When you think of snowmobiles, you think of snow. Go figure right? Different sleds are built to specialize in different types of snow, some for heavy powder, others for ice or snow pack. What you may not know is that sleds can be a lot more diverse than that.
It's pretty common to go through a patch where the ground is exposed, so most snowmobiles can handle at least short term mud, grass, etc. You can drive around in your yard without doing any damage or making modifications to your sled, if you don't mind tearing up some grass. Some sleds, however, are customized for longer term drag racing.
The first question many people have is how well the skis work on grass. The answer is easy: they don't. In order to effectively race on grass you have to adjust your snowmobile suspension to transfer weight at take off so your skis lift an inch or two off the ground.
Your track will also need some modification. In order to get optimal traction, you need a good configuration of studs. Chisel studs work well for fast starts, since they have more area, but it requires more power as well. Mixing chisel and ice pick studs creates a good balance. Use as few as possible so you aren't over weighting your track. Also check the rules for length limitations.
Since most machines depend on the snow for cooling, you'll also have to include an auxiliary cooldown cart. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, you just need a way to pump some cold liquid through the engine to cool it off.
Of course, as always, be very conscious of safety. Helmet, safe jacket, gloves and boots are required. Your helmet must be full faced, or other eye protection must be worn as well. Take these things seriously, as your life could very literally depend on it.
Once your sled is ready, all you have to do is find a race. If you're so inclined, join an organization like the NSRA. They will help you find races, plus there are some great member benefits, including a free hat or shirt! There are various other organizations for different regions as well.
Always make sure your snowmobile shocks are in good shape. When it comes time to switch back to standard tracks and skis, double check the shocks to make sure the drag racing hasn't changed your setup. With that little extra effort to make the conversions each year, you'll never have to leave your sled in the shed again
Grass and Mud Racing
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 3:04:23 PM America/Denver
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