The Best ATV Mud Tires for Mud Season

ATV mud tires are a must this spring!

Get The Best ATV Tires So You Don’t Get Stuck in the Mud

Spring is just about here, so you know what that means! Mud season is upon us. If you’re anything like us, you’ve been itching all winter to get back on the trails. Flinging dirt, riding with your buddies, does it get any better? Well if you get stuck in the mud, it can definitely get a lot worse.

But is there any avoiding it in mud season? Well, the answer is yes! If you’re a serious rider, and if you’re reading our blog you probably are, you need yourself a new set of wheels. Keep reading to see all of the best mud tires you can get for your ATV this mud season.

The Best ATV Tires For Mudding

the best ATV mud tires for mudding

So what are the best tires for mudding? Well, we can tell you one thing, it’s probably not your stock set of wheels. While your stock tires will get you through most situations, they’re designed kind of like your all-weather tires for your car. They’re pretty good at handling all sorts of different situations, but it can have trouble in extreme conditions. 

Getting stuck up to your waist in mud is definitely one of those extreme conditions. So what do you do to make it through the mud? Well, you have to come prepared for it, of course! So let’s take a look at what makes a mud tire so much better. 

What Makes an ATV Mud Tire Different?

Your regular tires are going to get you through a lot of tough situations. But for the most extreme terrains, you will really need some extra power. 

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of mud tires

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of mud tires:

  • Better Performance – One of the most important things your mud tires will do is power you through those really rough patches of mud. If you get yourself stuck with normal tires, you can get yourself in some deep trouble. Dirt, water, and other particles can get into your engine, cake up your shocks, and cause huge amounts of expensive damage if not taken care of quickly. With the added power of mud tires, your ATV won’t get a chance to get stuck! 
  • Traction – Loose terrain like rock, or even some dirt can cause you to lose traction on your ATV. While this might happen occasionally and it’s fine, it can spell some serious trouble in the wrong situation. The deep grooves of mud tires are made to stick to the ground and give you a firm grip on the earth beneath you. 
  • Durability – Your ATV tires should be durable, period. But with mud tires, you’re getting an entirely new level of durability. The tires are made to be thicker and tougher to handle more intense terrains and harsher obstacles. Any ATV tire is made to be tough, but a mud tire has that added durability to depend on for a long time. 
Your ATV tires should be durable, period

Heavy Duty Vs. All-Terrain ATV Mud Tires

One consideration you’re going to have to make when looking for mud tires is what type of mud tires you want. They fall into two basic categories: heavy-duty and all-terrain tires.

Heavy-duty tires are going to be the toughest tires that money can buy. They’re great for all different types of off-road terrain including rocks, gravel, dirt, mud, and just about anything you can think of. They’re designed with incredibly thick treads to give the best traction possible.

However, they are not good for use on the street. Heavy-duty mud tires are best for an ATV that you can trailer to and from your favorite trail.

All-terrain tires do the best they can to give that same durability and traction. There’s definitely nothing wrong with all-terrain mud tires, they’re just not quite as aggressive as their heavy-duty cousins.

However, all-terrain tires are usually better at street riding meaning you can ride your ATV straight to your favorite trail without trailering. 

What You Need to Know Before Looking at mud tires for your ATV this spring

What You Need to Know Before Looking at ATV Mud Tires

So just like with anything, there’s plenty to know about ATV mud tires (if you couldn’t tell from this blog already). Nobody wants to walk into a store and look like they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Even worse, nobody wants to walk into a store looking like they don’t know what they’re talking about and then get taken advantage of. So here are some things you want to know and think about before you start shopping:

ATV Mud Tire Features

ATV Mud Tire Features

  • Tread – On tires, you’ll see treads rated as a “ply-rating”. In the most basic sense, this just means how big the space between the treads is. The larger space is, the easier your tires grip onto the surface. ATV mud tires are usually rated from 6-ply up to 10-ply. Some thicker tread patterns are even designed to eject mud and stones from your tires as they spin.
  • Sidewalls – Your sidewalls are another feature of the tire that has their own rating you want to consider. Just like with your treads, sidewalls are rated by a ply-rating, usually from 3-ply and up. The thicker your sidewalls are the more durable your tires will be against punctures.
  • Shoulder Tread – In addition to the tread on the direct outside of your tires, mud tires also feature shoulder treads. This helps to give you more stability and traction when shouldering turns. The wider your treads go onto the shoulder, the more traction you’re going to have. 

All of the Best ATV Tires For Riding in the Mud

we love the ITP Mega Mayhem  ATV mud tires

ITP Mega Mayhem 

First on our list comes from one of the originators in the mud tire world, ITP. They were one of the first companies to manufacture a specific mud tire for ATVs called the Blackwater tires. ITP is still making some of the finest tires you can buy, and the Mega Mayhem is our top pick!

It’s a tire that’s great at sinking down and finding whatever traction there is to be had below the surface of that mud. It’s not great for paddling through the really deep lakes of mud you’ll find some places, but there are few tires you can count on for so much control. 

we love the SuperATV Assassinator Mud Tires for the mud season

SuperATV Assassinator Mud Tires 

Next up on our list is a seriously badass set of tires from SuperATV, the Assassinator mud tires. The real treasure of the Assasinators comes from the tread design.

They’re designed to be self-cleaning, flinging off all the unwanted mud, muck, rocks and more. The extremely deep treads actually even wrap all the way around the tire to the rim. It gives you unparalleled traction while shouldering.

It’s also designed to give you great traction anywhere else. Whether you’re spinning through mud, dirt, rocks, or anything else, those treads are going to bite down deep and keep you moving. It’s a great tire for the most extreme off-road conditions.

High Lifter Outlaw III ATV mud tires are super great on the trails

High Lifter Outlaw III

High Lifter are well known for making some fantastic quality tires and their mud tires are no different. The original model, the Outlaw I, and its predecessor, the Outlaw II are both well-revered designs in mud tire technology. The Outlaw III carries on that tradition by being one of the highest quality tires you can take into the bog. 

