArcticInsider rises...everyone stands.

I'm thankful that Blair Morgan popularized the stand-up style of snowmobiling.

I'm thankful for the Bobby Flame-edition riser.

I'm thankful for function over fashion, yo!

And I'm thankful it's Friday, June 1, 2018.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (4)  |

Smooth & Quiet! New Prowler Pro Side-by-Sides


5/29/2018 8:44:00 AM

2019 Prowler Pro XT from Textron Off Road

I've spent about 30 minutes on the new Prowler Pro models from Textron Off Road. While not enough time for a full-blown report, it was enough time to determine it's absolutely the smoothest, quietest side-by-side I've had the pleasure to ride.

PERFECTLY smooth acceleration (no more whiplash) and deceleration!

So quiet that you can have normal (no shouting) conversation with the passenger while cruising off-road at 30 mph, both of you wearing full-face helmets.

No rattles, no vibrations.

Click to read the release from Textron Off Road.

|  posted in ATV and UTV  |  comments (15)  |

2019 Prowler Pro Specs & Key Features


5/29/2018 8:24:00 AM

2019 Prowler Pro XT from Textron Off Road

The just-released 2019 Prowler Pro and Prowler Pro XT side-by-sides are loaded with sweet technology. Not rip up the whoops like a pro technology, rather, it's tech that delivers whisper-quietness and smooooooooth over everything.

Make the jump and read the bullets on this new over achiever.

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

Kids Just Wanna Have Fun


5/23/2018 10:58:00 PM

Finding some air time on a ZR 200.

When I was a kid, my friends and I would ride our BMX bikes every day in the summer. Usually, that meant we'd ride to one or a few of the areas with jumps within 3 miles of our homes. It felt free and wild and fun. This was when (and why) I fell in love with riding bikes.

At some point in my late-teens, these bicycle rides evolved. A mountain bike with gears replaced the small single-speed BMX bikes, and the rides became more about exploration rather than jumping (and hanging out with friends) sessions. I still ride bikes and they're still focused on exploration and adventure and distance, rather than sessioning.

Back then I was also a snowmobile kid. My brother, cousins and friends would rip around on the sleds, usually on short loops through the woods, jumping off snow banks left by plowed roads across lakes, having gladiator-style cattail fights, and so forth. It felt free and wild and fun. This was when (and why) I fell in love with snowmobiling.

Sound familiar?

My conclusion: Kids just wanna have fun. Click to see what I mean.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (3)  |

TGIF: The May 18, 2018 Edition


5/18/2018 9:28:00 PM

TGIF the snowmobile fishing vehicle.

I'm thankful for what happens when I can spend a few extra nights working in the shop.

I'm thankful for excellent cornering precision that's only possible with Shaper bars.

I'm thankful nobody asked me if the fish are biting.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, May 18, 2018.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (0)  |

Snapshot: Tucker's Career in Pictures


5/16/2018 9:28:00 AM

Tucker Hibbert, Monster, Arctic Cat, snocross and an incredible career.

For more than 20 years Tucker Hibbert has given snocross fans a stunning array of accomplishments and entertainment, many of which were defining moments of the sport.

Here are some of those milestones.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (4)  |

By the Numbers: Tucker Hibbert's Career Statistics & Team


5/16/2018 9:25:00 AM

onster/Arctic Cat Team 68 celebrate Tucker Hibbert's 9-peat at X Games. Photo by Hanson.

Tucker Hibbert's first snocross race was in 1995.

He got serious about it as a Semi-Pro in 1998 and then turned Pro for the 2001 season.

In those 21 years since turning Semi-Pro, Hibbert won more races and broke more records than anyone else in the history of terrain racing.

Click to see the incredible statistics, along with the many crew members and sponsors who made it possible.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (2)  |

Tucker Hibbert Retires from Snocross


5/16/2018 9:07:00 AM

Tucker Hibbert waves goodbye to snocross. Photo by ArcticInsider.com.

Sooner or later, this day was going to come.

Tucker Hibbert is now retired as a professional snocross racer.

Click to read his announcement.

Then scroll below this post to see a post on his career highlights plus another post of his career in photos.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (16)  |

TGIF: The May 11, 2018 Edition


5/11/2018 9:59:00 AM

TGIF with the wheel kit vintage sled

I'm thankful for all-season fun and versatility.

I'm thankful for kits.

I'm thankful for the inherent stability and next-level handling that a 3 wheels provide.

And I'm thankful it's snowmobiling-fun-in-the-summer-beginning today: Friday, May 11, 2018.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (1)  |

Experience Arctic Cat Village at the Pennington County Fair


5/8/2018 10:45:00 AM

Vintage Arctic Cats

Fans of Arctic Cat who want to see the hometown and experience the down-home fun of a county fair should mark July 18-22 on their 2018 calendar.

