A snowmobile, also known as a motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, snowscooter, or snowmachine, is a motorised vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow. It is designed to be operated on snow and ice and does not require a road or trail, but most are driven on open terrain or trails. Snowmobiling is a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby.
Older snowmobiles could generally accommodate two people; however, most snowmobiles manufactured in the last twenty-five years have been designed for a single rider. Snowmobiles built with the ability to carry two riders are referred to as "2-up" snowmobiles or 'touring' models and make up an extremely small share of the market. Snowmobiles do not have any enclosures, except for a windshield, and their engines normally drive a continuous track at the rear. Skis at the front provide directional control.
Early snowmobiles used rubber tracks, but modern snowmobiles' tracks are usually made of a Kevlar composite. Originally, snowmobiles were powered by two-stroke gasoline internal combustion engines and since the mid-2000s four-stroke engines have also entered the market.
The second half of the 20th century saw the rise of recreational snowmobiling, whose riders are called snowmobilers or sledders. Recreational riding is known as snowcross/racing, trail riding, freestyle, boondocking, ditchbanging and grass drags. In the summertime snowmobilers can drag race on grass, asphalt strips, or even across water (see Snowmobile skipping). Snowmobiles are sometimes modified to compete in long-distance off-road races.
In 1911 a 24 year old, Harold J. Kalenze (pronounced Collins), patented the Vehicle Propeller in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
In 1915 Ray H. Muscott of Waters, Michigan, received the Canadian patent for his motor sleigh, or "traineau automobile", and on June 27, 1916, he received the first United States patent for a snow-vehicle using the now recognized format of rear track(s) and front skis. Many individuals later modified Ford Model Ts with the undercarriage replaced by tracks and skis following this design. They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time. The common name for these conversion of cars and small trucks was Snowflyers.
In 1935 Joseph Bombardier assembled and successfully tested the first snowmobile. It was a vehicle with a sprocket wheel and a track drive system, and it was steered by skis.
The challenges of cross-country transportation in the winter led to the invention of the snowmobile, an all-terrain vehicle specifically designed for travel across deep snow where other vehicles floundered. During the 20th century, rapidly evolving designs produced machines that were two-person tracked vehicles powered by gas engines that enabled them to tow a sled or travel, initially at low-to-moderate speeds, depending on snow conditions, terrain and obstacles protruding above the snow like brush and trees. Where early designs had 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) two-stroke engines, there has been a move toward newer style two and four-stroke gasoline engines, some with over 200 hp (150 kW).
The origin of the snowmobile is not the work of any one inventor but more a process of advances in engines for the propulsion of vehicles and supporting devices over snow. It parallels the development of the automobile and later aviation, often inventors using the same components for a different use.
Wisconsinites experimented with over-snow vehicles before 1900, experimenting with bicycles equipped with runners and gripping fins; steam-propelled sleighs; and (later) Model T Fords converted with rear tractor treads and skis in front. A patent (554.482) for the Sled-Propeller design, without a model, was submitted on Sept. 5, 1895 by inventors William J. Culman and William B. Follis of Brule, Wisconsin. In the first races held near Three Lakes in 1926, 104 of these "snowbuggies" started. Carl Eliason of Sayner developed the prototype of the modern snowmobile in the 1920s when he mounted a two-cylinder motorcycle engine on a long sled, steered it with skis under the front, and propelled it with single, endless track. Eliason made 40 snowmobiles, patented in 1927. Upon receiving an order for 200 from Finland, he sold his patent to the FWD Company of Clintonville. They made 300 for military use, then transferred the patent to a Canadian subsidiary.
The American Motor Sleigh was a short-lived novelty vehicle produced in Boston in 1905. Designed for travel on snow, it consisted of a sleigh body mounted on a framework that held an engine, a drive-shaft system, and runners. Although considered an interesting novelty, sales were low and production ceased in 1906.
The Aerosani, propeller-driven and running on skis, was built in 1909–1910 by Russian inventor Igor Sikorsky of helicopter fame. Aerosanis were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and World War II. There is some dispute over whether Aerosanis count as snowmobiles because they were not propelled by tracks.
Adolphe Kégresse designed an original caterpillar tracks system, called the Kégresse track, while working for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia between 1906 and 1916. These used a flexible belt rather than interlocking metal segments and could be fitted to a conventional car or truck to turn it into a half-track, suitable for use over soft ground, including snow. Conventional front wheels and steering were used but the wheel could be fitted with skis as seen in the upper right image. He applied it to several cars in the Royal garage including Rolls-Royce cars and Packard trucks. Although this was not a snowmobile, it is an ancestor of the modern concept.