Just take a look at how it handles in clay and mud. The deep tread designs are able to handle a multitude of different terrains and really dig in to find solid traction. The tread designs have been steadily improved upon from model to model and we have to say, they’ve truly outdone themselves with the Outlaw III!

the ITP MudLite II ATV mud tires will rock the muddy trails this spring

ITP MudLite II

Now we’ve already discussed ITP, but they’re good enough to show up twice on our list! The MudLite is one of their best selling tires due to its fantastic design, and the MudLite II is even better! While the wheel is based on the original model and features a lot of similar design, the improvements are really awesome. 

One of the biggest improvements is the claw tread added between the larger treads. The purpose of these smaller and more shallow treads is to reduce suction on your tires.

If you’re in the mud long enough the wells between your treads can fill with mud and create a suction effect. This hangs onto the mud and doesn’t allow for your treads to grip the dirt. With these added, smaller treads, it reduces the tires’ ability to act like a mud magnet giving you better traction throughout the day.

who doesn't love the Maxxis Maxxzilla ATV mud Tires?

Maxxis Maxxzilla

One last one on our list today, but certainly far from the least is the Maxxis Maxxzilla. These bad boys are big, beefy, and give you the extreme control you’re looking for. One notable feature of the Maxxzillas is that the treads are very soft and pliable. Now, this isn’t to say that you should be worried about punctures.

What that actually means is that it’s extremely well equipped to form itself and grip onto just about any surface. Maxxzilla tires are like a chameleon, ready to adapt to any terrain, any surface, and give you the best handling possible. 

Staying Ahead of the Pack With the Best ATV Mud Tires

Staying Ahead of the Pack With the Best ATV Mud Tires

There’s always that one person in the group. They’ve been stuck in the mud for 15 minutes, and it doesn’t look like they’re getting out anytime soon. Everyone takes a break, gets out the tow rope and gets them out of trouble. It takes time out of the day, and that’s less time you get to spend tearing up the trails.

What’s even worse is when you are that person. No one wants to be the person holding everyone else up, so give yourself an upgrade this year! Slap some new mud tires on your favorite ATV and get down to business this mud season!

Get Ready for Spring with this ATV Maintenance Checklist

What You Should Be Doing for Routine Maintenance

What You Should Be Doing for Routine Maintenance

The weather is starting to get warmer, the birds are coming home from migration, and the flowers are almost in bloom. Spring is right around the corner so you know what that means: mudding season is almost here! 

The most wonderful time of year for ATV enthusiasts is coming up fast, so are you ready for it? Not just ready to ride, but have you done your routine maintenance this year? Of course, we all just want to get out on the trails, but before we take our first ride of the year let’s get ready for spring wit this ATV maintenance checklist. 

Annual Routine Maintenance Checklist

Get Ready for Spring with this ATV Maintenance Checklist

So before we get started, you might be asking, how often should I be doing maintenance on my ATV? Of course, you want to address any mechanical issues you have as they come up. Waiting on any small issue can turn it into a more serious issue. 

However, outside of emergency repairs or replacements, you want to run through your maintenance checklist at least once every year. We recommend doing it when winter rolls around and the season is over. That way spring finally arrives you’ll be good to go! But if you’re not a model citizen like us, doing it before the spring season starts is perfect, too. 

Check Your Fluid Levels

Get Ready for Spring with this ATV Maintenance Checklist

The first thing you want to do when you’re doing your pre-season tune-up is to check your fluid levels. That means your oil of course, but also things like your brake fluid and even your fuel. If you left your ATV sitting over the winter with any fluid in it, make sure you check them.

You want to check to see what your oil looks like as well. If it’s chunky or grimy at all, it’s time for an oil change. You also want to look out for a milky, brown color to your oil. This could possibly mean that water has leaked into your oil tank. This could cause serious damage to your engine and your ATV if you don’t swap it out.

Check Your Tires

Your tire’s ability to grip the dirt is what keeps you safely stopping, so it’s important to check.

Your next step should be taking a look at your tires. You want to check the air pressure, of course (check out your owner’s manual for factory recommendations). However, you also want to be checking your tread depths. Your tire’s ability to grip the dirt is what keeps you safely stopping, so it’s important to check.

Also, take a look at your valves and make sure they aren’t leaking. Keeping your tire pressure at the correct level and keeping it there consistently keeps you safe. A leaking valve may not seem like a make-or-break thing right now, but it becomes a bigger problem if left unchecked. 

Cleaning or Replacing Your Air Filter 

Cleaning or Replacing Your Air Filter should be a part of your ATV maintenance checklist this spring

You love mud. Your ATV loves mud. Your air filters do not love mud. But they’re along for the ride, so they’re gonna get dirty. It’s not very glamorous, but making your air filters part of your yearly maintenance routine is going to keep your ATV running like new. When your filters get dirty it’s allowing less air intake to your engine. This seriously hinders your performance.

Now, you can clean your air filters. It’s not very difficult and you can do it pretty quickly. However, just cleaning them isn’t going to make your ATV run as well as a full replacement. We would definitely recommend a full swap out at least every other year. However, if you change your air filters every year, you’re going to notice that difference in performance.

The Nuts and Bolts 

Every year you definitely want to run over your ATV with a fine-tooth comb checking all of your screws, nuts, and bolts.

Speaking of not very glamorous, this is another job that doesn’t get the press it deserves. Every year you definitely want to run over your ATV with a fine-tooth comb checking all of your screws, nuts, and bolts. A year of rough riding is sure to knock a few loose. 

The most important place to check is your undercarriage. This is the part of your ATV that’s taking the most wear and tear. If you find any that are seriously rusted, go ahead and swap them out. It may not be the first thing you think about when you’re going over your maintenance checklist, but it’s definitely important.

Keeping Your ATV in Good Health with a Yearly ATV Maintenance Checklist

The more maintenance you perform on your ATV the easier it’s going to be on you and your machine.

You want your ATV to be ready for anything. You want to be able to hit any hill, get through any muddy trail, and do it all easily. The more maintenance you perform on your ATV the easier it’s going to be on you and your machine.

You wouldn’t skip your kids’ yearly physicals and your ATV is like your baby right? So you have to get it in for that annual checkup so it can give you a full day’s ride every time.

