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Snowmobiles, an all terrain motor vehicle driven by means of rubber track and a skis, are supposed to be driven on snow. Most of the snowmobiles are controlled and run by two-stroke ignition engines some four-stroke engines are also gaining popularity. Currently some models of snowmobiles can run at a speed in the range of nearly 125 mph. While racing breeds might zoom off to a magic figure of 185mph. These are extensively used in frosty regions for traveling purposes. With the exception of the Arctic/Antarctic regions, some parts of North America and Europe (which experience huge snowfall), most snowmobiles are used for leisure purpose.
Interestingly, the number of snowmobiles is comparatively low in Europe to other parts of the world. Recently however, they are on the upward swing in popularity. Some of the leading manufacturers of Snowmobiles include: Alpina Snowmobiles, Polaris Industries, and Yamaha. Alpina, based in Italy, is the only maker in the world making a dual tracked snowmobile while Bombardier has stopped its production of dual track model on some technical grounds. At the present moment, the snowmobile market is totally dominated by the five big-guns - Ski Doo, Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Polaris and Alpina. They have absolute control of the American as well as European market.
Some initial steps were taken by Hetteen Hoist & Derrick Co. to manufacture snowmobiles in the mid 1950s. Later, the same company transformed into Polaris Industries and created snowmobiles for commercial purpose. Subsequently, the Bombardier taking a clue from its rival, concocted a snowmobile in its open-cockpit (one- or two-person) form. Afterwards, it continued its production by the name of Ski-doo. Seeing an entirely new product in the market, rivals copied and improved before launching their own version. The numbers were growing during the 70s to 80s and probably hundreds of snowmobile manufacturers were doing business then. Sales of snowmobiles witnessed an unprecedented growth in mid 90s before experiencing a decline due to warmer winters in the new millennium.
Snowmobiles are very popular with everyone from tourists to reindeer herders. The ecological impact of snowmobiles has turned out to be the most debated topic all around. To bring the matter under control, numerous manufacturers have conducted experiments using less polluting motors. Some of them have even started manufacturing eco-friendly snowmobiles to combat the growing fear of an unstable environment. Amongst them, Yamaha and Arctic Cat are leading the way by producing four-stroke models, which are considerably more environment friendly compared to some of the existing two-stroke machines.



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