March 2012 Newsletter

March 2012 Newsletter

City of Winnipeg's Off-Road Vehicle By-Law


I'm delighted to have the chance to present the following article for the Snoman MB monthly newsletter. As Chair of Protection and Community Services, I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify some misconceptions and hopefully provide some insight into the recent approval of the City of Winnipeg's Off-Road Vehicle By-Law 43/2012.

The recently approved Off-Road Vehicle By-Law 43/2012 will ban the use of snowmobiles within City limits will become effective November 1, 2012. The ban stipulates that off-road vehicles will no longer be permitted to ride on public property. The restrictions do not, however, apply to private property where permission from the owner is given.

The previous Vehicles By-law did not adequately address enforcement specific to off-road vehicles in the City of Winnipeg. Specifically, problems have resulted in confusion over where and when the operation of off-road vehicles is permitted and where and when it is illegal. Previously, there were a few pockets of the city where snowmobiling was permitted near the outer edges of the city boundaries. In eliminating these areas of exception for ORV operation though a complete ban within city limits, the new by-law will improve public safety and permit fair enforcement.

The new by-law mirrors the definitions as contained in the Province's Off-Road Vehicles Act. It prohibits off-road vehicle operation anywhere within the City of Winnipeg with only four exceptions:

  1. On private property not owned or occupied by the City of Winnipeg with the permission of the owner;
  2. On private property owned or occupied by the City of Winnipeg with the permission of the Chief Administrative Officer;
  3. In snow emergencies;
  4. By employees of the City or public utilities in the course of their work.

The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) will be coordinating efforts with the Province of Manitoba. In addition to off-road vehicle enforcement, the WPS will undertake a broad communication plan to notify the public of the ban. The City will promote media campaigns to address the restrictions and will erect prohibition signs at the applicable major routes entering into the Winnipeg.

The City will be working with Snoman MB to develop at least three staging areas at the perimeters of the City of Winnipeg. As well, it is the City's goal to extend some of the existing trails into the new staging areas. It is my understanding that 90% of all snowmobile accidents occur off of a designated trail system, therefore, it is imperative that we create and implement a staging area where the public can easily access the trail system.

The move toward the restrictions began in January of last year following the death of a Winnipeg resident, Ken Stammers, in Transcona. Ken was struck by a snowmobile driving across a field within Winnipeg's eastern boundary near Redonda Street. This was a tragic accident that led many people to question whether or not it is safe to ride an off-road vehicle within City limits.

In certain areas of our city, we are facing a rural-urban dichotomy and sometimes it is a bit difficult to reconcile the two ways of life. Our City is growing, and it is growing into areas that have been considered rural for a very long time. The fact of the matter is you have many people who feel their way of life is being taken away and many people who are in favor of an all-out ban. It is my hope that with the staging areas and the connecting trails, we can attempt to assuage both groups. We've attempted to find a fair compromise and it is my hope that this approach will be a good balance.

The Winnipeg Public Service will be reporting back in September of this year with recommendations for the restrictions, which will ban snowmobilers from public roads, fields, ditches and land, while connecting to established trails at the city's border.

2013 Sneak Peek Snowmobile Show

Come and join us on April 9, 2012 at the Red River Exhibition Park from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm to see the great lineup of 2013 snowmobiles.

Last year's event was a huge success with over 2500 snowmobilers in attendance. Also, come and see us at the Snoman booth.

Enns Brothers Powersports


Whenever I run into someone I haven't seen for a while we usually ask each other, "What's new?" Sometimes, a "not much" is in order. Not the case lately with Enns brothers Powersports. We have had a very busy year and there is a lot that's new. How about a new Branch Manager at the Eastside Store, new Ski-Doo snowmobiles for 2013, and a new Enns Brothers Powersports location in Kenora.

David Provencher has taken the leads at the Powersports store located at 925 Lagimodiere Blvd. David has many years of retail management experience and brings with him the same philosophy of Enns Brothers Powersports, "the customer first." The store celebrated its third year anniversary in November and having David aboard brings a continued commitment to you, the rider. Also new to the store and joining David is Dan Deshane. Dan is now leading both the parts and service teams. David and Dan along with all the team there are looking forward to the challenges ahead and invite you to drop by the store and say hi.

