ORTAB looking for snowmachine representative
Alaska’s Division of Natural Resources is still looking for an Outdoor Recreation Trail Advisory Board member to represent the motorized trails community for the Mat-Su-Copper Basin region. This advisory board only meets once a year and reviews grant applications for recreational trails and makes recommendations to the director to fund.
If you’re interested in applying, go to the ORTAB site at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/ortaboard.htm or the Recreational Trails Program at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/trails.htm. You can also call 269-8699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Polaris purchase could put money in local clubs’ pockets
For the ninth consecutive year, Polaris is sponsoring a program called “Winning Riders,” which is aimed at providing financial support to local snowmachine clubs based on snowmachine sales in their area. The company is making contributions to snowmachine associations in 12 Canadian provinces and territories and 25 U.S. states, including Alaska.
“The passion for snowmobiling is running strong across the North American snowbelt,” said Mike Jonikas, vice president of Polaris sales and marketing in a press release. “We see real benefits in supporting the associations that coordinate activities of snowmobile clubs and help develop great riding opportunities.”
Polaris makes the “Winning Riders” contributions with “no strings attached,” allowing each state or province to decide how to use the funds it receives. Projects funded by Winning Riders donations in recent years have included membership drives, trail and grooming programs, legislative efforts, tourism promotion and more.
For more details on Polaris’ program, check out the company website at www.polaris.com.
Test results show E-15 fuel not a good choice for snowmachines
The U.S. Department of Energy this fall released a study conducted by Michigan Technological University that evaluated the effects of E-15 fuel on current and legacy snowmachine engines. Three test scenarios were conducted – cold-start performance and emissions, drivability and laboratory exhaust emissions over the life of the engine. The two-year test included eight engines driven in real-life, and lab, conditions. The results: E-15 fuel is not a good choice for snowmachine use. These results back the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to not approve E-15 fuel for snowmachines, either.
With E-15 fuel, which contains 15 percent ethanol, becoming more readily available, study organizers say it is important for snowmachine owners to understand that it should not be used in their sleds. The 69-page study cites increased temperature output when using this fuel, which can damage engines. E-10 fuel, one the other hand, has been on the market for years, and continues to be safe. To see the complete study online go to www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/60115.pdf.
Ski-Doo racks up media awards
Bombardier’s 2014 Ski-Doo snowmobiles received 10 awards from three difference magazines in a two-week period, including Snow Goer magazine’s Snowmobile of The Year for the Ski-Doo GSX LE ACE 900 model, an award that recognizes “innovation, forward thinking and excellence.”
American Snowmobiler magazine also named the following awards in its Buyer’s Guide with Best of the Best selections:
- Editor’s Choice – Ski-Doo GSX LE ACE 900 model
- Best New Tech – Ski-Doo ACE 900 engine with iTC and Learning Key
- Best High Performance – Ski-Doo MX Z X-RS E-TEC 800R model
- Best Trail Luxury – Ski-Doo GSX SE 1200/800 model
- Best 2-Up Touring – Ski-Doo Grand Touring SE model
Sled Head 24/7 TV, another snowmachine outlet, presented its awards for the Best Sleds of 2014 last month. Ski-Doo models dominated there, too:
- Mountain Sled of the Year – Ski-Doo Freeride 154 model
- Rough Trail Sled of the Year – MX Z X-RS E-TEC 800R model
- Economy Sled of the Year – MX Z Sport 600 model
- Touring Sled of the Year – Grand Touring LE ACE 900 model
While the Ski-Doo GSX LE ACE 900 model took Snow Goer’s Top honors, it also included these 10 models among its favorites:
- Yamaha SR Viper RTX SE
- Ski-Doo Summit Sport 154 Power T.E.K. 800R
- Ski-Doo MX Z TNT E-TEC 800R
- Ski-Doo Freeride 137 E-TEC 800R
- Polaris 800 Switchback Pro-R
- Polaris 800 Pro-RMK 155
- Polaris 600 Rush Pro-R
- Polaris 600 Indy SP
- Arctic Cat XF 8000 Cross Country Sno Pro
- Arctic Cat El Tigre 6000 SP 2014
Snowmachine safety highlighted in January
The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association celebrates International Snowmobile Safety Week the week of Jan 18-26, 2014. The theme is “Safe Riders: You Make Snowmobiling Safe,” and organizations are encouraged to take a friend out, especially someone new to the sport, and show them how to ride safely. Information packets and planning materials are available to clubs at snowmobile.org.
Director approves SnowTRAC funding for grooming and safety
The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation this fall approved funding for snowmobile trail grooming and for trail safety and signing projects after receiving input from the Snowmobile Trail Advisory Council.
SnowTRAC recommended funding for grooming projects in the Mat-Su Valley, the Kenai Peninsula and Southeast Alaska, and the Northern Region at approximately 70 percent of what was spent last year.
Alaska State Parks director Ben Ellis agreed with most of what SnowTRAC approved, but added, “The one modification I am making is to allocate an additional $15,000 in safety grant funds not spent last year to safety and signing projects for snowmobile trails that are used primarily as transportation corridors, and which will benefit remote communities off of the road system.”
Ellis did not clarify which corridors those would include. For more information on SnowTRAC or the state’s grant program, contact State Trails program coordinator Darcy Harris at email@example.com, or call 269-8699.