The relatively dry snow conditions of the United States Midwest suited the converted Ford Model Ts and other like vehicles, but they were not suitable for humid snow areas such as southern Quebec and New England. This led Joseph-Armand Bombardier from the small town of Valcourt, Quebec, to invent a different caterpillar track system suitable for all kinds of snow conditions. Bombardier had already made some "metal" tracked vehicles since 1928, but his new revolutionary track traction system (a toothed wheel covered in rubber, and a rubber-and-cotton track that wraps around the back wheels) was his first major invention. He started production of the B-7, an enclosed, seven-passenger snowmobile, in 1937, and introduced the B-12, a twelve-passenger model, in 1942. The B-7 had a V-8 flathead engine from Ford Motor Company. The B-12 had a flathead in line six-cylinder engine from Chrysler industrial, and 2,817 units were produced until 1951. It was used in many applications, such as ambulances, Canada Post vehicles, winter "school buses", forestry machines, and even army vehicles in World War II. Bombardier had always dreamed of a smaller version, more like the size of a motor scooter.
Numerous people had ideas for a smaller personal snowmobile. In 1914, O. M. Erickson and Art Olsen of the P.N. Bushnell company in Aberdeen, South Dakota, built an open two-seater "motor-bob" out of an Indian motorcycle modified with a cowl-cover, side-by-side seating, and a set of sled-runners fore and aft. While it did not have the tracks of a true snowmobile, its appearance was otherwise similar to the modern version and is one of the earliest examples of a personal motorized snow-vehicle.
In 1951 Dr. Fritz Riemerschmid devised what he called a snow scooter. The machine had a track mounted beneath a snowboard like base, on top of which were an enclosed engine with motorcycle like seat and fuel tank. the vehicle was steered via a steering wheel and cables linked to two small skis on outriggers either side of the vehicle.
In the mid-1950s, a United States firm built a "snowmobile the arctic area of Alaska that had the drive train reversed of today's snowmobiles with two front wheels—the larger one behind the smaller one—with tires driving an endless loop track". Little is known about this "snowmobile" meant to haul cargo and trade goods to isolated settlements.
Edgar and Allen Hetteen and David Johnson of Roseau, Minnesota, were among the first to build a practical snowmobile in 1955–1956, but the early machines were heavy (1,000 lb or 450 kg) and slow (20 mph or 32 km/h). Their company, Hetteen Hoist & Derrick Co., became Polaris Industries.
It was only in 1960, when engines became lighter and smaller than before, that Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented what we now know as the modern snowmobile in its open-cockpit one- or two-person form, and started selling it under the brand name Ski-Doo through his company Bombardier Inc. (now manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products).
Competitors copied and improved his design; in the 1970s there were over a hundred snowmobile manufacturers. From 1970 to 1973, two million machines were sold, peaking at 500,000 sold in 1971. Many of the snowmobile companies were small and the biggest manufacturers were often attempts by motorcycle makers and outboard motor makers to branch off in a new market. Most of these companies went bankrupt or were acquired by larger companies during the 1973 oil crisis and succeeding recessions. Sales rebounded to 260,000 in 1997 but gradually decreased afterwards, influenced by warmer winters and the use during all four seasons of small one- or two-person ATVs.
There are two manufacturers of dual-track snowmobiles. One is Alpina and the other is a Russian sled called Buran (Bombardier discontinued manufacturing its dual-track model, the Elite, in 2005).
Alpina manufactures one basic dual-track snowmobile design. In 2002 the Sherpa was introduced and is the model name for the four-stroke machine. Prior to introducing the Sherpa, Alpina offered a two-stroke series designated the Superclass. The four-stroke Sherpa is currently the top machine in production. A new version of the Superclass has been released in 2017, with a lot of innovations and a new four-stroke engine.
The Sherpa and Superclass series shared the same basic dual-track platform, twin 20 in × 156 in (510 mm × 3,960 mm) tracks with dual skis up front.
Power for the Sherpa is supplied by a 1.6L in-line four-cylinder gasoline automotive engine. The new Superclass power is provided by a 1.2L 3-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine.
