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**Snowmobile Features and Evolution**:
– Snowmobiles are motorized vehicles designed for winter travel on snow and ice, commonly used on open terrain or trails.
– Brands like Arctic Cat, Polaris Inc., and Ski-Doo are popular in the United States.
– Most modern snowmobiles are designed for one person, with skis at the front and a continuous track at the rear.
– Early snowmobiles used rubber tracks, with modern ones incorporating Kevlar composite tracks.
– Snowmobile engines have evolved from four-stroke to more powerful two-stroke engines, with a recent resurgence of four-stroke engines.
– Snowmobiling has evolved into various recreational activities like snowcross, trail riding, and grass drags.

**Legality and History of Snowmobiling**:
– Penalties may apply for driving outside permitted areas, without proper gear or licenses, or under the influence.
– Regulations cover noise levels, wildlife protection, and snowmobile registration.
– Specific snowmobile driver’s licenses are required in some jurisdictions.
– Snowmobiles have a history dating back to the late 19th century, with early models like the Ford Model T conversions and Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s successful test in 1935.
– Snowmobile development paralleled advancements in automobile and aviation technology.

**Snowmobile Brands and Models**:
– Polaris Industries, founded in the 1950s, introduced the Polaris Sno Traveler in 1957.
– Ski-Doo, introduced by Joseph-Armand Bombardier in 1960, was one of the earliest snowmobile brands.
– Taiga Motors created the first commercially produced electric snowmobile, the Taiga TS2, featuring advanced technology and lightweight design.
– Engine development has seen significant advancements, with models now reaching 1,200cc and producing over 150 hp.
– Various early models and inventors contributed to the evolution of snowmobiles, including Carl Eliason, Adolphe Kégresse, and the Lenko Company.

**Terrain Capabilities and Environmental Impact**:
– Snowmobiles can side-hill on steep hills, access remote deep snow areas, and perform aerial maneuvers in non-tracked terrain.
– Design improvements like Ski-Doo’s REV framework enhance performance.
– Efforts are ongoing to reduce emissions and noise pollution from snowmobiles, with regulations and technologies like fuel injection and catalytic converters being utilized.
– Manufacturers are developing cleaner engine technologies, like direct-injected clean two-stroke engines, to reduce environmental impact.

**Work, Recreation, Economic Impact, and Safety**:
– Snowmobiles historically enabled faster travel for isolated communities, trappers, prospectors, mining companies, and law enforcement.
– Snowmobiling has become a popular recreational activity, contributing over $28 billion annually to the economies of Canada and the U.S.
– Snowmobilers contribute to local economies through spending on lodging, food, and gas, sustaining towns like Bralorne, BC.
– Safety is crucial in snowmobiling, with higher injury and fatality rates compared to on-road vehicle accidents, requiring proper training, gear, and avoidance of alcohol.
– Snowmobilers face risks like collisions with animals, drowning, and avalanches, emphasizing the importance of safety measures.

Snowmobile (Wikipedia)

A snowmobile, also known as a snowmachine, motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, or snow scooter, is a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow. It is designed to be operated on snow and ice and does not require a road or trail, but most are driven on open terrain or trails. Snowmobiling is a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby. Common brand names in the United States include Arctic Cat, Polaris Inc. and Ski-Doo.

A snowmobile tour at Yellowstone National Park
First person view of a snowmobile driven through Yellowstone National Park.

Older snowmobiles could generally accommodate two people; however, most snowmobiles manufactured since the 1990s have been designed to only accommodate one person. Snowmobiles built with the ability to accommodate two people are referred to as "2-up" snowmobiles or "touring" models and make up an extremely small share of the market. Most snowmobiles do not have any enclosures, except for a windshield, and their engines normally drive a continuous track at the rear. Skis at the front provide directional control.

Early snowmobiles used simple rubber tracks, but modern snowmobiles' tracks are usually made of a Kevlar composite construction. The earliest snowmobiles were powered by readily available industrial four-stroke, air-cooled engines. These would quickly be replaced by lighter and more powerful two-stroke gasoline internal combustion engines and since the mid-2000s four-stroke engines had re-entered the market.

The second half of the 20th century saw the rise of recreational snowmobiling, whose riders are called snowmobilers, sledders, or slednecks. Recreational riding is known as snowcross/racing, trail riding, freestyle, boondocking, ditchbanging and grass drags. In the summertime snowmobilers can drag race on grass, asphalt strips, or even across water (as in snowmobile skipping). Snowmobiles are sometimes modified to compete in long-distance off-road races.

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