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ArcticInsider Features Articles

Arctic Cat's ALPHA ONE with Rob Kincaid and Dave McClure

(3/2/2018)

Arctic Cat's new ALPHA ONE rear suspension system in action with Black Cats backcountry masters Rob Kincaid and Dave McClure.

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Top-10 Things to Know About the 2019 Arctic Cat Snowmobiles

(2/24/2018)

2019 Arctic Cat snowmobiles: The Top-10 Things to Know.

Arctic Cat just launched its 2019 line of snowmobiles. There's some new technology that...dare I say it...will change the game.

Here are the top-10 key things to know about it.

Click into next year.

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What Do You Wish For on an Arctic Cat Snowmobile?

(2/23/2018)

What do you want on a new Arctic Cat snowmobile?

In two days Arctic Cat will take the wraps off its 2019 model line of snowmobiles.

Some Arctic Cat fans will be shock-and-awed.

Others will visit their dealer to lay down some cash.

And some will be disappointed. It happens every year.

It's understandable: Each of us has an idea in our minds what the next Arctic Cat snowmobile needs to offer US. We have high expectations. And if Cat doesn't deliver, we're disappointed.

So I want this post to be a place where YOU can tell Arctic Cat EXACTLY what you want on the next (or future) model line.

Click to see my wish list.

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Another 2019 Teaser Vid from Arctic Cat

(2/23/2018)

Here's another teaser from Arctic Cat for its soon-to-be-released 2019 model line.

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Wadena County Trail Breakers 50th Celebration

(2/22/2018)

Wadena County Trailbreakers Snowmobile Club

Last month I had the great pleasure to spend a couple hours with members of the Wadena County Trail Breakers snowmobile club during their 50th Anniversary celebration.

It reminded me of how much our sport relies on the unselfish dedication of people who largely go unheralded, but without whom this sport ceases to exist as we know it.

Click for a few words and pictures.

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Snow Report for Feb. 20, 2018

(2/20/2018)

Snow Depth report for 2-20-18

Winter has been hit-or-miss throughout much of the snowbelt this season, but it seems to have truly arrived in several areas over the past few days (with more on the way).

I was in the St. Germain/Eagle River area of Wisconsin over the weekend, and I've NEVER seen so many snowmobilers in one place. This despite less-than-perfect conditions.

If there isn't riding in your backyard, chances are it's only a few hours (or less) away.

Click HERE for the NOAA interactive snow depth site.

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Legends Retire: Arctic Cat Engineers Begin Next Chapter

(2/3/2018)

Legendary Arctic Cat snowmobile engineers retire. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Celebration and sadness unfolded in equal measure this past week with the retirement of six legendary engineers: Donn Eide, Greg Spaulding, Kim Chervestad, Ron Bergman, Russ Ebert and Darrel Janisch.

Click to read about the day.

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Riding with Roger: A January Christmas at Skime Ranch

(1/21/2018)

Ride with Roger Skime. A day spent celebrating the soul of Arctic Cat.

Five of Roger Skime's favorite things in the whole world are snowmobiles, racing/racers, family, dancing and cattle. I'm not sure in what order. So when his family were considering what kind of gift to give him for Christmas, they hatched a plan that combined 4 out of 5.

On an open weekend in January (“open” in Roger’s world means that there isn’t a snocross or cross-country race somewhere), with plenty of snow on the ground and more still falling, a couple dozen friends and family gathered at Skime Ranch near Skime, Minn., to surprise Skime the man.

And wow, was he ever surprised!

Click to read about a day with Roger.

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Talking with P.J. Wanderscheid about His World Championship Career

(1/18/2018)

Team Arctic racing legend, 4-time World Champ P.J. Wanderscheid. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

This weekend marks two years since P.J. Wanderscheid graced the famed banked oval track in Eagle River, Wis. After several major injuries mixed with the time constraints that evolved from the family’s growing business, P.J. took the checkered flag on a truly remarkable racing career:

72 Pro wins

4-time Eagle River World Champion (2002, 2003, 2006, 2011)

2003 Snow Week Racer of the Year

3-time 525 Champion (2009, 2010, 2011)

2-time CPTC Canadian Champion (2010, 2011)

2012 TLR CUP Winner

2003 Woody’s Triple Crown Winner

2010 Central Wisconsin Triple Crown Winner

2011 U.S. Nationals winner

17 Pro High Points Championships

No doubt, P.J. is one of the all-time great oval racers. But while he won’t be on the track at this weekend’s World Championship, he’ll be at the track as part of Country Cat’s sponsorship there. And there’s a chance his team’s expertise will one day support another Arctic Cat racer to chase the World Championship title. Here’s what P.J. had to say about his retirement and more.

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Donn Eide's 50 Years of Arctic Cat

(1/15/2018)

Arctic Cat engine legend Donn Eide with his two classic sleds.

With 50-plus years of designing and building engines at Arctic Cat, Engine Design Manager Donn Eide has a history and knowledge of the brand that's truly staggering.

Check out this photo of him with his 1965 120 D. What does he have to say about it in comparison to his 2015 XF 6000?

