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DISCOVER SNOWMOBILING A rider’s guide before hitting the snow

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Purchasing

a Used

Snowmobile

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TOP SNOWMOBILE DESTINATIONS

SNOWMOBILE SAFETY TIPS

STORIES FROM AVALANCHE EXPERTS

TAKE A FRIEND SNOWMOBILING

TREAD LIGHTLY! FACT OR MYTH? 3


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PURCHASING A USED SNOWMOBILE Author: Ed Klim, President of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA)

Shopping for a used snowmobile is similar to shopping for a used automobile, motorcycle, or boat. And with so many shopping and pricing tools available today, you have the ability to, more than ever, make an educated purchase - even if you are a first-time buyer. Knowing your snowmobile will provide you, your family, and friends with adventures for years to come, put the effort in on the front end to ensure you’re making a safe, reliable, and responsible purchase.

THE FIRST DECISION IS TO DETERMINE IF THERE IS A CERTAIN MODEL OR BRAND YOU PREFER.

UNDERSTAND YOUR BUDGET AND DETERMINE VALUE.

Hit the snow with friends to get an idea of

Know how much you can afford and be informed

what you like. Usually you need to ride at least

on the value of the sled you are considering -

a few miles to get the feel for the snowmobile

meaning research using valuable resources like

to help you determine if it’s the correct size,

NADA Guides and Snowmobile Trader. They will

power, and has the handling characteristics

give you excellent price parameters so you’re

you’re looking for. Once you determine what

prepared to work with sellers.

you like, do a little research to make sure that you have a snowmobile dealer in your area. They can provide you with service and parts if you need them.

DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE FROM A PRIVATE SELLER OR A DEALERSHIP. Most dealers who sell used snowmobiles

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF. Will you always ride alone or will you be riding with a passenger? Do you ride mountains, trails, or both? Be sure to purchase a snowmobile that fits with your lifestyle. Sleds designed for two riders often are a little longer with a seat configuration for two people, including a backrest for the passenger.

will complete thorough inspections of the vehicle and sometimes they’ll offer a level of certification of the quality of the product. Since most dealers always thoroughly check out a used sled before they will sell it to you, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that an expert has carefully looked at the product and can inform you of it’s overall condition to the best of their knowledge. 5


PURCHASING A USED SNOWMOBILE (CONTINUED) EVERY RIDER HAS A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF MECHANICAL EXPERIENCE.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS DRIVE THE SNOWMOBILE BEFORE PURCHASING.

MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THE SNOWMOBILE A THOROUGH INSPECTION.

If you’re mechanically inclined,

Snowmobiles are built to be used on

Whether you buy from a dealership or

purchasing a used snowmobile that

the snow and it’s recommended you

private seller, check for lighting, cracked

may need a little bit of work or minor

purchase in season so you can properly

parts, loose bolts, etc. If the snowmobile

tweaking may help you get a lower price.

test it out before handing over your

is a pull start, make sure that you can

If you have limited mechanical skills, you

money. Every snowmobile has it’s own

start the engine with relative ease. If it’s

should seriously consider buying a used

unique characteristics and the only way

an electric start, make sure it starts, and

snowmobile from a dealer.

to determine what they are is by testing

check the quality and age of the battery.

it out.

And don’t forget about mileage. Most snowmobiles have a life expectancy of

“Always, always, always drive the snowmobile before purchasing.”

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE “SMALL” THINGS.

around 10,000 miles before needing work on the engine and other key parts.

First-time buyers can forget about the basics - like having a higher windshield if you will be riding in colder areas or you might want mirrors on your snowmobile to see if others are behind you, but may not realize they aren’t mandatory.

GET THE SNOWMOBILE’S BACK STORY. Ask the owner or dealer how and where it was used. Was it used for open field riding or strictly trail riding? Were they just using it for quick trips, like going for breakfast and back? Ideally, you want to look for a gently used snowmobile that holds the same appeal as a garage parked Buick that you would buy from a retired couple. They no longer have use for the vehicle, but it is in great shape.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ed Klim is the president of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) and an avid rider. ISMA coordinates committees within the industry to handle concerns such as snowmobile safety, promotion of the lifestyle, keeping statistics, and reporting industry growth. Snowmobile.org


MAKE SURE YOU CAN INSURE THE SLED FOR A REASONABLE PRICE.

OTHER COSTS TO KEEP IN MIND.

