Before the invention of snowmobiles, transportation used to be a challenge in the winter. The invention of snowmobiles solved the challenge that travelers used to face while traveling across the snow, yet many people didn’t know about it until several years after its invention.
The first snowmobile was invented by Armand Bombardier in 1922 and worked on a principle similar to that of modern day snowmobiles. While at first snowmobiles were invented as a utility, snowmobiles became popular in the mid-1970s when people began to use them as recreational vehicles.
The unattractive designs and low efficiency of the earliest snowmobiles were parts of the reasons they couldn’t gain popularity in the 1920s. However, the addition of better features over many years made it popular eventually. As you read on, you will see how some features gave rise to the development of the snowmobiles that we see around today.
When Snowmobiles First Came Out and Got Popular
Many vehicles that could move on snow came into existence in the early 1920s, but the one that Armand Bombardier made is the first vehicle to serve as a prototype of the modern snowmobiles. Bombardier’s vehicle could glide over snow, but it had low efficiency.
Towards the end of 1920s, Carl Eliason invented a vehicle that operates on a more efficient engine. Eliason added more features to his vehicles to make them fit for the market. Throughout the 1930s, he sold many snowmobiles that he also manufactured.
Many people knew about snowmobile during this period, but it didn’t gain much popularity because people only really used them for a few transportation needs.
- The design and efficiency of snowmobiles started improving rapidly when different companies began to manufacture snowmobiles at the beginning of the 1940s.
- In 1963, the first snowmobile with rubber tracks came into existence.
- Also in 1968, Yamaha manufactured a rubber-tracked snowmobile that used slide valve carburetors.
The features that snowmobiles had in the early 1970s made them ideal for recreational purposes, which was why people bought several snowmobiles and their popularity soared. In 1971 alone, people purchased about 500,000 snowmobiles.
Here’s a interesting video explaining the worlds first ever mass produced snowmobile.
When Did Snowmobiles Get Fuel Injection?
The earliest models of snowmobiles lacked fuel injection. Due to the lack of fuel injection, the earliest models of snowmobiles couldn’t use fuel efficiently. A lot of them couldn’t run smoothly, and they emitted excessive heat while operating.
In 1991, Polaris, a snowmobile manufacturing company, made the first snowmobile that has fuel injection. Indeed, the addition of fuel injection promoted Polaris ahead of other manufacturers. Fuel injection increased engine power, reduced the wastage of fuel, and made driving smoother.
When Did Snowmobiles Require Titles?
Snowmobiles started requiring titles at the start of the 1980’s after snowmobiling became so popular, that enthusiast were starting to affect local wildlife. This caused authorities to introduce some measures to restrict the use of snowmobiles. Snowmobile titling is part of the measures many local authorities introduced in the 1980’s.
In some areas, the title fees are used to pay for conservation efforts.
You should note that some countries didn’t mandate snowmobile titles in the 1980s. Some countries mandated the titles in the early 2000s, and a few countries do not use these titles at all.
When Did Snowmobiles Get Reverse?
One of the downsides of the old snowmobiles is their inability to reverse. It’s always difficult for snowmobile without a reverse feature to find its way out of obstacles. Riders have always had to pull their snowmobiles out of obstacles each time they run into them accidentally.
In 1998, Ski-Doo started manufacturing snowmobiles with a reverse system. Ski-Doo named the reverse a Rotax Electronic Reverse, and soon after other manufacturers started incorporating reverse into their models. Now, almost all snowmobiles being sold have a reverse feature.
The reversal system works by determining and reversing the engine’s direction. The reversal system is really effective, maintenance-free, and lightweight.
When Did Snowmobiles Get Four-Stroke Engines?
Almost all snowmobiles that existed before 2003 used a two-stroke engine. But in 2003, Yamaha launched RX-1, which is a snowmobile with a four-stroke engine. The four-stroke engine proved to be more efficient than the two-stroke engine, so Ski-Doo also adopted the idea within a short time.