The Sherpa and Superclass are designed as working snowmobiles for carrying supplies, pulling cargo sleds, pulling trail grooming implements, carrying several passengers, and negotiating deep snow.
Engine and transmission combination are designed to deliver optimum power to pull or carry large loads while top-end speeds are kept below 52 mph (84 km/h), depending on the model. The large footprint of the dual tracks and dual skis allows the Sherpa and Superclass to "float" on top of deep snow and not sink in and get stuck.
Taiga Motors in Montreal created the first commercially produced electric snowmobile. The Taiga TS2 can go from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3 seconds, with 250 N⋅m (180 lb⋅ft) of instant torque. At 470 lb (210 kg), the Taiga TS2 is one of the lightest in the industry. Maintains a range of 100 km (62 mi) even down past −30 °C (−22 °F). Direct drive, no transmission. Integrated GPS for easy course mapping & accurate range estimation. DC quick charge (20 min) option. Different options are available for utility, touring, crossover and mountain machines.
As of 2003, the snowmobile market has been shared between the four large North American makers (Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), Arctic Cat, Yamaha, and Polaris) and some specialized makers like the Quebec-based AD Boivin, manufacturer of the Snow Hawk and the European Alpina snowmobile.
Higher-powered modern snowmobiles can achieve speeds in excess of 150 mph (240 km/h). Drag racing snowmobiles can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h).
Snowmobiles are widely used in arctic territories for travel. However, the small Arctic population means a correspondingly small market. Most snowmobiles are sold for recreational purposes, in places where snow cover is stable during winter. The number of snowmobiles in Europe and other parts of the world is low, but growing.
Snowmobiles designed to perform various work tasks have been available for many years with dual tracks from such manufacturers as Aktiv (Sweden), who made the Grizzly, Ockelbo (Sweden), who made the 8000, and Bombardier who made the Alpine and later the Alpine II. Currently there are two manufacturers of dual-track snowmobiles; Russia's Buran and the Italian Alpina snowmobiles (under the name Sherpa and Superclass).
An odd version of snowmobile is the Swedish Larven, made by the Lenko Company of Östersund, from the 1960s until the end of the 1980s. It was a very small and basic design, with just an engine in the rear and a track. The driver sat on it and steered using skis on his feet.
Most modern snowmobiles are powered by either a four- or two-stroke internal combustion engine, with the exception of the Taiga TS2. Historically, snowmobiles have always used two-stroke engines because of their reduced complexity, weight and cost, compared to a similarly powered four-stroke. However, four-stroke powered snowmobiles have been gaining popularity steadily in the last fifteen or so years, with manufacturer Yamaha producing four-stroke snowmobiles only. The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is testing Taiga's electric snowmobiles with lower noise, and similar vehicles exist.
The first snowmobiles made do with as little as 5 horsepower (3.7 kW) engines, but engine sizes and efficiency have improved drastically. In the early 1990s, the biggest engines available (typically 600cc-800cc displacement range) produced around 115 hp (86 kW). As of 2010, several snowmobiles are available with engines sizes up to 1,200 cc, producing 150+ hp, as well as several models with up to 1,000 cc engines producing closer to 180 hp (130 kW). Recently, some models are turbo-charged, resulting in dramatic increase of engine horsepower. Snowmobiles are capable of moving across steep hillsides without sliding down-slope if the rider transfers their weight towards the uphill side, a process called side-hilling.
Mountain sleds permit access in remote areas with deep snow, which was nearly impossible a few decades ago. This is mainly due to alterations, enhancements, and additions of original trail model designs such as weight, weight distribution, track length, paddle depth, and power. Technology and design advances in mountain snowmobiles have improved since 2003 with Ski-Doo's introduction of the "REV" framework platform. Most two-stroke mountain snowmobiles have a top engine size of 800 cc, producing around 150 hp (110 kW), although some 1,000 cc factory machines have been produced. These may not be as popular as many 800 cc models outperform them because of weight and an increase of unneeded power.
Cornices and other kinds of jumps are sought after for aerial maneuvers. Riders often search for non-tracked, virgin terrain and are known to "trailblaze" or "boondock" deep into remote territory where there is absolutely no visible path to follow. However, this type of trailblazing is dangerous as contact with buried rocks, logs, and frozen ground can cause extensive damage and injuries. Riders look for large open fields of fresh snow where they can carve. Some riders use extensively modified snowmobiles, customized with aftermarket accessories like handle-bar risers, handguards, custom/lightweight hoods, windshields, and seats, running board supports, studs, and numerous other modifications that increase power and maneuverability. Many of these customizations can now be purchased straight off the showroom floor on stock models.
