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MotorFist™ Magazine/Catalog | Winter 2010

Big Air With

Rob Alford The Story Behind

MotorFist 2010 MotorFist

Rekon Gear

Contents Features 08 School of Hard Knocks

“Experience is the best teacher�. The founders of MotorFist learned the lessons of warmth and breathability the hard way

20 Rob Alford

Big air time and killer prawns----What does Rob Alford do to support his habit!

22 Darrick Johnson & the Alaska Iron Dog

To finish is to win---the racers perspective on the toughest snowmobile race in the world.

Departments 06 Rekon Gear 12 Aperture 16 Sizing Chart 26 MotorFist 101 27 Carnage

Cover Photo

Who: Rob Alford Photo: Jeremy Hanke

Photo - Stephen W Clark

MotorFist Snowmobiler & President Brad Ball Operations Manager Josh Skinner Sales Manager Rod Thompson Marketing & Brand Manager

Mike Peterson Customer Service Manager

Carie Beard

CLINCH Editor Stephen Clark Art Director Roger Nichols Contributing Photographers

Stephen Clark, Jeremy Hanke, Brad Ball, Josh Skinner, Kertis Broza A lot of time, effort and money went into producing this magazine, so please do not copy any part of it without priorwritten consent from MotorFist. If you do copy it we will send our ambulance chasing lawyers after you and we will not be responsible for what they do. It will be bad! So for all our sakes, just play by the rules and keep this publication away from photocopiers, scanners and other reproductive devices. Do not try to replicate any of the riding and stunts seen in this magazine. The riders pictured are trained professionals (sort of). While snowmobiling always wear a helmet and other protective equipment and do not ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However riding under the influence of adrenaline is perfectly fine. When riding in the mountain areas always carry avalanche equipment; beacon, shovel and probes. Before riding make sure you and your riding partners know how to operate the beacons. Ride safe and have fun!

Photo - Stephen W Clark

MotorFist LLC | PO BOX 3839 Idaho Falls, Idaho 83403

1-877-347-8411 |

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The Fist MotorFist enters the snowmobile outerwear market with groundbreaking innovation and the finest of crafts-

manship. We are a homegrown company with our headquarters located in Idaho Falls, Idaho. We have been fortunate to log thousands of hours of riding time in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. We have also spent years gathering valuable knowledge while riding in snowmobile hotspots around the world in all kinds of extreme weather. These conditions which have ranged from a life threatening -70° F near the North Pole to +90° F on the 4th of July in our local high peaks have helped us design the wide range of functionality in our MotorFist outerwear. We couple that design experience and our rugged construction with an affordability that is unequaled for this caliber of riding apparel anywhere. The MotorFist mantra simply states that “Snowmobiling is not a crime.” and we feel that selling expensive snowmobile gear that doesn’t perform as it should is also a crime. MotorFist outerwear is made in small quality controlled batches and every piece is personally signed by us as a statement of that commitment to quality. We also feature a no nonsense approach with our warranty that simply states “We will warrant your new outerwear to be free from manufacturing defects for 106 Years or until you are six feet under.” We pledge to continue testing and improving our products every single year to deliver the highest performing and most dependable gear found in our sport. Team MotorFist will meet and exceed the high expectations of all hardcore sledders everywhere. We don’t do average here at MotorFist, and our marketing won’t be average either. Instead of putting together a mind numbing catalog full of boring specifications and sales mumbo jumbo, we decided to create something that you might actually enjoy reading. You may even keep it around for a while on the coffee table. We gathered some fun stories about accomplished riders and their experiences in the sport that we all love. A few pages of gear information, some interesting articles and a whole lot of pictures that capture the fun we’ve had over the years. We hope you enjoy the premier edition of Clinch and look forward to hearing from you and sharing your input with us for subsequent issues. We look forward to seeing you on the hill.