We hope this ATV maintenance checklist was helpful! If you need some more helpful tips, take a look at our blog for tips on mudding this spring

Three Incredible Snowmobile Tours in the World

Three Incredible Snowmobile Tours in the World

The Best Snowmobile Adventures From Around the World

The smell of gasoline, the feeling of brisk winter air on your cheeks, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of snowmobiling. It’s a great way to enjoy some high-speed fun while reveling in the beauty of nature. But hitting the same trails over and over again in your home town can get a little dull after a while. Don’t fret, though! There are plenty more places to snowmobile than just your own backyard. So strap on your helmet, fill up your tank, and get ready while we talk about the most incredible snowmobile tours in the world! 

The World’s Best Guided Snowmobile Tours

Akureyri Guided Tours - Njarðarnes, Akureyri, Iceland

Akureyri Guided Tours – Njarðarnes, Akureyri, Iceland

The first stop on our tour of guided tours brings us to the cold tundra of Iceland. The tour happens in Akureyri, not too far from the Arctic Circle! The tour will take you to the mountains near Eyjafjörður Fjord. Here you can do some amazing snowmobiling in fresh powder while getting spectacular views of the Icelandic landscape. 

Tours are guided by English-speaking locals and feature lots of local cuisine in between great runs in the snow. Check out their website for more details! 

Guided Snowmobile Tours in the Swiss Alps

Guided Snowmobile Tours in the Swiss Alps

You read that right! The Alps aren’t just for skiing. They also have a thriving snowmobile community with a number of different guided tours you can take part in across the Alps. Some are shorter trips over groomed trails, only a few dozen miles, some are all-day trips. Of course, no matter which route you go, you’re bound to see some of the most beautiful mountainsides in the world. 

Tours are dependent upon weather, so make sure you book a trip for a time forecasted with some good weather!

Queenstown Helicopter-Snowmobile Tour - Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown Helicopter-Snowmobile Tour – Queenstown, New Zealand

You don’t have to be a hobbit to enjoy an adventure in New Zealand! If you don’t have to worry about destroying the One Ring, why not enjoy the country’s only helicopter and snowmobiling tour? Small groups (maximum of 6) take a helicopter tour over the country to see the beautiful Southern Alps and Mt. Cook.

After landing, your tour guide will take you for some of the most remote snowmobiling you can ask for in the entire country. Incredible scenic views and a once in a lifetime adventure, what more can you ask for?

The 3 Most Incredible Snowmobile Tours in the World

The world is full of amazing snowmobile tours!

The world is full of amazing snowmobile tours! Some of them are even right in your own backyard! But if you’re looking for an adventure that’s a little more worldly, hopefully, this blog gave you some ideas! But these are far from the only options.

All across the globe, anywhere there’s snow, you’ll find someone snowmobiling on it. So if you’re looking to get out of your own neck of the woods, consider taking some of these amazing snowmobile tours!

What You Need in Your Snowmobile Emergency Kit

emergency snowmobile kits are a smart thing to have with you every time you hit the trails

An On-The-Trail Survival Kit for Any Emergency Situation on Your Snowmobile

There’s nothing better than getting out on the trails on your snowmobile. It’s early on a Saturday, the kids are at their friend’s house, and you’re out on your snowmobile with all your best buds. There’s nothing more carefree in the world! But as carefree as you are when you’re out there, you can still run into emergency situations. The thing about an emergency is that you never plan on having one. But when you’re miles away from the nearest paved road, you need to be prepared for anything! So if you’re going out on the trails this weekend and want to stay safe, let’s talk about everything you need in your snowmobile emergency kit. 

Building Your Snowmobile First-Aid Kit

what do you need to be prepared for when you build your emergency snowmobile kit

What Do You Need To Be Prepared For? 

Before we begin building our snowmobile emergency kit we need to know what kind of snowmobile emergencies we are preparing for. Not everything in your kit is going to be for the highest emergency situations. Some things in the emergency kit will just be to make our riding experience a little easier.

So what kinds of actual emergencies are we preparing for?

  • Becoming Stranded – Snowmobiling often occurs in fairly remote places. Becoming lost, running out of gas, or running into mechanical issues with your snowmobile are all real possibilities
  • Injuries – Your snowmobile isn’t the only thing that can break down. Taking a nasty spill can bang up your bike, but banging up your body is an even worse result. 
  • Snowmobile Trouble – Sometimes an emergency isn’t anything as dramatic as an avalanche. Sometimes just going a couple of seasons without any maintenance will put you in a situation where your snowmobile is in trouble and so are you.

What Do you Need in Your Snowmobile Emergency Kit?

These are far from the only emergencies we will find ourselves in out on the trails. However, these are some of the most common troubles we’re going to have. You can’t prepare for everything that’s going to happen out there, but you can be prepared for what you can expect. 

What Do you Need in Your Snowmobile Emergency Kit?

Food and Water 

In an emergency situation, the most important thing you can do is to keep your wits about you. That, of course, means staying awake and alert and one of the best ways to do that is to keep hydrated and eat high-calorie snacks. Of course, this keeps your energy levels up, but it also does another really important thing: it keeps your body temperature high while you’re out in the cold.

for your kit, get foods that are high in calorie content and easy to carry around.

Some examples of great, light-weight, high-calorie snacks to bring with you on your rides are:

  • Nuts
  • Energy Bars
  • Granola
  • Peanut Butter

Mainly you want to get foods that are high in calorie content and easy to carry around. We don’t want to take up too much space trying to pack a whole steak dinner.

first aid kits are an essential part to have with your emergency snowmobile kit

First- Aid Kit

One of the emergencies we absolutely need to be prepared for is a personal injury. This could be anything as minor as getting a scrape or twisting an ankle or as serious as a broken bone. The main thing to remember is that we can never be sure what sort of emergencies might occur, so we need to prepare for anything. Here are some things you should think about keeping in your mobile first-aid kit:

  • Bandages of varying sizes
  • Gauze for dressing wounds
  • Tape and scissors
  • An antiseptic cream
  • Aspirin
  • Disposable, sterile gloves

You don’t need to have a mobile hospital with you. These are some of the essentials, and you’ll probably bring a little more but you don’t need to make every pound you pack first-aid equipment. The point of your first-aid kit is simply to keep an injured person safe and comfortable until emergency responders get to you. 

you should never leave home for the trails without your cellphone.

