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Old 06-17-2014, 07:19 PM
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Default May start racing

Hello I'm 18 and interested in starting either Sno-Cross or Cross Country racing. I've been around sleds for years now and have a 2014 rmk of currently but I don't know what to use as a race sled. I've been looking at IQR's, MXZ-RS's, and Sno Pro's but i don't know what the pros and cons of each. Any help, tips, or advice for a wanna-be racer?

Thanks
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:35 PM
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They are all so equal that a good rider will win on any of them. Find a sponsor or a good local dealer that will help keep parts in stock for you. What ever brand that is, is what I would race. Cant win if youre broke down with no parts. And you will break stuff including your bank account! Do what the pros do. Follow the money and race that brand. If no money, every small town has one good dealer. That is what I would be on. Hope this helps you.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:51 PM
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It does help but I'm not looking to get a new race sled because I may not love the sport so i dont want to have a sled that I cant use often due to race fuel not readily available. I'm more interested in a second hand race sled. Just wondering what years were better then others. I realize newer sleds generally have better charastics so I'm looking at a 2003+ race sled. The closest dealer of any sort is still a 30 min drive from my house haha
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:00 PM
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Run what ya brung.

The 600 pro will do it. Won't be as elegant as an IQR, but it'll do it. Trust me.
Brand loyalty is ... up to you. Personally, I know Polaris pretty well and have connections for parts and support. An IQR would be pretty high on my list over a cat or doo because of my knowledge and connections. Also consider any special tools you may have for a certain brand (clutch tools, spare parts).

Go through the org's rulebook for specifics, but:

Get the gear. Helmet/goggles, tekvest+shoulder pads, and knee pro required. Orange coverage kinda depends on the organization, some are more strict than others. If it's something you're into, just get the orange stuff to begin with. Makes it easier, and it's a good idea anyways.
I also recommend elbow pads, armored shorts, and a mouthguard. Sno-x tracks aren't like mountain powder - you're riding on ice and it hurts when you crash. And you will crash. Probably a few times. Someone coming up hot behind you may not be able to maneuver out of the way without hitting you or your sled. So keep that in mind.

Set up your sled. Working tether, killswitch, headlight, taillight are almost universally required. If you're studded, make sure those are appropriate. Stock skis are usually fine, but check the carbide requirements if you're running something else. Snow flap, again, depends on the organization. You'll need to make sure your belt guard is in place and secure. Rulebook will also go over what is and isn't allowed in various classes when it comes to aftermarket parts, engine modifications, etc.

Strip ALL the backcountry stuff off the sled. Bags, muffpot, luggage, accessories, etc.
Widen the skis. On the stock Pro skis, there's two spacers you can move inside or outside. Put the spacers on the outside so the skis are as far apart as they'll go.
Ditch the sway bar. Helps when you approach a jump off-center; won't pitch you off to the side.
Stiffen up the shocks. A couple turns is all it takes, and it makes a big difference.
I only put about half a tank of fuel in my sled when I race. No reason to lug around 10+ gallons of fuel, you're only putting on ~10 miles in a full weekend of racing. You want enough in there that your sled isn't sucking air at extreme angles, but not filling the tank is an easy way to save some weight.
Make sure -everything- on the sled is in good shape. Ski alignment/camber, track tension, chain/drive belt tension, all the bolts are tight, fluids are all topped off, nothing's cracked/damaged, no weird electrical gremlins, etc.
There may be size and placement requirements for your numbers too, again, those will be in the rulebook.

Lots of resources and how-to's in the Polaris section for setting up and going through the Pro's.





This is why you want to wear all the gear... that step-down kept the medics busy all day.
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Last edited by Mule; 06-17-2014 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Belt guard required too!
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:21 PM
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I'd recommend going to one or two of the races to watch and see how things are run first. Get a feel of how the races go, how strict they are in tech, starting line procedures, class organization, etc etc. Talk with the racers, but respect their time and space. Most are pretty friendly people.
Get to know the flags and what to do when certain flags are flown. I was in a race that got red-flagged due to an obstruction on the track, and shooting one that got red-flagged due to an injury.
Yellow-flag means someone biffed it, slow down and keep your track on the ground (usually no passing in the yellow-flagged section as well).
White is last-lap. Checkered... if you don't know that, you probably shouldn't be racing.

