Riding in the snow using a snowmobile is an experience that you must add to your bucket list. It is thrilling and full of adrenaline. Also known as the skimobile, there are lots of snowmobile facts that you need to know, especially because this type of transportation is very unique and amazing. You can use it to cruise slowly through the snow and enjoy the magnificent view, or speed up for some jaw-dropping race with other drivers.
There are various models of snowmobiles. Some snowmobiles can accommodate two people, while others can only be occupied by the driver. There are probably other things about this awesome transportation that you want to know, too. We’re going to be saving some big surprises later on, so make sure to stand by and let’s explore some astonishing snowmobile facts below! We never know, maybe you want to buy one after learning these cool facts.
1. Invented by Joseph Bombardier
The first snowmobile fact is something that no one can argue. It was invented by the great Joseph-Armand Bombardier in 1935. Back then, he worked as a mechanic in Valcourt, Quebec. In 1922, he began developing a propeller-driven sled. It wasn’t until 1935 that he successfully assembled and tested the first ever snowmobile. The transportation was a vehicle with a sprocket wheel and a track drive system and steered by skis.
Even though Joseph Bombardier received the credit as the father of snowmobiles, there were some predecessors that helped him achieve that feat. In 1911, Harold Kalenze patented the Vehicle Propeller in Canada. In 1913, Ford produced a modified Model T that can run on tracks and sleds. Then, Ray Muscott also received the Canadian patent for his motor sleigh in 1915. Therefore, it’s safe to say that he’s inspired by all the predecessors before him.
2. Snowmobile Inspired Bombardier to Make the Most Prestigious Snowmobile Manufacturing Company
Bombardier Inc. is a popular company founded by Joseph Bombardier in 1942, some time after Bombardier assembled his first ever snowmobile. Although the company has been expanding their products into the aviation, rail, and public transit businesses, their snowmobile products are still top-notch up until this very day.
Since its inception, Bombardier Inc. has been releasing amazing snowmobiles for both amateurs and professionals alike. Models like the Renegade and MXZ are being readied for next year to continue the success of previous models like the legendary B7. Besides that, you can also choose to build and customize a snowmobile to your own liking. It is the reason why they are the largest snowmobile manufacturer by market share.
3. Snowmobiles Have a Lifespan
Nothing in this world lasts forever, including snowmobiles. People often say that a normal snowmobile can last for around 10 to 20 years. With proper care, you can even ride it for a couple more years. In terms of mileage, snowmobiles with more than 10,000 miles can be considered old. You should consider buying a new one, because snowmobiles with high mileage will cost you a lot for maintenance alone. Moreover, it is also prone to damage and increases the chance for injuries in an accident.
4. If You Love Classic Snowmobiles, Make Sure to Visit the Museum!
Snowmobiles have a long and rich history. To date, there are thousands of models that have been created and produced all around the world. You can see some of the best snowmobiles and their accessories in certain snowmobiles museums. One of the largest museums is the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum located in Naubinway, MI. The amazing building is ranked number one of the top 13 fantastic snowmobile museums all across North America! Inside it, you can find various vintage and classic snowmobiles. They are also able to hold four major antique events annually. Make sure to mark your calendar!
5. Don’t Miss Out on the Amazing Snocross
You might have guessed that snocross is a mixture of snowmobile racing on a motocross-like track. Riders usually race at a top-speed to become the best of the best. If you’re looking to watch or take part in a snocross competition, make sure to check out the AMSOIL Championship. It is the premier snowmobiling racing organization in the world. There are some categories of racing, such as full pro, full pro women, full pro lite, and full pro snowbike. The races are done every week and broadcasted via CBS Sports Network. Make sure to tune in!
6. The Average Age of Snowmobilers is 44 Years Old
Just like cars and motorcycles, snowmobiles also have an age restriction. In most countries, you need to be at least 18 years old to be able to drive this bad boy. Children under 15 years of age will travel in a sledge and assisted by a guide. This rule is made to prevent any avoidable dangers. After all, the average age of snowmobile drivers, or snowmobilers for short, is 44 years old. Just take a look at this detail:
- 8% are under 18 years old
- 10% are 18-29 years old
- 27% are 30-44 years old
- 28% are 45-59 years old
- The rest is 60 years above
It just goes to show that this hobby is more attractive and interesting to people of older age. There’s no problem in that either, as they are more experienced in handling different circumstances and avoid major injuries. Moreover, adult snowmobilers usually joined a nearby community or club. If you haven’t already, make sure to find one that suits you!