Electronics 

Of course, you should never leave home for the trails without your cellphone. How else would you know it was dinner time? In addition to your phone, though, there are some electronics we can pack up to bring with us to keep us safe in emergency situations.

The first item you want to consider is a backup battery for your mobile phone. You don’t want to be waiting for emergency responders and worrying that they won’t be able to find you with a dead cell phone.

Another item you should consider investing in is an avalanche transceiver or avalanche beacon. An avalanche beacon is a small radio device that you keep on your person. The device emits regular radio pulses that emergency responders would be able to find if you were caught in an avalanche under the snow. However, this is NOT a replacement for knowing snow and trail conditions

One more thing you need to be prepared for is your snowmobile breaking down.

Replacement Parts

One more thing you need to be prepared for is your snowmobile breaking down. While you’re not going to bring a whole new motor with you, there are some simple items you can keep with you while you’re on the trail. Some light-weight spare parts to keep with you are:

  • An extra drive belt
  • Some spark plugs
  • Basic tools to perform repairs

You might also want to consider what’s going to happen if you get yourself stuck in a ditch. Bringing along some rope to help pull yourself out isn’t a bad idea. 

bring some rope just in case you get stuck on the trail

Staying Safe until Help Arrives

So if you do run into that emergency, there’s another factor to consider: how to keep yourself safe until help arrives. Here are some things you can keep with you to make staying safe and getting found easier:

 Study your maps before you leave and try to stay in areas where you can locate yourself.
  • Waterproof matches/lighter and a hatchet: If you’re going to be stuck for a while a warm fire is going to be your best friend. A small hatchet or wood saw to cut down some tinder will make this much easier
  • Maps: while you obviously have GPS on your cell-phone, you also want to have a good idea of where you are. Study your maps before you leave and try to stay in areas where you can locate yourself. That way emergency responders can locate you later on.

Staying Safe with Your Snowmobile Emergency Kit

 when you’re gone for a few hours in the heart of the forest, you’re running into different kinds of danger, so make sure you have a snowmobile emergency kit ready

Staying safe when you’re out on the trail takes more than just a helmet. The truth is, you never quite know what’s going to happen when you leave the house. That’s always true.

But when you’re gone for a few hours in the heart of the forest, you’re running into different kinds of danger. It could be wildlife, forces of nature, or just making the wrong move on your snowmobile. No matter what happens, if you follow these tips you will stay prepared for anything!

Three Really Great Snowmobile Clubs in California

Check out our blog about three great snowmobile clubs in California!

Good Clubs to Join for Riding in the Good Snow

If you’re not a Californian, you might be looking at this and thinking, “Really? Snowmobile clubs?”. Well, that’s right! We’ve got a lot more to us than just the sand dunes and Hollywood Boulevard, you know.

Riders in California know that depending on what part of the state you’re from, you can get some seriously nice powder! But maybe you’re new to the area, or just new to riding. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out these three great snowmobile clubs in California!

Good Riding Starts with Good Company: Snowmobile Clubs in California

Good Riding Starts with Good Company: Snowmobile Clubs in  California

Snowmobiling is about more than just kicking up fresh powder. It’s about the community we create. It’s about the friends we make and the friends we love to ride with. It’s also about family, respect, and being the best rider you can be!

Butte Meadows Hillsiders

butte meadows hillsiders is a great snowmobile club in CA

The first club on our list is the Butte Meadows Hillsiders located in Chico, California. The club was founded 30 years ago in 1990. They now boast over 130 miles of groomed trails in the Lassen National Forest area. In addition to all of the trails, the club also owns a regularly maintained warming hut to keep you warm on those long winter days!

You can become a member for as little as thirty dollars and reap all the benefits of this awesome club. Some additional club perks are activities like their yearly Poker Run, and tons of other activities put on by members. One of the best features is that members receive email updates called the “Groomer’s Flash”. The Flash updates members with snow conditions, trail conditions, and other members-only info. Just make sure you read up on the laws for snowmobiling in Lassen National Forest!

Mt. Shasta Snowmobile Club

Mt. Shasta Snowmobile Club is one of the snowmobile clubs in california that people love

Mt. Shasta Sno-Monilers, Inc. was formed way back in 1973. They gained non-profit status in 1996, and they have been doing incredible work with the community ever since. In addition to being a great crew of people to go out riding and have fun with, they also give back. They have participated in volunteer programs, snowmobile safety courses, and much more. They proudly serve the Tri-Forest Snowmobile Trail System.

Speaking of the trails, one of the best parts of this club is the huge area they cover. Mt. Shasta club members have access to four different snowmobile parks and a combined 260 miles of groomed trails. It’s a great club for riding with friends, the family, and everyone in between!

Bucks Lake Snow Drifters

The Bucks Lake Snow Drifters lay claim to a huge swath of over 100 miles of groomed trails across Plumas County, California.

The Bucks Lake Snow Drifters have been proud members of the California-Nevada Snowmobile Association since 1982. That’s nearly 40 years of proud snowmobiling excellence! The Bucks Lake Snow Drifters lay claim to a huge swath of over 100 miles of groomed trails across Plumas County, California.

Of course, the Snow Drifters hold events like an annual poker run for their members. They also have a scholarship for young snow drifters with big academic dreams! If you want to see what kinds of amazing slopes await you near Bucks Lake, take a look at their gallery!

La Porte Snowmobile Club 

who says california doesn't have some of the best snowmobiling trails in the country?

The La Porte Snowmobile Club, located in Marysville, California is another club you should definitely know about! They have over 60 miles of groomed trails devoted to the club in the Plumas National Forest. In addition to snowmobiles, rangers, RZRs, and Can-Ams are able to access the OHV trails in the forest. For a full list of regulations, check out their website.

Speaking of, one of the best parts of this club, aside from their community presence and great events, is their website! They also have a scholarship that academic riders can apply for as well as event updates. However, one of the best parts is that they have a link to the live weather report in La Porte so you always know how the trails are!

The Best Snowmobile Clubs in California

see the beauty of California from the comfort of your sled, check out these snowmobile clubs!

