In the midst of an October blizzard that dumped 12-14 inches of snow in Northwestern Minnesota, Arctic Cat’s Roger Skime, Joey Hallstrom and Don Fugelseth hatched a plan for a Friday shakedown ride aboard some 2013 models.
The day started with Skime burning a few runs down the Hwy 32 ditch near the factory in Thief River Falls.
Satisfied that there was enough snow in the area for a ride, the crew hauled themselves to Hallstrom’s cabin near Grygla with a trio of freshly-built sleds in tow: a F800 RR, a F1100 Turbo Limited and a XF1100 Turbo CrossTour.
In Hallstrom’s words:
The foot or so of snow that fell had settled to anywhere from 4 to 10 inches. It was wet, heavy snow, kind of like what you’d see with a March snowstorm. And it was still snowing when we were riding.
There were some places where the ditches were almost filled-in.
We rode a combination of forest roads, ditch and trails from my cabin up to Roger’s farm near Roseau.
Like with any first snow, we rode carefully. The goal wasn’t to set any speed records… it was to put some miles on key sleds and to take advantage of this awesome snowfall. Here's Don riding the F1100 Turbo CrossTour.
We chose an 800 twin and 1100 Turbos because those are our flagship models. We always put miles on our machines when they come off the assembly line, just to make sure everything is working like it should, but it’s pretty unheard of to do it in Minnesota during the first week of October. Here's Roger on the F800 RR and sporting his fancy new helmet.
First rides of the season have a way of waking you up and reminding you about how amazing these machines are. It's good to see that I still have my height advantage over Roger.
The 1100 Turbo felt awesome, like it always does. On hayfield with six inches of wet, heavy snow, to see 100 mph on the speedo in a short blast is pretty impressive.
The 800 H.0. has such a snappy bottom-end. It’s been six months since I last rode one at sea level, and I suppose I forgot a little about how hard that engine hits.
The Sno Pro suspension package felt good. And the RR felt awesome in the sections where we could run hard.
We rode about 60 miles total. It feels so good to get on a sled again.
I had to come home today (Saturday) because Sandberg was hounding me to send him a ride report and photos, but Roger and some additional engineers stayed up at his farm so they could ride all day again today.
I don’t remember ever riding this early in the year, certainly not on this much snow. This was a real snowstorm. School ended early on Thursday and started late on Friday. The Homecoming football parade was cancelled. There were tracks in the ditch near my house today from some of the local kids.
Here's a photo I snapped with my phone, just outside of TRF. The sun is shining, the snow is beautiful and there are huge drifts! I think this is a sign of what’s to come for this winter.
Rick Simula says:
10/6/2012 2:28:00 PM
I got all pumped up for riding just reading your story Joey,very cool,last year in October we also had a NorEaster here in NH,we usually have snow by the 15th of November,my son and i own all cats,5 of them altogether,have been getting them ready all summer,great story,thanks Rick Simula
Stephen Knox says:
10/6/2012 2:36:00 PM
Good to see you guys aren't letting that snow go to waste. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get a "real" Minnesota winter. (we get them every year in Norway).
Bob V. says:
10/6/2012 3:28:00 PM
Great ride report! Thanks! We're all looking forward to a good riding year ahead. Glad you were able to share the jump start on the season.
peter scheeren says:
10/6/2012 3:30:00 PM
I bought a 2012 xf1100 in Sept. last year and only got 445.7 miles 2011-12 season. I went from a 2001 sxr 700 yam to my new xf and I am so happy with my AC. Can't wait to ride. going to the syracuse show on sunday to get even more excited about riding this year. be safe boys and have fun.
10/6/2012 4:20:00 PM
I can't wait to ride this year, had to watch my sled on the trailer last season due to surgery and will be ready this year!!!Got that fever!! hopefully our area in WI. will get some good snow this year!!!
10/6/2012 5:00:00 PM
hope thats my f1100 turbo limited be nice if it was already broke in when i get it!
Mike Keith says:
10/6/2012 7:58:00 PM
Great that you rode the sleds. I would feel you have my belt problems fixed if you would have rode hard. 7 drive belts have exploded on my 2012 Procross F 800 Sno Pro. I do ride hard but they should handle it shouldnt they? My sled has 1300 miles on it right now but only 120 since new jack shaft was installed.New sled is planned for 2014 but I never want all the sour experiences this sled has left me again. Next sled will be Arctic Cat but another lemon and never again. Get the flaws fixed by 2014 please.
10/6/2012 8:35:00 PM
real sledders don't wear goggles..they use txi's heated shields and no sun visor!!!
Daniel F says:
10/6/2012 10:35:00 PM
...I knew that Roger Skime was the coolest of the ARCTIC CAT gang because he rides the superb PROCROSS RR .. Way to go .. Do you bleed GREEN !!!!....
One cool cat !!!
10/7/2012 4:40:00 AM
Nice machines and riding, cant wait to test my new lynx rs 600 2009 her i norway! :D
Tom Rowland says:
10/7/2012 8:32:00 AM
Great report Joey! Is no greater feeling than putting our sleds out in real snow after staring at them sitting still all summer long.
I am sure Sandberg will be able to join you on a future ride as soon as he finds himself some insulated one-piece long underwear to fit under those stars-and-stripes coveralls that he was sporting recently.
Greg Hallstrom says:
10/8/2012 9:59:00 AM
Hey cousin Joey! You guys should have cruised over to Fourtown on Saturday for the Fall Picnic of the Fourtown/Grygla Sportsman's Club. That's right! Our Fall Picnic was held in the snow. President Jack Nelson would have grilled some burgers and brats for you while everyone else admired those new Cats (even Scott Jelle who rides a Riceburner).
Kerry Zerbes says:
10/8/2012 9:25:00 PM
thats awesome guys...thanks for posting
10/9/2012 5:59:00 PM
Looks AWESOME!!!! I've got a 2013 sitting in the garage ready for the white stuff. Living Vicariously........
10/10/2012 7:46:00 AM
1/23/2013 9:31:00 PM
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