Trail snowmobiles improved in the past 15 years as well (many of them borrowed from endeavors to produce winning mountain sleds). Heavy "muscle sleds" can produce speeds in excess of 100 mph (160 km/h) due to powerful engines (up to 1,200 cc stock, and custom engines exceeding 1,200 cc), short tracks, and good traction on groomed trails. Sno-cross oriented snowmobiles often have an engine size cap of 440 or 600 cc, but lighter machines with redesigned stances, formats, and weight control have produced extremely fast and quickly accelerating race sleds.
The environmental impact of snowmobiles has been the subject of much debate. Governments have been reacting slowly to noise and air pollution, partly because of lobbying from manufacturers and snowmobilers. For instance, in 1999, the Canadian government adopted the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, but the set of rules governing pollution emissions for off-road vehicles was only released in January 2005. In another example of regulation, only four-stroke snowmobiles are allowed in Yellowstone National Park since a bylaw was recently passed to minimize CO2 emissions and noise. In Yellowstone, snowmobiles account for 80% of total hydrocarbon emissions and 50% of carbon monoxide emissions in the winter. This is just less than 2% and 1% respectively of the overall annual pollution within the park. Snowmobiles are only allowed to be ridden on the unplowed roads used in the summer, and riding off the roads is prohibited. This accounts for less than 1% (0.002%) of the park area.
In 2005 the US Forest Service published a Travel Management Rule for off-highway vehicles, strengthening the implementation of Executive Orders issued in the 1970's. However, these rules were not applied to snowmobiles. In 2015, following a decision in a lawsuit brought by Winter Wildlands Alliance against the Forest Service, the rules were extended to snowmobiles.. National Forests with sufficient snow for winter recreation are now required to designate where OSVs are allowed to travel and where they are prohibited. In doing so, the Forest Service must minimize 1) damage to soil, watershed, vegetation, and other forest resources; 2) harassment of wildlife and significant disruption of wildlife habitats; and 3) conflicts between motor vehicle use and existing or proposed recreational uses of National Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands.
Most snowmobiles are still powered by two-stroke engines, although Alpina and Yamaha have been using four-strokes since 2002 and 2003, respectively. However, in the last decade several manufacturers have been successful in designing less polluting motors, and putting most of them in production. Yamaha and Arctic-Cat were the first to mass-produce four-stroke models, which are significantly less polluting than the early two-stroke machines. Alpina offers only four-stroke EFI engines equipped with a catalytic converter and dual oxygen-probe. Bombardier's E-Tec two-stroke motors emit 85% less pollutants than previous carbureted two-strokes. Polaris has developed a fuel-injection technology called "Cleanfire Injection" on their two-strokes. The industry is also working on a direct-injected "clean two strokes" that is better in terms of NOX emissions.
Independent researchers, undergraduates and graduate students participate in contests to lessen the impact of emissions from snowmobiles. The Clean Snow Mobile Challenge is held yearly at Michigan Technological University regrouping the entries from universities from across United States and Canada. Some of the participants in recent years have been the École polytechnique de Montréal with a Quasiturbine engine and students from École de technologie supérieure of the UQAM with a less polluting two-stroke engine using E85 and direct injection.
Maximum noise restrictions have been enacted by law for both production of snowmobiles and aftermarket components. For instance, in Quebec (Canada) noise levels must be 78 decibels or less at 20 meters from a snowmobile path. As of 2009, snowmobiles produce 90% less noise than in the 1960s but there are still numerous complaints. Efforts to reduce noise focus on suppressing mechanical noise of the suspension components and tracks. Arctic Cat in 2005 introduced "Silent Track technology" on touring models such as the T660 Turbo, Bearcat, and some M-Series sleds. Ski-Doo has since then also used comparative "silent track technology" on some models.
The use of aftermarket exhaust systems ("cans" or "silencers") is controversial. These replace the stock muffler with a less restrictive system that is usually claimed to increase power output of the engine. However, these aftermarket exhausts are often much louder than those from the factory, with only some being slightly quieter than a completely open, unbaffled system. Most, if not all, local snowmobile clubs (that maintain and groom trail systems) do not recommend them because of noise. Local and state authorities have set up checkpoints on high-traffic trails, checking for excessively loud systems and issuing citations. Typically these systems are installed on two-stroke powered machines (giving the distinctive "braap" sound); however, in recent years aftermarket companies have released silencers for four-stroke models as well.
