Legendary Kirk Hibbert Talks About the SnoPro Sled
by Scott A. Sumner
It was fun to sit down with the legendary Kirk Hibbert recently at the Duluth Snocross and ask him about the new Arctic Cat race sleds.
“ I basically am in charge of setting the sleds up, making sure they are working properly and keeping the shop ready to go for Tucker. We work out of my shop at Goodrich, MN near Thief River Falls. I still work for Arctic Cat but I do projects now. I used to be in charge of
the development of particular models like the race sled but now I just do projects and work mainly in the suspension areas, “said Kirk Hibbert who is 53 years old. “ If you look at the new 2011 Snopro 600 you would hardly see a thing different but there are quite a few
things. Everyplace where we had any durability issues we tried to fix them with a thicker bracket here or a different bolt there, that kinda thing. Performance wise we have a new track and a little bit of tuning on the exhaust and programming on the engine with a little bit of
suspension calibration. You could say it is tweaking. This is the fourth version of this model. The track has a little different lug design based on Arctic Cat’s pattern of the Attack 20 powder track. It is somewhat more aggressive and is a little lighter. It is a 286 pitch instead of a 252. The improvements this year are just about as good as any year.”
I wondered what Kirk Hibbert thought of the SnoPro 500 consumer sled. “ It is a fun little sled. I got to ride them quite a bit towards the end of last year. It doesn’t have that snorting HP you like to have sometimes but it a nice running and handling sled. It is fairly
snappy and you can ride it fairly hard. If you have a younger teen who rides and jumps hard and yet you don’t want them in a higher HP machine the sled is very tough and durable and yet won’t run 110 MPH. The HP on the 500 is probably slightly better than the old ZR 440’s I raced in the I -500’s. There are some after market kits out for the SnoPro 500.
You could probably put in the 600 motor. There is a little to be gained with clutching but not a lot that way.” said Kirk Hibbert.
What does Kirk Hibbert think is coming down the pipe for Arctic Cat?
“ There will be different sleds down the road. This SnoPro chassis wasn’t built to hold larger engines like say a 800. It was built to fill this racing need. In the future there will be better sleds than that. You have to keep going up.