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Author Topic: 1972 Racing Season  (Read 3123 times)
wc
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« on: February 21, 2010, 10:56:22 PM »

1972 Race Season
From what I can remember, the 1972 season came along with a couple of surprises.  We had switched over to Yamaha engines, way stronger performing than the CCW engines. How or why Gene came up with the idea to use the dual ACS exhaust systems, I don’t  know !  But as soon as the snow hit the ground, we were getting reports that most all stock Roll-o-flex machines  with our unique exhaust system were outperforming both Yamaha and Snow Jet stock machines, who both used Yamaha engines.  This was probably  particularly satisfying to Gene, as he had raced for Snow Jet and now was the designer of a stock machine anybody could buy and expect to beat their neighbor.  We attributed this to the dual exhaust system.
The ACS “muffler “ was really a tuned pipe . The exhaust gasses traveled through the header into a megaphone cone in the canister, then out of the megaphone cone.  They then were reversed around the outside of the megaphone within the canister to the outlet  tube or “stinger” at the top of the canister.  The system worked almost as well as expansion chambers.
Gene and Barry continued  to race formally for Roll-o-flex.  I only raced cross country.  If I remember correctly,  it was at this time that Brad Pernisie  moved  to Edmonton  and was now racing for MotoSki. Sid Thompson sort of did his own thing.  He would show up on Fridays, pick up a machine, spare belt,  spark plugs, and a few other spares and come back from who knows where on Monday with a trophy and a great story.  It was this season  that the ”Family Stock” class formally come into being.  Roll-o-flex machines were so competitive in this class, it nearly eliminated the necessity for the Factory to have its own race team.
Roll-o-flex did get serious about the Winnipeg to Minneapolis and the Regina to Minot cross country races.  We would have multiple entries in these races.  Sad to say I was no longer keeping records of the races so I don’t know who the drivers were or what the finishes were.
 The Regina to Minot race was where Gene was leading the race, and crashed into a telephone pole  that had been cut off about 2 feet above the ground,  but had been covered with snow.  Gene had just jumped over a road approach and landed on the pole,  demolishing his machine. Gene was OK, he was up on the  approach  warning  riders  of the obstacle.  When I came upon him, he flagged me down and we had a good laugh over his totaled machine.
During this season Gene would make lengthy trips to our dealers and distributors to help them with their racing programs. We at the factory eagerly awaited his return, as he would show up with great stories of racing somewhere in the states, and would bring back loads of prototype parts from Robanks  in North Dakota.
From what I can remember,  it was during the trips to the states  that Gene would make and Gene getting access to Yamaha “Free Air R“ engines that the GT machines evolved. They were sort of secret machines . The Wild One machines were also prototyped during this time, taking the best ideas from Polaris, Artic Cat, Skidoo and Snow Jet. The fastest ideas, under Gene’s guidance were incorporated into our machines. The best  was about to happen.     Wade


        

« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 11:22:14 PM by wc » Logged
Steve
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 07:50:12 AM »

It sounds like those were the haydays of snowmobiling, with all the different brands out there some of the ideas that were developed were quite ingenious.
I know when I first seen the GTX, I was still racing ovals and wanted to get into grass dragging in the fall. It was about 1983 when I seen one for the first time and was very impressed with the design and components used. I knew when I seen it that this sled could be a very competitive machine. With Comet clutches, Kohler motor, Mikuni carbs, Superflexion suspension, its wide ski stance, I knew it would give the Sno Twisters and Arctic Cats a real good run for the money.
Once I learned more about these sleds I didn't want to modify it for racing and chop it up. I decided Id leave it original and thats how it is to this day.
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340tnt
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 06:21:53 AM »

this is good stuff! History preserved, Thanks for taking the time to write so much, and in a entertaining fashion.  Cool
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