Since the invention of snowmobiles, isolated communities of northern North America have always had a demand for them. However, the early snowmobiles designs were not economical or functional enough for the harsh environment of northern North America. Joseph-Armand Bombardier started producing the Ski-Doo in 1959 at the request of a priest. The priest had asked Bombardier to make an economical and reliable means of winter travel. The Ski-Doo greatly changed life in northern North America's isolated communities, where Ski-Doo replaced sled dogs by the end of the 1960s. The Ski-Doo also greatly improved communication between isolated communities. Snowmobiles are also called "Snow Machines” in some areas of Alaska.
In northern North America, historically, isolated communities depended on dog sledding and snowshoeing as their primary method of transportation for hunting during the winter months. The Ski-Doo allowed trappers to travel greater distances faster, allowing them to expand their hunting grounds. Prospectors, mining companies, foresters, backcountry cabin owners, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Army also found snowmobiles very effective because they were the most economical method of transportation of small loads.
Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s tests of Ski-Dog proved that snowmobiling was fun, and snowmobiling became a new form of outdoor recreation. People who once sat dormant throughout winter were now given the opportunity in more outdoor activities.
According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, snowmobilers in Canada and the United States spend over $28 billion on snowmobiling each year. This includes expenditures on equipment, clothing, accessories, snowmobiling vacations (lodging, fuel, and food), maintenance and others. Often this is the only source of income for some smaller towns, such as Bralorne, British Columbia, that rely solely on tourism during the summer and winter months. Once a booming gold mining town, Bralorne is now a very small town with a population of 60, and it is relatively inaccessible by car in the winter. The economy relies on visits from snowmobilers, who contribute to the economy by spending money on gas, food, and hotels.
As a result of their inherent maneuverability, acceleration, and high-speed abilities, both skill and physical strength are required to operate a snowmobile.
Snowmobile injuries and fatalities are high compared to those caused by on road motor vehicle traffic. Losing control of a snowmobile could easily cause extensive damage, injury, or death. One such cause of snowmobile accidents is loss of control from a loose grip. If the rider falls off, the loss of control can easily result in the snowmobile colliding with a nearby object, such as a rock or tree. Most snowmobiles are fitted with a cord connected to a kill switch, which would stop the snowmobile if the rider falls off; however, not all riders use this device every time they operate a snowmobile.
Swerving off of the path may result in rolling the snowmobile or crashing into an obstacle. In unfamiliar areas, riders may crash into suspended barbed wire or haywire fences at high speeds. Each year a number of serious or fatal accidents are caused by these factors.
Each year, riders are killed by hitting other snowmobiles, automobiles, pedestrians, rocks, trees, or fences, or falling through thin ice. On average, 10 people a year have died in such crashes in Minnesota alone, with alcohol a contributing factor in many cases. In Saskatchewan, 16 out of 21 deaths in snowmobile collisions between 1996 and 2000 were caused by the effects of alcohol. Wrestler Lindsey Durlacher died in 2011 following surgery for a broken sternum he sustained in a snowmobile accident.
Fatal collisions with trains can also occur when a snowmobile operator engages in the illegal practice of "rail riding", riding between railroad track rails over snow-covered sleepers. Inability to hear the sound of an oncoming train over the engine noise of a snowmobile makes this activity extremely dangerous. Collision with large animals such as moose and deer, which may venture onto a snowmobile trail, is another major cause of snowmobile accidents. Most often such encounters occur at night or in low-visibility conditions when the animal could not be seen in time to prevent a collision. Also even when successful, a sudden maneuver to miss hitting the animal could still result in the operator losing control of the snowmobile.
A large number of snowmobile deaths in Alaska are caused by drowning. Because of the cold weather in many parts of Alaska, the rivers and lakes are generally frozen over during certain times of the year in winter. People who ride early or late in the season run the risk of falling through weak ice, and heavy winter clothing can make it extremely difficult to escape the frozen water. While a snowmobile is heavy, it also distributes its weight at a larger area than a standing person, so a driver who has stopped his vehicle out on the ice of a frozen lake can go through the ice just by stepping off the snowmobile. The next leading cause of injury and death is avalanches, which can result from the practice of highmarking, or driving a snowmobile as far up a hill as it can go.