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 5


Over the years we have seen our fair share of snowmobile maneuvers go tits up. This reckless behaviour is part of the reason we started a clothing company in the first place. Motorfist gear is made to withstand this kind of harsh treatment.

things ou Braking helps flatten do. a limit to what it can

t in the air but there


the Nytro finally Af ter a long wrestle, ainst a tree. pinned Abe Carter ag

Rob Hoff and his XP part company on a steep sidehill

Mike Lott has commitment issues

Proof that you can’t take Skinner anywhere; about half an hour into his first manufac

6 | CLINCH | Winter 2010

turer press event he

When the rails spike a trac k the outcome is never good. When it happens in the air the results are par ticularly bad.

this If this is your Grandma we apologize. But ish. publ not to y funn photograph was too Yes that is an RX-1 fully submerged in a creek. No it wasn’t fun getting it out.

Jeremy Simmons = La

wn Dart

promptly parked this prototype Polaris RMK on top of the biggest rock he could


Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 7

School of

o n K d Har Eighty below zero is cold and when you’re riding on the

frozen ocean in Svalbard, Norway, the word frigid doesn’t begin to describe the wind chill riding conditions. Josh Skinner, of MotorFist, thought he knew everything there was to know about cold weather snowmobiling, but he had never experienced this kind of cold. Svalbard, one of a group of archipelago islands in the Arctic Ocean, north of the Arctic Circle, is literally the last settlement before reaching the North Pole. The locals in Svalbard told Skinner that all his gear combined and layered one upon the other would still leave him inadequately protected for the ride they were about to embark upon. In addition to the cold, all ventures, snowmobile or not, outside the settlements of Svalbard require, by island law, that at least one person in the party

carry a gun to protect from hungry and aggressive polar bears. So in Norway you get your choice: freezing to death, getting killed by a polar bear or, if your luck really runs out, both. What a great place to ride. Luckily, there were no polar bear attacks and all Skinner had to worry about was staying warm. At one point during his ride, Skinner realized that if he didn’t return to base camp within a very short period of time, he would be in serious trouble from the extreme, low temperatures. Luckily, respite from the cold came soon and, true to the predictions of the local Norwegians, Skinner had indeed suffered freeze-burned cheeks

Snowmobiling on the Arctic Ocean in Svalbard Norway gave the founders of MotorFist a whole new appreciation of cold

cks that resembled a five-year-old deer steak in the bottom of your freezer. Most riders will never see these types of conditions, but this was an invaluable lesson. Skinner added this experience to his portfolio as one of the most extreme riding environments imaginable. Even in extreme cold, one of the greatest dangers is the accumulation of moisture inside your clothing and then freezing in your own sweat. In Svalbard, Norway, the balance between protection and breathablity is tested like

few other places on earth. This summer day quickly turns snow Fast forward to July 5. It is a 90-de- to water as it flew up from his sled, leavgree F day. Some are recovering from ing Ball literally drenched. It is more like firework hangovers; some are dreading waterskiing than sledding. The temptathe return to work after the Indepen- tion to do a little water skipping across dence Day holiday. No one is thinking the melted lakes of snow becomes hard of snowmobiling—except Brad Ball of to resist. Cold is no longer the issue as MotorFist. According to Ball, these ele- it was with Skinner. Rather, staying dry ments are perfect to load the snowmo- in this reverse environment is the goal. biles, go sledding and test outerwear. Keeping the water on the outside, yet At this time of year, one needs to be at allowing the moisture and sweat to esthe very top of a special Even in extreme cold, one of the greatest dangers is mountain to the accumulation of moisture inside your clothing... find enough snow to test outerwear gear. Even after some coax- cape from the inside, is the great chaling, Ball would not reveal this “top-se- lenge. By the way, have you ever had cret” location. He did tell us, however, bugs on the windshield of your snowthat it is “in the lower 48 states.” His lips mobile? are sealed.

Snowmobiling on the fifth of July is something you can’t duplicate in a lab.



