While my story goes back many decades, it proves one thing -- that on-the-cheap engineering is not a new phenomenon. After literally destroying my 1976 Rupp Nitro 340 (liquid-cooled) snowmobile (what a great machine!), I bought a brand-spanking-new 1980 Kawasaki 340 (liquid-cooled) sled.
It was a real beauty, a racy-looking snowmobile with a bold design and plenty of oomph. When I floored the gas pedal, I could easily outrun just about any fan-cooled or natural-cooled machine available at the time. At high speeds, it was the best machine around.
The 1980 Kawasaki 340 snowmobile loves to run full out, but it refuses to walk.
The only problem with this otherwise splendid sled was that speeding was all it wanted to do. It wanted to run wide-open throttle all the time. It was designed to run pedal to the floor. If you wanted to race across a frozen lake or field at top speed, anywhere close to the limit, the machine performed wonderfully. But if you wanted to do some trail-riding with friends, perhaps a gentle ride with a passenger on board, forget about it!
When I first tried to ride the sled slowly, the coolant temperature gauge pegged into the red zone after about 1,000 feet of trail. Wow. I thought something had broken down. Just to test it, I took it back up to high speed. To my surprise, the sled performed great again. I took it back down to slow, and boom, it overheated. Every time I rode the sled slow and easy, it shot back into the red.
I contacted the Kawasaki dealership, but my complaints went unanswered. Even calls to the Kawasaki headquarters delivered no relief. I threatened legal action. Nothing, nothing, nothing. I just couldn't get their attention. So, with declining snowfall over the succeeding winter seasons, the easiest thing to do was to just sell it and put the loss behind me.
This entry was submitted by Kurt McQueen and edited by Rob Spiegel
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