Risks can be reduced through education, proper training, appropriate gear and attention to published avalanche warnings. In some areas of Western U.S., organizations provide avalanche training, some of which is free. It is recommended that snowmobile riders wear a helmet and a snowmobile suit.
Not only are snowmobiles popular in the United States and Canada, USSR has their very own version of the snowmobile, which can be seen in the Aerosani. Aerosani, when interpreted, intends "aero sleigh." The Russians usage this propeller-powered snowmobile for delivering the mail, patrolling the metes, as well as for recreational intents.
An aerosani (Russian: aerosani, literally 'aerosled') is a type of propeller-powered snowmobile, running on skis, used for communications, mail deliveries, medical aid, emergency recovery and border patrolling in northern Russia, as well as for recreation. Aerosanis were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and the Second World War.
We identified 480 injuries in 294 patients, and 81 (27.6%) of these patients died. Collisions accounted for 72% of the injury mechanisms. Of the injuries sustained, 31% occurred on roads. Excessive speed was a risk factor in 54% of patients, suboptimal lighting in 86% and a blood alcohol level greater than 0.08 in 70%.
An aerosani (Russian: aэросани, translit. aerosani, literally 'aerosled') is a type of propeller-driven snowmobile, running on skis, used for communications, mail deliveries, medical aid, emergency recovery and border patrolling in northern Russia, as well as for recreation. Aerosanis were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and World War II.
The first aerosanis may have been built in 1903-05 by Sergei Nezhdanovsky. In 1909–10, young Igor Sikorsky tested a self-designed aerosani, before he built multi-engine airplanes and helicopters. They were very light plywood vehicles on skis, propelled by otherwise-disused vintage aircraft engines and propellers.Arctic Cat
Arctic Cat is an American brand of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles manufactured in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The company was formed in 1960 and is now part of Textron Inc. The company designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, as well as related parts, garments—such as snowmobile suits—and accessories.Bombardier Inc.
Bombardier Inc. (French pronunciation: [bɔ̃baʁdje]) is a multinational aerospace and transportation company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Bombardier started as a maker of snowmobiles, and is now a large manufacturer of regional airliners, business jets, and mass transportation equipment, as well as a provider of financial services.Bombardier Recreational Products
BRP Inc. (Bombardier Recreational Products) is a Canadian company making various vehicles. Once part of Bombardier Inc., it was founded in 1942 as L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée (Bombardier Snowmobile Limited) by Joseph-Armand Bombardier at Valcourt in the Eastern Townships, Quebec.
In 2003, Bombardier Inc. sold its Recreational Products Division to a group of investors: Bain Capital (50%), the Bombardier family (35%), and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (15%).
The newly formed company, named Bombardier Recreational Products, included all the activities started 60 years earlier by its founder. As of October 6, 2009, it had about 5,500 employees; its revenues in 2007 are above US$2.5 billion. BRP has manufacturing facilities in five countries: Canada, the United States (Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina), Mexico, Finland, and Austria. The company's products are sold in more than 80 countries, 18 of which have their own direct-sales network.BRP has a long legacy of innovation and has multiple brands: Ski-Doo (snowmobiles), Can-Am motorcycles (ATVs and Spyder Roadsters), Sea-Doo (personal water craft and SportBoats), Lynx (snowmobile), Evinrude Outboard Motors, and Rotax. The Ski-Doo personal snowmobile brand is so iconic, especially in Canada, that it was listed in 17th place on the CBC's The Greatest Canadian Invention list in 2007.Caleb Moore
Caleb Moore (August 28, 1987 – January 31, 2013) was an American professional snowmobile racer and a quad freestyle motocross rider and the first person to die as a result of injuries sustained during the X Games. During his X Games career, Moore claimed four medals.His younger brother Colten Moore is also a competitive snowmobiler and quad freestyle motocross rider.FIM Snowcross World Championship
The FIM Snowcross World Championship is a snowmobile racing championship, inaugurated in 2004. The championship was preceded by the FIM Snowcross World Cup in 2003. Winner of the World Cup was Janne Tapio, Finland.Jacques Villeneuve (racing driver, born 1953)
Jacques-Joseph Villeneuve also known as Jacquo or Uncle Jacques (in French L'oncle Jacques) (born November 4, 1953) is a Canadian racer. He is the younger brother of the late Gilles Villeneuve, and uncle to Jacques Villeneuve (1997 F1 world champion). He was born in the small town of Berthierville, Quebec, Canada. He is now frequently known as Uncle Jacques because of the rise of his nephew. He had a varied motorsport career, taking in Formula Atlantic, CART, Can-Am, snowmobile racing and Formula One, and remains a revered figure in Canadian motorsport circles. Villeneuve was the first three-time winner of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby.Joseph-Armand Bombardier
Joseph-Armand Bombardier ; April 16, 1907 – February 18, 1964) was a French-Canadian inventor and businessman, and was the founder of Bombardier. His most famous invention was the snowmobile.Levi LaVallee
Levi LaVallee (born August 31, 1982) is an American snowmobile racer.
