The 1998-99 snowmobile season seems to be starting off slowly. The last few years we’d all be knee deep in that light, powdery snow we all love. If you’re like me, you’ve wanted snow to fall since October. It’ll happen!!! Just THINK SNOW!!! The racing teams need snow, as race after race are canceled due to the lack of a good base for the tracks. We don’t want mud!

This year, Polaris has introduced the big-daddy of the middle sized race sled, the 440 SP XCR. Nicked-named the EDGE, for good reason, this sled is expected to slam the competition. The EDGE stands for Excellent Design = Greater Excitement. It has broken the mold for a race- ready sled, that handles and rides like none other, on and off the track. This machine could possibly be named the prototype for the future Polaris snowmobile. It is equipped with unmatched performance, handling, style and engineering that the snowmobile industry has been waiting for, a long time. Polaris researched a new chassis, and suspension, to proudly carry this monster through the toughest situations in deep snow, and packed trails. The design was thought up with the help of high tech computers, and a few people, determined to go above and beyond the public’s expectations.
Not only is almost every part different from last years Indy 440 XCR, but there are about 375 less parts, making it approximately 20 pounds lighter. These weight reductions come from areas like the seat design, cooling system, molded side and front bumpers aluminum rear bumper, painted magnesium chain case and cover, hollow jack shaft and suspension design. Because of the shedding of about 20 pounds, the EDGE now weighs the same as the Arctic 99 ZR 440 Sno Pro and eight pounds lighter than the Ski Doo 99 MXZx 440 Race special.

The patented EDGE rear suspension, allows 13.9 inches of travel, which leads the industry. The suspension has been moved forward to maximize handling capabilities. The track shock is designed by Fox, and is equipped with an aluminum body remote rear reservoir that allows 8 positions of dampening adjustment. The new system called DAT helps provide substantial rear travel, while not lifting the rider of the ground anymore than the Xtra-12. This makes handling the machine more predictable, along with superior mogul and jump absorbsion. The front shocks, also provided by Fox, are equipped with dual spring allowing a soft ride with firm bottoming resistance. Also industry leding, the front suspension has an incredible 10.4 inches of travel. This allows the engine to be .75 inches lower than before, which lowers the center of gravity, making the ride more balanced.
Check out it’s style and see why this will sweep the competition in this years race season. For more information on the ’99 EDGE 440 XCR SP, check out WWW.POLARISINDUSTRIES.COM!

This year, Ski-Doo has a new MXZ 440 racer, which will hopefully top the Polaris EDGE. Sharing not a single bolt with last years MXZ 440, this will, in my opinion, be a close second behind the EDGE. Ski-Doo reinvented the chassis, engine, and suspension beurette, taking this years racing season to a new level. Without doubt, this will be an exciting season, with more competition than ever before. It will all come down to the teams and how they set up these machines. If the season ever starts, it will be one to remember!

This year, Ski-Doo racing teams are looking forward to the season because the new chassis will allow better handling on snow cross short tracks. This was builtfor the tough conditions and jumps of the short tracks. I believe tis will be a main point in the battle of the industries.
The 437cc engine of this years MXZ, was built with the new chassis in mind. The engine sits much lower in the chassis thanks to a new design, and higher mount of its carburators, which are flat-sides on the racer. This creates an unmatched center of gravity.

The new SC-10-2 aluminum suspensionis nothing short of amazing. It is fully coupled rear-to-front, and features a rear scissor cam for rear skid coupling adjustability. The result is far better stability of the entire chassis in all conditions. The new suspension allows for 10 inches of true travel. The standard track this year is designed especially for snow cross and features 1.25 inch lugs.

The front suspension was changed very little since last year. It is equipped with no bump steer and scrub, as well as improved roll center. To find out more, go to WWW.SKIDOO.COM!

As you can see, there are a few points which can be debated! Both manufacturers believe that theirs is the best…write to me with your opions on the best sleds of ’99 at [email protected]!!!

This years Yamaha racerhas been practically reinvented. The chassis is twice as rigid as other competition designs. If everything on this machine came standard on all of the competition’s sled, we’d all be shocked. The 700 is meant for riders who appreciate superior technology and more advanced performance. The only way to experience this machine is to clamp down on the throttle and look out!!! Acceleration and power mark this as a force to be reconed with. Unlike the rest of the industry, Yamaha created a form of power that last through all levels of RPM! The light weight aluminum frame is above its class in strength and weight. To find out more on Yamaha, and its 1998 line-up, go to WWW.YAMAHA-USA.COM

This year’s ZR 700 is ready to test its new liquid-cooled «torque master,» athe new member of the Arctic Cat family. This green monster is, (my fingers are crossed,) going to take the competition by the neck in this year’s race season. Without doubt, Arctic Cat has helped bring snowmobiling to a new level. Arctic Cat has succeeding in making the sport different in ways others didn’t think of. They were the first to come out with the truelly Aerodynamic design for a sled. In order to really experience the difference in Arctic Cat, take one for a spin! In my opinion, the green isn’t the best touch, but the overall machine has come a long way. See you on the trails!!!