Snowmobile Storage: Part One

Even though it is only March, I’m afraid that I already have no choice but to throw in the towel on this snowmobiling season. The extreme lack of powder has been disappointing to say the least, but at least the weather is nice enough that I can start taking out my ATVs. I always take precautions when storing my sled, but I will be particularly careful this year, as there will be an unusually long offseason.

The next couple of days we will outline the proper steps to take when storing your snowmobile. Handling the gasoline, Evinrude XD100 and other fluids appropriately is essential to prolong the life of your sled. It’s undoubtedly the last thing you want to do at the end of the season, but when you take your snowmobile out of storage next year, you’ll be glad you did.

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Backcountry Snowmobiling

The Northeast may be experiencing their worst snowfall in decades but here in the Pacific Northwest, the mountains are bare. This season, the opportunities for prime snowmobiling have been few and far between, so I have periodically been taking weekend trips inland, towards Idaho, Montana and whiter pastures. Tonight I’ll be doing some quick maintenance on my sled and topping off the Evinrude XD100 oil before heading out to Eastern Idaho.

My brother in-law has a cabin out in the woods, and he invited my son and me to join him for a weekend of snowmobiling. Now that the NFL season is over, I don’t mind being without TV and the internet for a few days. It will probably even turnout to be a nice change of pace from my hectic work schedule.

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The Evolution of the Snowmobile

Anyone who is familiar with snowmobiles knows that the machine has evolved into a more lightweight and versatile vehicle, which has also led to a substantial increase in price. Snowmobiles had as little as five horsepower when they were first designed. Today you can find models that produce nearly 200 and can scale steep hillsides and access remote locations.

Snowmobiles have customarily utilized a two-stroke engine, but due to environmental complaints and concerns, many models now come with a four-stroke. Although four-strokes produce less power, they don’t require you to mix the gasoline and Evinrude XD 100, which means that the engine receives better lubrication and will last longer. Originally designed for pragmatic purposes, snowmobiling has evolved into a popular recreational activity, and there are even professional leagues and competitions at the X Games.

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Basic Snowmobile Maintenance

snowmobileYesterday we reviewed some of the pre-ride checks that you should go through every time you ride your motorcycle — primarily, checking the levels of gas and outboard motor oil. There are some other basic systems that should be checked and adjusted on a regular basis to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your vehicle; we suggest checking these systems on a daily basis. These include the throttle lever and over ride system, as well as the brake lever.

Also inspect the starter rope, engine start switch and all of the drive track and slider elements. Whenever heading out on a ride, be sure to bring a spare belt and plugs with you. Although it doesn’t need to be check on a daily basis, the chassis lubrication should be verified a few times season to preserve the various suspension and steering components.

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Pre-Ride Snowmobile Checks


Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have been disappointed with the snow this season—to put it lightly. Usually I take my snowmobiles out several times a week, but for most of the season it hasn’t even been worth my time. This weekend I’m heading out to my buddy’s cabin, and there is sure to be some prime powder. To that end, I am going to do some basic maintenance and checks on my snowmobiles, which have been largely neglected this season.

There are a few checks that I check before every ride, including the fuel and level of Yamalube oil. I also make sure to check the engine coolant and brake fluid, just to be sure that they aren’t running too low. Remember to always inspect the engine coolant when the machine is cold to get an accurate reading. Tomorrow I will go over some other basic maintenance points that should always be checked before heading out.

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The Great Outdoors in Calgary

Canada154Calgary, Alberta is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. While in the city you have all the amenities you would come to expect from an urban metropolis, on the outskirts you have gorgeous properties situated in the wilderness. Calgary is a unique area because it enjoys hot summers and cold winters. In the summer the temperature can reach beyond 100 F, and during the winter the temperature often dips below 0 F.

You will also find that Calgary receives a lot of snow each year, making it a great place for all kinds of winter activities. Every Christmas my family and I take a trip to my parents’ house in the middle of the Calgary wilderness. They have a good deal of land, and my dad keeps several snowmobiles on the premises. Since he is getting on in years, he doesn’t have the opportunity to go out much or maintain the vehicles. Every year my son and I do some basic maintenance on the vehicles, including minor tune-ups and replacing the Evinrude XD100 oil.

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Want To Take A Ride In The Snow?

bombardier_snowToday there are literally hundreds of attachments and accessories for your ATV that can make it adept in virtually any climate. Not only will they allow you to tackle treacherous terrain, but they will also make your ride more comfortable, fun and safe. Just search for the right stuff for you and you can be on your way to a lot of fun trips.

