Meet the Double Vision Machine 2, Stan Checketts’ latest turbo toy, and riding just one snowmobile at a time may not be enough anymore.
Although the twin Arctic Cats welded side by side and driven by just one rider pack plenty of power, Checketts said, driving it is a different story.
“It’s really a challenge to drive, but once you learn how, it’s really, really fun,” Checketts said. With one throttle and one brake for each snowmobile on each side of the handlebars, controlling the two motors at once can be quite the learning curve.
Checketts’ son, Cody Davis, said it’s very different from a regular snowmobile because instead of leaning with your body to turn, the Double Vision tank of a snowmobile turns by pulling the throttle on one side and the brake on the other.
“One snowmobile, you use your body a lot to turn or whatever, and this one pretty much you have to sit down and just use the controls,” Davis said. “It almost turns like a skid steer tractor.”
“It’s really fun because you have to think,” Checketts said. “It (takes) a lot more concentration than a regular sled.”
Even Checketts had a hard time controlling the twin sleds at first, and a split-second lapse in response time — forgetting which throttle to pull and which side to brake — sent Checketts barreling headfirst into a tree on an early test run, Davis said.
“I got too overly confident, I thought wrong, I hit the wrong gas and I wrecked,” Checketts said. “We rebuilt it, and it was a job, but it was fun.”
Checketts said he worked on the snowmobile primarily with Dennis Falslev, but several others also helped. With everything said and done, he estimated that the snowmobile took about 500 man hours between all of them to complete.
The Double Vision 2 was completed and race-worthy in time for the Jackson Hole Hillclimb last year, and Davis’ youngest brother, Kevin Checketts, was practiced, suited up and ready to run, Stan Checketts said. But although Checketts said the race organizers had previously said they would allow the double sled to do the hillclimb but not compete, they decided at the last minute that Checketts’ novelty snowmobile would only be allowed to the first catwalk, a decision that Checketts said was very disappointing.