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Oct. 16, 2006 – Snowmobile Report

October 16, 2006
Filed under Features

Polaris issues four-stroke updates
Polaris dealers received the green light in early September to make needed upgrades to the 2006 FS and FST engine models, as Polaris issued four service updates and two Team Tips for the machines.
Service updates include an ECU reflash, which will recalibrate the fuel and ignition systems to help with plug fouling, cold starting and improve fuel economy. It also includes the installation of an oil cooler sleeve to solve the rising oil level problem, a new heat shield to prevent the alternator housing meltdowns, and replacement of the exhaust manifolds on the FS models, as some have cracked.
Team Tips include a new fuel-level jumper wire for gauges that read inaccurately. This is not the same fix on the 2007 models; the ’07s received a redesigned gas tank that doesn’t retrofit to the ’06 models. Dealers also can re-route cooling hoses.
In addition, there’s now an accessory block heater available for extreme cold conditions if the ECU reflash doesn’t solve the cold-starting problems.
Michael Erickson, snowmobile product manager, said the service updates on the ’06 models are not just a stop-gap fix: it’s the same fixes that will appear on the 2007 models. These suggested fixes are different than product recalls, Erickson said, which are usually made for safety reasons.
New York Changes Registration Requirements
Snowmobile registrations in New York will increase to $100 — unless that person is a snowmobile club member. Snowmobile club members will continue to pay a $45 registration fee. It’s a way to build trail awareness and get extra hands involved in the process, said Jim Jennings, executive director for the New York State Snowmobile Association.
There are 250 clubs in New York, with a pre-change membership total of about 28,000. Jennings expects to see that number jump to 80,000.
Snowmobiles banned in Idaho Caribou Habitat
U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley banned snowmobiles in nearly 470 square miles of national forest land in Northern Idaho on Sept. 22. The ban does not apply to the area east of Priest Lake.
The ban will be in place until the U.S. Forest Service develops a winter management plan that takes snowmobiles into account.
There are an estimated three dozen caribou in the area. They’re considered to be the last mountain caribou herd in the lower 48 states. psb

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