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SNOWMOBILE – Snow Digest

November 28, 2005
Filed under Features

Yamaha Apex GT Earns Snowmobile of the Year
The 2006 Yamaha Apex GT was named the Snowmobile of the Year by Snow Goer magazine, a publication of Ehlert Publishing Group Inc. The award, given for technological innovation, cited the Apex GT for its new high-performance four-stroke engine and suspension systems. “For three years, Yamaha’s RX-1 was the benchmark, four-stroke performance machine. It had a level of performance that the other manufacturers measured against,” said Tim Erickson, editor of Snow Goer. “Before its package was matched by another four-stroke machine, Yamaha raised the bar. It will be even more difficult for other manufacturers to build not only an incredible engine, but also to drop it into a chassis that works as well.” The award was given in the magazine’s November issue. Yamaha has already integrated the award into its advertising campaign.

Dealer Expands To E-Commerce
Country Cat, a Sauk Centre, Minn.-based Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo dealership will branch into e-commerce through www.catbargains.com. The new division, under the direction of P.J. Wanderscheid, will sell parts, performance parts and accessories. Buyers will be able to access parts microfiche. The company tested the idea with an eBay store since May. Catbargains.com is planned to be running on October 1.

Ski/Snowmobile Compromise
Tamarack Resort CEO Jean-Pierre Boespflug and the Idaho State Snowmobile Association (ISSA) President Bill Freelove signed an agreement September 1 that creates a new groomed snowmobile trail to access West Mountain and separate-use recreation zones for Tamarack backcountry skiing operations and high-use snowmobile terrain. Freelove said the snowmobile community entered negotiations with Tamarack with two objectives in mind. “We wanted to protect our historic high-use snowmobile areas, and we wanted to maintain access to West Mountain. We also realized that Tamarack Resort is important to the economic success of Valley County, and want them to succeed as the first four-season resort to open in the U.S. in 25 years,” Freelove said. “We believe that we have achieved our objectives.” The parties had been in negotiations since January 2005. Tamarack Resort is in Donnelly, Idaho.

Cat Makes Crossfire Sno Pro
In what it said was an answer to demands for a more aggressive hybrid snowmobile, Arctic Cat will produce a Sno Pro version of its Crossfire snowmobile. The machine will have a high-performance suspension package calibrated specifically for the on-trail/off-trail snowmobile. The company announced the new machine on August 22. The front suspension will include Fox FLOAT ski shocks; the rear will use four-way coupling blocks to reduce ski-lift and excessive weight transfer. This will allow riders to dial in a Crossfire Sno Pro for a variety of riding conditions, Cat said. The rear suspension is also fitted with a larger, 2-inch diameter Fox shock with aggressive valving. The machine will come in two engine packages: the 700 EFI for $9,799 and the 600 EFI for $9,099. Both engine packages are available in green, orange and black color options with special graphics and matching seat.

Haydays Race Results
While Haydays has grown into much more than competition, the grass drag races are still its roots. This year, Michigan-based Pro Snowmobile Grass Drag Racing Association, under the direction of Ken Crouch, sanctioned the races. A complete schedule of races was run over the two-day event. The weekend’s big winners were Ski-Doo driver Chris Anderson of Epsom, N.H., with two firsts in Stock 600 Multi-pipe and Stock 800; one second place finish in Stock 900; and a third in Stock 600. Anderson is affiliated with New Hampshire dealership Bickford’s Sports Center. Charlevoix, Mich.-racer Denny Mousseau first in the Stock 900 and 1000 finals. He also grabbed two second-place finishes in Stock 700 and 800. He rides Arctic Cat. Ski-Doo driver Craig Marchbank of New Lennox, Ill., took three firsts in Imp. Stock 500, 800 and 1000. And he didn’t stop there. He dominated the Pro Stock classes as well with three firsts in Pro Stock 500, 600 and 700. On the Mod side, Dean Schroeder was a heavy hitter on his custom chassis with Rotax power with three firsts in Heavy Mod 500, Open Mod 500 and Open Mod 600. He also took a second- and a third-place finish in Open Mod 700 and Heavy Mod 600, respectively. Polaris driver Ian Hamilton swept the Mod 700 classes with two firsts in Heavy Mod 700 and Open Mod 700. Hamilton also took a first in the Factory Mod 1 class.

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