Waste-deep in snow, wind howling by your head, and beautiful scenery all around you. Is there anything more appealing for snowmobiling? If that sounds like heaven to you, the place you’re really thinking of is California!

California has the beaches, the entertainment, the fashion, but they’ve also got the snowmobiling! It’s a sport beloved by Californians just as much as any other! So if you want to see the beauty of California from the comfort of your sled, check out these snowmobile clubs!

7 Awesome Snowmobile Tricks… with Videos!

TMS Parts brings you a blog with some awesome snowmobile tricks

The Coolest Things You Can Do on a Track and Two Skis

Snowmobilers are a special breed of daredevils. Is taking your snowmobile out into the wilderness in zero-degree weather dangerous enough? Definitely. Do snowmobilers like to take it farther than that? Also definitely. Much farther than that! If you’ve been mountain riding or seen the Winter X-Games, you already know it: snowmobilers are some of the craziest riders out there. But if you need to have the point proven, or you just want to see some amazing videos, check out these 7 awesome snowmobile tricks!

Awesome Snowmobile Tricks: The Basics

Carving is one of the best awesome snowmobile tricks

7. Carving

Before you learn to run, you have to learn how to walk, right? Well before you can get to the X-Games, you probably have to learn how to carve like the pros

6. Wheelies

One of the first tricks you might see folks attempting is the wheelie. How about these awesome wheelies on the mountain tops of British Columbia?

5. Turn-Up

Not every trick is about showing off your finesse. Sometimes it’s just about finessing your way out of a sticky situation, like a row of trees you don’t imagine are going to get up and move any time soon.

The Heavy Hitters

Okay, so we’ve covered some of the basics, and you can probably do at least a couple of these. How about some stuff we’re only going to see the pros do? Take a look at some of these amazing snowmobile tricks!

4. Daniel Bodin’s Seat Grab Indy Backflip

There are few legends in the world of snowmobiling like Daniel Bodin. He is an athlete in the truest sense of the word. One of his greatest moments was this seat-grab Indy backflip by at the 2017 Winter X games. He went on to win the Gold in 2019… don’t worry, we’ll get to it in a bit!

3. Caleb Moore Winning the Silver at the Winter X Games

Caleb Moore was a rider well-known for his innovation and his daring skills. He definitely proved both of those with this incredible Superman Seatgrab into Carolla and ending with a no-handed landing. It doesn’t get much more nerve-wracking!

2. Heath Frisby’s Legendary Front Flip

In the world of snowmobiling, folks are always pushing themselves to the limit. For the incredible folks competing in the Winter X-Games, this is maybe truer than ever. We see constant leaps forward in what folks are capable of like the world’s first-ever front flip on a snowmobile performed by Heath Frisby in 2012.

1. Daniel Bodin Winning the Gold in the Freestyle Competition, 2019

So, sure we might have already talked about Bodin’s legendary skills, but we had to give it up for him a second time with this run. Bodin won his first gold in the freestyle competition back in 2011. Almost a decade later, Bodin came back fired up more than ever and performed these mind-boggling backflip combos! When they say no rest for the wicked, they must be talking about Bodin!

The Coolest Way to Have Fun in the Snow

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that there’s no better way to have fun in the winter than by riding a snowmobile. Learning tricks can make it even more fun, but just make sure you’re always practicing with a buddy and doing it safely! We don’t all land the front-flip on the first try!

The Iron Dog Race: What to Know

The Iron Dog race is the ultimate endurance test for snowmobilers

The World’s Coolest Cross Country Snowmobile Race

Do you love snowmobiling? Do you eat, breathe, and live snowmobiling? If this sounds like you and you haven’t heard of the Iron Dog Snowmachine Race then you are in for the thrill of a lifetime. Do you like the idea of racers covering thousands of miles through Alaska’s toughest wilderness during some if it’s toughest winter weather? Then you need to keep reading to find out everything about the Iron Dog Race.

The Iron Dog race currently runs over 2,400 miles of the Alaskan wilderness

What is the Iron Dog Race?

The Iron Dog race is the ultimate endurance test for snowmobilers. The race currently runs over 2,400 miles of the Alaskan wilderness where the only thing racers can rely on is themselves. Survival skills are equally as important as your riding skills in this race which has the potential to be literally life or death.

Survival skills are equally as important as your riding skills in this race

The Beginning

The origin of the Iron Dog race begins in Big Lake, Alaska. The race followed the northern portion of the historic Iditarod Trail. Yes, that’s the same Iditarod Trail from the dog race!

The first race was held in 1984 under the name Iron Dog Iditarod. It covered 1,000 miles and racers crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska. 

The Current Course

Of course, since 1984 the Iron Dog race has gone through many changes. The route has more than doubled, now sitting at a staggering 2,400 miles across Alaska. The race typically begins in Mid-February when snow conditions in Alaska can be at their worst. Sub-zero temperatures, white-out conditions, and no reprieve for riders.

The current Iron Dog race course begins as it originally did in Big Lake, Alaska, following the Iditarod trail until racers reach the Yukon River in Ruby, Alaska. From there the course follows the river until it reaches Kaltag, Alaska. Then racers head towards the Norton Sound peninsula in the Bearing Sea and follow the coast north to Nome. From there, racers backtrack to Ruby and diverge from their original path towards the finish line in Fairbanks. 

Racers attempt to cover hundreds or even thousands of miles in a day. Currently, the shortest time to completion was set in 2016 at just over 35 hours! That means traveling almost 70 miles every hour! 

the Iron Dog race is one of the most intense snowmobiling races out there!

The Conditions

Racers are facing Alaska’s toughest terrain during its toughest time of the year. Many Alaskan native racers will tell you that racers from the lower 48 rarely have what it takes to keep up. Even beyond simply making the journey, racers also need to worry about making food, finding time to sleep, and using the bathroom. 

Of course, all of this is happening in the Alaskan tundra during the middle of winter when temperatures can reach 60 below zero. This race takes much more than just the ability to ride your snowmobile. It takes the ability to survive the toughest conditions that Alaska can throw at you all while trying to make the best time.

Iron Dog winners could win up to $100K in this snowmobile race!

