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2 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010

State agencies, Valley residents team up to repair multiple-use trail By Sheila Grant Snowmobilers in Aroostook County will have smoother, safer trails to enjoy this winter, thanks to efforts by local folks and the Maine Department of Conservation. One major project recently completed made repairs to sections of trail alongside the St. John River in Fort Kent. “Because of erosion, the river was scouring out the side of the banking. It was actually working its way up to the surface of the trail,” said Skip Varney, senior planner for the MDOC’s Off-road Vehicle Division. “You could see where the fencing was along the edge, there were washouts. The fencing was being supported by itself; there was no ground or surface material there,” he said. “It had eroded enough that it had gotten into about one third of the trail surface. It was definitely dangerous for ATV users and snowmobilers.” Varney said the situation had been monitored for a few years. “I worked with LURC to figure out what would be the best approach and the most cost-effective way to rectify the situation,” he said. “I drew up a plan. They sent it to the State Planning Office, so we were assured we were all on the same page before putting it


A Ski-Dooer waves as he heads north through Washburn.


This past summer, Madawaska contractor Ed Pelletier & Sons (above) rebuilt a badly damaged section of multiple-use recreational trail running alongside the St. John River in Fort Kent (below).

out to bid.” Getting the project underway was a complicated process. Army Corps of Engineer flood-zone maps had to be studied, and Varney’s division had to work with the Submerged Lands Division of MDOC because the St. John is a border river between the United States and Canada. Varney credited the assistance of the Town of Fort Kent and Kenneth “Doody” Michaud, Fort Kent’s police chief, for keeping things running smoothly. “He took the design plans and the specs I drew up and put that out to bid on behalf of the town,” Varney said. “He acted as project manager on the site. We came up and did inspections. The ATV

coordinator, Jim Caron, came up, as well. I helped with the permitting, setting the project up, and getting the Recreational Trails Program grant,” Varney said.

A total of $58,680 in RTP funds was awarded for the Fort Kent project. Of that, $48,680 went into repairs along the riverbank. The remainder was spent to upgrade the surface on one section of the trail. “It actually was done on time and on budget,” Varney said. “We got a real good price on the work. Ed Pelletier & Sons from Madawaska did a real good job. They had to build a road down to the base of the river. They had to dig out the area to be able to tow in the rip-rap. It was good-sized rip-rap and real steep banking. It was a really challenging project, and they did a real good job.” Volunteers from Caribou, Van Buren, Washburn, and Mapleton are working to identify problem areas along the trail system. Kathleen Mazzuchelli, superintendent of the Caribou Recreation Department, and Gary Marquis, director of parks and maintenance, are spearheading the effort while Varney’s division is sponsoring grant funding for the work. “They’re putting together a master plan to identify all the problem areas first,” he said. “If you don’t take care of the water issues, surface materials won’t stay in place.” To date, numerous culverts have been replaced, and grading and other surface work has been done on sections of the former Bangor & Aroostook Railroad trail. Varney said that he and Caron had been in Aroostook on Sept. 30 inspecting work done with RTP funds on the Crouseville trestle. “All the former surface materials were removed, and new decking materials were placed over the ties. The surface area on the Crouseville trestle was 8 feet wide by 600 feet long, and that’s all done at this point.” For now, Varney said the MDOC is trying to address the worst problems identified along Aroostook trails. Eventually, the focus will turn to minor problems and then to trail maintenance.


Snowmobilers slow as they approach a road crossing while headed to Presque Isle in mid-winter.

BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010 | 3

2011 Arctic Cat 800

Arctic Cat refines its 2011 lineup By With the excellent balance of high horsepower and a longer 15 x 144 x 1.25-inch track, the Z1 Turbo EXT was the surprise hit on the 2010 line. Arctic Cat has responded by adding an F8 EXT for 2011. The adjustable IRP “trail” handlebar suggests that this is more of a trail sled than a crossover. Joining the F8 LXR and F8 Sno Pro for 2011 is the F8 Sno Pro Limtied, which adds these extras to the package: • Hand guards; • Rear storage bag; • Sport front bumper; • Electric start; • Sublime Green paint scheme. An F6 Sno Pro, F5 LXR, and F 570 complete the F Series lineup. With the exception of the F 570 and F8 EXT, all 2011 F Series models are either in Sno Pro or LXR trim. Back for its second year, the Sno Pro 500 gets a few changes aimed to keep its retail cost low, while the fun factor is high. The 2011 Sno Pro 500 will come without a hood-mounted brake duct, sway bar, and tunnel-edge grip plates; the last two are available as accessory items. As many racers opted for the faster 1-inch lug Hacksaw track this season, Arctic Cat has switched to it as a production hoop. And, finally, a switch to 5.5-inch-wide plastic skis satisfies all states’ maximum skistance rules. The mystery machine for the Arctic Cat 2011 lineup turned out to be the new for 2011 Z1 Turbo Sno Pro Limited, which takes the Sno Pro-specific Fox Floats/low windshield/taller handlebar riser and adds: • Hand guards; • A rear storage bag; • A sport front bumper;

• An electric-heated seat. The Z1 Turbo Sno Pro and Z1 Turbo LXR returned unchanged for 2011, save for a higher windshield on the LXR. A huge hit last season, the Z1 Turbo EXT returns for 2011 with an electric-heated IRP adjustable seat. The non-turbo Z1 LXR and Z1 Sno Pro are unchanged for next season. Arctic Cat indicates significant improvement to the ride calibration of the 2011 M Series Sno Pro and HCR models, benefitting both hill-climbing ability and on-trail manners. The M8 HCR keeps its 15 x 153 x 2.25inch Power Claw track, but gets the longer 162-inch rear tunnel extension to accommodate the additional clearance required by certain traction mods. Other changes include: • Spacers to stiffen the rear idler wheels; • Swapping a tether cord for the key switch; • Additional protection for the rear coolant hoses. The standard M8 transitions to a coilover Fox Zero Pro shock on the rear arm, eliminating the torsion springs to deliver a lighter package without a sacrifice in ride quality. Joining the M8 and M8 Sno Pro for 2011 is the M8 Sno Pro Limited, with extra goodies like hand guards, a BCA backpack, ice scratchers, a handlebar bag, a goggle holder, a rear storage bag, and Sublime Green coloring. The M8 also comes with Fox Zero Pro shocks with coil-over springs on the rear arm, eliminating the two torsion springs for reduced weight without sacrificing ride quality. The Bearcat 570 gets a 2-up riding focus to complement its utility focus, with a new rear passenger seat, foot rests, fiberglass overload, springs, and standard electric start.

4 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010

Sept. 21 ceremony opens 85-mile Down East trail to recreationists By Brian Swartz SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR

HANCOCK — With the snip of a yellow ribbon, snowmobilers gained 53 miles of excellent trail riding on Sept. 21, 2010. During a ceremony attended by state government officials and outdoor recreationists from various organizations, the Down East Sunrise Trail officially opened for its entire 85-mile length from Washington Junction in Hancock to Ayers Junction in Pembroke. “I’m having a hard time not jumping up and down today,” said Sally Jacobs of the Sunrise Trail Coalition, which led initial efforts to convert the Maine Central Railroad’s Calais branch into a multiple-use trail. In spring 2008, Hampden contractor Vaughn Thibodeau & Sons started rail-corridor reconstruction in Machias. The trail’s easternmost 32 miles opened in September 2009, and snowmobilers enjoyed a fantastic trail stretching from Route 1A in Whitneyville east to Route 214 in Pembroke. This winter, sledders can head west from Whitneyville and ride 53 miles to Hancock. Along the way, key intersections will access


Last winter several “sled buddies” rode the Down East Sunrise Trail, which officially opened for its enter 85-mile length on Sept. 21, 2010. Near Mile Marker 16 in Sullivan(left), a snowmobiler relaxes while enjoying a wintry view of Schoodic Mountain. The sledders stopped near Mile Marker 59 in Machias (right) to buy some Washington County-harvested seafood.

