TIP 25: VOLUNTEER AT A SNOWMOBILE CLUB
There are 4 mishandling characteristics that veteran snowmobilers are all too familiar with: Hunting, heavy steering, lack of carving ability, and retention of carving ability (carbide life). Our sleds are no longer sub-400 lbs. nor in most cases are they sub-100 hp recreational vehicles anymore. We expect the improved skis, chassis, and suspension to carve these high-performance sleds around corners at high rates of speed. We are asking a specific plastic ski profile and a round bar to push 600+ lbs around a corner at 40+ mph on snow. And if you’re accelerating through that corner, you have over 100+ hp pushing the sled with these improved tracks to go straight.
Skis, suspension and chassis have improved tremendously to help these sleds rip around a corner, but what significant changes have been made to the one component that actually penetrates the snow and ice? Double runners, multiple carbide points, ski profiles, easy steer plates? They all still just involve wedge-shaped carbide that wears flatter and flatter as you run up the miles, and none of them solve more than 2 of the mishandling characteristics without sacrificing one or even both of the other two.
Like most snowmobile enthusiasts, you’ve learned to accept and even enjoy the hunting and heavy steering, afterall, it makes the steering feel responsive, maybe like an old race car without power steering. Guess what, Formula 1 cars have been using power steering for decades now. So what if you can get the same carving performance out of a sled, retain complete control, and get the feeling of power steering? Anyone that has any saddle time with SnowTrackers will tell you they accomplish this. And the gravy on top: They stay sharp through their entire life (they don’t go dull until you’ve completely worn the carbide out of the host bar), and it’s very common to get thousands of miles out of a set.
The first SnowTracker prototypes have been on the trails since 1998. The companies first commercial production run was in 2001. They’ve been in the states with advertising, dealers, and a sales force since 2013. They were tested and tweaked and as many benefits as possible have been put into the design of this advanced product. The sole engineer and tester, Ghislain LaChance from St-Elzear, QC has endless miles of testing and hours of engineering to create the most effective steering stabilizer on the market.
Design and Engineering
Because of the one-piece design of the steering stabilizer (U-blade) and its curved profile to follow the contour of the ski, these measurements are approximate and are only for reference, they are not an exact measurement of depth penetration.
Aggressive – 1” tall outside keels, 1 3/16” tall center blade with 7 ½” carbide
Semi-Aggressive – ¾” tall outside keels, 7/8” tall center blade with 6” carbide
For comparison, the Semi-Aggressive SnowTrackers are lighter than Woody’s SlimJims.
The steering stabilizers (u-blades) are made of a 1/16” thick hardened plate steel and are formed and cnc laser cut to shape. They are tempered after they are formed to be very durable. If you ever tried prying a rock with a spade, you have a pretty good idea how strong 1/16” thick tempered steel can be.
1) Eliminate hunting – The patented 5 blade design cuts through any ice or snow ruts in front of you and keeps your sled going in the direction you point the skis. SnowTrackers do not alleviate darting, they eliminate it. The way the u-blades and center runner are sloped at the front and the depth they protrude into the snow keeps the sled going in the direction the skis are pointed. The two small outer keels at the back of the SnowTracker u-blades (stabilizers) are designed to sweep the snow back into the two grooves left by the 2 front SnowTracker u-blades. This eliminates any indication of there ever being 3 grooves left behind which could cause another sled with SnowTrackers to get caught in the 3 ruts and create a hunting situation.
2) Lightened Steering Effort – The fact that the u-blades (steering stabilizers) are shaped ahead of the spindle bolt is one reason these SnowTrackers provide such light steering. The second reason is because the 5 keeled SnowTracker provides so much more carving performance than any other product on the market you are able to and it is recommended to reduce your ski pressure. With Semi-Aggressive you are able to adjust the ski suspension, and with the Aggressives you are able to reset your entire suspension. These are the two ways you achieve the feeling of power steering… without buying a sled with power steering.
3) Formula One Handling – With the 5 keel design bolted to the bottom of your ski, your skis aligned to 0 degrees, your suspension set to our recommended starting point, and the center keel providing over ¾” of penetration you will feel an immediate difference in carving performance. Just tweak your suspension during the first day of riding to find the level of carving ability you desire - That Sweet Spot.
4) Self-Sustaining effect – The ¼” wide center host blade (softer metal) and the 1/16” wide carbide blade insert (harder metal) have a natural wear effect like a pencil in a pencil sharpener. This makes the carbide cutting blade effective through its entire life. This patented process of a rectangular carbide blade inserted into a rectangular host bar blade is unique to SCM-GL Inc. exclusively. And this is why they have such an extended life over all other runners on the market. 3000 miles is not uncommon, and we often get reports of 7000+ miles on a single set.