The Prize

One of the greatest prizes of the Iron Dog race is the glory of winning. Over the 30+ years of this race, there have been 28 different winners. There have been 15 racers with multiple titles and 12 racers with only a single title. We also have just recently seen the second generation of riders from the same family winning titles that their parents had won.

Apart from the victory of joining the echelon of legendary riders who have defeated this race, there is also the prize money. While prize purses have differed from year to year, the purse for last year’s prize was $100,000!

The Iron Dog Race: The Ride of Your Life

Riders tread thousands of miles across the harshest conditions Alaska has to offer.

The Iron Dog Race is the world’s longest snowmobile race, and it’s absolutely the most intense. Riders tread thousands of miles across the harshest conditions Alaska has to offer. They battle the clock, they battle the elements, and they battle their own will power. It’s undoubtedly one of the most dangerous and rewarding ways to race your snowmobile. For serious sledders like us, it doesn’t get any cooler!

Interested in learning about the history of snowmobiles? Check out our recent blog about it! After all, without snowmobiles, there wouldn’t be a race like this.

Here’s a Few Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Winter Weather

riding a motorcycle in winter weather

Keeping Yourself Safe and Comfortable when Riding in the Winter

Just because your neck of the woods got hit with cold temperatures and deep snow doesn’t mean the motorcycle fun has to end.  With a little effort, it’s not too difficult to stay warm and dry while you’re riding. But it’s more than just wearing a neck warmer and hitting the throttle. There are a few subtle ways to keep your body heat up and keep the cold out. So if you want to keep revving your engines until spring rolls around, check out these tips for riding your motorcycle in winter. 

here are our best tips for riding a motorcycle in winter weather

Our Tips for Cold Weather Riding

You’ve got your earmuffs and your winter gloves, are you ready? Well, not quite. Just having your regular winter gear won’t really cut it for riding your motorcycle in the winter. There are some different tips and pieces of special riding gear you want to have. Let’s talk about how you can keep warm and keep riding.

Getting the Right Gear for Riding a Motorcycle in Winter

dressing in layers is important when thinking about riding a motorcycle in winter weather

Dressing in Layers

You can spend hundreds of dollars on all sorts of fancy gear, but the very first thing you need to know is this: Always dress in layers. But it’s not as simple as throwing on a sweatshirt under your jacket. There is an art to layering correctly. Doing it right means riding in style and staying warm. Doing it wrong is going to mean a pretty uncomfortable experience. 

You always want to dress in at least three layers. Each layer should be comprised of specific kinds of material and performs a specific function.

things to keep in mind when traveling in winter weather

Here are the layers you should keep in mind when dressing for winter motorcycle riding:

  • Base Layer: Your base layer has one basic function: to provide warmth. This is our insulating layer. The best base layer provides warmth and is also made with a moisture-wicking material. This will keep your sweat off your body and keep you warm and dry.
  • Mid Layer: The mid-layer is where the majority of our warmth comes from. Choose a bulky but comfortable sweater, jacket, or another piece of clothing.
  • Outer Layer: Our outer most layer needs to be our strongest. This is your layer that will block the wind from penetrating your layers and making you incredibly cold. 
riding a motorcycle in winter weather can be dangerous

Insulated Gloves

One of the most important pieces of gear you need is a good pair of gloves. Your hands are the first thing catching that icy wind off the highway. If you’re not wearing good, insulated gloves, you’re going to be feeling it.

One piece of gear to give some good thought to is a pair of insulated gloves. There are plenty out there made from all sorts of materials with different features. The best gloves, however, are made from sturdy, windproof material. Any rider who has been out in winter without good gloves can tell you: cold hands are going to send you packing.

make sure when you're getting ready for riding a motorcycle in winter weather that you have the right riding gear

Heated Gear

Another thing you can think about is getting some heated motorcycle gear. We’re all familiar with the wind chill making temperatures even colder. When you’re out riding the highway doing 60 mph, you’re adding an additional wind chill factor that you need to compensate for.

Dressing in layers is essential but if your layers are comprised of heated gear, you’re going to be doing even better. In addition to heated gear for your body, you can also get heated gear for your bike. Heated grips and heated seat pads can be just as instrumental to keeping your body heat as your layers.

Cold-Weather Gear For Your Bike

do some basic maintenance before you take the bike out in the cold

Check Your Tires

You buy winter tires for your car, so why not for your bike? Well, one reason is that folks might not know they exist. But if you’re serious about winter riding, this is an investment that can save your life. 

Beyond having better tread designs for snow riding, winter tires are actually made differently. The rubber used to make winter tires is made from a special compound. It keeps the tires from getting too cold in winter weather. This allows them to maintain their grip when your summer tires would be sliding over the surface. 

Reduce Your Wind Chill 

Just like with your hands catching the brunt of the windchill, your face catches a lot, too. One really important purchase is a windshield for your motorcycle. It won’t completely negate any of the windchill coming from the front of your bike, but it will greatly reduce it. 

You can’t stay out in the cold riding forever, but with a good windshield, you can increase the clock!

Things to Look Out For When Riding a Motorcycle in Winter

be sure that you're looking out for certain things when riding a motorcycle in winter

Salt and Black Ice

Salt on the road is a good thing when you’re in your car. When you’re on your bike, salt and sand can be just as deadly as the icy road. The loose grains on the road create a surface that is incredibly difficult for your tires to grip on to. It can spell a mean spill quickly.

Of course, black ice isn’t your friend, either. If you notice ice on the road, turn around and head back.

Winter Riding Safety – Increase Following Distance and Visibility

Riding in winter can be difficult for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the same no matter what season it is: you can’t control other drivers on the road. In the winter when stopping can be especially difficult you need to make sure that you increase your following distance.

It also helps immensely to increase your visibility. Black might be your color of choice, but make sure your winter gear is bright and easy to see. It could save your life.

If you See Snow, Head Home

This one is extremely simple. When you see the first flake, head home. There’s no reason to put yourself or others in danger by riding when it’s currently snowing. If you see the flakes start falling, it’s time to call it quits. 

Adjusting to Riding in Cold Weather

adjusting to riding in cold weather can be easy or it can be dangerous!

