The AmSnow crew survived another Hay Days, and one thing is certain - people are excited for snow! Here's some of the big news items we found while strolling around:
1. Race Sled Reveal
The race sled announcements from Arctic Cat, Polaris and Ski-Doo always command a lot of attention at Hay Days. Arctic Cat's new race sled includes some significant engine changes such as the addition of electronic fuel injection (EFI) to their snocrosser, and some specially designed parts developed with the help of Speedwerx. Polaris' slimmed down snocross racer put an emphasis on improving rider mobility with their new steering post angle and few other updates as well. Ski-Doo made a few tweaks to their clutching and coupling system. Getting their riders out in front early seems to be at the forefront of each OEM's mind as better holeshots were an big emphasis with each of the 2017 race sleds.
2. New Consumer Vehicles
Arctic Cat and Polaris revealed more than their race machines for 2017. Arctic Cat announced a new King Cat sled for the mountains. It includes the 9000 series engine (Yamaha-built 998cc turbo 4-stroke) and gives consumers another stock turbo option out west with its 162-inch track. Polaris unveiled a new Timbersled kit designed to fit a few 110cc bikes. Offering something for the youngsters allows the growing sport of snow biking to be a more family-oriented activity. The kit is currently designed to fit youth bike offerings from Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki.
3. Another Turbo Offering
We knew it was coming, but it was a bit of a surprise when our friends at Mountain Performance Inc. (MPI) pulled us aside before the Hay Days gates opened to give us a tour of their new turbo kit designed for Ski-Doo's new 850 E-TEC. You can hear Jay Mentaberry and Blaine Mathews, two of Ski-Doo's hillclimb racers, explain their thoughts on the new 200-hp kit in this Facebook video. It might be one of the easiest, cleanest turbo kits to install that we've ever seen. No chassis modification is necessary. It's basically a bolt-on, pump gas turbo that brings an already strong, 170-hp stock engine up to 200 HP for under $4K. It's available for both mountain and trail sleds. Look out Yamaha/Arctic Cat!
4. Backcountry Ascender Program
Backcountry Ascender developer, Chris Mayer (left), and Avalanche 1 course instructor, Mike Duffy, who assisted with curriculum development.
The official launch of the anticipated Backcountry Ascender
avalanche education program took place at Hay Days. It's not often when all four of the manufacturers back something like this, which means some very influential people think this is a very beneficial addition to a huge part of the snowmobile industry. We agree. It's an online education platform
designed as a game where you compete with fellow snowmobilers gaining valuable avalanche awareness and training as you play. Developed in conjunction with the American Avalanche Association and Avalanche Canada, along with some of the snowmobile industry's top avalanche safety instructors, the educational content is dynamic and is able to be adapted as we learn more about snowmobile-specific avalanche safety.
5. Camso on the Move
The traction company keeps progressing in all areas of the snow motorsports world with new traction products for side-by-sides and ATVs, the release of the Conquer 280 snowmobile track and a new DTS 129 snow bike kit. Our western crew is looking forward to testing out the Conquer 280 track with its lighter weight and unique lug design. The 129 snow bike takes a varied approach to both the ski and rear suspension setup from most of the competing kit companies currently on the market. It's all aimed at creating the easiest, most consumer-friendly experience for the widest demographic.
BONUS: Hay Days just isn't Hay Days without some oddball sighting of something totally awesome ... like a Lambo with a wrap!