He won the Winter X Games VIII HillCross gold medal in 2004.
At Winter X Games XII in 2008, LaVallee won gold in the Snowmobile Speed and Style event. During Winter X Games XIII in 2009, LaVallee attempted the first double back flip in a competition. Although he was successful in completing two rotations, he failed to ride out his record setting stunt.
LaVallee won a bronze medal in Snowmobile Best Trick at Winter X Games XIV.
On Friday December 17, 2010 Lavallee suffered a broken pelvis, and punctured lung during a practice run for Red Bull New Year No Limits, and was unable to make his record setting attempt during the planned special New Years telecast. However, during a previous practice session leading up to the event Levi managed to land a record setting 361 foot jump shattering the old record of 301 1⁄2 feet. Since the official event for the attempt did not take place the practice run has been submitted for the official world record title.
On December 31, 2011 Lavallee jumped across the San Diego Bay as part of Red Bull New Year No Limits, just over one year after he was injured in a training run preparing for the same event. Lavallee set a world record during his jump of 412 ft.
LaVallee resides in Longville, Minnesota.Marathon County, Wisconsin
Marathon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 134,063. Its county seat is Wausau. It was founded in 1850, created from a portion of Portage County. At that time the county stretched to the northern border with the upper Michigan peninsula. It is named after the battlefield at Marathon, Greece.Marathon County comprises the Wausau, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Wausau-Stevens Point-Wisconsin Rapids, WI Combined Statistical Area.Mike Schultz (snowboarder)
Mike Schultz (born 27 August 1981) is a Paralympic snowboarder and the founder of BioDapt Inc, a prosthetics business. He was the flag-bearer for the United States at the 2018 Winter Paralympics Parade of Nations. He lost his leg in 2008 in a snow mobile race. He won gold and silver in Snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Paralympics. He later won the Best Male Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award.Polaris Industries
Polaris Industries is an American manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATV, and neighborhood electric vehicles. Polaris was founded in Roseau, Minnesota, USA, where it still has engineering and manufacturing. The company's corporate headquarters is in Medina, Minnesota. The company manufactured motorcycles through its Victory Motorcycles subsidiary until January 2017, and currently produces motorcycles through the Indian Motorcycle subsidiary, which it purchased in April 2011. Polaris produced personal watercraft from 1994-2004.Robin (a subsidiary of Subaru Corporation) previously developed and supplied all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and snowmobile engines for Polaris Industries Inc. Starting in 1995 with the Polaris Magnum 425 4-stroke ATV and in 1997, with the introduction of the "twin 700" snowmobile engine Polaris started the development and production of in-house produced power plants, known as the "Liberty" line of engines, now found in many models across their current production lines. Since that time Polaris has continued to develop their in-house engine production capacity, now designing and manufacturing all of their own power plants, while maintaining the partnership with Subaru.
In 2010 Polaris relocated a portion of its utility and sport vehicle assembly to Mexico. Components manufactured in Osceola, Wisconsin and the vehicle assembly in Roseau, Minnesota. The vast majority of powertrain and vehicles for the off-road line are manufactured in the Osceola and Roseau facilities, respectively. Both the Victory and Indian motorcycle brands are American made with complete powertrains and vehicle assembly located in Osceola, Wisconsin and Spirit Lake, Iowa, respectively.Ski-Doo
Ski-Doo is a brand name of snowmobile manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products (originally Bombardier Inc. before the spin-off). The Ski-Doo personal snowmobile brand is so iconic, especially in Canada, that it was listed in 7th place on the CBC's The Greatest Canadian Invention list in 2007.
