Article by Alec Wisecup, Fit Specialist – Fox Powersports
A friend and customer of mine, David Aungst, myself and a new friend and customer of mine, Cam Diebel loaded up Friday evening and headed north to Cam’s parents house in north eastern Manistee. Before we left, Cam decided to purchase himself a new snowmobile. He was excited to start enjoying his new 2015 Arctic Cat ZR6000 R XC! Friday evening about 7pm we loaded up a 2012 Arctic Cat F800 LXR, and two twin 2015 Arctic Cat ZR6000 R XC factory cross country race sleds, one being Cam’s new snowmobile and the other being lent to me courtesy of Fox Powersports. We departed Fox and the Grand Rapids area about 8:30-9pm and arrived in Manistee about 11:30 where we then unloaded the sleds. To excited to wait we all decided to take a rip around the Manistee State Forest for a couple hours. We put about 25 miles on Friday between 12am-2am before we decided to rest up for the long Saturday ahead.
We got a late start Saturday morning and left about 11am after breakfast. Rode some side roads and fields to reach trail 602 in the Freesoil area. We started our venture on trail 602 to trail 614 in route to Kaleva. Trail conditions were great and even though we had not started as early as we would have liked there still was hardly any traffic we encountered. I feel this is due to Tip Up town in Houghton Lake where I can imagine traffic was terrible. Once we hit trail 614 the three Cat’s were “on the loose!”
We stopped a couple times on the way after a hard stead pace to just enjoy the sights. The three Cat’s stopped at the Bear Track Campground area for snacks and to decide which direction we felt would be the most challenging and fun! From this point we rode hard to Tippy Dam Pond where we stopped to take a couple pictures and talk a few minutes with a couple other riders. Weather was great at about 25 degrees with sun shine and awesome trail conditions! After our break at Tippy Dam Pond i was moving fast enough with a 6 minute lead over the group where I was able to stop and take a few pictures of the Upper Manistee River Sites sign and the amazing snow and trail conditions!
We stopped shortly after in Kaleva where we grabbed some lunch about 2-3pm at the Kaleva Tavern which was filled with fellow snowmobilers! Kaleva Tavern was ready as they had a special homemade snowmobilers buffet willed with sloppy joes, sausage, chili, soups, ham and roast beef sandwiches, cheese cake and much much more! We had a few fellow riders come up and admire the sled, especially my buddies 2012 F800 that he had purchased brand new from me fully loaded with accessories! I was able to inform a few riders about our amazing dealership and what we have to offer. They were excited to see that a sales person actually rides snowmobiles. I laughed and explained that at Fox we sell what we do. If you ride sleds, dirt bikes, street bikes, etc then you can give the customer a personable and one on one experience of how the machines run. I grew up doing this and it is awesome that my employer gives me the opportunity to do these types of trips. The fellow riders were also super interested in Fox as they had not heard much about us before. Two gentleman even made the comment that they will be coming to me to pick up their new sleds the end of this year or beginning of next and want me to customize theirs as well.
I handed a few business cards and offered any assistance possible and we continued out journey toward Maple City. We made it just North West of Thompsonville when we were pulled over by a super nice Sheriff on a snowmobile. We were pulled over because Cam had a temporary registration from purchasing his sled Friday evening and I had a dealer demo, so after verifying our sleds he shook our hands and let us go. I tried my hardest to get the officer to take a photo with us, but he would let us. He did make the comment that I should sell his sheriff’s office a could new sleds as the F570’s he was riding from Lakeside Motorsports just were not cutting it. I gave him a few business cards and asked him to have his boss call me Monday and I will treat them right.
We continued our journey and about 15 miles down the trail the 2012 Arctic Cat F800 started having issues. We pulled off for half hour trying to fix it, with no luck we limped it
back to Thompsonville to a local bar at 18 mph. We left our buddy, David in Thompsonville where we would come get him with a truck and trailer. About 6:30pm we started out journey back to Manistee. Cam and I rode hard on the dark quiet trails only to encounter 4 other snowmobile groups. After back tracking our original route we finally made it back to Diebel residence about 9:30pm where we dropped the two 2015 ZR6000 R XC’s off and grabbed the truck and trailer and headed back north to Thompsonville.
We ended the night about 12am back at the Dieble residence where we had checked the sleds and put 257 miles on the R XC’s and about 173 on the F800 before it had broke. We were able to watch the Main Event of the Monster Energy Supercross race then back to the pillow to load up the next day and head home. Even though we had one sled break on the journey the trip as a whole was AWESOME!! We put in a total of about 280 miles late Friday and all day Saturday!
I want to say great riding to my friends and two customer David and Cam on their awesome Arctic Cat’s. Also a special thank you to Fox Powersports for allowing me to share the passion with my customers and to use a great sled!
Alec Wisecup, Fit Specialist