You can start with basic maintenance accessories like air filters, oil filters, exhaust, engine parts, batteries and XD50 oil. Your ATV has to run smoothly first before taking it out for a ride. Then you can accessorize with handlebars, bumpers, boot guards, lights, and more. You will also find snow plow accessories so you can ride in the snow. There are so many accessories to jazz up your ATV and it is all up to your creativity.

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Early Season Snowmobile Maintenance: Part Three

rush_body0223The last two days we have reviewed some of the basic checks that you should go through every time that you take your snowmobile out. Once you have ensured that the Yamalube 2W oil and other fluid levels are sufficient, and tested all of the main systems of your craft, you’re ready to hit the powder. There is one other component that you will need to check periodically, however: the chassis.

The chassis is the central steering component of the snowmobile, and routine maintenance will ensure that there isn’t excessive wear and tear imparted on the system. Two or three times during the snowmobile season-depending on how often you go out-apply a high quality grease that is designed for low temperatures. By combining the last three days of maintenance tips, you will improve the performance and longevity of your vehicle.

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Early Season Snowmobile Maintenance: Part Two

SnowmobileYesterday we discussed how to check the Evinrude oil and other vital fluids in your snowmobile. While keeping tabs on these levels is a key element in basic snowmobile maintenance, there are some other key elements to check on a daily basis. Today we will review the systems, levers and switches that should be tested before every ride.

The first thing to investigate is the throttle lever and override system, as well as the brake lever; obviously these items are essential to ensure a smooth ride and proper safety. Also check the starter rope and engine switch before beginning your ride. Finally, take a look at the drive best and track alignment; even if everything looks good, you should always care an extra belt and plugs when you head out. Once these basic systems have been checked, you are ready to warm up the engine, check the lights, and head out.

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Early Season Snowmobile Maintenance: Part One


While I was taking out my snowmobile over the weekend, I noticed that it wasn’t running as well as it should. That’s when I decided that it was probably time to give my machine an early season tuning. It is always important to do basic checks before every ride and more thorough maintenance on a regular basis. Since I was short of time on Saturday, I decided to just do a basic check and make sure that the Yamalube oil and other fluid levels were sufficient.

While most riders remember to check the two basics-fuel and oil-some of the other main fluids are oft overlooked. It is also important to ensure that the engine coolant and brake fluid are properly filled. To check the brake fluid, look in the sight glass in the master cylinder. The anti-freeze will be in the reservoir tank, and both only take a few seconds to check. Tomorrow we will go into more in-depth maintenance and diagnostics.

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The Steady Evolution of Snowmobiles

yamaha-2s-oilThe first snowmobile-esque vehicle to be manufactured was intended for military and police transportation. In the mid to late ’50s, Bombardier created a rudimentary snow track machine capable of holding up to a dozen people. Needless to say, this machine bore little resemblance to the sleek, sporty recreational sleds of today. Bombardier released a more compact snowmobile in 1959; for the first time, such a machine was meant for public use.

It didn’t take long for Bombardier’s rivals to begin introducing rival sleds, and this influx of competition brought about plenty of technological innovation. The designs of early snowmobiles left plenty to be desired. They were underpowered to begin with, and their frames were the opposite of aerodynamic. High-performance 2 stroke engines were released as snowmobiles gained widespread popularity.

These 2 strokes, both then and now, were kept performing at peak condition with the help of Yamaha 2s oil. In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency has cracked down on high-emissions vehicles. Rigid environmental guidelines forced some companies to make a switch to 4 stroke engines while other manufacturers found ways to improve efficiency of their existing 2 stroke formula.

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Snowmobiles Explained: Safe Sledding

snowmobiling1Today we conclude our week-long look at snowmobiles. It all began Monday with an exploration of a typical sled’s drive system. From there, we compared and contrasted snowmobile tracks with those of a tank. Yesterday we posted some brief thoughts on the environmental impact of snowmobiling and the importance of replenishing two cycle oil. Now let’s head even further down the trail to discuss safety tips.

As is the case with any vehicle, you must familiarize yourself with the terrain before deciding to see how fast you can go. You wouldn’t drive 55 mph in a car down a narrow residential street for obvious reasons. Even if you’re riding a snowmobile in a secluded spot, the quality and condition of the snow will make a huge difference. Snowmobiles are set lower to the ground than motorcycles, which might lead you to believe that there’s less risk of injury. Bear in mind, however, that the open sled design creates a very real possibility of falling off.

The most critical pieces of safety equipment for a snowmobiler are the helmet, gloves and boots. Gloves and boots help keep the extremities safe from frostbite, which can nip away at fingers and toes to make precision steering a difficult task. When sledding in a populated area, snowmobilers must be familiar with conventional hand signals – they’re very similar to the ones used by bicyclists. For example, a right turn is signaled by sticking the left arm straight out to the left. A right turn is signaled by pointing a bent left arm upward.

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