2006 Ski Doo Tour Offers Some Exciting New Products
By Scott A. Sumner
I sat down with Dan Oitzl, District Sales Manager North West Ontario for Ski Doo to the spring tour event in Thunder Bay, Ontario to ask some questions about the 2006 line up.
Whats new with the Ski Doo sleds for 2006 Dan?
There are many new things. We have a couple of new models. The Tundra has changed dramatically, the first change in about 20 years. It has a completely new chassis. It is a REV style and has the same DNA but its own unique chassis. It is smaller than the REV, light like the new Freestyle, except the tunnel is longer because it accomadates the longer Tundra track. There is the same suspension as in the REV on the rear and has an A Arm front suspension which gives it better and more front travel.
The Freestyle is a brand new model?
The concept is we need more young people in the sport. The sport has been catering to a group of snowmobilers for years who are aging. You can see it in the demographics of the age of snowmobilers. Nobody has really done anything to bring new young people into the sport. You look at the average price of a snowmobile nowadays at about $10,000. Even the fan cools are up over $8000 and plus. We need something that is more playful, more fun and less costly. For $5199 you can get in to a brand new snowmobile that is probably, for most parents, a safer vehicle for their children to actually ride. I would think the target age group is 16 to 20 years old or new riders. There is nothing between the Mini z and the 380 fan in our line up until now. It is a sled someone could transition to a REV sled. It is fully trailable, runs well on the trails. When I was growing up in the country, you were in the fields fooling around, making a little track for yourselve. You can do that with the Freestyle. It has a 300 cc single cylinder. Top speed would be 80 to 85 Kmh. The natural transition would be a 380 or 550 fan sled from that point on.
You have a spring only order version of the Renegade, a 1000cc?
We are Introducing it this year in a spring only version in a 1000cc X platform. I think for our market in Northern Ontario it will be quite strong. We do sell a lot of 600 and 800 Renegades but a 1000 is a natural. Depending on where you are the crossover sled is popular. In Northern Ontario you get a lot of crown land, old bush roads where you can ride. Guys would like to have a little more track underneath them, but they dont want to go to the Summit in this area.
Was the season a good one for Ski Doo?
We had a fantastic season in my area, Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay all the way to the Manitoba border. The whole region did extremely well, largely due to the snow conditions. The final numbers for this year are yet to come in because the year ends March 31st so they are just tabulating the numbers now. We were tracking even a head of last year though. There is a lot of interest this spring. Many are ordering for next fall. The first reason is snow conditions. The second is what do you have to offer. Is it something unique in the spring, something you cant get in the fall. The avid enthusiast will order now. The momentum in our product line is amazing and it all stems from the beginning of the REV platform. At the beginning many said the REV was no good. Now look at all the other brands and guess what they are doing, they are following that trend. In 2003 it was said the REV would change snowmobiling in the modern day, which it did. If you didnt follow suit you got left behind.