snowmobile trails leading north and south. Yet the DEST almost never happened, according to opening-ceremony speakers. Although outdoor recreationists — particularly ATV clubs, bicycling organizations, and snowmobile clubs — had advocated the trail’s development for years, many officials believed the Calais Branch should be

restored as an active railroad. One such rail backer was State Sen. Dennis Damon (D-Hancock County). Then during a trip to Minnesota’s Iron Range, Damon “happened upon” a multiple-use trail built along a former railroad corridor. He met local residents and business owners excited about the trail’s economic benefits. “The point is, it drew people to that region,” Damon told DEST supporters on Sept. 21. “All of a sudden, the light started to get brighter. I understood the economic possibilities” and realized that the Calais Branch would not be restored as an active railroad “any time soon.” “The reality is, [for] this railroad, the economics are not there at least for the foreseeable future,” said MDOT Commissioner David Cole. After taking his post in early 2003, he researched the existing railroad corridor; “the quality of the rail and the track” was “substandard to modern needs” and “was in such a condition that if you were ever going to bring back a competitive rail service, you had to tear it all up anyways.” “The real issue was about preserving this 85-mile corridor, because you couldn’t create a right of way like this … in this day and age,” Cole said. “We came up with a plan to ‘rail bank’ this corridor … to get some use out of this asset that belongs to the people of the state.” According to Maine Department of Conservation Commissioner Eliza Townsend, Jasper Carter “donated the easement” on the

Sally Jacobs

Sen. Dennis Damon

land crossed by the DEST’s first 1,000 feet in Hancock. The Washington Junction trail head is adjacent to the Downeast Scenic Railroad yard. Officials expect snowmobilers to flock to the DEST this winter. “Our research tells us that people come here … for outdoor recreational activities,” said Phil Savignano of the Maine Office of Tourism. He described the DEST as “a beautiful place to get off the beaten path and head out. It’s going to provide year-round recreation for skiers and snowshoers and snowmobilers.” Scott Ramsay of the Maine Department of Conservation’s Off-Road Vehicle Division snowmobiled the DEST’s eastern stretch last winter. In a separate interview, he recalled stopping at a local business that was enjoying increased sales due to the new trail. Businesses “are hooking up to the trail,” Jacobs said. “There are new snowmobile and ATV maps showing the trail and their connections.”

David Cole

Eliza Townsend

BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010 | 5

Ski-Doo introduces two new engines & several new snowmobiles

With its widely praised REV-X platform, excellent suspensions, and advanced engine portfolio, BRP is the clear snowmobile industry leader with its Ski-Doo snowmobile brand. For 2011, the company demonstrates its relentless passion for snowmobiles with two new engines, several new models in emerging market segments, and a host of enhancements on key products. Performance enthusiasts have been anxiously awaiting the Rotax E-TEC 800R lightweight two-stroke, direct-injection engine, and it arrives in force for 2011. Utilizing the next generation of E-TEC technology, the E-TEC 800R uses 15 percent less fuel and 50 percent less oil than the 800R PowerT.E.K. on which it is based. Its light throttle action unleashes noticeably more power than the PowerT.E.K., thanks partly to a new dual air take. Breakthrough fuel consumption is at the heart of the other new Rotax engine, the 600 ACE four-

sled built on the REV-XU platform for 2011, the Skandic sport-ute delivers a more comfortable riding position.

Improvements all around Among the new Ski-Doos introduced for the 2011 sledding season is the MXZ TNT (above and left).

stroke twin. This is the first in a family of Rotax engines with an optimized combustion process and minimal mechanical friction, named Advanced Combustion Efficiency (ACE). The 600 ACE delivers the industry’s best fuel economy at 29 miles per gallon: This translates to a remarkable 310-mile range on most 2011 Ski-Doo snowmobiles. With features such as hydraulic

valve and chain adjustments, maintenance is minimal for this 60-horsepower mill. BRP sees this as the engine for riders who put fuel economy and low maintenance as their highest priorities, as well as the appealing powerpack for new entrants to the activity. Totally transforming Summit Xpackage and Everest sleds’ off-trail handling is a narrower ski stance, part of the S-36 handling package.

