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    2017 Real World Shootout a Big Success

    Posted by Ross Halvorson
    on Monday, January 9, 2017

     I’m writing this in the truck on the way home, and after a full week of testing with the AmSnow test crew, we are sure the trails around the Munising area were some of the best anywhere right now. 

    Conditions in that area were great for either ripping the trails or playing in the powder! There are also tons of hotels that are fantastic hosts for you and your crew. The Boarders Inn and Suites just east of Munising served as the AmSnow headquarters for the week, and it will be again for our Ride-In that will take place in a few weeks. We’re in for a great weekend if the snow keeps falling like it’s supposed to! 

     I’ve got to admit, there are some mixed emotions for the editorial staff at AmSnow after some tragic news coming out of the snowmobile racing world over the weekend. The AmSnow team extends our sincerest condolences to the Houle and Travis families. The entire snowmobile community feels the pain of losing two fantastic young men this weekend. It should serve as a somber reminder for all of us that we take on an important responsibility when we jump behind the bars. We won’t soapbox for too long, but please just stay safe everyone. 

    Most of you know by now that our Real World Shootout is a week of intense testing, making sure engines, tracks and suspensions are properly broken in. Once they are, we pull out the computers, cameras, video equipment, tracking, and the radar gun to give each of our long-term demo sleds the fairest shake we can on our own undisclosed test track. You’ll find all those numbers, including top speeds, wet weights and early fuel mileage, in our upcoming Spring issue. So make sure your subscription is up to date!

     If there’s one thing this week helps me remember every season, it’s that there are not very many things that compare to snowmobiling. Our test sleds this season are just plain crazy fun. Polaris’ Switchback Assault 144 is an amazing on- and off-trail sled. Ski-Doo’s Renegade X 850 is ridiculously good at inspiring confidence. The Thundercat and Sidewinder sleds are pure engine insanity atop a track and skis. Look for some mid-season reviews on everything coming soon. 

    We now have close to 1,000 miles on each of our long-term demos. It’s hard not to smile when you’re aboard any sled, but the seven sleds we’ve got this season have been some of the best yet. There are a few quirks here and there that we’ll detail with you in our reviews, but all in all, we’ve been extremely impressed with the sleds from each OEM. 

     I’ve got to extend a huge “thank you” to our team that somehow pulls off this miracle every season. Some seasons are bigger miracles than others, but we did it again, gang! You all know who you are and we couldn’t do it without you! Keep putting on the miles, everyone!

    Rick Dobson photos

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