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Thread: which of the big four has won the most Iron Dog races/which one the least?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default which of the big four has won the most Iron Dog races/which one the least?

    Is it Polaris?

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    From the Iron Dog website
    "All 4 major manufacturers have won the Iron Dog:
    Polaris, 13
    Arctic Cat, 10
    Yamaha, 3
    Ski-Doo, 1

    Polaris has won the last 3 races. Prior to that, Arctic Cat won 10 of 12. Yamaha won 3 times in the first 7 races but has not won since 1990. Ski-Doo’s sole victory came in 2004."
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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    exactly why i would own a arctic cat anyday! my least favorite is skidoo and this just goes to show they aint no darn good.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Do the big 4 field an equal number of machines each year, operated by equally competent riders, or are the stats simply reflective of brand loyalty among a certain demographic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Do the big 4 field an equal number of machines each year, operated by equally competent riders, or are the stats simply reflective of brand loyalty among a certain demographic?
    Nope, just that most of the contenders are going to likely go with what they feel is the most reliable, solid machine to get them to the finish first.

    For 2012, here is the breakdown:

    Polaris: 13 teams
    Arctic Cat: 8 teams
    Ski Doo: 6 teams
    Yamaha: 1 team

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    I could have sworn they said 11 wins for Arctic Cat on the Iron Dog t.v. show last night..but 10 is close enough. It honestly is much ado about nothing...unless you are shopping for a 600cc race sled.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    Nope, just that most of the contenders are going to likely go with what they feel is the most reliable, solid machine to get them to the finish first.

    For 2012, here is the breakdown:

    Polaris: 13 teams
    Arctic Cat: 8 teams
    Ski Doo: 6 teams
    Yamaha: 1 team
    So the stats are really subjective. They don't necessarily represent which brand is best; but they reflect the brands more often used by participants. Statistical probability; more people enter Polaris machines in the race, and Polaris machines are more likely to win.... The stats reflect the brands that are most aggressively marketed to racers, and thereby receive the benefit of additional advertising. Iron Dog stats are more reflective of which brands employ the more aggressive/effective marketing; not necessarily which brand really builds the "best" machine.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    In a nutshell, yup. Factory and dealer support plays huge into this also. If a guy has to choose between Cat and Polaris and Polaris gives him a better amount of support, he's going to be riding Polaris.

    Saying one brand is better than another using information from this one race is like saying I buy Chevy pickups vs. Fords because the Corvette outruns everything Ford makes.

    If we are looking at work sleds, nobody makes their work sleds on the same platforms as their sport sleds.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    everyone knows the ski-doo-doo's blow up all the time.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    everyone knows the ski-doo-doo's blow up all the time.
    Yeah when the race fueler overfilled the tank onto the hot exhaust.

    I heard Arctic Cat was giving away a free bag of marshmallows and a roasting stick with each new 1100 turbo sled this year.
    Something about a oil vent hose being too short and dripping on the exhaust if you tipped it over. Several sleds caught fire this season.
    Also something about the reverse not working on the 2012's as well. Even the first fix failed.

    I agree you can't base who's sled is best by irondog victories.
    If that was the case they would sell the most sleds.
    Of the big four one brand has had 40% of the market share for the last 8-10 years. And it sure wasn't poolaris or Arctic Cat.
    Arctic cat dominated snocross the last 3 years (until this season) but they still don't sell the most sleds.
    Imagine that.
    Also look at the other big distance race the Cains Quest.
    I believe it was all Skidoo on the podium this year and first and second last year.
    They all make some decent sleds.
    People seem to ride Doo's the most and keep coming back to them. That says a lot to me.
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    One reason Yami is not represented in the field as of recent years is those four strokers are heavy and have starting issues when it gets cold. Now there is one Arctic Cat 4 stroke team this year, so lets see if they make it to the end and where they place.

    Over the last 2 seasons AC has had some issues with sleds making the rider too comfortable and getting them into trouble. Commonly known as riding beyond their ability.When the Firecats came out in '03 they were 10 mph faster then the ZR in the bumps, then the Twin Spars came out and they were 10 mph faster then the Firecats in the bumps and now this new "Sno Pro" chassis is even better and faster so it has come to a point of what the riders can handle. Look at Andy George's ~average~ speed from Galena to Kaltag last year......about 98 mph average for that leg and no one else was within 10 mph as I recall.