The new 2013 Ski-Doo snowmobile line-up is out, and it looks great. There are already folks putting down a deposit for the limited X-editions to make sure they have one built for them. The E-TEC engine continues to be strong and now rMotion rear suspension system expands through the line-up. If a 2013 is not for you here's a little info. The low snow conditions this winter have made it a great time to buy new non-current models. BRP has announced end-of-season programs that have new ski-Doo snowmobiles at a never seen before, low price. I invite you to contact your closest Enns Brothers Powersports Dealer to find the perfect sled for you. We have locations both in Winnipeg and through southern Manitoba. Check us out at www.ennspowersports.com, or drop by the store at; Winnipeg East, Winnipeg West, Portage, Steinbach or our new location in Kenora!

Yes it's true. We have been asked by our eastern customers, to come to Kenora and we have answered. On March 1st it was announced and today you can get any of your BRP product serviced and supplied with parts and accessories in Kenora. Enns Brothers Powersports has partnered with Wharf Power Sports to make this happen. It combines Chris Deslauriers long time reputation with strong customer service with the Enns Brothers Powersports identical philosophy. You will be able to purchase not only parts and accessories there, but product as well. Whether it is a Ski-Doo snowmobile, Can-am ATV or Commander or a Sea-Doo watercraft or Sports Boat, you can get it there. Mark Mahaffy will be the guy to help. Mark has been working at the Eastside store and will head further east to help you. In addition to the BRP product line, you will also be able to access the full line-up of marine product Enns Brothers Powersports sells. Check out the complete line-up of Starcraft and Smokercraft aluminum and fiberglass boats, Campion runabouts, Mastercraft ski and wake boats and Evinrude E-TEC outboards. Full parts and service support is also available.

As you can see, there is a lot new at Enns Brothers Powersports. We'd like to thank all of you for your business and support and wish you a safe and sunny summer. At Enns Brothers Powersports, "The Fun...Starts Here!"

Snowmobile clubs experience the newest in trail grooming technology


On the weekend of February 25th & 26th, snowmobile clubs from Manitoba had a chance to test out some of the newest in trail grooming technology! A 2012 Tucker Terra 2000 pulling a brand new Mogul Master XLMBP 16-08 HD was brought out to the Brokenhead Trail Blazers clubhouse by Mike Heino Jr., from The Shop Industrial.

A total of five clubs from the Eastern Region were present over the two days and had a chance to drive the Tucker Terra 2000 and actually groom some trails to give it a good test! Mike Jr. described the event as a success, and they hope to make this an annual event at the Trail Blazers clubhouse, just north of Beausejour.

The Shop Industrial Inc. is an authorized Tucker dealer for Manitoba and is also the manufacturer of the famous Mogul Master trail groomer. Did you know that the Shop Industrial has manufactured a total of 1390 Mogul Master groomers? If your club is interested in testing out a new Tucker unit or checking out a new Mogul Master drag, be sure to watch for updates next season for the annual demo event! Please visit www.theshopindustrial.com for more information.

Kudos to BRP


On a bright sunny day, I had the good fortune of attending the BRP VIP Ride Demo Event. The event was held January 18th to 22nd at Seddons Corner. There was a full line-up of sleds from the comfy couch Grand Touring SE to the race ready MXZ X-RS with rMotion suspension. Each rider was given the opportunity to choose from one of the 12 sleds for each of the four ride segments. During the two hour ride, the group logged about 60 kilometers.

Given my preference for ditch banging, I grabbed the MXZ X-RS 800 etec with the rMotion. The boys in the trailer did an amazing job of setting up the sled. The sled was very light and nimble that it was very easy to corner through some chatter bumps. I think what I found most impressive was how the sled would come off a crossing or small bump and stay planted. There was no kick or bottom. Staff indicated that the oil consumption is "best of the fleet" but the fuel consumption not as good as the 600 etec. If I had to find something I didn't like with the sled, it would be that the power was a tad soft around the 100 kmh mark and the lack of wind protection. Overall, this sled is very impressive.

My second choice was the MXZ X 600 etec. While this sled does mirror the race bred 800, there are some differences. The most noticeable difference is the power. The 600 etec has a softer feel in terms of power and clutching. The sled handles well through the corner chatter; however the setup was not what the rMotion delivered. The rear skid had a tendency to dance a bit when compared to the rMotion. Both the 800 and 600 have very light steering with no desire to push in the corners. The MXZ 600 etec is definitely an all day riders full of fun.

While I am not an off trail rider, I did take the opportunity to jump on the Back Country X 800 etec. The sled has a noticeable difference with the added track and weight on the back. When not as nimble as its short track brothers, the sled still delivered a quality ride with a slight push in the corners. The larger wind screen provided superb wind protection. The sled pulled well and I am sure had lots of wow off trail.