Summits have never been so easy to lean in boondocking and sidehilling. The Summit Freeride is just one of three Ski-Doo sleds debuting for 2011 that address the growing number of riders heading into powder for less-structured riding experiences. BRP’s Touring Utility Vehicles, the Expedition SE and LE, have been successful sellers, so the company is expanding its TUB line-up for 2011 with an entrylevel Expedition Sport package based on the REV-XP platform. With the Skandic Wide Track

In the rough trail category, MX Z buyers will appreciate the combination of the Adrenaline Feature package into the TNT package. The new MXZ TNT combines the HGH Plus shocks, lightweight components, and the distinctive coloration of the TNT with the premium engine choices, wind protection, and on-board storage of the Adrenaline. Many other improvements were made to sleds throughout the 2011 Ski-Doo line-up, including: • More protective windshields and handlebar wind deflectors for MXZ and Renegade models; • Refined tracks for better performance; • Coloration changes to better define the sleds’ personalities.

B&D MARINE 432 Wilson Street, Brewer

FORT KENT SKI-DOO 5 St. Joseph Street, Fort Kent

HUFF FOREST PRODUCTS Route 100, Grove Hill, Pittsfield

JACKMAN POWER SPORTS 549 Main Street, Jackman

LINCOLN POWERSPORTS 65 West Broadway, Lincoln

MOOSEHEAD MOTORSPORTS 13 Moosehead Industrial Park, Greenville Junction

THE SLED SHOP 108 Main Street, Presque Isle 764-2900

6 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010

Andy Santerre will lead the field during snowmobiling fund-raiser By Debra Bell SPECIAL SECTIONS WRITER

On Feb. 6, 2010, a renowned NASCAR driver shed the stockcar for a snowmobile and joined 160 snowmobilers to raise money — and awareness about childhood sexual abuse. And on Feb. 12, 2011, he’ll do it all over again. That’s when the Seventh Annual Andy Santerre Sno-Run Fundraiser will be held. Santerre, a Cherryfield native, has lent his name to the annual event since it began in 2004. In six years, over $182,000 has been raised to benefit sexual abuse victims. “The reason we started this fundraiser was because a lot of people don’t know that there’s no money to help kids who are the victims of sexual abuse and assault,” said Joe Chamberlain, the Sno-Run organizer. “I’ve known Andy for years and he’s agreed to lend his name to this fundraiser. He comes up from Charlotte [North Carolina] every year and always brings other NASCAR drivers with him.” And, Chamberlain said, the Sno-Run continues to gain popularity among snow-


The snowmobilers participating in the 2009 Andy Santerre Sno-Run Findraiser aligned their sleds to honor the State of Maine.

mobilers and Mainers alike. In 2010, the Sno-Run had its largest turnout yet: 160 snowmobilers who took part in the 100mile ride and 320 attendees at the social hour, autograph event, dinner, and auction held at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center. “This year we raised $47,000 in one day,” Chamberlain said. “It’s a fun time and benefits a great cause.”

The money generated from the Sno-Ride, dinner, and auction go to Aroostook Mental Health Services — a non-profit 501c agency — for its Sexual Assault Services program. The Sexual Assault Services program is the only victim rape crisis center in Aroostook

County. In 2010, AMHS provided services to 312 children in Aroostook County and helped in the development of three support groups for children in 2010, Chamberlain said. “We have a lot of kids in this area,” he said. “The first reason we sponsor this ride is to create awareness, the second is to help the program, and the third reason is to get together and have fun.” Even if you’re not a snowmobiler, there’s something to do. The dinner and auction are open to the general public to purchase tickets for, or donations to the cause can be made. Many local businesses make donations of products and services and NASCAR memorabilia is also available in the auction. For NASCAR fans, drivers are on hand for an autograph session at the Caribou Inn after the ride is over.

