Now that its 80 degrees outside its time to take a quick look back at the winter of 2015/2016.
It was a nice late winter day at the end of this season that I got a few '73s out for some excercise.
I recently purchased a pile of Moto-Ski technical bulletins from 1970 to 1979 and have been working on getting them scanned and made available for everyone to view. I will be posting a new one every few weeks and compiling them in the technical section as they add up over time. There is some very interesting information and some real insight into the day to day operation as Moto-Ski worked to maintain a quality product.
Technical Bulletin 71-03 dated April 21, 1971. 338 Mini-Sno carb and clutch performance mods.
Lets see what sleds have survived! Help add to it by emailing me your Moto-Ski's year, model, original engine, and model
and serial numbers. I hope by listing the email addresses of the registered sleds to build a support network of people
all sharing similar interests.
MOTO-SKI TECHNICAL INFO
This section covers many things including owners and parts manuals, year by year differences, dealer lists circa 1971,
production numbers, vintage photos, and other dealer literature.
1972 Moto-Ski MS-18 400 (398ccm JLO)
This was my second moto-ski and has been with us for quite a few years now. It is my favorite to trail ride because
rarely does it ever give any trouble and, believe it or not, it is one of the most maneuverable machines I have. With just
the right throttle and weight shift you can get it to pivot at mid-track cutting tight corners but at the same time there
is not a hill or drift that will stop it.
1976 Moto-Ski Nuvik 340 (Type 343 Rotax)
I received it in trade for work on a trail bike and another snowmobile. The engine runs great and the sliders are like new.
The seat is in perfect condition but the original cowling had some close encounters with a solid object so it has been changed
to a nice '77 hood since this picture was taken (the '77 decals look similar).
1973 Moto-Ski Zephyr 340 (336ccm BSE )
The 1973 Zephyr and Capri models are notorious for having hoods broken beyond recognition but this one somehow avoided that
fate (220 original miles has something to do with it). New decals and a recovered seat make it a decent old machine.
1973 Moto-Ski F-440 (436ccm BSE)
I drove by this machine for a few years but was recently able to strike a deal and bring it home. Its in very good original condition and came
with the electric start option. It needs some cleaning and tweaking but a good original seat and gas tank cover make this a keeper.
1972 Moto-Ski Zephyr 340 (336ccm BSE)
This machine is a nice original with the exception of new decals on the hood. It is an interesting machine in that it started life as a '71 Zephyr that never sold so was converted either at the factory or a dealership to a '72. You can still see where the '71 ID tag was
drilled off and it came with the '71 plastic chain case and clutch setup. Tough financial times at Moto-Ski meant saving money whenever possible.
1972 Moto-Ski Grand Prix 340 (336ccm BSE SS)
I just finished a full bolt by bolt restoration of this sled and fired it up on the grass for the first time. The 340SS BSE makes this
a surprisingly quick combination and the 94c comet clutch helps. This is a bogie wheel suspension model with a drum brake
and fully enclosed steel chain case. A special thanks to Steve Dahlberg for giving us the opportunity to add this rather rare moto-ski to our collection.
We got this machine for parts quite a while ago but could not bear to split it up. A new crank and it was
running great. It does have the original seats but they are showing their age so it will never be anything
to bring to a show but it is mechanically excellent with a very solid body.
The early 292 Capris came through with L295 JLO engines instead of the more common 292 Hirth. They featured
all black seats, black front bumpers (not chrome like the later ones), and '69 style running board mats. Even though the 292
was moto-ski's full size economy model, this one has proved to be a spiteful machine with plenty of power for one rider.
Both machines were featured in the November 2011 Sno-Goer timeline article.
1971 Moto-Ski Capri 292 #2 (193R Hirth)
This is the model twin to the one pictured above but is the later version with the Hirth engine and chrome bumper.
It still has its original air box, rubber gas tank strap (hard to find not brittle and broken), and factory plastic warranty
information card. It has had the seat recovered to the original all black (yes the 292's had black seats not black and
orange like the more expensive models). There was enough of the original cover left to pull the staples,
cut the seams, and lay out for an exact copy on new material.
