Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another good show

Last weekend was the 2009 NHSMA winter rally, as usual it was a great show. Saturday night was the banquet with guest speaker Doug Hayes. Doug is a hall of famer who raced for Mercury back in the day. His talk was outstanding, I videotaped the whole thing. With luck we'll be selling copies at the spring swap meet.
The rally on Sunday was surprisingly well attended considering the Owl's Head show was the same day. NHSMA cut down some trees near the museum and its opened up the infield nicely and makes the area look much bigger. The Model T snowmobile was unveiled and rides were given. I got a ride in it, I gotta say its quite the thing. You can feel the body shift and flex, I can't imagine riding in it at any speed...
For the first time in 8 years of going to the show Angie and I went on the trail ride, this was a five mile loop and I was pleased that my '71 Panther 303 made it round trip with almost no issues. I REALLY need to put a new carb on that sled though, the HL Tillotson has a wicked bog at low speed, theres just about nothing between idle and 1/4 throttle and then the sled takes off like a shot. At one point on a big downhill the engine quit but fortunately I had the presence of mind to grab the starter handle and give a pull, the engine fired right back up... Out of the whole ride only one sled (a Panther, 399 maybe?) conked out and they had a new 2000+ machine to go recover it with.

Anyway as usual an outstanding show. I got some video of the show but my back was bothering me something awful so I dunno how good it'll be.


Friday, February 13, 2009

What happened to prices?

I got into vintage snowmobiling on the leading edge, now it seems like there are tons more people. You'd think that prices in that case would go up. There aren't any more old sleds than there ever were but there are more people wanting them so supply and demand kicks in.

So I'm trying to sell my '81 El Tigre. Mechanically this is a good sled, maybe 8 out of 10. Cosmetically not so much, maybe 5 out of 10. So I price it at $600, I want to buy Ed's Pantera and I figure $600 is a good price for that sled so I price mine to get the money I need. I get exactly 2 responses, both saying the sled is "too rough". For $600 I expect either a looker that doesn't run or a runner that looks a little rough. I've bought a couple $350 sleds that didn't look very good and didn't run well so I figure I'm about on with this price but apparently those prices are "so 4 years ago"...

I hate to offer Ed less money for his sled, he paid $900 when we got into sledding 8 years ago and while its been banged up a little I don't want to insult him with a low price...

I think Eddie paid $1100 for his Tigre in '01. It looked pretty much perfect other than needing decals, isn't $500 fair for a little cosmetic work? The interesting thing is that people seem to not want to dicker or offer a lower price. This is the second time I've seen this recently. If you read the other blog you'll see where I was stymied by a junkyard man last summer who wouldn't dicker on a hood. I was amazed and I'm amazed now...


Thursday, February 12, 2009

It'd almost make you cry

I go to one snowmobile show, yeah thats contrary to what you'd see on my website. I'd wanted to go to more shows this year but busy schedules and all. Why are so many snowmobile shows on Sunday? I'd prefer Saturday, sure I gotta get up early but with a Sunday show I gotta drive home and go to work the next day. The NHSMA show is great because its President's day weekend so I've got a day to recover.

Anyway its in the low 50's today with continued mild weather predicted for the weekend, I'm thinking there will be snow for the NHSMA show (should be just over freezing for the show) but nothing like we've had for the last couple weeks...

Oh well, it'll be better than the year we were there and there was zero snow.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another sale

So while I was on the 2 breakdown ride the other day it occured to me that since I've gotten the Grand Touring I haven't ridden the Tigre hardly at all and a big part of it is because while the thing is fun and fast and all it isn't terribly comfortable and if I'm not going to ride it I really ought to get rid of it. I've got 5 sleds right now and thats just too many.
Then I talked to Ed who mentioned he wants to sell his gorgeous '79 Pantera and that sealed the deal right there, the Tigre has got to go.
So for sale, 1 1981 Arctic Cat El Tigre 500cc Suzuki freeair engine with 150# of compression on each side, starts really easy, runs strong and fast.

A little bit cosmetically challenged, the hood is from an older Tigre, it has both types of hold down so you can choose which you like better. The heated grips work great, I put a new switch on last winter. New fuel lines last winter but they've hardened and should really be replaced although I've zip tied them on for safety. Carbs were cleaned last winter and the carb boots were replaced. New coil last winter, new headlight bucket and glass and new head and tail light bulb last winter.
The only thing I know doesn't work is the brake light but that'll be just a dirty switch which I think is in the handlebars, its definately not on the brake itself, I spent time looking for it the other day.
$600 and I'll deliver free to the NHSMA show this Sunday in Concord, NH.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

So lets say

Lets say you sank your Ski-Doo in a brook (see my post from yesterday)

and you bring your Cub Cadet tractor to pull it out and find yourself in this situation:

Probably means you're having a tough day huh?

Not so bad for us, we'd brought ramps and plenty of muscle, we were soon back on track.

I put a strap on the worst stuck ski while Bryan put ramps underneath.

I got the sled fired up while Bryan chipped some ice away. I was pleased that the Doo started easy.

I put Bryan on the Cub Cadet and got on the Doo, Angie took pictures. The plan was that if the Cub couldn't pull enough she'd hop on with Bryan to give added weight and therefore traction.

It turns out we didn't have to worry, after some mad scrabbling and sliding the sled came out with very little drama...

In fact the big drama was at the end as we couldn't get the Cub Cadet to climb the hill back up to the road. As the front tires started up the hill the rears wanted to dig for China. We strapped the wankle Panther to the front and I held it wide open and managed to drag the Cub up and out. I always knew that 303 rotary had some torque and towing power and I was very pleased with its effort on this.

Anyway big thanks to Bryan for his help and his most excellent camera, the pictures shown here are small percentages of the quality available in the originals. There are loads more pics too, at some point I'll make a video...