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Pam Wyman at (207) 498-6431 or e-mail her at

Wanted: willing volunteers By Brian Swartz SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR

Maine snowmobiling needs you, on the trail and in the clubhouse. “Snowmobilers enjoy a sport [that is] based on the efforts of a small number of volunteers,” says Maine Snowmobile Association President Ken Ingalls. “If it weren’t for the volunteers, trails wouldn’t be groomed,” he explains during a telephone interview.“There are tens of thousands of people out there riding on the trails, and all of the clubs could use more volunteers to help get the work done. “I really think that if you’re going to ride, you can volunteer in some way, even just by joining a club,” says Ingalls, a retired Embden paperworker who belongs to the AnsonNorth Anson Snowmobile Club and the Embden Travelers Snowmobile Club. The MSA “works hard” to boost clubrecruiting efforts, according to Ingalls. The MSA mails its newspaper, The Maine Snowmobiler, to all snowmobile registrants in Maine; every issue includes ads urging snowmobilers to join a local club. More than 290 snowmobile clubs belong to the MSA; their members axiomatically do, too. Ingalls indicates that “I want to grow the clubs as well as grow the MSA,” which has some 30,000 members. Membership Committee Chair Phyllis Ouellette of Auburn leads current efforts to boost MSA membership; “she’s young, and that’s what we need,” Ingalls says. “Young people are busy with their families, but the clubs throughout the state need their memberships.

“Snowmobilers need a voice, not only in Augusta, but all across Maine,” he says. “We can be that voice. In order to do that, we need the members.” New Hampshire boosts club membership by requiring a snowmobiler “to belong to a club in order for you to register a snowmobile,” Ingalls says. “This would not work in Maine. Club membership should be voluntary, not something you’re told to do.” He encourages Maine snowmobilers to register their sleds, even if early winter weather lacks promise. “The more registrations there are, the more money that’s available for trails and maintenance,” he explains. Sled registration funds are disbursed by the Maine Department of Conservation as club and municipal grants. Winter 2010 saw sled registrations drop as unseasonably warm weather started melting many trails by mid-February. However, “the people that did register their machines paid a little extra,” so revenue actually rose, Ingalls says. “The trail funds really weren’t hurt because the clubs did less grooming.” He crosses his fingers and hopes “for really good riding conditions this winter.” Although the MSA has printed its 2010-11 trail map, Ingalls cautions that “things can change on the ground [even] after we go to press.” Ingalls explains that “the toughest issue [in creating maps] is that some clubs don’t know until mid-October or November where their trails are going to be.” Logging operations “can close trails in winter, and the clubs have to re-route those trails,” he says. “It does create a last-minute rush for the club members to get that accomplished.”

Polaris unveils the 600- & 800RUSH as new trail luxury sleds

Poalris builds Trail Luxury sleds to exceed riders’ expectations for performance, comfort, convenience, and smooth-riding suspensions. The new 600 Rush-X represents the unmatched combination of terrain-dominating performance, premium luxury features, and cargo capacity for touring adventures. Features found on this new Polaris sled include: • The sled being built on the Pro-Ride Chassis with Polaris-exclusive true progressive-rate rear suspension that isolates a rider from the energy generated by terrain impact, keeping a rider in control, on the seat, and comfortably enjoying the ride; • Fox Shocks installed on the front-andrear suspension to provide tunable, fadefree performance; • Rider active control, which delivers easi-