Winter riding is a bit like its own sport. It requires its own gear and its own equipment. Winter riding can also be especially rewarding, though. It gives us some peace and solitude on the road and we get to enjoy the beautiful winter landscape. For those of us who just can’t bear to put away the bike for the winter, it’s a necessity. No matter what reason you want to ride this winter, just make sure you do it safely! 

The Best Snowmobile Trails in California

the best snowmobile trails in california

The Best Groomed Snowmobile Trails on the West Side of the Country

When you think of California you’re probably thinking of sandy beaches, surfing, and the Hollywood Hills. California is a gigantic state, though, and this is just a small piece of what it has to offer. In addition to great hiking in their lovely national forests and amazing weather year-round, they also have some amazing snowmobile trails. While you might not think of snow in California first when you think of the state, it gets plenty! If you’re looking for a new place to ride, or you want to learn something new about the state, here are the best snowmobile trails in California!

The Best Trails To Ride In California

California isn’t all palm trees and beaches! For the local riders, you already know there are plenty of great places to get into the wilderness and ride. If you’re a little skeptical, check out our list of the best trails to ride in California. While there are dozens of trails in California, and these obviously aren’t all of them, they are some of the most popular and beloved! 

If you’re thinking about checking out any of these awesome trails, make sure you’re prepared! Take a look at our favorite snowmobiling apps to help you ride safely!

the china wall foresthill divide winter trails are super great

China Wall / Foresthill Divide Winter Trails

We begin our journey in Sacramento, California with the China Wall/Forest Hill Divide trails. In the summer, this beautiful national park is great for hiking, camping, and enjoying the beautiful California wildlife. However, in the winter, when the OHV trails are closed for use by dirt bikers, the real fun begins!

In the winter, snowmobile riders can enjoy 15 miles of groomed trails through the California forest. While the area is great for camping in the summer, it’s even better for riding in the winter. The trail is also accessed by snowshoers and cross-country skiers, so it’s important to be mindful when you’re on the trail.

TMS parts loves the Mammoth lakes, it's one of the best snowmobile trails in california

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes, located in Mammoth, California, is another exceptional snowmobiling destination in the Golden State. It’s an incredibly popular destination at all times of the year, and for good reason. The summer offers camping and hiking, there is great foliage viewing in the fall, and of course, winter brings snow sports!

Mammoth Lakes has hundreds of miles of roads and trails to discover. It’s a great place to go over and over again and always get a unique experience. They even have some fan-favorite rides like the trail from Shady Rest to Bald Mountain. It provides great views of the mountain range along with a beautiful system of trails and open-country riding.

little truckee summit winter trails are so much fun

Little Truckee Summit Winter Trails

Located in Tahoe, California, the Little Truckee Summit Winter Trails is a great destination for serious riders. In the winter, there are more than 100 miles of groomed trails for snowmobilers. Trails range from easy to more difficult terrains depending on the length of the ride you want to take. It’s the best kind of “choose-your-own-adventure” story!

This area is heavily trafficked by snowmobilers. While skiing is not prohibited, it is not recommended. While this is bad news for skiers, it’s great news for riders! For the daring folks, there is also free camping available at the Little Truckee Summit parking area, however, not year-round. Camping is permitted for 7 or fewer days between mid-February and mid-April

Sherman Pass is  one of the best snowmobile trails in california

Sherman Pass / Kern Plateau Area 

Sherman Pass in Sequoia National Forest isn’t one of the most fearsome trails in California, but it’s one of the most popular. While the Sherman Pass trail is only 25 miles by itself, riding the pass will give you great access to other trails in the Kern Plateau area. The Sherman Pass trail is well-groomed, and it’s great for beginning riders.

The greater Kern Plateau area offers more than 100 miles of additional trails to explore with a range of riding difficulties. The trail will take you along rolling hills, beautiful ridgelines, and perfectly groomed trails. There is plenty to explore for the more seasoned riders in your group. However, for any beginners, there are few trails that offer such easy riding with such great rewards.

Yuba Pass is one of the best snowmobile trails in California, we swear!

Yuba Pass

The Yuba Pass in Tahoe, California might just take the whole cake for great trails in California. The Yuba Pass is home to more than 150 miles of trails that are groomed and maintained by the California/Nevada Snowmobile Association. The pass offers fantastic views of the Sierra mountains and valley. It’s accessible for snowmobilers, snowshoers, and hikers.

This park is heavily trafficked by both snowmobilers and other snow-enthusiasts. It’s a popular destination for skiing, snowshoeing and of course, snowmobiling. There is a very short shared-trail for snowmobilers and skiers, but the paths quickly diverge. There is a lot to explore in the Yuba Pass with easy access for snowmobilers to other highways and trail systems.

Take a look at this awesome ride in the Yuba Pass.

Getting the Most from Your Winter in California

California is a beautiful place to ride your sled this winter

California is a beautiful state. This isn’t a secret. What might be a secret is just how much fun you can have on a sled in the Californian winters. So don’t think that California is only good for a summer vacation destination. Any local rider can tell you, there are some really amazing trails to ride in California. So if you’re looking for a new, great place to ride, check out these awesome snowmobile trails in California!

The Complete History of Snowmobiles

the complete history of snowmobiles

From Oversnow Vehicle to Motor Toboggan to the Modern Snowmobile

Modern snowmobiles appeared fairly recently in history, but the development of over-snow vehicles goes back many years. In the United States and Canada, the “snowmobile” went through decades of patenting and perfecting before it became anything like the vehicle it is today. In this blog, we’ll explore the timeline of snowmobiling: how it began, how it stuck, and where it’s come to today. Read on to learn about the complete history of snowmobiling. 

It’s no secret that snowmobiles have increased the popularity of outdoor winter recreation. According to this snowmobile education course study guide, “more than three million people in the United States and Canada snowmobile each winter, enjoying more than 230,000 miles of groomed public trails.” Let’s see how we got from there to here!

Carving the Way to the Modern Snowmobile

carving the way to the modern snowmobile

In places where the winters bring long months of heavy snowfall, traveling over and through snow is a must. In the United States during the early 1900s, this was a problem for many people. As different solutions to this problem began developing, so began the origins of the snowmobile. However, snow vehicles for single riders (snowmobiles) were not the first vehicles built to travel through snow. 

