Polaris Has a History of Proving Its Outstanding Snowmobile Performance On Legendary Treks Across Alaska
Iron Dog Ambassadors to Ride New 2012 600 Switchback Adventure
MEDINA, MN (Feb. 11, 2011) – There’s probably no better natural proving ground for testing the quality of a brand new snowmobile than Alaska, and Polaris has used the challenging snow-covered terrain of “The Last Frontier” to demonstrate Polaris Terrain Domination for more than 55 years.
When Edgar Hetteen, one of the three original partners in Polaris Industries, wanted to make headlines with the company’s new snow machines in the late 1950s, he headed to Alaska. When Polaris wanted to demonstrate that its then-new rubber tracks could match or exceed the performance of cleated tracks in 1979, test riders headed to Alaska.
In 2011, Polaris is providing Iron Dog Ambassadors (Team #51) with the new 2012 600 Switchback Adventure, the new snowmobile that is in a category all its own. These ambassadors will ride the new Polaris Adventure throughout the challenging Iron Dog race route February 18-26, making frequent stops to promote the race and the goodwill it spreads throughout Alaska.
“Winter conditions around Roseau, Minnesota, where we develop and manufacture Polaris snowmobiles, are challenging, but there’s nothing as demanding as Alaska,” said Scott Swenson, Vice President/General Manager PG&A and Snowmobile Division. “Alaska is the ideal place for us to demonstrate the quality of the new 2012 600 Switchback Adventure. We’re excited to be part of the inaugural Iron Dog Ambassador ride, and are eager for everyone along the race route to see this versatile new model.”
Three 2011 Iron Dog Ambassadors will ride the new 2012 600 Switchback Adventure sled on the 2,000-mile Iron Dog race course. This new Polaris Switchback promises to provide riders with Versatility without Compromise when it comes to on-trail and off-trail performance.
The Switchback Adventure has the PRO-RIDE progressive-rate rear suspension, a new Independent Front Suspension, outstanding power from the 600 Cleanfire® engine, and the innovative, Polaris-exclusive Adventure Cargo System. Saddle bags and an accessory cargo bag can be installed on or removed from the sled’s cargo rack in just seconds – without tools – using Polaris Lock & Ride® technology. The new easy on and off storage system is ideal for the long 2,000 mile trip throughout Alaska.
Polaris snowmobile development teams have made numerous trips to Alaska to test products over the years. Plus, Polaris history includes these noteworthy Alaska experiences:
Edgar Hetteen (one of the three original partners in Polaris and the president in 1960), Earling Falk, and Rudy and Bessie Bilberg rode 1,200 miles in 21 days on Polaris Sno-Traveler snowmobiles. At the time, it was the longest and most significant unsupported trip ever successfully completed by snowmobile, and it generated headlines worldwide for Polaris. This Alaska trip helped Polaris prove the snowmobile was a viable product. Snowmobiles at the time were still viewed primarily as a utility machines, but Polaris quickly began marketing them as recreational vehicles that greatly heightened the appeal of winter.
Two snowmobile racers and members of the Polaris snowmobile development team, Bow Crosby and Ray Monsrud, started riding at Point Barrow and followed the western Alaskan coastline, finally stopping in Unalakleet “when we ran out of snow.” The pair towed cargo sleds containing their supplies (fuel, food, spare parts, sleeping bags, etc.), and frequently slept in villages schools along the way.
They rode 440cc fan-cooled Polaris Galaxy models, which had leaf spring front suspensions and the company’s first production rubber track. A key purpose of the trip was to showcase the durability of the new track to Alaskans. Traditional tracks with metal cleats tracks didn’t work well on the frozen tundra because the cleats would break, but this trip demonstrated the new rubber tracks were durable and worked well in the Alaskan wilderness.
Eleven members of the Polaris senior management team were joined by two of the company’s original three partners, David Johnson and Alaska veteran Edgar Hetteen, on a re-creation of Edgar’s historic 1960 ride. The group covered 800 miles in eight days aboard Indy Sport snowmobiles.
Polaris introduces the all-new, model year 2012 600 Switchback Adventure model in Alaska on the new Iron Dog Ambassador Ride. These new models and their drivers will traverse 2,000 grueling miles, demonstrating Polaris snowmobiles’ Terrain Domination in some of the most demanding winter conditions on earth.
The complete Polaris model year 2012 snowmobile lineup – which includes several more new models – will be introduced March 3, 2011, at www.terraindomination.com.
With annual 2010 sales of $1.99 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER™, snowmobiles and Victory motorcycles for recreational and utility use and has recently introduced a new on-road electric powered neighborhood vehicle.
Polaris is a recognized leader in the snowmobile industry; and one of the largest manufacturers of ORVs in the world. Victory motorcycles established in 1998 and representing the first all-new American-made motorcycle from a major company in nearly 60 years, are rapidly making impressive in-roads into the cruiser and touring motorcycle marketplace. Polaris also enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII,” and the Company is included in the S&P MidCap 400 stock price index.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime from the Polaris homepage at www.polarisindustries.com.