Feb. 12, 2007 – Snowmobile Report
February 12, 2007
Filed under Features
Polaris Shows Off a Track-Propelled Snowboard
Polaris showed off a new product at two snocross races in late January: an alternative vehicle called a Trakstar.
The machine is an engine-operated, track-propelled snowboard that can reach speeds of 25 mph. It’s in its final development stages and Trakstar Project Coordinator Jodi Sorenson said it’s slated to be a part of Polaris’ 2008 model lineup. There is no price set on the machine at this time.
Sorenson described the Trakstar as a “motorized snowboard, or a surfboard on snow.” It can operate on packed or powder snow.
It’s a stand-up machine with a tunnel and track, two footholds and a bar sticking out of the tunnel that aids in steering. Bodyweight shift also aids in turning. There’s also a ski in front.
The four-stroke, 9 hp Subaru-built engine mounts at the front of the machine.
Sorenson said the machine was showcased at the Winter X Games and a World Powersports Association snocross event to get a feel for the market. The target age range for the alternative vehicle is between 10-20 years old.
Sorenson sees three different applications for the Trakstar: as a backyard toy, for sport/competition or for rescue operations, as it’s strong enough to tow.
The concept was the result of an internal exercise to generate ideas for “the next big thing,” Sorenson said. It been in development for a few years, she said.
Arctic Cat District Sales Manager Wins Gold Medal
Arctic Cat District Sales Manager Chris Burandt can now add another credential to his business card: ESPN Winter X Games gold medalist.
Burandt, of Kremmling, Colo., won the freestyle jump competition at the games Jan. 28 in Aspen, Colo. This is the first time freestyle snowmobile jumping has been a part of the made-for-television sporting event. Burandt has been a competitive freestyle snowmobiler since 2002, and has been employed with Arctic Cat for two years. Burandt’s territory covers Utah, Idaho and parts of Nevada.
Arctic Cat has scored big elsewhere in major snowmobile races. Snocrosser Tucker Hibbert took his Arctic Cat to ESPN?Winter X Games gold in the Jan. 27 snocross event. This is his second Winter X victory; his first was in 2000. Arctic Cat riders Ryan Simons and T.J. Gulla placed second and third, respectively.
Gary Moyle of Houghton, Mich., placed Arctic Cat on the podium at the Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River, Wis., on Jan. 22. Moyle made his move for the lead on the ninth lap, and held on for the victory. Polaris’ drivers Dustin Wahl and Matt Schulz finished second and third, respectively.
Snowmobile Museum Opens In Eagle River, Wis.
Tom Anderson, owner of Leisure Features Inc./Snowmobile USA shows, hosted a grand opening for his latest venture, the World Snowmobile Headquarters. The museum, showcasing primarily exhibits of snowmobile innovators and volunteers, opened Jan. 20 in Eagle River, Wis.
The World Hall Of Fame is open from 10 am-4 pm Tuesday through Saturday. It will be closed for more renovations in the spring. To verify hours, call 715/479-2186.
Scholarship For Future Land Managers Available
The Bill Townsend Memorial Access Scholarship fund will issue its first $5,000 award to a student whose career could benefit motorized recreation, particularly snowmobiling.
Recipients will be chosen based on academic achievement, snowmobile/land access-related activities, an essay on the candidate’s snowmobile access philosophy and a letter of support from the applicant’s state snowmobile association. Applications are due April 2, and are available at www.snowmobile.org. The winner will be announced June 9 at the International Snowmobile Congress in Minneapolis. psb