In fact, it was the logging industry that carved the way for the modern snowmobile to appear. In 1908, a man by the name of Alvin Lombard built the first over-snow vehicle. He came from Waterville, Maine, and his 20-ton machine was used only for log-hauling. This machine was huge, resembling a steam locomotive but with a half-track design and front skis. A beast this big could haul through snow, sure, but it certainly wasn’t built for individual travel.

imagine living somewhere like that

Imagine living somewhere in the deep, wintery woods of North America in 1908, and a member of your family falls ill. Unless you live close to town, finding your way to a doctor (or for that matter, a doctor finding their way to you) is going to be incredibly difficult if there’s any sense of urgency. Thus, the impact of the snowmobile was going to be massive. 

Ultimately, recreational use became the real money-winner, though. But it took quite a while (and many designs) before we got to the snowmobile industry we know today!

The First Snowmobile

the model T ford was the first sled in the history of snowmobiles

It all began when a Ford dealer in New Hampshire invented a track and ski conversion system for the Model T Ford. The man’s name was Virgil White, and the year was 1913. About 10 years later, a young man from Canada would begin his journey of patenting and perfecting features of the Model T to travel over snow. 

It was the winter of 1922 when Armand Bombardier designed a wind-driven sleigh using a Model T engine. It was only the first of many snowmobile designs, but not the first patent. Bombardier is now known as the man who first invented the “modern snowmobile”. He is the same man behind the iconic Ski-Doo Snowmobile brand. 

The Motorized Toboggan

the first snowmobile

Meanwhile, in Sayner, Wisconsin, a man named Carl Eliason was working hard on a similar project of his own. In 1927, the first snowmobile patent was issued. His patent defined the first workable, single-track, one-passenger snowmobile. 

Eliason called it a motor toboggan, which essentially described just what it was. It was a wooden, motorized toboggan “fitted with two skis, which were steered with ropes, powered by a 2 ½ horsepower Johnson outboard motor, and pushed by an endless steel cleated track.” 

What was particularly neat about his machine was that it had “a front-mounted, liquid-cooled engine that used a jackshaft.” His version groomed the path toward what we recognize as the modern snowmobile. 

A Timeline of the History of Snowmobiles

In the years between 1927 and 1962, thirteen patents were granted for snow vehicles. Eliason’s snow vehicles went into production through Sayner for fifteen years. During this time, other companies spent decades patenting the many versions of snowmobiles. 

Let’s break down a basic timeline of the history of snowmobiles:

history of snowmobiles

1927

Carl Eliason patented the feature of his motorized toboggan, defining the first workable, single-track, one-passenger snowmobile.

1937

Armand Bombardier patented a tracked vehicle for traveling over snow.

The 1940s

An “iron dog” machine went into production. Larger, slower, and clumsier than modern snowmobiles, it was primarily used by hunters, trappers, and power company service crews.

By 1947, Bombardier began manufacturing snow machines capable of carrying up to 12 people. The military used these machines for the most part. However, the Canadian police, mining and oil companies, and ski resorts adopted it.

The 1950s

Polaris Industries made a commitment to the development, testing, and manufacturing of the definitive single-track snowmobile.

history of snowmobiles

1958-59

Bombardier finally pulled the trigger and launched the Ski-Doo snowmobile. The lighter, more maneuverable machine was a huge success with the public. Numerous other companies soon rushed their versions into production, giving rise to the sport of snowmobiling.

1968

Yamaha manufactured its first snowmobile. They were the most successful of their time, yet with only 350 manufactured in total.

history of snowmobiles

The 1970s 

Snowmobile racing was now very popular. Yamaha’s SRX440 model was at the top of the charts of the racing scene. 

The 1980s

At this point, technology began to allow for special additional advancements. Heated handlebar warmers were one of these new features. Around this time, a man named Gerard Karpik introduced the M-10 suspension. This allowed for harder riding over rough terrain, a necessary improvement for cross-country riders.

The 1990s

Polaris launched a new revolution in the history of snowmobiles with electronic fuel injection. It created a better fuel economy, smoother riding, and better performance in general.

The Ski-Doo

history of snowmobiles

By the late 50s, Bombardier had finally created the lightweight, speedy snow machine that set the stage for how the industry would continue to grow. It was a point of no return! “The modern engines had become small enough and light enough to make this design possible. [His] design revolutionized the snowmobile industry with its tunnel mounted engine, combined chassis/hood, and an endless rubber track affixed via sprung bogie wheels.”

By 1962, he patented his track design in both Canada and the United States. It was approved for mass production in 1964. From there, the competitors really began to trickle in. Brands like Arctic Cat, for example, wanted to change things up, helping to drive the ever-evolving history of snowmobiles forward to the next step.

The Arctic Cat

history of snowmobiles

In 1965, Arctic Cat made some crucial alterations to Bombardier’s suspension design. “They replaced the bogie wheels that were being used in Bombardier’s design, to keep the machine on the track, with a pair of slide rails running on the cleats of the track. This design allowed for shock absorbers to be added, which would aid in smoothing the ride of the snowmobile.” 

“The very next year, Arctic Cat redesigned yet another feature of their snowmobile. The new design moved the engine from on top of the drive unit, located behind the driver, and placed it in the front of the track tunnel, in the belly pan of the front of the machine. By moving the engine they were able to lower the center of gravity of the snowmobile, which balanced it with the rider’s body weight. This proved for substantially better handling and performance.”

history of snowmobiles

To this day, the four major manufacturers use this basic design concept. It took only two years for Arctic Cat to bring the snowmobile into the “unexplored territory of sport riding and performance vehicles.”

A Long History of Snowmobiles

It’s crazy to think snowmobiles started from a log-hauling, 20-ton machine, isn’t it? The long history of snowmobiles will continue changing year after year. Thanks to the genius of Bombardier from 1922 to the 1960s, snowmobiling became what it is today. As the popularity of snowmobile riding continues to grow, so will the technological advances, making for a bright, innovative future ahead!

history of snowmobiles

We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did; maybe you even learned a thing or two. At TMS Parts, y’all know we have a special place in our hearts for all things snowmobile. Take a peek at another recent blog we did featuring a handful of really cool vintage snowmobiles!