Once you’re ready to buy, it is

Remember that when you purchase

recommended that you subscribe to

Your costs don’t stop with the sale. So

a snowmobile you will also have to

snowmobile magazines and join the

once again, understand the value of the

purchase proper clothing, gear, and

local snowmobile club where you will

vehicle and get insurance quotes. Shop

a helmet. Every state and province

be riding. You also can join the state

around to get yourself the best deal.

requires that you register your

or provincial snowmobile association

snowmobile where you reside. For

where you can obtain plenty of useful

riding on the trails, most often you will

information, make new friends, and

need to purchase a trail permit which

enjoy riding with locals who know the

pays for the grooming and marking of

trail system.

YOU MAY NEED TO PURCHASE A TRAILER OR HAVE ACCESS TO ONE. If you will be trailering the snowmobile to your favorite riding area, consider

the trail system.

your different options. Very few current cars are equipped to tow a trailer. All trucks can usually tow a snowmobile trailer easily and some slightly older fullsized cars can do the same. No matter what, check the towing capabilities of the vehicle you plan on using to be safe.

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PRIEST LAKE, IDAHO Located in the northernmost portion of the Idaho panhandle, Priest Lake dates back over 10,000 years. Imagine riding scenery carved from glaciers with deep forests and mountain views. This will be a snowmobiler’s experience of a lifetime. Over 400 miles of fresh powder, groomed trails, and wide open playgrounds are a rider’s dream. The area offers great dining and places to stay too. Ready to check it out?

MORAN, WYOMING

TOP SNOW

Destina  Priest Lake

Also known as Moran Junction, Moran offers a first class snowmobiling experience. Serving as a main passageway through central Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park, the area gives riders access to the Continental Divide and some of the nation’s premier snowmobiling. Be sure to check out nearby Togwotee Pass over 600 inches of snowfall sets the scene for epic riding. Well known for extreme winters and vast trailheads, Moran displays a backdrop of the Tetons that is guaranteed to take your breath away.

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 Moran


WMOBILING

UPPER PENINSULA, MICHIGAN

ations 

Upper Peninsula Old Forge

Michigan’s upper peninsula has been ranked a top place to sled numerous times and will make for a great snowmobile vacation. Michigan boasts more than 6,500 miles of groomed trails and up north you’ll ride some of the Great Lakes region’s finest. Visit the Porcupine Mountains or Drummond Island for some of the best sledding Michigan has to offer. Check this destination off your bucket list by experiencing uninterrupted lake views and winding through the deep woods.

Mount Snow

 

OLD FORGE, NEW YORK If the crisp air and breathtaking Adirondack views don’t draw you in, the riding scene here should. Known as the “Adirondack Base Camp” for visitors, Old Forge showcases hundreds of miles of groomed trails. You can connect with all the other major trail systems in New York and the Canadian border. Groomed twice daily during the winter, it’s a snowmobilers heaven. Hop on your sled and experience some of the best snow in the northeast.

MOUNT SNOW, VERMONT If you’ve been waiting to explore the northeast by sled, now’s the time to check out Mount Snow. Snowmobile Vermont offers guided tours throughout the state, and from Mount Snow you can experience the summit or Green Mountain National Forest. Plus, if you’re seeking extra adventure you can hit the slopes on your skis or snowboard while you’re there. When you’re in the area, visit the nearby Stratton Mountain for a wintry adventure exploring the trails at night.

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ALWAYS BE ALERT OF POTENTIAL DANGER. Take a snowmobile safety course

KNOW THE ICE CONDITIONS. Although

to learn about the risks of riding. Your helmet,

conditions are never guaranteed. Conditions can

engine noise, earbuds, and music can impair

change over hours and drowning is a real threat.

your hearing. Darkness and snowy conditions

Stay on designated trails to avoid putting your

impact visibility. Learn to recognize avalanche

life at risk.

many riders venture onto frozen water, ice

potential terrain. Never assume what another snowmobiler will do - and don’t speed.

DON’T DRINK AND RIDE. Alcohol is proven to be dangerous mixed with riding and is a

INSPECT YOUR SNOWMOBILE BEFORE EACH RIDE. Check your brakes, track, skis,

contributing factor in snowmobile fatalities. Even

headlight, taillight, emergency switch, and idle

small amounts of alcohol affect your ability to

before each outing. Be prepared for your ride.

control your sled.

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NEVER RIDE ALONE. Always inform a responsible person of your travel plans.

RIDE A SNOWMOBILE THAT MATCHES YOUR EXPERIENCE LEVEL. Not all sleds are

Someone should know when you’re leaving,

created equal. Trust an expert to inform you

where you’re going, and when you will be

what machine is safe for you.

returning.

