Emma Kimiläinen enjoying spring ride in Lapland with the 2022 Rave RE 850.
WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU TRIED SNOWMOBILING?
Emma: My dad purchased a snowmobile when I was a kid. I remember how I sat in front of him when he rode the sled. At the time we had a cabin in southern Finland where I was able to ride whenever the lakes were frozen and there was enough snow for riding. We always had our sled with us when we travelled north on our winter holidays. I got a tractor driver’s license when I was 15 which allowed me to legally ride a snowmobile. Tractor is one of the few vehicles I have never driven yet! I had a gap of many years from snowmobiling as an adult and I rode just a couple of times each winter. Last season I fixed that and after a long time I finally got to ride several times in Lapland.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A SNOWMOBILER?
Emma: I ride mostly on trail. I like to ride with a sporty style, in as many different trails as possible. In our riding group, I am usually the one who asks the rest of the group to continue riding after 2 hours of fast riding! I have also tried deep-snow riding a couple of times. I find that very interesting and challenging which fits me. I love challenges and always want to learn new things. In deep-snow riding you have to use totally different riding techniques and you have to use your body in a different way than in trail riding. It would be awesome to get to ride deep snow more next season.
BY FORMULA CAR YOU DRIVE FLAT TRACK WITH NO BUMPS AND JUMPS. WHAT DO CAR RACING AND SNOWMOBILING HAVE IN COMMON?
Emma: A lot. In both you have to have good reactions, riding instinct and three-dimensional perceptual ability. Even though you sit in different positions and use your body in different ways in a race car and a sled, you have to drive both with every part of your body with body feeling. In a race car you have to sense how weather conditions affect a track and grip – just like when riding a sled, you have to feel how current conditions affect grip. It is all about adapting to the vehicle and surface and how you tune your own actions to be faster. Snowmobiling is good training for me and actually the only sport in winter that shares the same elements with car racing. Snowmobiling is also very good physical training. In the W Series we drive 40 minute races where the average heart rate is about 20 percent from your maximum. The heart rate zone is quite similar, that you have in trail riding on a demanding, bumpy trail.
YOU HAVE BEEN RIDING A LOT WITH THE LYNX RAVE ENDURO MODEL. WHAT MAKES THAT SLED SO GOOD FOR YOUR TASTE?
Emma: The Rave Enduro fits well for my physique and riding style. The suspension is just insanely good out of the box: it’s stiff enough and eats moguls well. The short track is optimal for trail and helps a rider with my size control the vehicle with weight transfer. In tight turns, you can have a controlled slide with just a little touch to the brake lever. The 600cc engine is great for this sled and with that you can hit the throttle in the right spot of a corner’s apex – just like with a race car. I have also tried the Rave RE 850 model and without a doubt, the Rave Enduro with the same engine would be a fascinating idea. Just a bit more power, and Rave Enduro would be my dream sled!
WHAT WOULD BE THE SNOWMOBILE JOURNEY OF YOUR DREAMS?
Emma: Group of friends, some mountain scenery for location and a couple of different sleds. First we would ride a couple of days sporty on trails to some point, spend the night in the wilderness and next day we would continue our adventure with deep-snow sleds. Campfire, outdoor spirit and lovely people. This could happen for example in Norway or in Russia. There is always a good spirit in snowmobiling and I never ride alone. Through snowmobiling I have met people who have a mix of adventurous spirit, sportiness and piston-head mentality!