Just like previous designs Bracey has had, the twin-track Trail Roamer will operate very car-like. It will feature a steering wheel, and gas and brake pedals. The driver will sit in a heated cockpit, with a seatbelt for added comfort.
Many people may not remember the early days of snowmobiling when there were over 100 manufactures. In those days (the mid to late sixties), many types of methods to traverse the snow were attempted by the diverse creativity of the investors of the era.
One successful company was Leisure Vehicles Incorporated (LVI). LVI was founded by an ex-racing car designer Bob Bracey who had just completed a program to build Ford GT 40 MKII and MKIV racing cars. These cars were rear engined and had extremely good handling compared to front engined cars. It came to mind that other vehicles could benefit from this line of thought. The snowmobile market was booming at this time, so Bracey turned his talents to the challenge of creating a stable comfortable snow vehicle that handled like a sports car. The first prototypes resembled a go cart with tracks and skis. It did go in snow quite well, steering without any leaning required (Leaning was the method of steering early single track snowmobiles).
A company was formed (LVI) to produce the two versions of sleds that were chosen for the first year ROAMER was a Briggs & Stratton powered 1 hp trail sled and the RAIDER had a single cylinder JLO 24 hp two cycle engine. Both featured two tracks and a rear mounted powerplant. Although the styling slightly resembled a duck, they sold quite well.
President Bob Bracey heads Three R Industries, and is a well-known ex-racing car designer, and was also the founder of Leisure Vehicles Inc. (LVI) who were the manufacturers of the original Raider twin-tracked snowmobiles. The short success and popularity of the Raider has proven that this may have been a machine that was 30 years ahead of its time. Early Manta and Raider owners cited the ease of steering for the innovative sleds from LVI. Just like previous designs Bracey has had, the twin-track Trail Roamer will operate very car-like. It will feature a steering wheel, and gas and brake pedals. The driver will sit in a heated cockpit, with a seatbelt for added comfort.
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Even before the first year had ended the switch was made to smoother twin cylinder Canadian Curtis Wright fan cooled engines. Approximately 500 were produced in the 1970-1971 season.
Similar to the past Manta and the Raider, the Trail Roamer features a pair of tracks in the rear, each mounted on an independent skid frame. The rails are made from extruded aluminum, and the remainder of the components will be stainless steel. Both skids will offer 8.5 inches of travel, utilizing gas shocks and coil over springs.
Three R plans to handle the first yearís distribution in order to keep the majority of the units close to home and to be close to the consumers to help them. Michigan will be the main market for the first year. After the first year, it is planed to have a dealer network in place and expand production to a couple thousand units per yearThree R Industries plans to bring a new twin-tracked, sit-in snowmobile to market this winter called the Trail Roamer. It is powered by Kohlerís 725cc 4-stroke V-twin, with optional EFI (electronic fuel injection). The four-stroke kohler motor is air-cooled and has fully pressurized lubrication. What is so unique about the Trail Roamer, is that you actually sit in it instead of on it. Handling wise you should expect a level of performance that is totally unique. Overall handling, cornering, steering effort, and maneuverability are where the Trail Roamer will shine.
Kohlerís 725cc 4-stroke V-twin
Optional EFI 8.5 inches of front skid travel
Adjustable suspension seat
Tilt steering wheel
First "green" snowmobile
$7,995 (IJS) retail
Another advantage of the Trail Roamer will be that it is the first "green" snowmobile because itís kohler engine meet the strict California Air Research Board requirements. Not only will this give consumers a smokeless, quiet and economical trail machine, but it should also improve the way people look on recreational OHVís.
The Trail Roamer is on display and available for purchase at the new Destination Sports in Millinocket..
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