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Polaris ATV and Polaris Quad Have Established their Terrain Domination with Historic Race Victories

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Minneapolis, MN (February 17, 2011) – Polaris Ranger creators think the unforgiving terrain in remote regions of Alaska as the ideal spot to put sleds to the test. That’s why for more than 50 years, Polaris UTV designers, development engineers and racers have braved harsh weather and testing snow and ice to test and race in Alaska.

The recipients of these Alaska trips are recreational Polaris riders. They have long experienced Polaris Terrain Domination on sleds that successfully traversed Alaska on test trips and accomplished more Iron Dog cross-country snowmobile races than any other name.

When Edgar Hetteen, one of the three primary partners in Polaris Industries, wanted to create headlines with the company’s new snow devices in the late 1950s, he headed to Alaska. When Polaris Ranger for sale developers wished to demonstrate its then-new rubber tracks would match or surpass the performance of cleated tracks in 1978, test riders travelled to Alaska.

In 2011, Polaris gave all-new 600 Switchback® Adventure™ models – the first “Adventure Snowmobiles” – to the Iron Dog Ambassadors, who drove the challenging Iron Dog race route to support the race and thank volunteers in remote villages that help the race win. Three 2011 Iron Dog Ambassadors drove the new 600 Switchback Adventure from Big Lake to Nome and past. For the 2012 race, the Polaris-sponsored Iron Dog Ambassadors mean to run the full length of the track, from Big Lake to Nome, then to the end line in Fairbanks, on PRO-RIDE™ performance models.

Historic Polaris adventures in Alaska over the years have included:


Edgar Hetteen, one of the three principal partners in Polaris and the president in 1960, wanted to produce something spectacular to prove the comparatively new vehicle called the snowmobile was a viable commodity, so he headed to Alaska. Hetteen, Earling Falk, and Rudy and Bessie Bilberg drove 1,200 miles across Alaska in 21 days on Polaris Sno-Traveler snowmobiles. At that time, it was the most extended and most significant unsupported trip ever completed by snowmobile, and it generated headlines universally for Polaris Ranger for sale UK developers. At that time, snowmobiles were still seen primarily as utility machines, but Polaris quickly began selling them as winter recreational vehicles.


Polaris, manufacturer of quadbikes for sale, President Allan Hetteen and staff member David Pearson were transported onto glacial fields near Mt. McKinley to test the Comet, a 1964 design that would be the first front-engined Polaris snowmobile. The sledge performed exceptionally well on Alaska’s hard-packed snow and ice fields. Regrettably, it did not perform as well in snow conditions general across North America’s snowbelt, and the 1964 Comet was considered a failure. However, the lessons acquired through the Comet experience aided the evolution of the Mustang, which became one of the most sporty and stylish Polaris models of the leaf-spring front suspension period.


An epic journey of many hundred miles that started at Alaska’s extreme northern tip showed the reliability and performance of the Polaris rubber cut. Bow Crosby and Ray Monsrud, snowmobile racers and affiliates of the Polaris snowmobile development team, began riding at Point Barrow and heeded the western Alaskan coastline, finally settling in Unalakleet “when we ran out of snow.” The pair towed cargo sleds bringing their supplies (fuel, food, spare parts, sleeping bags, etc.), and often slept in villages schools along the way.

They drove 440cc fan-cooled Polaris Galaxy models, which possessed leaf spring front suspensions and the company’s first generation rubber track. A primary goal of the trip was to demonstrate the durability of the new track to Alaskans. Classical tracks with metal cleats tracks didn’t serve well on the frozen tundra because the cleats crumbled, but this trip showed the novel rubber tracks were durable and operated well in the Alaskan wilderness.


Eleven people of the Polaris, quad bikes for sale developer, senior management team were accompanied by two of the company’s original three partners, David Johnson and Alaska expert Edgar Hetteen, on a trip that returned Hetteen’s historic 1960 journey. The group travelled 800 miles in eight days on Indy Sport snowmobiles.


Polaris, kids quads manufacturer, launched the all-new 2012 600 Switchback Adventure on the Polaris sponsored Iron Dog Ambassador Ride. Several Ambassadors drove this new model from the origin of the Iron Dog race in Big Lake to Nome, where Trail-class partners finished. They tried to run the second half of the race, but were driven back to Nome by a winter snowstorm and treacherous ice and water circumstances along the coast. The new sleds, which emphasised the Adventure Cargo System with Polaris-exclusive Lock & Ride® technology, produced trouble-free performance in extremely challenging circumstances.


Tyler Huntington and Chris Olds used will, tremendous riding abilities and Polaris Terrain Domination to win their second Iron Dog race across Alaska. They conquered the grueling, weather-battered 2,000-mile race on a couple of 2011 Polaris 600 RUSH snowmobiles. Four of the first seven Pro Class teams to complete were on Polaris snowmobiles. Through 2011, the Iron Dog race has been operated 27 times and Polaris teams have succeeded to win it 13 times, the most of any brand. Those wins cover the past three races, as Polaris racers Huntington and Olds accomplished in 2010 and 2011, and Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad who won in 2009.

About Polaris

With yearly 2010 sales of $1.99 billion, Polaris, creator of the best quad bike, plans, engineers, manufactures and sells innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® for recreational and service use, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric-powered motors.

Polaris, kids quad bike developers, is a recognized leader in the powersports industry, among the global sales conductors for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The Company has built a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle business with Victory motorcycles and the purchase of the Indian motorcycle brand. Additionally, Polaris proceeds to invest in the global on-road low-speed vehicle business with internally developed vehicles and the purchase of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM). Polaris improves the riding experience with a full line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, accessible at Polaris dealerships.

Information about the full line of Polaris ATV and Polaris Quads, apparel and vehicles accessories, with ATV accessories and quad attachments such as an ATV flail mower for sale, are available from authorized Polaris UK dealers or anytime at

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