Hard Knocks

Scenes from Brad Ball and Josh Skinners trip to Svalbard when filming for Alticity

Ball has. Along with the wide range of temperatures from Arctic cold to summer heat, both Ball and Skinner ride in conditions that cannot be duplicated in a lab or testing booth. Tested in conditions that the average rider will never face, MotorFist doesn’t do “average.” Its real-world testing assures you of this. Ball and Skinner have traveled the world while snowmobiling in their own gear and that of just about every other outerwear brand currently being produced. Both men were involved in the shooting and production of the snowmobile film series Alticity. Wearing different gear while snowmobiling and filming gave them an accurate perspective as to the importance of quality outerwear for the dedicated rider. For example, Ball and Skinner experienced Revelstoke, BC, after a 70-inch powder dump. This would test anyone’s endurance and ability to ride. “It was the perfect storm,” said Skinner. “We couldn’t have asked for any better conditions to test waterproofness, comfort and breathability. It’s difficult to imagine that we were riding for four days, as hard as we possibly could, in over six feet of fresh powder. I guess someone had to do it.” On one Revelstoke trip Ball was not able to go with the film crew, so he loaned his new Ski-Doo Rev to Wade Soss. Wade’s sled was down for repairs and he needed one for the filming event. It was common knowledge in Montana riding circles that Soss rode hard, hard as in the-sled-he-borrowed-could-be-advertised-as-clean-

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one-owner in the classifieds. When he returned the sled, the ad would then have to read, “still runs (kind of) sled.” Ball was aware of this and figured, with Soss’ riding ability, the great film shots would be worth it. Ball closed one eye and imagined Soss polishing the sled at the end of the day and putting it to bed with a warm Tested in conditions blanket on it every night. that the average Several days after Soss was in Canada, Ball was at a rider will never face, friend’s business and he inMotorFist doesn’t vited Ball to see a You Tube do “average.” video that he had discovered. It was a great crash of a SkiDoo Rev. Ball watched the video and was impressed as sled parts and rider were ejecting like parts at a swap meet. However, it didn’t take Ball long to realize that this mountain yard sale of sled parts looked familiar. It was his sled. A quick call to Soss confirmed the worst and Soss admitted only to “rolling it once,” as in a singular roll. He must have sustained head damage because he somehow forgot the other 23 rolls and the scattered parts sale at the bottom of the mountain, but all was good. Soss made it right with Ball on the repairs and the footage was awesome. It was just

other day of riding with the best riders who tested themselves and their gear— or borrowed gear. The deep powder days in Revelstoke and the surprise-your-loanedsled-is-on- You Tube video teach us things about real riders, real experiences. These are just a few of the authentic events that have helped shape Ball and Skinner’s vision for MotorFist and have influenced them to produce “tough” outerwear. If they won’t wear it, MotorFist won’t make it. What does “tough” mean to MotorFist? Tough is a relative term. Some people may call you tough if you enjoy being out riding in 20-degrees-belowzero weather. If you can jump your sled 50 feet through the air and land sunny side up, your girlfriend might say you are tough. One could say that the ultimate toughness test is to purchase mod parts for your sled without the significant other in your happy home finding out. It takes “financial planning,” like

money stashing in your truck or mattress and a few white lies. Now that’s tough. When MotorFist says it makes tough gear, it starts with the fabric. The outer fabric is thick, yet very flexible. It will resist stumps, wrecks and hand-to-hand combat—unlike the leading high-priced waterproof outerwear. It is tougher than any other product. Period. MotorFist outerwear is constructed with higher strength fabrics than other brands. Others may use it in certain areas, but not throughout like MotorFist. The seams on a MotorFist product are sewn at 1214 stitches per inch while all others use 8-10 stitches per inch. This is an excellent example of a detail that matters. It is sewn tighter and tougher. Again, MotorFist doesn’t do average. The snowmobile enthusiast wants his clothing to be overbuilt and expectations exceeded. MotorFist gear is built for hard-working guys or gals who have come to expect hard-working gear