Ski-Doo also has its own range of snowmobile suits.Snocross
Snocross (also snowcross) is a racing sport involving racing specialized high performance snowmobiles on natural or artificially-made tracks consisting of tight turns, banked corners, steep jumps and obstacles. Riders race at speed of up to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour). Jumps are up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall, so riders travel up to 130 feet (40 meters) before they touch the ground. According to the World Snowmobile Association which governs snocross, watercross, and hillcross racing, snocross is the most popular form of snowmobile racing.Snocross was derived from the sport of motocross. The name is a portmanteau of the words "snowmobile" and "motocross". The sport uses a snowmobile instead of a motorcycle, and a snow/ice surface instead of dirt. The snow/ice surface which is either natural or man-made. Tracks are generally located in higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere since temperatures below freezing are required to maintain the frozen track surface. Motorcycle riders in motocross and supercross frequently compete in snocross in the winter.Snocross became an event at the X Games in 1998. X Games is a popular gathering place for some snow-related sports in the United States. The course at the first snocross event at the X Games resembled a motocross course; it was significantly longer than courses are now. It had deeper holes and higher jumps that are now filled in with snow.Snow grooming
Snow grooming is the process of manipulating snow for recreational uses with a tractor, snowmobile, piste caterpillar, truck or snowcat towing specialized equipment. The process is used to maintain ski hills, cross country ski trails and snowmobile trails by grooming (moving, flattening, rototilling, or compacting) the snow on them. A snow groomer is usually employed to pack snow and improve skiing and snowboarding and snowmobile trail conditions. The resulting pattern on the snow is known as corduroy, and is widely regarded as a good surface on which to ski or ride. Snow groomers can also move accumulated snow made by snow machines as part of a process, called "snow farming".Tim Bender
Tim Bender (born August 19, 1957) is a former snowmobile and NASCAR Busch Series race car driver from Colden, New York. He raced snowmobiles in the 1970s to 1990s and was inducted in the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. He had spot starts in the Busch Series from 1990 to 1996. He joined the tour full-time in 1997 before suffering a career-ending injury after the eighth race.Winter X Games XXII
Winter X Games XXII (re-titled Winter X Games Aspen '18; styled as Winter X Games Twenty-Two in the official logo) were held from January 25 to January 28, 2018, in Aspen, Colorado. They were the 17th consecutive Winter X Games held in Aspen. The events were broadcast on ESPN.
Participating athletes competed in six skiing events, seven snowboarding events, two snowmobiling events and two snow bike events.World Championship Snowmobile Derby
The World Championship Snowmobile Derby is the World championship snowmobile race. It is held at the Eagle River Derby Track along U.S. Route 45 in Eagle River, Wisconsin on the third weekend in January. Eagle River is known as the "Snowmobile Capital of the World" because it hosts the Derby. Eagle River is located in the same county as Sayner, Wisconsin, the place that Carl Eliason invented one of the first modern snowmobiles.X Games
The X Games is an annual extreme sports event hosted, produced, and broadcast by ESPN. Coverage is also shown on ESPN's sister network, ABC. The inaugural X Games were held during the summer of 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island. Participants compete to win bronze, silver, and gold medals, as well as prize money.
The competition often features new tricks such as Tony Hawk's 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana's double backflip in freestyle motocross, Heath Frisby's first ever snowmobile front flip in Snowmobile Best Trick, and Torstein Horgmo's first landed triple cork in a snowboard competition. Concurrent with competition is the "X Fest" sports and music festival, which offers live music, athlete autograph sessions, and interactive elements.
The X Games gained media exposure due to their big name sponsors, top-tier athletes, and consistent fan attendance. As the Journal of Sport Management (2006) explains, Generation X and Generation Y are the two demographics most highly valued by marketers. This creates a broad approach on marketing towards that certain demographic, which is why the X Games marketing and economic outlook is so "out of the box". According to a 2008 report by ESPN, in 1997, the Winter X Games inaugural year, 38,000 spectators attended the four-day event. In 1998, the attendance dropped to 25,000 spectators. But just two years later, a record attendance of 83,500 people attended the Winter X Games' East Coast debut. The X Games and Winter X Games continue to grow with the popularity of action sports and the athletes who compete in them.
As part of the X Games, there have been performances by various rock bands over the years, as well as a DJ being on-site at all events. The X Games have made it a point since its founding to stage an eco-friendly event. Such measures include using biodiesel fuel in their vehicles and organizing recycling campaigns.The X Games has never carried out drug tests on competitors, which has been criticized by the World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman and the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.