Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


A snowmobile is a land vehicle propelled by one or two rubber trackss, with skis for steering. They are designed to be operated on snow and ice, and require no road or trail. Most snowmobiles are driven by two-stroke gasoline/petrol combustion engines.

The earliest snowmobiles were modified Ford Model Ts with the undercarriage replaced with tracks and skis. They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time. Polaris Industries in Roseau, Minnesota was a pioneer in the production of purpose-built snowmobiles.

Modern snowmobiles can achieve speeds in excess of 110 km/h. Racing snowmobiles reach speeds in excess of 260 km/h (160 mph). People die every year when they crash into other snowmobiles, automobiles, pedestrians, or trees or falling through ice. Around 10 people a year die in such crashes in Minnesota alone. Alcohol is often involved, but not always.

Industrial type snowmobiles for grooming cross-country ski trails and right of way maintenance are also made. They are large and can carry passengers and cargo, and tow sleds.