when it’s time to ride. The company commitment of no-holds-barred testing and product development allows it to make exactly what you want: toughness, warmth and leading-edge styling at an affordable price, along with the industry’s only true lifetime guarantee. MotorFist features a no-nonsense guarantee covering “106 years or until you are six feet under”—whichever comes first. Your back is covered and no one stands behind their product like MotorFist. As a rider you may someday find yourself in extreme conditions like those mentioned earlier. MotorFist will be there to provide the ultimate in comfort and protection. Every piece will be inspected and signed off on, in the USA, by the hands of snowmobilers who enjoy what they do just as much as you enjoy the perfect powder day in the mountains. For more information, log on to www.

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 11

Rekon Jacket Tough, durable, innovative and TRULY waterproof make up the hard shell of the Rekon™ Jacket by MotorFist™. Packed with features like “Lay Flat Cuffs”, waterproof zippers and many more make MotorFist sled gear uncontested! Our high tensile strength fabric offers the benchmark in durability without sacrificing freedom of movement and breathability. Attention to the seemingly small details, such as an unprecedented 12-14 per inch stitch count is the first hint as to how MotorFist™ can offer the strongest and most complete Lifetime warranty on product they hand-tailor and design particularly for the extreme weather riding enthusiast.

Colors Black (red zippers) or Black / Grey Sizes M, L, XL or XXL Retail


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• “Pro-Sled Fit” Non-Bulk Engineering • “Lay Flat” Wrist Closures • Internal Powder Cuff with Thumb Holes • “Pre-Bent” Curved Patterned Elbows • Snow Repelling Internal Powder Skirt • Armpit Vents with Double Headed Zipper • “Chin Saver” Curved Zipper

• Uninsulated shell jacket with a sewn in moisture wicking liner • 2-Layer 16,500MM Waterproof/10,000MVRT Breathable Snowmobile Specific 500D Woven Nylon Fabric • Heavy Duty Construction with 12-14 Stitches per Inch vs. Competitors 8-10 per Inch • Fully Taped Waterproof Seams Throughout • Neck Friendly Fleece Lined Collar • Waterproof Zippers with Zipper Garages • Moisture Wicking Liner • Double Stitching On Seams Zippers Throughout •

ENTERTAINMENT • Internal MP3 Player Pocket • Headphone Loops

Waterproof zippers create less bulk, while offering a true waterproof seal from harsh weather elements.

Dense, tough yet pliable fabric is used on MotorFist products. Tougher than the competition’s.

“Snowmobiling is not a crime.” ribbon serves as a style cue, but also as a function to keep internal wicking fabric from getting caught in zippers.

Rear venting on jacket allows moisture and heat to escape more rapidly

Lay flat cuffs allow less bulk when closing down wrist cuffs. Each cuff is patterned and cut in a unique design to allow this to happen.

MotorFist’s “Chin Offset” waterproof centerzipper moves the zipper away from the chin. This eliminates zipperstack and unnecessary flaps of bulky fabric under your chin.

Each MotorFist garment is hand-signed in the USA and checked for quality before you purchase.

Zipper garages gives your zippers a place to park. They also keep your zippers from freezing and keep snow out of your pockets.

Where standard stitching is 8-10 stitches per inch, MotorFist eliminates the possibility for split seams by offering 12-14 per inch.

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 13

Rekon Bibs Tough, durable, innovative and TRULY waterproof make up the hard shell of the Rekon™ Bib by MotorFist™. Packed with features like “Super Dry Butt”, waterproof zippers and many more make MotorFist sled gear uncontested! Our high tensile strength fabric offers the benchmark in durability without sacrificing freedom of movement and breathability. Attention to seemingly small details, such as an unprecedented 12-14 stitch count per inch and double stitched seams are some hints as to how well this product is constructed. That’s how MotorFist™ can offer the strongest and most complete Lifetime Warranty in the market on products we hand-tailor and design particularly for the extreme weather riding enthusiast.