7. Snowmobile Contributes Gives a Huge Economic Impact for Certain Countries
To some people, snowmobiling can be a fun getaway or a thrilling hobby. However, others might consider it as their main source of income. In fact, there are over 100,000 full time jobs within the snowmobile industry in North America. The jobs available may vary, such as manufacturing, dealerships, and tourism.
The Snowmobile industry also contributes a lot to the overall economic income of a country. In the United States alone, the snowmobile industry generates $26 billion annually! In Canada, the same industry can generate them a whopping amount of $9 billion annually. While not as impressive as the two we’ve mentioned, Europe is also able to generate a total income of $5 billion annually just from the snowmobile industry.
8. Yamaha: The King of Speed
Yamaha should be proud of their achievement. After all, they have successfully produced the fastest ever snowmobile in mankind’s history. The Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE is able to reach 120 mph. Granted, it’s not the fastest ever snowmobile, but it is surely the fastest stock snowmobile without the need to modify the engines (we dare say that the fastest snowmobile cheats a bit!). To make it more impressive, Yamaha Sidewinder has retained this title for three years in a row!
9. Deaths and Accidents Related to Snowmobiles Are Common: Beware!
There are a lot of things that can cause accidents and injuries during a snowmobile ride. The New Hampshire Fish & Game Department has stated that there are 17 different factors that can cause an accident. Out of all the contributing factors, the three main causes are inexperience, unsafe speed, and inattention. It’s scary to think that all three come from the drivers’ internal factors!
Despite the precautions, there are still a lot of accidents that happen all the time. In Canada, an average number of 73 people died every year due to snowmobile accidents, while other data suggests that nearly 200 people die each year. These statistics serve as a reminder to all of you to be a bit more careful while riding a snowmobile!
10. 1.3 Million Snowmobiles have Been Registered in the US and Canada
Snowmobiles are very popular, and that is an understatement! In 2021 alone, there were 133,444 snowmobiles sold all across the world. 109,801 units were sold in the United States and Canada alone. It’s safe to say that this hobby is here to stay for a very long time. But let’s focus more about the hobby in the United States and Canada area. As of 2021, there are over 1.3 million registered snowmobiles in the US with another 596,000 units in Canada.
Behind the crazy statistics, Wisconsin is the state that contributes the most. There are 240,141 units registered in the state alone! Minnesota comes close with a number of 198,881 registered units. So brilliant!
11. Wisconsin is also Home to the Largest Snowmobile Trails
Wisconsin is truly the center of the snowmobile industry. It is safe to say that they are the capital of snowboarding enthusiasts. Aside from having the largest number of registered snowmobiles (refer to the previous fact!), they also have the largest snowmobile trails! Out of the 230,000 miles of snowmobile trails in the United States, Wisconsin offers more than 25,000 miles of well-groomed trails!
12. Lamborghini Transformed a Huracan into a Cool Snowmobile
Ever wonder how a hypercar might look like on the snow trails? Worry no more, ‘cause Rain Prisk Designs has taken the liberty and transformed one Lamborghini Huracan into a luxurious snowmobile. It is truly the most elegant snow machine that you’ll ever see. Although it’s just a concept design, you can’t help but imagine what it would be like if it really happened!
13. 3069.12 Kilometers: Greatest Distance in 24 Hours on a Snowmobile
This world record is truly something worth noting. Nicholas Musters was able to cover a total distance of 3069.12 kilometers in the space of 24 hours. To accomplish this amazing feat, he used two different snowmobiles: the 2011 MXZ TNT 800 E-TEC and the 2010 MXZX 800 E-TEC. He managed to travel the Lake of Bays in Canada on the 8th and 9th of March, 2011. He should really be proud of this wonderful achievement.