The four-stroke engine is not only more efficient but also reduces air pollution since it has a cleaner emission. Also, the four-stroke engine is more reliable, and it runs more smoothly.
When Did Electric Snowmobile Get into The Market?
Snowmobiles that use combustion engines are generally very heavy. Their weight serves as a form of barrier to motion. In order to reduce the weight of snowmobiles, Taiga motors manufactured the first electric snowmobiles and brought them into the market in 2019. The Taiga TS2, which is the first electric snowmobile, is among the lightest ones on the market.
Despite being light, the Taiga TS2 overperforms even the best combustion snowmobile. Its electric motor operates using a battery pack that can last over a range of 100 kilometers before there is a need for recharging.
To make Taiga TS2 fit perfectly into the present-day digital world, its manufacturer added GPS, wi-fi connectivity, and software update features to it. Also, its engine works very quietly and does not produce any emission that can constitute air pollution.
When Was The First Turbo Snowmobile Introduced?
In an attempt to obtain extremely high power from snowmobile engines, Ski-Doo designed two-stroke turbo engines. Ski-Doo launched this new in its 850 E-TEC Turbo in January 2020. This new snowmobile performs consistently at all altitudes and promises riders an enjoyable experience.
It can generate 165 horsepower up to an altitude of 2438m. Deep-snow riders can now get to higher altitudes without panicking.
When Did Diesel Snowmobiles Come Into Existence?
Gerard Karpik built and tested a snowmobile with a diesel engine in 2000. He aimed to create a snowmobile for military use. The diesel engine in the snowmobile produced a high-torque output, generating up to 45 horsepower. However, the engine was very heavy, and it lacked some features that the military required.
When Did The Multi-Fuel Snowmobile Come Into Existence?
In 2015, DEW Engineering company successfully produced D900, a multi-fuel snowmobile for military use. The D900 runs on either diesel or F-34 fuel. It economizes fuel, making it ideal for long-distance patrols. It can travel as far as 500 kilometers on a full tank.
The major reason why D900 is suitable for military use is its ability to run on the two fuels that are readily available in almost all military bases. Also, its ability to tow a load as heavy as 400kg makes it a good military vehicle. The D900 components were designed to withstand harsh conditions and provide long term servicing.
When Was The First Michigan Snowmobile Festival?
Michigan snowmobile festival is among the best snowmobile riding events in the world today. The festival started in January 2016. The festival invites everyone who owns a registered snowmobile to participate in a fun race. The festival features several kinds of racing such as relay racing, flag racing, and more.
Where Are The Best Places for Snowmobile Riding?
Sicamous, British Columbia
Sicamous is one of the best riding locations. Its elevation is not too high and thereby provides plenty of oxygen for both the riders and their engines. Snows always abound in Sicamous in winter, so riders can always depend on this location.
Grand Lake, Colorado
This is another great location to enjoy snowmobile riding. Its trail system is well-maintained, and it has quite a huge volume of fluffy snow. If you really enjoy watching snow spray as you ride across, then Grand Lake is the perfect location for you.
Pemberton, British Columbia
Pemberton is a place where you will find a glossy ice field in winter. It has some coastal mountains and a wide area with snow. Riders will enjoy the 30 miles of free trails that the Pemberton Valley Trail Association completed in 2012.
West Yellowstone, Montana
West Yellowstone remains one of the best snowmobiling destinations for hardcore riders. It has about 143 inches of snowfall every year, making it a snow-rich area. Riders can enjoy quite a number of gorgeous views as they move across deep snow.
Colorado is a nice place for advanced riders. The steep sides of the rocky mountains in this location serve as challenging terrain for those who like to snowballing maximally. The naturally elevated land of Colorado results in a refreshing climate which riders will definitely enjoy.
Old Forge, New York
With about 177 inches of snowfall every year, Old Forge stands as an ideal place for snowmobiling. The trails in this location run into hundreds of miles, which means that riders can go as far as they wish. The winter cannibal and mountain scenery also serve as an extra level of recreation.