Canadian Snowcross Race Association (CSRA) President Ken Avann has been riding snowmobiles for a long time. We got Ken to take his thumb off the throttle just long enough to get his take on his four all-time favourite snowmobiles. Here is his answers in this edition of the FAB4
1978 Yamaha SSR440 Sno Pro:
This was my favorite Yamaha race sled, only one hundred were ever made. The Yamaha SSR factory oval racer was hand built in Japan to take on the Ski-Doo, Polaris and Arctic Cat Sno Pro sleds. The SSR featured Yamahas first IFS front suspension and the first and last rear sway bar system. It was a 440cc screamer and arguably one of the best looking race sleds of all time.
1985 Ski-Doo Pro Stock:
This was my favorite Ski-Doo race sled. We hand built fifty of these sleds in the Valcourt race shop with Gerard Karpik. The Pro Stock racer had a IFS front suspension with the shocks laid down under the engine, we could raise or lower the ride height of the entire sled by 6” in just a couple minutes allowing a low center of gravity set up for oval racing or a high full suspension set up for Snowcross. In 1985 we won the Pro Open Snowcross Championship, a 100 Mile Cross Country race, and the Pro Stock Oval Championship, all with the same race sled.
1988 Polaris Indy Pro-5 Formula 3 Racer:
I hand built this sled with Larry Rugland and Burt Bassett in the Polaris Pro-5 Race Shop in Rosseau, MN. The Pro-5 Indy produced 145HP and would hit 105 mph on a half-mile oval. We won the Formula 3 Shootout in Valcourt, Quebec with this sled. The winner of this race won a duplicate production sled paid for by the losing manufactures. So Yamaha, Ski-Doo and Arctic Cat had to buy me a new Polaris Indy 650. That was a cool prize to win!
2018 Yamaha YZ450F with Timbersled ARO 120SX Kit:
As a former Snowmobile and Motocross racer, I love Snow Bikes, my favourite Snow Bike ride is a Yamaha YZ450F with a Timbersled ARO Kit similar to Brock Hoyer’s X-Games Bike. This set up will go anywhere and is capable of lap times as fast, or faster, than a Pro race sled on a tight race course. I think the ultimate snow vehicle in the future will be a cross between a Snowmobile and a Snow Bike.