1971 Moto-Ski Capri 493 (220R Hirth)
Well here is the progress so far on the '71 Capri 493 project. This is a sweet running little machine with a great rumble and lots of torque.
Paired to 14/30 gearing it will really cruise. The plan is still to make up some "Capri 493" decals and recover the seat to a more factory style.
1971 Moto-Ski Capri 493 (220R Hirth)
1971 Moto-Ski Grand Prix 338 (440T BSE)
I have had this 338 Grand Prix for quite a few years and ran the factory JLO quite a bit but decided to upgrade power to a 440T BSE
with twin HR Tillotsons that I built up. It runs super and recently completed a 22 mile vintage ride flawlessly. I am still running the
rather low 12/30 factory gearing which hurts top end but allows the engine rpms to stay up on tight trails and makes it a blast to ride.
Moto-Ski Mini Snos
(#1 1970 223ccm JLO top)(#2 1971 223ccm JLO left)(#3 1971 338ccm Hirth right)
The acquisition of this '70 mini-sno to our collection completes all three year/engine combinations made.
It differs from '71 in quite a few ways but most notably the entire belly pan is fiberglass and uses an aluminum
bumper. It has a peg clutch like the '68 and back machines and an engine guard that is all white instead of black.
This little machine has a good running engine and is a solid start to a restoration.
We purchased this sled from the son of the original owners only about 15 miles from where it was purchased new.
The funny part is that my father test drove this exact one back in 1971 at the local dealership before it was bought
and remembers when the buyers came and picked it up. The little sled has been stored indoors for most of its life
and so has been preserved fairly well. Even though it was marketed as a children's sled don't be fooled.
My first ride on it revealed that mini-snos are super tippy buggers and the 10hp is more than enough power
to lift the skis off the ground (right over backwards if you were sitting wrong) and carry them a long ways.
We recently found this original R-code 338 mini-sno complete minus the seat. I cant wait to restore this sled
and get it on the snow to see just how crazy 28hp can be on a chassis that can barely handle 10hp.
6 - 1970 Moto-Skis
#1 (pictured above)
This one is a Zephyr with a 375 JLO single. I consider it to be a real time capsule that was
spared much of the abuse and neglect that so many sleds were subjected to. It has a low serial number
for the model (C5J-70-17 ) and features some interesting early 1970 characteristics like a '69
body (subtle differences from '70), a '69 backrest compartment and tail light, and a '69 dash. Also
note that the sides of the headlights were never drilled for engine size badges. It is
a nice original sled that goes well with our other ones. A special thanks to the AnteDomenico
family for giving us the opportunity to have it in our collection, it will always have a good home.
#2 (above left)
The second is a 338 Hirth Zephyr that was restored by my father in law to its current nice condition. We have run it
on every vintage ride we have been on in the past five years and it has never let us down.
#3 (above right)
The third is a MS-18 with a 500 Hirth. The cosmetics are quite good and even better since it now has an original
pattern blue and white seat. Luckily the two front and two rear track sprockets are in great condition
(rare for a '68-'70 MS-18). I got to enter it in a radar run at the
mile. Not bad for such a big machine. Behind in the photo is our '70 ski-mo cutter purchased new with a '70 MS-18.
#4 (not pictured)
Next is an MS-18 that had a 372 JLO electric start when we got it but the engine turned out to have fatal
internal issues. I considered taking the time to rebuild another 372 I have access to but decided not to after looking
at a newly rebuilt 634 Hirth we had sitting in the corner waiting to go on something. So long story short the machine is
now a 634 MS-18 with electric start (its so nice not to have to crank it over). We have had the opportunity to drive it
around quite a bit and were and still are impressed at how smooth and powerful the combination is.
This 317 Hirth Zephyr was restored with the intention of making it a nice rider. The 192R 317 is a great motor with
lots of power for a single yet very reliable. I hope to put some miles on this one this winter.