Colors Black (red zippers) or Black / Grey Sizes M, L, XL or XXL Retail


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• “Pro-Sled Fit” Non-Bulk Engineering • “Super Dry Butt” Technology • Ankle Gaiter with Boot Hooks • Kill Switch D-Ring • Waterproof Thigh Pockets/Vents • “Pre-Bent” Curved Knee Design • Gusseted Crotch for Freedom of Movement • Removable Knee/Shin Pads • Full Length 2-Way Waterproof Leg Zippers • 2-Way Front Waterproof Zipper • Waterproof Waist Pockets • Glove Engineered Zipper Pulls Zippers Throughout •

• Rugged yet pliable 390 denier face fabric that is waterproof yet breathable- “Toughest in the business” • Uninsulated Shell Bib with a Sewn in Moisture Wicking liner • 2 Layer 16,500MM Waterproof/10,000 MVRT Breathable Snow mobile Specific Woven Nylon Fabric • Heavy Duty Construction with 12-14 Stitch per Inch vs Competitors 8-10 per Inch • Fully Taped Waterproof Seams Throughout • Double Seam Taped “Tough Taped Butt” • Double Stitching On Seams • Zipper Garages • Individually Inspected and Hand Signed for Quality • Strongest and Longest Warranty in the Industry

Photo - Stephen W Clark

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 15


Who - Brad Ball Where - Idaho Photo - Stephen W Clark

Who - Rob Hoff Where - Wyoming Photo - Stephen W Clark

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Who - Dan Adams Where - Wyoming Photo - Stephen W Clark

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 17


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Who: Rob Alford Where: Canada Photo: Jeremy Hanke

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 19


d r o f l A b o R Brozia is rt e K y b n e t t ri W Hanke y m re e J y b s o t o Ph

Winter. Some people HATE winter!! Most people I know despise the thought of shovelling the never ending snowfall from their walks. Waking up and heading to work in the dark, only to return home in the dark once again. Warming up the car, scraping a minimal little peep hole in their windshield to try and avoid the frozen pedestrians bundled up so tightly that they couldn’t see a car coming for the life of them. Winter does, however, bring different feelings to different people. I, for one, quite enjoy the thought of the end of summer. When fall comes, I really enjoy the crisp air, the snow starting to work it’s way down the peaks and the idea that soon it will be time to dust off the sled, and start thinking about going for that first ride of the year.

I know of another person who has similar feelings about the end of summer. Rob Alford’s name is synonymous with winter. Since he has been a professional sledder for many years now, I know for a fact that Rob looks forward to winter right from the end of the previous season, because spring means alot of hard work for Mr. Alford. You see, Rob is the captain of a commercial fishing boat that works the seas off of the west coast of British Columbia. He gets some serious riding in from November to March, but what the average parking lot hero doesn’t understand while he’s watching Rob in the latest big name sled movie, is that it takes alot of hard work and dedication in the off season to make this all possible. He’s out at sea for 3 months straight, battling big seas, intense coastal weather and vicious, killer prawns to be able to afford the time and the costs involved with being a big name rider. There are no free rides in this industry, and he needs to work hard at it, make connections with others in the industry and stay fit and healthy to help make it though to the next prawn season, only to do it all over again. So although many are already dreading the onslaught of the coming winter, I know someone who is loving every second of it as you read this. The frozen windows, shovelling driveways and cold fingers and toes are a small price to pay for the rewarding feelings snowmobiling brings Rob Alford. It is much better than being out at sea for months on end! It’s all part of the game he plays, and at this game he is very, very good.

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Clinch magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Darrick Johnson, owner of Edge Performance in Hayden, Idaho. He will be competing in the 2010 Iron Dog competition in Alaska in February. that divorced when I was five. I currently have a beautiful wife Jesseca, and two awesome children Ethan (5yrs) and Avery (1yr).

