Jim Solberg's Vintage Snowmobiles

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My Vintage Sled Collection

1972 Scorpion Stinger II 400

"Big Red"

1970 Arctic Cat Panther 440J


1971 Arctic Cat Panther 440A

"Time Bandit"

1973 Scorpion Stinger 290

"Little Red" is sold!

1979 Arctic Cat Pantera

"The Catillac"

Jim Solberg's Vintage Snowmobile Web Log


2013-2014 Season Wrapup

This will certainly be a season to remember! Started riding December 7 and didn't stop until after March 22. We rode sleds every weekend but one through that period. The snow came early and there were no January thaws, no February thaws, no March thaws to speak of! Jennifer was with me on every ride but one, when she was sick in bed.
  • Jennifer and I had our third annual picnic lunch at Old Baldy near Corny.
  • I rode three days, and Jennifer two, with the Hoffman group on their annual vintage ride.
  • Jennifer fell in love (I think?) with the 1979 Pantera, "Catillac".
  • I got some serious seat time on Goldie... FINALLY!
We blew away last years mileage record!
  • 1979 Arctic Cat Pantera - 474 Miles
  • 1972 Scorpion Stinger - 360 Miles
  • 1971 Arctic Cat Panther - 393 Miles
  • 1970 Arctic Cat Panther - 433 Miles
Total = 1,660 miles, that's 300 miles more than last year.
Plans for this summer:
  • 1979 Arctic Cat Pantera - Running fine. I will put in a tach and temp gauges to fill out the instrument panel.
  • 1972 Scorpion Stinger - No needs here either. I still would like to chrome that front bumper.
  • 1971 Arctic Cat Panther - Time Bandit is due for a complete restoration this summer.
  • 1970 Arctic Cat Panther - Time to completely re-cleat the '73 track, and I may re-do the clutching.
Looking forward to next season, Jennifer should still be around to ride with me. She has indicated she will continue on at WITC in Ashland. I did not accomplish any long trips this season and would like to plan one or two 100 mile plus trips, possibly an overnighter somewhere. I will turn 60 years old before the season starts, and am thinking about how much longer before my riding will become limited because of age and related physical limitations. I do have to lose some weight. All those lunch stops while riding have taken their toll! Thankfully I feel great now and hope that will continue for a few more years.

2013-2014 Season Blog

November 9, 2013

The older I get, the less time I seem to have to do the things I really enjoy. I FINALLY today finished all of the maintenance and other work on my sleds and I pronounce them ready for winter!
The Pantera got the most attention. The hex clutch now sports new rollers and bushings. I balanced it using a motorcycle wheel balancer. The hex was really out of balance. I pulled out the skid frame and did a complete restoration. The Catillac threw me a curve when all the lights went out when the low beam switch was on. Took me a while, but I finally found that there was a headlight wire pinched under a motor mount. It eventually wore through and shorted out. I polished the front bumper and installed a new reflective tape.
Goldies's engine failure cause was found to be a defective external coil. New one installed and she's purring again.
Time Bandit got no attention other than a cleanup and regular annual track maintenance. This one is in need of some refurbishing soon, especially the skid frame.
Big Red's front bumper was getting rusty so I polished and clear coated it again. I want to get this chromed so I don't have to go through this every couple of years, but spare cash is mighty scarce these days.
The fall so far has been wet and cold. There is measureable snow on the ground in Cable where I did some survey work this week. If this trend keeps up we could be in for a lot of snow this winter.

December 7, 2013

Our first ride of the season. Trails are not open, and it was very cold today. We just took a short ride out the corridor to the Pit Stop for lunch. Time Bandit and Big Red ran great. We only saw one other sled out riding.

December 14, 2013

Trails are still not open. What a crock of ... Fantastic early season snow and weather conditions and the trails are closed. We trailered to Long Lake today, played around on the forest roads and mostly not groomed trails, had lunch at Pub and Grub.


December 25, 2013

A December 22-23 snow storm dropped 31 inches in the Ashland area. I was off work for six days and anticipated getting in lots of riding. What with all of the snow to move, we only had one day of riding on Saturday the 21st. It feels like I had no time off from work at all.

We rode the Sanborn-Marengo loop on the 21st before the big storm hit. Here we are at the White River dam. Jennifer was so proud of herself, she was able to start Big Red herself after every stop on the trail.

January 1, 2014

Very cold weather has put a damper on the early season riding. Saturday Dec. 28 was a nice day though, and we rode the loop up to Pub and Grub. Today we rode to Trails End and back, even though the temperature never got above zero.

Jennifer was on the Catillac today for a change.