Fees. See if the org has a per-event registration fee. RMSR's is $35 if you're not a season member. Registration for the season is about $120. So only racing in a few events is cheaper to just pay the per-event fees rather than a season registration.
Each event you put in for will probably have a fee associated with it. RMSR's $50 for sno-x ($100 for pro class), $25 for hill-x/drags/ovals, and $10 for most vintage and 120 classes.

So you decide to do it. Sled's ready, and you've got the gear loaded in the truck.
Hit up registration... name/address, entry/registration fees, insurance, waivers, etc etc. May get a wristband or parking/pit pass.

Morning of the race, get there early enough to unload, gear up, and do another quick check over your sled. Pre-race riders meeting will go over some safety information, how the race is run (number of laps, starting procedures), brief track layout, and any other important details. It's really important to go to that meeting, and if you have any questions or don't understand something, that's the time to speak up and ask.

Tech inspection can be done before or after the riders meeting, but it has to be done before you race. Find the tech director and have him/her do their thing. They'll check your sled, pop your tether and hit your kill switch to make sure those work, have you hit your brake to make sure the light works, check headlights, check belt guard, and look for anything unsafe. They may or may not ask about or check your protective equipment. Assuming you pass, they'll put a sticker on your sled and you're good to go. Some orgs may require your sled stays in the pits, or that you don't open the side panels. That's why I recommend looking through the rulebook and getting an idea of the attitude of the organization.

Check the race schedule, and find the others racing in your heat. RMSR numbers the heats, and has a sign they flip that has the current heat number on it. Write down the heats you're in, and watch that sign board if you wander out of the pits/staging area.

When you're up, follow the lead of the race directors and others in your heat. When the green flag drops, pin it to win it!

Post-race tech is the inspection that counts - while it's unlikely in a smaller circuit and usually only for those that place, they may check for engine modifications or fuel octane. All the safety requirements still hold - if your tether worked pre-race but doesn't shut the sled off afterwards, you'll fail tech and forfeit the race.

Most important part is to have fun.
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Last edited by Mule; 06-17-2014 at 11:54 PM. Reason: i cnt spel
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:34 PM
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Toss a roll of orange duct tape and a sharpie in your gear bag.
If tech doesn't think your helmet or vest has enough orange on it, use this to make them happy.
Write your heat numbers on it and stick it to your sled or arm.
If your windshield's loose, tape it down before the next heat.


Safety's kind of a big deal at these events. Accidents and injuries do happen, but protective gear minimizes the pain.


It is fun.


It is expensive.


It is worth it.


When I don't crash, I don't do too bad.
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Last edited by Mule; 06-17-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:43 AM
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You may be interested in this XC racing association.
https://usxcracing.com/main/

The president of this association is former Cat racer Brian Nelson, who, in the 1970's won the Winnipeg,Canada to St.Paul,MN I-500 the first two years consecutively.

In Feb. 2015 Brian is re-creating the I-500, this time starting in Winnipeg, but ending in Willmar,MN. Its planned to take 4 days.
Check the website for all details.
https://usxcracing.com/main/index.ph...peg-to-willmar

I know the route map is on the site, but can't find it right now.

Old Snowizard (thats me) is doing radio comm, and other electronic "stuff" for the event. Should be a blast.

Also, the event will need many volunteers along the 500 mile route. If interested, contact Brian Nelson directly.
He's a great easy going guy, and detail oriented.

Want to race in it? Plenty time to register.
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Last edited by Snowizard; 06-18-2014 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:04 PM
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Mule you use a RMK Pro for Sno-X? haha I will defiantly be looking at the rules/regulations of the local racing circuit. and Snowizard I'll look more into the I-500 but it does sound fun are there newbie classes? haha

This is 14RMK600 just so people know. I got locked out of that account so I had to make this one. Hopefully I don't get locked out again

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Old 06-18-2014, 07:43 PM
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Last I knew you could still run a mtn sled in sno-x but crissakes that can be a beat down. But eh give it a go and see if it gets you fired up then go after a race sled. You can get really good deals on race sleds that have only been used one year and usually get some extra parts too. I'd go with the brand you know how to work on best. Have fun most of all!!
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:32 PM
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i am going to look into hillclimbing this year.... but i already have my sled ill tell u if u buy an iqr, buy an 06 or newer. my 05 has the weak steering post joint.... ask me how i know:-) but they arent too badly priced.... but since u already have a 14 pro, i agree with mule, why not race that???
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