Clinch: Great! Could you share with us how you first got interested in the Iron Dog competition in Alaska? We understand that this will be your fourth year in the race. Darrick: The first time that I even became aware of the Iron Dog was in the mid nineties when a friend of Kurt and I, Pat Aberle, suggested to Kurt that they run this tough race in Alaska. Since that time I have loosely followed the race until 2007 when I entered for the first time. Clinch: How long have you been riding snowmo-

biles, and what got you started? Darrick: I started riding snowmobiles around the age of two. My mom took me for a ride on Ski-doo and I came back with a black eye. What got me started was when my stepdad brought home an old Johnson Skeehorse when I was about six. Clinch: Share with us your background and how you started in

the snowmobile business. Darrick: I was building mountain sleds in Bismarck North Dakota, (Yes you heard right, mountain sleds in ND.) not exactly the Mecca of mountain riding. My friends and I had been riding in Cooke City, Montana for several years and I decided to make a business out of it. I must say that it was my current Iron dog partner Kurt Steiner that helped me get started. I was out of the snowmobile business for about three years when a friend of mine, Mike Lefave, called me and said that Arctic Cat was looking for a dealer in Coeur D’Alene Idaho. The rest is history. We moved out here in 2004 and opened Edge Performance, and have earned five “Dealer of the Year” awards and continue to flourish even in these tough economic times. Clinch: Tell us a little about your family? Darrick: I was raised in North Dakota by hard working parents

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Clinch: Tell us a little about the Iron Dog event and what makes it so special in the world of snowmobile racing? Darrick: Today’s Iron Dog course is 1971 miles, starting in Big Lake to Nome and finishing in Fairbanks, making it the World’s longest snowmobile race. Participants must traverse in some of Alaska’s the most remote and rugged terrain while confronting some the harshest winter conditions. Survival skills are essential, making it the world’s toughest snowmobile race. All teams in race classes are a team of two persons and two snowmobiles for safety. Clinch: Please describe for us some of the terrain

and obstacles encountered during a typical race? Darrick: Because of the length of the course, we get to experience every type of terrain Alaska has to offer. Mountains, tundra, open water, ice, tussocks, animals, trees, rocks, dirt, and just about every kind of obstacle that you can imagine. Clinch: I understand that you ride between timed

checkpoints. How many hours and miles do you

n Dog age between those checkpoints? Darrick: The distance between checkpoints varies between 52 to 120 miles. A team of riders can be out in the elements for 15 to 20 hours without stopping if things are not going your way. If things are going your way you can shorten your exposure tremendously.

Clinch: I know that there are many

rules to promote safety and fairness and I have also read that there is a specific rule that requires you to even help a competing team. Tell us a little about that? Darrick: As I described earlier, the conditions that we race in are very unforgiving. As a racer you must stop and assist other teams if they are in a life threatening situation and your time will be adjusted accordingly. Clinch: What is the most important

thing you learned in your first year of the “Iron Dog”? Darrick: The most important thing I learned the first year was not to bring too much stuff! If the rules require it bring it! If they don’t, leave it home.

Clinch: What are the demands placed upon your body during this type of race and is fatigue a factor? Darrick: Good question. This race is truly Man and Machine, and what I mean by that, is you will not be successful if one cannot take care of the other. From my standpoint and also my

run an odd schedule. Like when Fred (partner in 2007) took a tumble before the first checkpoint in Skwentna. We had to take a layover in Skwentna and departed onto the course after 7 pm into what would be an all night ride to McGrath. (We arrived at 9:56 am) Once at McGrath we were then required to

Iron Dog Race Facts The Iron Dog is billed as the world’s longest and toughest cross country race, and has been held every February since 1984. The six-day race is a test of skill and endurance: 1,971 miles over some of Alaska’s fiercest terrain, at speeds that can reach 110 mph. It’s such a tough race that only 18 of the 35 teams in the pro class even finished. For safety, racers have to ride in teams of two, each on his own machine. Six rest stops (six to 13 hours each) are required — time that is not counted against your course time. Other than at the turnaround point in Nome, where there’s a layover, any time spent repairing a machine is counted toward race time. Sleds are required to be stock and 600cc (horsepower is 110 to 120), but participants can add aftermarket skis and shocks. Riders will typically take apart and rebuild the machine before the race to tighten everything, since durability is key, and to add room for gear. The best racers are skilled mechanics who can repair or replace broken shocks or skis quickly in freezing weather.