January 18, 2014

I'm not keeping up on the blog very good this year. The riding is too good. We rode to Mellen and back on the 11th. Today we rode the Marengo-Sanborn loop. We did a good bit of playing around in some deep snow. Jennifer gets a big kick out of that. It's really too deep though. Haven't been able to say that in many years! And now for this year's White River Bridge shots...

The Panthers are giving trouble this season, specifically the T1 Kawi engines. Time Bandit had to have a coil replaced, and now is acting up like it needs another. Goldie had to have the center labyrinth seal replaced, it got loose and was rattling around. Now the engine is noisy again and running a little ragged. I'm going to rebuild the engine I got many years ago from Sig Eid and drop that in.
Hoffman ride is only three weeks away and I would like to ride Goldie most of the time.

January 26, 2014

We rode the Washburn - Valhalla - Moquah loop on Saturday. I was bushed Sunday and didn't want to ride, but Jennifer sure did. She headed off on her own on Goldie and rode the loop around the south side of Ashland, about 10 miles. A first for her, riding on her own.

February 1, 2014

I took Time Bandit on a solo ride today, Pine creek to Mason, Sanborn. All sleds are up and running now, ready for the Hoffman ride coming up next week. Jennifer's feeling under the weather, I hope she can shake it by Friday.

February 13, 2014

The Hoffman vintage week has come and gone. I'll post photos in the Show Photos section soon. I rode three days with the group and Jennifer two. I found out just before the ride that Goldie was starting to wear through several track cleats. I rode her one day, but didn't want to chance any more. Yesterday I replaced five cleats. I plan on re-cleating the entire track over the summer. All of the cleats are really rusty and thin where the slides ride.

The shop was pretty bare last week with all of the sleds parked at Dale's place.

February 16, 2014

We had two great shorter rides this weekend. On Saturday we trailered to Valhalla, rode Goldie and Catillac to Cornucopia where we had lunch, and then took a longer route back. On a bright sunny Sunday, we took Time Bandit and Goldie on the Marengo-Sanborn loop. Each day we got in a little off-trail playing around in the very deep snow. If the weather holds, we should easily break our mileage record of last season.
Next two photos are at the shelter on trail #1 between Corny and Herbster.

The snow was coming down pretty heavy by the time we got back to Valhalla.

Dad gets Goldie stuck playing around on Sunday!

Not another picture Dad!

February 23, 2014

We piled up a bunch of miles again this weekend. Saturday we took Goldie and Big Red to Mason. Major drifting on all of the trails, no grooming had been done since the big storm on Thursday. We did just fine though, except for one spot on the grade north of Mason that we had to bypass on Moonshine Alley. Jennifer got some valuable experience riding in deep snow and drifts.
Sunday it was Time Bandit and Catillac. We rode the corridor to Iron River and back.

Jennifer laughs at danger!

Drifting on the grade between Mason and Benoit.

Fish Creek at the corridor crossing.

On the corridor at Ino.

March 8, 2014

We made our annual pilgrimage today to Old Baldy and had a picnic lunch. What a perfect day. 27 degrees, crystal blue sky, light winds.

Heading out from Long Lake

Firewood gathered, campfire blazing.

Whittling the skewers for the hot dogs.


2012-2013 Season Wrapup

A pretty good season, all things considered. It started out promising, with measurable snow in late November. The temperatures would not cooperate though and we went through several cycles of snow/melting. Thank goodness for our little LES snow patch in the Barrens. We trailered there late December through January and got some good riding in. Then, starting early February and right through the third week of March we were able to ride from home.
  • Jennifer and I had our second (annual?) picnic lunch at Old Baldy near Corny.
  • I rode four straight days with the Hoffman group on their annual vintage ride.
  • I set a milestone and rode a single day 100 mile solo trip.
  • I fell in love with my newest sled, the 1979 Pantera, "Catillac".
  • Jennifer fell in love with Big Red.
I will have a busy off-season this summer. More restoration work on Catillac, engine work and tuning on Goldie and Time Bandit, re-doing some of the gold trim on Goldie, bumper polishing or maybe re-chroming on Big Red.
And, did we rack up the miles this season!
  • 1979 Arctic Cat Pantera - 631 Miles
  • 1972 Scorpion Stinger - 309 Miles
  • 1971 Arctic Cat Panther - 307 Miles
  • 1970 Arctic Cat Panther - 94 Miles
Total = 1,341 Miles
My previous high total was 953 miles in 2009-2010.
Looking forward to next season, Jennifer should still be around to ride with me. She will graduate high school this summer and has decided to enroll in a two year accounting program at WITC in Ashland. I would like to build on my successful 100 mile day and plan one or two longer trips, possibly an overnighter somewhere. I'm going to be 60 years old soon and must face the reality that it won't be much longer before my riding will become limited because of age and related physical limitations. Thankfully I feel great now and hope that will continue for a few more years.




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