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A man riding a snowmobile through the snow. A man riding a snowmobile through the snow.
Power Sport, ATV, UTV, Snowmobiles, Dirt Bikes, and Off-Roading
January 24, 2020

HOW TO PREP YOUR SNOWMOBILE AND NOT END UP FACE FIRST IN A SNOWDRIFT

WRITTEN BY: LEAH JOHNSON

Snowmobile Safety Tips

According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) as of 2019, there are over a million registered snowmobiles in the US alone. From recreation to transportation, there are a lot of people out there riding a lot of snowmobiles. Safety is important to keep in mind when dealing with any sort of heavy machinery, from what you wear to how you ride, and at The ROP Shop we like to remind people that proper maintenance is a big part of that as well. Here are some specific things you can do to make sure you have fun, accident-free outings on your snowmobile.

According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) as of 2019 there are over a million registered snowmobiles in the US alone.
Seven hand signals to know when riding a snowmobile. Seven hand signals to know when riding a snowmobile.

BASICS:

1. Make sure you know how to operate your machine

Not just how to turn it on and make it go, study your owner’s manual and learn all the bells and whistles.

2. Learn the hand signals

Along with the basic left turn, right turn, etc. signals there are additional ones for snowmobiling. Make sure you have them memorized before heading out.

3. Travel in groups

There’s safety in numbers and if something goes wrong it’s best to have a few friends along to help.

4. Stick to the trails

If you’re riding in a State or National Park then there should be trails marked and maintained already. If traveling through an area you aren’t familiar with it’s best to drive slow and give yourself a chance to react to any obstacles.

5. Don’t drink and drive

It’s common sense, so just don’t do it.

6. Safety Courses

Some states require them, but even if they don’t it’s still a good idea to take one.

Dress Appropriately:

  • Helmet — If you don’t have a full helmet make sure you’re also wearing goggles and a face shield. Your helmet should be the appropriate size for your head.
  • Suit — Wear a well-insulated jacket and bibs and layers underneath.
  • Gloves — Preferably waterproof.
  • Boots — Make sure your socks are warm and cotton-free and your boots are waterproof.
  • Try to avoid cotton — It absorbs water and will freeze when wet.

Cargo:

  • Emergency — First aid and emergency kits are always good to have on hand. Repair kits with spare parts and tools may come in handy as well.
  • Don’t bring too much — Check your machine’s weight limit and take into account your passenger as well as your cargo.

Maintenance

(always follow your manual for the best guide on what needs replaced, checked, or topped-off)

  • Replace filters — Oil and fuel filters should be replaced during your preseason tune-up.· Spark plugs — Replace if needed and keep a few spares in your Emergency Repair Kit.
  • Test — Lights, battery, steering, and brakes should all be checked. If they can be checked without taking your snowmobile out then do it then, but for steering and brakes go slow. You don’t want to be zooming along when you find out your steering is off.
  • Check and tighten — Check the condition of everything from your skis to your throttle. Make sure all your nuts and bolts are tight and everything is aligned.
  • Check the fluids — Gas, brake fluid, antifreeze, and oil should all be topped off.
  • Give your engine a once-over — make sure your electric and fuel systems are in working order.

Transportation:

  • Trailer — Ensure your trailer is in good condition, from the tires to the hitch.
  • Straps — Use reliable straps that aren’t going to snap or come loose and your way to your destination.
  • D-rings — Replace rusty or damaged d-rings and make sure the bolts are nice and tight. If there is a problem with your ski, be proactive and get it fixed sooner rather than later. Small problems can turn into big problems at the most inconvenient times and you don’t want to get stranded. If you don’t want to spring for brand new parts, here at The ROP Shop we even have some used parts from tested snowmobiles that will keep your unit running like new. From hoods to mudguards, you can find them with The ROP Shop. Let us know if you need help verifying fitment by contacting us at, support@theropshop.com We’re happy to help.

Be safe and have fun, and always STAY RUGGED.

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