Clinch: What specialized clothing

or layers do you wear for these types of conditions? Darrick: That is also one of the most important things I learned after the first race. We just wear a couple of layers and ride a little on the chilly side. The ride is so strenuous that excess body heat and moisture can become an issue. I learned to not dress too warm because body temperature regulation is the key to running this race without having fogging issues.

experiences from running the Iron Dog is that the toughest part of this race is the sleep deprivation. Fatigue is a major issue. We are never able to get fully rested. We are out in a blizzard running when we should be sleeping and trying to sleep when we should be running. That is where I feel the wear and tear the most. You get yourself into situations as a team that requires you to

layover and then again drove all night because our rotation was all mixed up. Clinch: What do you do to physically prepare for the rigors of this race? Darrick: I personally train a lot of cardio in the months leading up to the race as well as watching what I am eating, making no room for empty calories. Kurt has been with a personal trainer

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 23

since he ran last in 2008 and is in great shape because of it. Clinch: You mentioned that it is

truly a “Man and Machine” race. What unique demands are also placed on your snowmobiles? Darrick: The demands on your machine are incredible. The extreme cold makes metal do weird things. In the 2008 race it seemed like it was always 30 to 60 below zero and the grease in our spindles froze making it extremely difficult to steer. We actually had to dump hot water on the spindles to free up the grease. We even resorted to urinating on them in an attempt to get them working free. (Hey—it was the only thing I could think of at the time!)

Clinch: Darrick, what is one of the most harrowing experiences you have had while running the race? Darrick: The most harrowing experience that I can mention is being broken down out on the ice of Norton Sound last year. We were traveling across the sound when the bolt that holds the front suspension arm to the rails came out. When we stopped to make repairs I could see land in front of us about ten miles in the distance. While pulling the rear suspension out and concentrating to get the repair made, we were unaware that a serious storm had blown in. Once repairs were completed we started out again and I could no longer see the land because visibility had dropped to less than fifty feet. We made it to Shaktoolik (not a layover) so we had to keep going. After straying off course we followed our GPS until my partner got stuck in the deep snow of a low spot. When I stopped to give him assistance I did not set the parking brake on my sled and was amazed to see it being pushed by the wind!! The storms in Alaska are very violent!! Once dug out, we did make it somehow to Unalakleet and laid over till morning.

If you sink, you will be lucky to get out alive and even luckier to get to warmth in time. Clinch: I understand that there are some sections of the course that riders can go at speeds in excess of a hundred miles per hour. Is this on the frozen rivers? Darrick: The high speed areas are the ice, whether on the Yukon River or the ocean. If it is flat and you can see you run wide open as long as you can. Clinch: Why? What motivates you

to risk limb, life and machine year after year? Darrick: I do this race for the personal challenge of being able to accomplish what some consider unattainable. I ride it year after year hoping to get better each time and of course to be the first from outside Alaska to win it! In 2008 we became the first team from the lower 48 to ever finish the race. Clinch: Darrick, thank you for your

time and we look forward to following you and Kurt in this years Iron Dog competition. Best of luck and we will anxiously follow you during the race.