CARRY A FIRST AID KIT, EMERGENCY KIT, AND REPAIR KIT. Don’t leave without

ALWAYS CHECK WEATHER AND TRAIL CONDITIONS and dress appropriately. Plan

a compass, map, waterproof matches with a

ahead for wind chill and ensure you have

candle or fire starter, a flashlight with spare

enough layers to stay warm. Riding on trails

batteries, and an extra ignition key. Check Safe

with inadequate snow coverage can harm the

Riders! for personal items, safety equipment,

environment.

and avalanche tools you should carry.

owmobile SAFETY TIPS

ABOUT THE PARTNER ACSA is the national organization that unites the snowmobile community, providing a voice for snowmobilers on national issues. Their mission is to promote snowmobiling as a safe, fun and environmentally family friendly sport. Online and downloadable safety education resources, training materials, and safety education class calendars are available at snowmobilers.org. 11


The National Avalanche Center and the American Avalanche Association have a campaign to help folks stay safe in the mountains riding. • GET THE GEAR – Beacon, Shovel, Probe. • GET THE TRAINING – Take an avalanche class. • GET THE FORECAST – Go to Avalanche.org for your regional avalanche forecast. • GET THE PICTURE – Recognize avalanche terrain and look for signs of instability in the snowpack. • GET OUT OF HARM’S WAY – Ride one at a time in avalanche terrain. I encourage all mountain riders to follow the Gets this winter. As you are about to throttle up into the mountains, ask yourself “What have I missed?” We all want to make it back to the truck. Enjoy the powder.

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WHAT HAVE I

MISSED?

In Alaska

Author: Aleph Johnston-Bloom, Avalanche Forecaster

fast enough digging? What if they both were

the first snow

buried? What about their kids waiting to be

on the mountains is called termination dust,

picked up school? What if they hadn’t made it

and marks the end of summer. This year that

back? Why did they think that slope was safe?

snow fell in August. Almost immediately you

What had my friends, who are very smart

could notice a shift on social media. Talk of

mountain riders, missed in their decision-

fishing and boating changed to hunting and of

making? I thought about how easy it is to miss

course snowmobiling (in AK snowmachining).

clues when we are so excited to play in the

Threads popped up about selling sleds, fixing

snow. I thought about times I have had close

sleds, and asking what kind of a winter are

calls, and how easy it is to make mistakes.

we looking at? As someone who loves winter, and makes a living thinking about snow as

This season, the question, “What have I

an avalanche forecaster, I too start looking

missed?”, is going become part of my slope side

forward to winter. However, to be honest, I

decision-making process. Before I ride onto any

get a little nervous. I really like what I do, but I

avalanche prone slope I will ask that question, I

also understand the pain of losing someone I

will pause, and go over all my information one

love to a winter accident and the risk involved.

last time. Hopefully that will help me make it

I often look back to the previous season and

back to the truck. Hopefully asking, “What have

think about lessons learned. Last winter here in

I missed?” will help me not get overwhelmed

the Kenai Mountains we had one snowmobile

with powder fever or the stoke of the day, and

avalanche fatality, and a few very close calls.

not miss some crucial piece of information that

One close call in particular left me feeling a

is telling me the snow is dangerous.

little queasy. A co-worker (and very close friend) was riding a steep slope one morning with her boyfriend. They rode with no incident. A few hours later they got word that the same slope shattered into a large avalanche and completely buried a rider. Luckily he was dug up quickly by a large group of other riders and survived, but unfortunately lost his machine. What haunted me was, what if my friend or her boyfriend had been caught, and one had to try to dig

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Aleph Johnston-Bloom is an avalanche forecaster for the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center based in Girdwood, Alaska. She feels really lucky to get to ride snowmobiles (snowmachines) for work in the Kenai Mountains, exploring steep passes, glacial valleys and wide open slopes. She has been an avalanche professional for 17 years and is the former director of both the Alaska Avalanche School and the Silverton Avalanche School. She is an American Avalanche Association governing board member.