Of all of our moto-skis, this is the most original and perhaps the nicest one of the bunch. Last registered in 1973
it only has 406 miles and sat under its original cover in heated storage for most of its years. This Grand Prix has the
SA340SS Sachs engine option which is the only non racing Moto-Ski to offer Sachs power. A special thanks to the
first of all for taking such good care of it over the years and second for the chance to add it to our collection.
1969 Moto-Ski Zephyr 500
While this sled started its life out as a 300 single, it now has a 500 twin to liven it up plus a deluxe dash to give it a
more model correct look. Before you write this off as an imaginative custom job, however, I am not convinced that Moto-Ski
did not make a 500 Zephyr in 1969. The biggest reason for this is that I have seen photos and decoded the numbers
of an original 1969 500 Capri plus heard from a few dealers back in the day that they did in fact sell a very limited
number of them. From there it is not a very far stretch to assume that if a 500
not be far behind. Anyone out there have, had, or know of an original 500 Zephyr? The model number would be "34".
I would love to hear from anyone with any input on the subject.
1969 Moto-Ski Capri 760 JLO
I knew squeezing a giant 760 JLO fan motor onto a small 300
entire driven clutch and supports had to be offset to the left like the large engine '69-'70 super modified machines. I was lucky enough to have an
extended front shaft and aluminum bearing block from a 634 Grand Prix to match the offset and get the elephant engine to set centered on the tunnel.
Heavy duty bogie springs, 2 extra leaf springs in each ski, and arched ski extenders set the suspension up to handle the extra weight and power. The
motor breathes through a combination of dual HD carbs and twin megaphones that sound great in an open field and are plain lethal in a closed garage.
This sled is a handful during regular operation and a white knuckle joy at full throttle. The next steps are a short windshield and a blue and white seat
in the style of the '69 super modifides.
1968 Moto-Ski Zephyr
This poor old sled came to us a few years ago in a sad state with an unoriginal engine, a very rusted gas tank,
and the drive sprocket missing some teeth. The good news was the rest of the body was in
great shape and the hood was solid. I have since welded in front pan sections and the steering brace from a
'69 donor sled to convert it to a removable gas tank. A correct 297 JLO has been located as well as a
good track, front and rear shafts/sprockets, backrest compartment, clutch guard, and NOS backrest
cushion to make it whole again. It is patiently awaiting a sandblasting and repaint.
1965 Moto-Ski Model 100
We totally stripped, sandblasted, primed and painted this machine for my uncle in the summer of 2001 (The paint
on the cowling is original). It was a lot of work but as you can see it was well worth the time. This picture were taken at
the first annual 1 Lunger 100 held in Turner,
plans to restore 1 a year. His sleds include '65-'67 Capris, a '68 Zephyr 300, '68 MS-18 297, '69 MS-18 300, '69 MS-18 500,
'70 MS-18 500, '70 MS-18 634, '70 375 Capri, '71 634 Grand Prix, '71 399 Capri, '71 Mini-Sno 223 and a '72 292
CLICK HERE to see a picture of this sled and the 3
others that started snowmobiling for this family in late 1969 .
1973 Suzuki XR-440
(432ccm Suzuki Twin)
My father bought this Suzuki brand new and has run it very minimal considering it is only on its second set of
spark plugs. Since it has never set outside other than to run it, it is in great shape. The only thing it needed was a
rear sprocket which it got (replaced front and rear). This was a top of the line 85mph+
machine when new, not to shabby for a stock snowmobile in 1973
1968 Johnson Skee-Horse Wide-Trac 20
(362cc OMC opposed twin)
This machine was used for a short time hauling a sled to carry wood and then placed up into a dry barn until we
brought it home. It came to us with the owners manual and dealer brochure given out when the sled was new and still has
the original OMC drive belt under the seat as a spare. The opposed twin runs great, the reverse is a blast, and a
new windshield makes it look pretty decent for an original sled.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVID'S VINTAGE SNOWMOBILES