Clinch: What are some of the rac-

Clinch: I am sure that the compe-

tition is fierce between the teams, but I have also heard that a great amount of goodwill is also exhibited during the race. Please tell us about that. Darrick: There is a lot of goodwill that goes on between teams. For instance during last years race, our airplane flew parts back to a team that was stranded in Nickolai. Another example is when we borrowed a clutch from the team of Scott Davis and Todd Palin in Nome. That worked out well because they were using some front suspension springs of ours. So it all evens out.

24 | CLINCH | Winter 2010

ing strategies used by your team? Or is that a trade secret? Darrick: There are so many strategies used by the racers I could write a book on just that. Airplanes that carry parts to a fuel stop is one strategy that has been used….let’s just say that some teams have more friends than others. Being from out of state doesn’t help in this regard! However, the biggest factor in the race is taking care of your machine. You cannot make up time spent repairing things, it is gone. Clinch: What is the most life-threatening portion of the trail. Darrick: The most life-threatening areas are the open water crossings. (Which have been minimal since 2007)

MotorFist and Clinch magazine are proud to sponsor Darrick Johnson and Kurt Steiner in this years race and we will be cheering them on to be the first team from the lower 48 to bring home the first place prize. The race will start February 21, 2010 and you can follow Darrick and Kurt on the following interactive course map. maps/map_trail.php Good luck men!

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 25

Sizing Chart SLEEVE

Measure from center of spine on the neck over the shoulder and elbow down to the wrist.


Measure around the broadest part of the chest a couple of inches below the armpit.


Measure around the waist just below the pelvic bone.


Measure inside of leg from crotch to the top of ankle bone

























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MotorFist 101 All clothing manufacturers throw around a lot of information about waterproof ratings, breathability and a bunch of other technical terms. All of these big numbers and claims sound good, but what do they really mean and how do they affect comfort and warmth while riding?

Water 500 D Woven Nylon Fabric

Semipermeable Membrane Moisture from body Waterproof breathable membrane

Waterproof Ratings

Materials such as rubber do a great job of stopping the water from coming inside but they do not breath. For a material to function correctly in a wet environment as the wearer is working, it must be waterproof and breathable. The semi permeable membrane fabric used in MotorFist clothing offers both of these attributes. A membrane is bonded to the inside of the nylon outer fabric. Under a microscope this membrane looks like a mesh with many holes. These holes are just the right size and allow the smaller steam (sweat) molecules to escape but at the same time are small enough that the larger water particles cannot penetrate to the inside. The result is a fabric that is comfortable and completely waterproof.

Waterproofness is measured in MM of water pillar. This rating refers to the amount of water that the fabric can withstand in a 24 hour period. MotorFist garments have a 16,500 MM water pillar rating, so that they can withstand 54 feet of water in a 24 hour period. For comparison Glasgow Scotland a notoriously wet city gets about 46 inches of rain per year.


The ability of a fabric to breath is measured in MVTR; Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate. It is measure in the number of grams that can pass through a square meter of fabric in a 24 hour period. The fabric used in MotorFist garments has been tested to 10,000 grams of MVTR. That is the equivalent of about two and a half gallons of sweat in a 24 hour period.

Taped Seams

During the initial phase of our garment construction we begin with a large and perfectly waterproof piece of fabric. When this fabric is sewn into a jacket or bib the sewing machine pokes thousands of little holes (about 12-14 per inch to be exact) in the fabric along the seams. The clothing will still be waterproof for the most part but the stitching along the seams can now allow water to penetrate. So after the stitching is completed, a special waterproof tape is applied to seal all the inside seams.

Winter 2010 | CLINCH | 27

Don’t worry, you’ll breathe easy in the Rekon Line from MotorFist. With innovative design features like an offset “Chin Saver” waterproof zipper, lay flat wrist closures, “Super Dry Butt” bib technology and specially placed vents you’ll stay warm and dry. Plus MotorFist has the industry’s best warranty!

See your local sled dealer today or visit

Clinch Snowmobile Magazine Winter 2009  

MotorFist brings you Clinch, a magazine documenting stories and images from the incredible sport of snowmobiling.

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