• Passenger hand-warmers and gauntlets, offering the combination of wind protection with Hi/Low/Off hand-grip heat control; • Adjustable passenger footrests to position the feet in the most comfortable position. The standard equipment on all these Trail Luxury models provides riders and passengers with the greatest comfort and convenience, such as: • Standard electric start; • Standard reverse, including push-button Polaris Electronic Reverse Control on all IQ models; • The 16-inch-high IQ windshield, which provides excellent protection against the elements and trailside branches; • Hood-mounted mirrors; • A dash-mounted 12-volt outlet on the 600 Rush LX, the Turbo IQ LXT, and the 600 IQ LXT; • A roomy attachable cargo bag. Engines found on the Trail Luxury models include the 750 Turbo 4-stroke, the 600 Cleanfire, and the 550. The game-changing Rush and Pro-Ride Chassis have been improved for 2011, making new models such as the 800/600 Rush Pro-R and 800/600 Rush the ultimate terrain-dominating sleds in history. Riders using the new Rush Pro-R demand the ultimate in performance as they seek out unforgiving terrain. The Prush Pro-R is 2011 Polaris 800 RUSH the first sled that can er, more responsive handling, helping a rider truly satisfy their need for outstanding stay fresher to enjoy extended days on the power, tremendous durability, and the trail; greatest in terrain-dominating control on • The 600 Cleanfire engine, which delivers the trails. class-leading power and exceptional throttle The Rush Pro-R is built on the improved response and does so efficiently to maximize Pro-Ride Chassis with true progressive-rate the fuel range. rear suspension. The new 550 IQ LXT is built on the The 600 Rush and the new 800 Rush are smooth-riding, easy-handling IQ Chassis to available with a choice of 800 Cleanfire or provide a solo rider or two-up riders with a 600 Cleanfire engines. great riding experience. The new 2011 Rush 600 LX provides with This model uses the proven Polaris 550 the ultimate combination of performance, engine and has an extensive array of luxury comfort, and convenience. It has such features as electric start, mirand convenience features. The LXT models — Turbo IQ LXT, 600 rors, reverse, a high and protective windIQ LXT, and 550 IQ LXT — have comfort- shield for enhanced rider comfort, and a able seating for two, with a plush passenger pair of electric power outlets for devices seat and an adjustable passenger backrest. such as an electric helmet shield and a GPS. The Turbo and 600 IQ LTXs also have:

BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010 | 7

8 | BANGOR DAILY NEWS | Friday | October 29, 2010

2011 Yamaha Apex SE

Yamaha has boosted horsepower almost 10 percent on the Apex

Yamaha engineers increased the performance of the new Apex by making a host of small updates that resulted in a new peak horsepower of 162.8 during independent Dynotech Research testing of a 2011 preproduction unit. That’s a nearly 10-percent increase over the previous generation 4-cylinder Genesis engine. It boasts a ridiculously wide torque curve with a remarkable peak of 109.8 footpounds at 7,300 rpm for arm-stretching acceleration. Additionally, the Apex features the first Exhaust Ultimate Performance valve found in a snowmobile. When it comes to raw torque, the Genesis Top Performance 4-stroke engine decimates the competition, according to independent Dynotech Research dyno testing. This

throttle response and acceleration off a back shift and coming out of the corner. Yamaha engineers looked at every aspect of the Genesis 4-cylinder engine, from intake to exhaust, while working toward their new performance goal. New intake funnels in the air box are 11 millimeters longer than the previous engine. This increases air flow, which results in stronger low and mid-range performance in this latest generation engine. Internally, new valve timing on the 2011 engine has 5 degrees more overlap than previous to flow more air, resulting in high rpm performance gains as well. To flow even more air efficiently, Yamaha’s engine-development team widened the exhaust pipe diameter. More high rpm air flow means more top-end power. In the past, engine tuners were more or less confined to making either low or high rpm performance improvements, but achieving both was nearly impossible without facing a significant mid-range fall-off. However, Yamaha’s exclusive EXUP technology allows engineers to bridge the gap between the low rpm performance design changes and the high rpm design changes. First introduced on the 1987 FZR400R sport bike, EXUP is a servo-controlled valve in the NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN SWARTZ exhaust collector that moduSnowmobilers riding on a Yamaha 2-up stop at a lates exhaust pressure waves to road crossing in Corinna. deliver optimum engine performance throughout the rpm engine makes 100 foot-pounds of torque for range. a range of 2,400 rpm, while the competiUsing exclusive technology to boost low-, tions’ 2-strokes make 100 foot-pounds of mid-, and high-rpm engine performance torque for an average range of only 500 rpm. with no sacrifice: That’s just one more What all this mid-range torque advantage Yamaha advantage that competitors can’t means to Yamaha Apex owners is amazing match.

Snowmobiling in Maine 2010  

Snowmobile season is just around the corner. Features include what’s new in sleds for 2011, the impact on Maine’s tourism, interviews with d...

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