"The 120 D had a longer track than the standard 100 D of it’s time. So even back in 1965 we realized the need for a long track version, just like the XF models of today.

The 120 also had reverse (in a gearcase instead of the reversing the engine). The 120 had a foot operated drum brake vs. the hand operated hydraulic disc of today.

The CVT is still around, but it's been advanced many, many iterations.

The engine went from the 8 HP Kohler to our own Arctic Cat-built 600 twin 2 stroke with DSI. You still pull a rope today to start both.

I recall breaking the dipstick off on the Kohler damaging the camshaft and having to take the engine apart and fix in my dad's basement. Little did I know back then what would define my career for the next 50-plus years!

Not sure if will do complete restore or leave it as it is. Either way, I sure enjoy both machines for what they are."

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In Times of Bitter Cold...Polar Plunge

(1/3/2018)

When Cats were Red. Polar powered, ArcticInsider and such.

A New Year.

Resolutions.

Perhaps a polar plunge?

If so, one brand is ready to rumble.

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#EveryDaySledder: A Story of Snowmobiling 31 Consecutive Days

(12/29/2017)

#everydaysledder, Arctic Cat and riding snowmobiles every day for a month. ArcticInsider.com

Ever wish you could snowmobile every day?

Me too. So I did it.

Last January I rode at least once every single day.

I called it #EveryDaySledder, and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had on a snowmobile.

Click for a fun ride.

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U.S. Snow Cover Report

(12/26/2017)

North American snow cover report for 12-26-17. Go snowmobiling (on an Arctic Cat)!

Here's the snow cover over the U.S. and portions of Canada for Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017.

Verdict: The Christmas snow storm that hit the eastcoast on Christmas was a gift from above! Plus there's decent snow in many areas of the Midwest, and lots of deep stuff out west.

CLICK HERE to hit up the NOAA site directly to get more detailed info on specific areas.

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Christmas Came Early: First Ride of the Season

(12/23/2017)

Pre-Christmas first ride of the snowmobile season. On Arctic Cat. ArcticInsider.com

Christmas came a few days early for me and a few friends, with each of us hitting pause on the myriad work and life responsibilities during the gnarly prelude to Christmas, to instead enjoy our first ride of the 2017-2018 snowmobile season.

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Join the Club and Wear the Pride: 2018 Cat's Pride Club Kit

(12/22/2017)

2018 Arctic Cat Cat's Pride Club kit

Cat's Pride Club is the oldest snowmobile brand club in the world. I'm also pretty sure it's the largest snowmobile club in the world too.

The value of these kits is pretty awesome. It's also awesome to have club gear going back 25 years... jackets, hats, drinking glasses, decals, Pride magazines, pins, and more... all fun reminder of years gone by.

Check out this year's kit (and wear the pride if it suits you).

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Part IV: (Not All) Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive

(12/19/2017)

Snowmobiles are too expensive? Arctic Cat comparison by ArcticInsider.com

I want to thank everyone who's read, considered and/or commented on the stories in the "Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive" series. It's been an interesting ride parsing out fact, fiction and the price we pay for the stuff in our lives.

This is the last of four parts: the conclusion.

Let me know if you agree.

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Part III: Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive! (Just Like My Phone)

(12/7/2017)

Snowmobiling on a smartphone.

Do we enjoy the same earning power today that we did in 1994?

If snowmobiles are too expensive, what does that say about our smartphones, internet and cable television?

These are some questions that are worth answering, which is what I try here in Part III of the series, Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive.

Click for a dose of my family's reality.

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Snow-Covered Arctic Cat

(12/5/2017)

Winter at Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls. Photo by Mike Baker.

Winter returned to Arctic Cat (above) yesterday, in a blowing, howling whiplash of weather that went from 40s and rain to 20s and snow. This is how things look today, captured by Mike Baker.

The same storm coated a large swath of Minnesota, the Dakotas and parts of Manitoba and Ontario.

And the 10-day forecast says "winter," with overnight lows that dip down into the low-teens and the possibility of more snow.

December...as it's supposed to be!

I'm hoping the same comes soon to everyone in snow country.

Carry on...

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Part II: Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive! (How about Trucks?)

(12/3/2017)

Price comparison of trucks compared to snowmobiles.

Last week we launched into a great discussion about the price of new snowmobiles.

Today I want to talk trucks.

I was curious how its price has changed over the same period of time that we compared snowmobiles in Part I. 

Jump to see some interesting numbers.

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Part I: Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive!

(11/22/2017)

Snowmobiles are too expensive? Arctic Cat comparison by ArcticInsider.com

“Snowmobiles are way too expensive these days.”

 “I haven’t bought a snowmobile for (fill in the blank) years because they’re so much more expensive than they used to be.”

I’ve heard these two statements enough times over the past decade that they’ve become cliche. People utter them and believe them without actually thinking about them. When I ask how much more today’s sleds cost compared to 20 years ago, the answer is always “Thousands.”

Which is complete bullshit. I know this because I just did the math.

Click to read why some new snowmobiles are priced thousands lower than famed machines from a couple decades ago.

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