The most interesting sled on the ride was the Grand Touring SE. This thing has it all! With its 1200 4-tec engine, this sled is guaranteed to interest those who just want to trail ride in style. Some of the features included an air ride suspension, heated seats and rear hand grips, reverse, back rest and a full load of electronic goodies on the dash. The power is delivered in a very linear fashion with very little engine noise. While the sled is designed for the two-up all day rider, it does ride amazingly well and corners as expected. For those riders looking for the ultimate in comfort, this is the sled for you.

I just cannot say enough about BRP's initiative and staff. As an added bonus, we were all provided a $300 certificate on a new sled. I can tell you, it didn't take long to use my certificate. Good on BRP and I look forward to the 2013 tour.

SAE Snowmobile Challenge 2012 - A Great Success!


Clarkson University of Potsdam, NY, captured first place in the 2012 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, which drew to a close March 10 at Michigan Technological University.

Kettering University, of Flint, placed second, with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville earning third place in the internal-combustion category.

The University of Alaska-Fairbanks won the zero-emissions category.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools re-engineer a stock snowmobile, while preserving the riding quality demanded by snowmobile enthusiasts. A total of 12 university teams participated in the internal combustion category.

The Challenge's zero emissions category, for battery-powered sleds, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NSF uses electric snowmobiles while conducting atmospheric research in pristine arctic locations. The electric or zero emissions challenge is running up to 20 miles with one battery charge. Five teams participated in the zero emission category.

This was the 13th annual challenge. The snow was great and all the events ran smoothly.

Awards were presented for recognizing the best balance between cost, fuel economy, performance, design, handling and acceleration.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is sponsored by Michigan Technological University by the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris, and Yamaha) are gold sponsors of the event and support the competition throughout the year.

Plans for next year's event are being discussed and preparations are under way for another great event.

Advertising Outside the Box - How Focused Advertising Can Yield Higher Gains


Typically when people hear the word "advertising", they think right away of flashy billboard ads, big television spots, or even all those ads they manage to jam on public radio stations. Now most of these methods of advertising are what I like to call "up in the air", literally. There are few guarantees and you are always taking a risk advertising to such broad audiences. What if you could bring your ads closer to your target market, focusing them directly to the eyes of your target viewers? Well we're here to tell you that this is very possible, you just need to think outside the box a little.

One way to focus your advertising is with targeted banner ads. Now we all know that advertising on the web is nothing new. Everybody has seen a top banner ad on a site, or a side banner spot featuring something you were just searching for on the web. And sometimes I ask myself: "How do they know I was just looking for that earlier today?" Well Google, for example, has a behavioural ad targeter that's sole purpose is to crunch sets of data related to the user before deciding what they should advertise to you. Wow, a little scary right? Well it's tailoring the ads you see based on what sites you visit, what keywords you search and what data they have stored for you. All this can be done by knowing the user and showing the appropriate ads. This is similar to placing an ad on Snoman to reach snowmobilers and snowmobile companies.

Knowing that Snoman is all about snowmobiling, ads that have a goal to reach as many snowmobilers in Manitoba at once will do exactly that. This can also help narrow cost vs. a broader advertising application. For example, how much would it cost you to run a 30 second TV ad space? Sure you would get lots of reach, but out of that reach how many are potential customers? The average time spent on the Snoman website is over 4 minutes. That's 8x longer than the TV ad spot, at a fraction of the cost, for a known targeted audience. Certainly they won't just be staring at your ad for that entire duration of time, but with a 6 page per visit average, that's at least 6 separate banner imprints for each user on Snoman.

Last thing I want to talk about is new visitors vs return visitors. Many of you might be worried that if you advertise on one site with loyal returning visitors, does that not in turn mean that you will always be advertising to the same pool of individuals? The answer is no, since the web is ever changing, and ever growing; tag that together with word of mouth and mentions on social media, and you have a growing recipe for a site. Snoman is a perfect example, with an average of 35% new visitors and 65% returning visitors. Out of the total site visitors, 97% of them are in Canada and 87% of those are in Manitoba.

So to sum up, next time you think of putting up a banner ad, consider advertising on websites that are already grabbing the focus of your target audience. Sure they may not be seen by as many people, but their target audience will be more focused for your market, and therefore you will have a greater chance to increase your sales.