"Arctic Cat Village" is a new attraction at this year's Pennington County (Minnesota) Fair, held at the county seat of Thief River Falls, Minn.

In addition to all the regular goodness of a county fair, you'll be able to see Tom Ische's collection of amazing Arctic Cat machines and memorabilia; there will be plant tours of Arctic Cat/Textron Off Road; Team Arctic race teams displaying their trailers and sleds; a chance to win a Prowler EV side-by-side; and more.

|  posted in News  |  comments (3)  |

TGIF: The May 4, 2018 Edition


5/4/2018 2:15:00 PM

Vintage snowbike conversion kits are another reason to be thankful on Fridays.

I'm thankful we only have to sit like this for the photo, and that we don't actually have to ride this beast.

I'm thankful for the lawsuit that'll happen when the first buyer, while cruising down a road on this new toy, accidently puts his foot on one of the tracks.

I'm thankful for motorcycles, snowmobiles and whatever happens when people mix the two.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, May 4, 2018.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (0)  |

Sooner than Later: Ray Bulloch Steers Wildcat XX to First Win


5/4/2018 12:12:00 PM

Ray Bulloch scores first side-by-side win with Wildcat XX by Textron Off Road.

It was just a matter of time before the new Wildcat XX took its first win. Not surprisingly for anyone who's ridden one, that win happened sooner rather than later.

Last week, Team Wildcat racer Ray Bulloch bested the RZRs and Mavericks to stand on top of the SxS Pro Stock podium and claim the overall at WORCS Racing’s Round 5 in Hurricane, Utah.

It was the FIRST first for the all-new Wildcat XX, but undoubtedly not the last.

Click to read a brief description.

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

Snowmobile Hall of Fame Classic Sled Round-Up on May 27


5/2/2018 1:51:00 PM

Snowmobile Hall of Fame Classic Sled Round Up. Photo by Bourgeois.

We're just weeks away from the Classic Sled Round Up in St. Germain, Wisconsin.

Held on Sunday, May 27, and hosted by the Snowmobile Hall of Fame, the ever growing swap meet and judged show has become one of the must attend events of the year and marks the start of another season.

Click for some more details.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (1)  |

Wildcat XX vs. RZR 1000 vs. Stage II Wildcat XX


5/1/2018 1:36:00 PM

When Speedwerx took delivery of their new 2018 Wildcat XX for the purpose of uncovering extra horsepower, they wanted to first do a little baseline test with the stock machine against a stock 2017 RZR 1000. So they lined 'em up and dropped the hammers. 

Bam!

Now with a month or so of development time on their Stage 2 Exterminator Kit, the crew wanted to see what 12 additional horsepower is like compared to a stock Wildcat XX.

Click to make the jump and see for yourself.

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

TGIF: The April 27, 2018 Edition


4/27/2018 3:19:00 PM

TGIF and the snowmobile lovelies

I'm thankful for the pursuit of speed and beauty queens.

I'm thankful for plowed ice and roll bars.

I'm especially thankful for ear plugs.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, April 27, 2018.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (3)  |

Is it the End or the Beginning?


4/27/2018 3:01:00 PM

Arctic Cat snowmobiling.

I've been thinking a lot about my less-than-what-I'd-hoped-for winter of snowmobiling. For a bunch of reasons, I didn't get to ride as much as I normally do (and nowhere near as much as I'd hoped).

The last pile of snow melted in my yard today. I'm looking at a spring, summer and fall filled with all kinds of cool stuff. I should be thrilled.

But I'm feeling the tug of disappointment that winter's over. No more snowmobiling for 7 months or so.

The good news is that those 7 months will pass fast (which is also the bad news).

A couple snowmobile projects will keep the fire flickering in the meantime. And there are a whole bunch of people and places I'm going to visit before I start wearing the jackets that I just put away last weekend.

One snowmobile season ends and, in a way, another is just beginning.

|  posted in Features  |  comments (4)  |

Baja Bound: Ride Over Everything Giveaway


4/24/2018 7:05:00 AM

Wildcat XX Ride Over Everything Baja Giveway from Textron Off Road.

You (yes, YOU) can win Baja this year. As in an all-expenses-paid trip to Baja; rides aboard the new Wildcat XX along portions of the Baja 1000 race course; great viewing of the famed race; and some story time with off-road race legend Robby Gordon.

And more!

Click for the details, then go win Baja.

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

Jumpin' Jag: Last Launch of the Season


4/22/2018 12:36:00 AM

That time I misjudged my speed as I hit the ditch approach on the ol' Jag. #Advil #LarryWho?

|  posted in Video  |  comments (4)  |
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