    The only thing stock about these machines is the engine.....the rest of the machine is full on race. It is mostly a race of attrition and who takes care of their machines and themselves. You do not have to look back to many years to find where a couple of the leaders hit stuff and wrecked their machines taking them out of first place, even last year the winners passed the lead team that had an issue within 20 miles of the finish line. They were even nice enough to stop and ensure all was ok instead of just blowing by.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Such a brutal race though ehh? It's a huge accomplishment to run a snowmachine drivetrain like that for so many miles, and still run reliably across the finish line (even if you didn't win). I have big time respect for Polaris and Arctic Cat for practically dominating the race year after year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    So the stats are really subjective. They don't necessarily represent which brand is best; but they reflect the brands more often used by participants. Statistical probability; more people enter Polaris machines in the race, and Polaris machines are more likely to win.....
    I dunno, maybe Polaris' were winning and then participants started entering more Polaris's to increase their chance of winning? Fun with statistics.

    I suspect Polaris and Arctic Cat simply make models that are close to what is ideal to winning the Iron Dog. Doesn't mean they are the best for anything else just really good for that race.

  14. #14

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    There is a reason why Polaris has so many teams, that Rush has a really good suspension and a strong 600 engine. Arctic Cat doesn't have a 600 this year for the public. Palin and Davis has one of the few they special built. The other option is the sno cross sled converted to a cross country sled with carburetors. The Ski-Doo's and their E-techs don't like village gas and need special oil. Yamaha hasn't won since their SRV days in the 80's because they over engineer everything. Your more likely to find Polaris parts in the villages if you need them also, brand of choice out there.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I really like the polaris 600 motor. I think it one heck of an all purpose motor. Is this the same motor they put in their Widetrak utility machine?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    I dunno, maybe Polaris' were winning and then participants started entering more Polaris's to increase their chance of winning? Fun with statistics.

    I suspect Polaris and Arctic Cat simply make models that are close to what is ideal to winning the Iron Dog. Doesn't mean they are the best for anything else just really good for that race.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    One reason Yami is not represented in the field as of recent years is those four strokers are heavy and have starting issues when it gets cold. Now there is one Arctic Cat 4 stroke team this year, so lets see if they make it to the end and where they place.

    Over the last 2 seasons AC has had some issues with sleds making the rider too comfortable and getting them into trouble. Commonly known as riding beyond their ability.When the Firecats came out in '03 they were 10 mph faster then the ZR in the bumps, then the Twin Spars came out and they were 10 mph faster then the Firecats in the bumps and now this new "Sno Pro" chassis is even better and faster so it has come to a point of what the riders can handle. Look at Andy George's ~average~ speed from Galena to Kaltag last year......about 98 mph average for that leg and no one else was within 10 mph as I recall.

    The only thing stock about these machines is the engine.....the rest of the machine is full on race. It is mostly a race of attrition and who takes care of their machines and themselves. You do not have to look back to many years to find where a couple of the leaders hit stuff and wrecked their machines taking them out of first place, even last year the winners passed the lead team that had an issue within 20 miles of the finish line. They were even nice enough to stop and ensure all was ok instead of just blowing by.
    I don't think AC and Polaris win the race more often because they build better machines. As spinner points out, the machines in the race are not reflective of the machines in the showroom anymore than an Indy 500 car is representative of Bubba's Chevy in the driveway. I think they win more because they put lots of emphasis on the race as a means of advertising, nothing more. I think Ski Doo by comparison, doesn't see the need to throw lots of effort into this race for advertising, and chooses to put their effort elsewhere.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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  17. #17

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    Another thing to keep in mind when looking at the total number of wins for a manufacturer like Polaris is that, early on, a lot of teams ran on Polaris because that was the most common type of machine in the towns along the race course and replacement/repair parts were readily available if/when needed. Now, things are different with many of the top teams having a crew following them in an airplane for support so they don't need spare parts to be available already on the ground along the way.

  18. #18
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Kind of quiet around here today....
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Congrats to Ski-Doo for Iron Dog win #2
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Kind of quiet around here today....
    We are all on the Who is your 2012 Irondog pick thread where all the Cat and Poolaris fans are trying to downplay the latest SKiDoo victory.
    Skidoo wins the IronDog and The other long distance race the Cain's Quest in the same year and lead the industry in sales and return customers. Besides the fact they manufacturer the the most technology advanced and innovative sleds on the market (witch according to lawsuits Cat has been copying) and all these Cat and Poolaris fans can come up with is this IronDog must be a fluke or something.
    I think some guys need to take off the Green or Blue blinders for a minute. maybe then they will see what they have been missing all these years. The best sleds on the market!!!
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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