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ArcticInsider Features Articles

No Ordinary Forklift: The Origins of Arctic Cat

(8/11/2018)

Roger Skime-built Arctic Enterprises forklift. Arctic Cat. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

What does an old forklift, Roger Skime, Edgar Hetten, David Johnson, Arctic Cat and Polaris have to do with one another?

More than I would have ever imagined.

Click to read a story about the origins of Arctic Cat, the founders of Polaris and the little known history of no ordinary forklift.

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Lurking Within: A Cat, A Race and a Mighty Good Feeling

(8/3/2018)

Race that Arctic Cat.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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TGIF: The Aug. 3, 2018 Bunny Edition

(8/3/2018)

Playboy bunnies and Arctic Cat Panther: A love story.

I'm thankful for bygone eras and the bunnies who played them.

I'm thankful that snowmobile companies steered clear of #scandal and paid no #hushmoney.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Aug. 3, 2018.

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Arctic Cat County Fair in TRF

(7/26/2018)

Arctic Cat village at the Pennington County Fair 2018. Photo by ArcticInsider

It looked a lot like Catfest at the Pennington County Fair in Thief River Falls, last week. There were Team Arctic racers, vintage sleds, new sleds and wheelers. And people. Lot's of people!

What's Catfest? It was a once-every-five-years celebration of everything Arctic Cat that occurred in TRF beginning in the late 1980s and through the 1990s.

By pairing with the Pennington County Fair (itself one of the most vibrant county fairs in Minnesota). the five day event had lots of added attraction.

I was lucky to spend an afternoon there. Click to see some pix.

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ISHOF 2018 Inductees

(7/17/2018)

2018 ISHOF Inductees

The International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in Eagle River, Wis., recently announced its 2018 inductees and special award winners:

Dave Guenther, Volunteer, Breezy Point, MN

Curt Kennedy, Volunteer, Salt Lake City, Utah

Bobby Unser, Inventor, Albuquerque, NM

Stan Slack, Volunteer, Nova Scotia, Canada

Tim Haberberger, Groomer of the Year, Alpine, Wyo.

Cumberland Snowmobile Club, Nova Scotia

Bill Schumann, Volunteer, Manitowish Waters, Wis.

Congrats to all! Click to read about their accomplishments and dedication to the sport of snowmobiling.

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Fast, Historically

(7/12/2018)

Arctic Cat Worlds Fastest Snowmobile advertising

One of the things I've always loved about Arctic Cat is the brand's brazen spirit to build some of the fastest snowmobiles, and then to celebrate it.

From Boss Cat to Thundercat, there's a long and powerful history of fast, badass snowmobiles and to-the-point advertising that talked about it.

Here are some of my favorites.

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TGIF: The June 29, 2018 Delivery Edition

(6/29/2018)

Like ArcticInsider, Aloutte delivers! What, I'm not sure.

I'm thankful for the space age, the new rage and the competitive stage.

I'm thankful for companies that don't just talk the talk, but that also walk the walk and TRULY deliver.

I'm thankful the dork in the red helmet rides with his eyes closed, because he's missing this right-hand turn.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, June 29, 2018.

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Celebrity and Arctic Cat: A Love Story

(6/27/2018)

Famous celebrities and Arctic Cat.

After posting the pic of Nancy Kerrigan decked-out in Arctic Cat leather last week, I started thinking about some of the famous celebrities who have been associated with Arctic Cat over the years.

Click to see a few of them.

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TGIF: The June 22, 2018 Figure Skating Edition

(6/22/2018)

Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan with an Arctic Cat Pantera.

I'm thankful for the protective quality of leather and it's ability to withstand repeated knee-beatings with a baton.

I'm thankful I can escape the drama and intrigue of Olympic life and just go out for a rip with my buds.

I'm thankful the Pantera has a 2-up seat for riding with my friends (not Tonya).

And I, Nancy Kerrigan, am thankful it's Friday, June 22, 2018.

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Pete Sends It (pre-Larry)

(6/19/2018)

Tail-Standing the Arctic Cat Puma on a vintage adventure. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

January, 2010. WOBLE Ride to Waconia, Minn.

Tired of the umpteenth sled-breaks-down-entire-group-stops-for-20-minutes-while-Pat-diagnoses-poor-sled-maintenance, Pete channels his inner Cory Davis and throws down a MONSTER WHIP on his Arctic Cat Puma.

At least it feels like a whip to Pete. And anything that feels like a whip on a vintage sled ALSO feels monstrous.

The massive crowd of 3 cheers wildly while the media captures the insanity for worldwide distribution.

Fame and fortune are only a few hundred thousand Likes away.

Nobody questions why Pete sends it on a vintage Cat while wearing a vintage Polaris one-piece suit.

Pat fixes his sled for the umpteenth time, the group reassembles and everyone rallies onto the lake in Waconia.

The planet keeps spinning, the universe keeps expanding and nobody yet knows anything about Larry or his Enticer.

Strange days indeed.