the other out alone? What if they weren’t

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THE MAIN SOURCE OF

TROUBLE Author: John Fitzgerald, Heli Ski Guide and Avalanche Forecaster I have worked in the avalanche industry for the past 15 years. It has been a career that has taken me to a wide range of places and given me the opportunity to see many different snowpacks. A large part of every job I‘ve had has been to investigate the snow by digging holes and performing tests to understand the likelihood of avalanches occurring. What all of the work boils down to is this: I am responsible for keeping people out of trouble, and avalanches are the main source of that trouble. While most of my work has been done on skis, the snowmobile, (or snowmachine when I’m in Alaska) has increasingly become both a tool and a toy. For several winters I worked full time as an avalanche forecaster for the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center. Snowmachines are an integral part of that program, and it was there that my riding skills increased dramatically. Since that time I have begun teaching avalanche courses on snowmobiles in Wyoming. To me, helping to reduce avalanche accidents is a big part of why I do what I do for a living. I think it is critical to spread awareness and knowledge to all user groups, and snowmobilers make up a large percentage of groups that are at risk. Avalanche courses have been available to primarily skiers for many years. Avalanche education has slowly come around to providing more tailored classes to the needs of snowmobilers. While there are still improvements to be made, I think that we are on ABOUT THE AUTHOR John Fitzgerald splits his winters between Wyoming and Alaska, spending every day on the snow. At home in the Tetons he mostly teaches avalanche courses and in Alaska he works as a heli ski guide and avalanche forecaster. 14

the right track. I am excited to be a part of that change and empower riders to improve their decision making in avalanche terrain.


ISMA

P R ES EN TS

TAKE A FRIEND

SNOWMOBILING Introduce non-snowmobilers to our winter recreation of choice

FEBRUARY 1O-19, 2018 GoSnowmobiling.org

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SNOW IT ALL

With spectacular mountain terrains come added safety concerns. Training, experience and awareness are all traits of the accomplished snowmobiler. Be a “snow-it-all.” Take an avalanche awareness course and carry the proper equipment. Know your travel routes and respect your riding boundaries.

THIS PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT IS POWERED BY


Tread Lightly!

Fact or Myth?

IF YOU’RE ON YOUR SLED AND SEE AN ELK,

CHASING OR HARASSING WILDLIFE OR OTHER

KEEP YOUR ENGINE RUNNING QUIETLY. STAY

ANIMALS FROM YOUR SNOWMOBILE IS OKAY

ON THE TRAIL, AND SLOWLY RIDE AWAY

IF IT’S NOT DURING HUNTING SEASON.

FROM THE ANIMAL.

MYTH - Chasing big game on your

FACT - Stopping your snowmobile and

snowmobile is illegal at all times. If you use your

getting off stresses animals and usually chases

snowmobile during hunting season, use it only

them away. If an animal changes behavior when

to reach the area you want to hunt. Never hunt

you appear, you are too close and need to move

animals from your sled.

away. Keep your machine running quietly and smoothly. Always ride slowly away from wildlife. REMOVING THE SPARK ARRESTER FROM YOUR SNOWMOBILE WILL MAKE IT GO YOU CAN RIDE YOUR SLED ANYWHERE ON

FASTER.

PUBLIC LAND.

MYTH - Spark arresters do not affect

MYTH - During certain times of the year,

speed. However, they do prevent sparks from

trails may be closed for a variety of reasons

coming off of a snowmobile and can help

including protecting land or wildlife. Before

reduce the risk of starting a fire from sparks.

leaving on a ride, review a trail map to see if

Never remove a spark arrester, they are legally

there are any active travel restrictions on the

required to on public land.

trails you intend to use.

ABOUT THE PARTNER Tread Lightly!’s mission is to promote responsible outdoor recreation through ethics, education, and stewardship programs. For more tips on how to practice responsible and safe outdoor recreation, go to treadlightly.org.

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Be responsible. Be safe.

Have Fun. 1”

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ABOUT SNOWMOBILE TRADER

Snowmobile Trader is the premier online classifieds site for buying and selling snowmobiles - attracting thousands of active buyers every month who visit the site in search of their next sled. With over 13,000 new and pre-owned units for sale by dealers and private sellers across the country to choose from, Snowmobile Trader will help you get out there in no time. Always remember that by promoting safe riding, access, and off-road responsibility, we’re ensuring our favorite winter activity is loved by generations to come. Whether you’re new to snowmobiling or an avid enthusiast, always be alert of potential risks. Educate yourself to ride safely and encourage others to do the same. Snowmobile Trader is with you every step of the way. Thank you to our partners for making this guide possible and promoting responsible snowmobiling:

• American Avalanche Association • American Council of Snowmobile Associations • International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association • Sena Technologies, Inc. • Tread Lightly!

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DISCOVER SNOWMOBILING  

A rider's guide before hitting the snow, enter to win SENA bluetooth, search to buy or sell new and used snowmobiles ,Ski Doo, Yamaha, Polar...

DISCOVER SNOWMOBILING  

A rider's guide before hitting the snow, enter to win SENA bluetooth, search to buy or sell new and used snowmobiles ,Ski Doo, Yamaha, Polar...