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Head Case: What Once Was Cool

(6/14/2018)

Sweet Arctic Cat vintage helmets from the Ische Family collection.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, snowmobilers didn't wear helmets. It was roughly the same era that snowmobiles had transitioned from rear-engine mounting to front-mounting.

I'm talking the late 1960s, which is older than the internet.

Once speeds and injuries and frostbite ramped up, so did the use of helmets. This was in the early 1970s, before Facebook and Instagram.

And like so many of the emerging trends in snowmobiling during those early years, helmets were all over the map in terms of shape, design and color.

Here are just a few examples. Beautiful, funny, weird, cool...these brain buckets deserve all kinds of likes and appreciation.

I wonder if 45 years from now, snowmobilers will look back on the ultimate lids of this era with the same level of smirk?

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Reflecting on the Sign of the Times

(6/4/2018)

Textron and Arctic Cat sign in Thief River Falls. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

In a sign of the times, last Thursday the display sign in front of the plant in Thief River Falls changed.

Gone was the "ARCTIC CAT" that had stood for many years. In its place, the sign you see here.

I know that for many people in TRF and around the world, the change was shocking. Some people are a little saddened. A few are mad.

Everyone I talked with was also damn glad there's still a sign, still an Arctic Cat and is thankful that Textron stepped in when they did. Because they know that the alternative would not have been pretty.

Click to read some of my thoughts on the subject.

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TGIF: The June 1, 2018 Edition

(6/1/2018)

When ArcticInsider rises...everyone stands.

I'm thankful that Blair Morgan popularized the stand-up style of snowmobiling.

I'm thankful for the Bobby Flame-edition riser.

I'm thankful for function over fashion, yo!

And I'm thankful it's Friday, June 1, 2018.

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Kids Just Wanna Have Fun

(5/23/2018)

Finding some air time on a ZR 200.

When I was a kid, my friends and I would ride our BMX bikes every day in the summer. Usually, that meant we'd ride to one or a few of the areas with jumps within 3 miles of our homes. It felt free and wild and fun. This was when (and why) I fell in love with riding bikes.

At some point in my late-teens, these bicycle rides evolved. A mountain bike with gears replaced the small single-speed BMX bikes, and the rides became more about exploration rather than jumping (and hanging out with friends) sessions. I still ride bikes and they're still focused on exploration and adventure and distance, rather than sessioning.

Back then I was also a snowmobile kid. My brother, cousins and friends would rip around on the sleds, usually on short loops through the woods, jumping off snow banks left by plowed roads across lakes, having gladiator-style cattail fights, and so forth. It felt free and wild and fun. This was when (and why) I fell in love with snowmobiling.

Sound familiar?

My conclusion: Kids just wanna have fun. Click to see what I mean.

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TGIF: The May 18, 2018 Edition

(5/18/2018)

TGIF the snowmobile fishing vehicle.

I'm thankful for what happens when I can spend a few extra nights working in the shop.

I'm thankful for excellent cornering precision that's only possible with Shaper bars.

I'm thankful nobody asked me if the fish are biting.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, May 18, 2018.

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Snapshot: Tucker's Career in Pictures

(5/16/2018)

Tucker Hibbert, Monster, Arctic Cat, snocross and an incredible career.

For more than 20 years Tucker Hibbert has given snocross fans a stunning array of accomplishments and entertainment, many of which were defining moments of the sport.

Here are some of those milestones.

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By the Numbers: Tucker Hibbert's Career Statistics & Team

(5/16/2018)

onster/Arctic Cat Team 68 celebrate Tucker Hibbert's 9-peat at X Games. Photo by Hanson.

Tucker Hibbert's first snocross race was in 1995.

He got serious about it as a Semi-Pro in 1998 and then turned Pro for the 2001 season.

In those 21 years since turning Semi-Pro, Hibbert won more races and broke more records than anyone else in the history of terrain racing.

Click to see the incredible statistics, along with the many crew members and sponsors who made it possible.

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Tucker Hibbert Retires from Snocross

(5/16/2018)

Tucker Hibbert waves goodbye to snocross. Photo by ArcticInsider.com.

Sooner or later, this day was going to come.

Tucker Hibbert is now retired as a professional snocross racer.

Click to read his announcement.

Then scroll below this post to see a post on his career highlights plus another post of his career in photos.

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TGIF: The May 11, 2018 Edition

(5/11/2018)

TGIF with the wheel kit vintage sled

I'm thankful for all-season fun and versatility.

I'm thankful for kits.

I'm thankful for the inherent stability and next-level handling that a 3 wheels provide.

And I'm thankful it's snowmobiling-fun-in-the-summer-beginning today: Friday, May 11, 2018.

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TGIF: The May 4, 2018 Edition

(5/4/2018)

Vintage snowbike conversion kits are another reason to be thankful on Fridays.

I'm thankful we only have to sit like this for the photo, and that we don't actually have to ride this beast.

I'm thankful for the lawsuit that'll happen when the first buyer, while cruising down a road on this new toy, accidently puts his foot on one of the tracks.

I'm thankful for motorcycles, snowmobiles and whatever happens when people mix the two.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, May 4, 2018.

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