2020 Hus Ski / Diablo Rouge / Sprint Trivia Challenge Answers

Barrie, Steve, Hilbert, Team Fassbender and I want to thank you for taking the Hus Ski / Diablo Rouge / Sprint Trivia Challenge. We had a lot of fun and awarded some cool prizes to everyone who participated.

Below are the answers as we see them along with some interesting commentary.

Our winners are Chad DeGroat from Brown City, Michigan and John Feider from Random Lake, Wisconsin. Both got 28 correct answers.

– On average, overall scores were 18 correct answers. Average correct answers in the Hus Ski category were 6, in the Diablo Rouge category were 5, in the Sprint category were 4 and in the Bonus category were 3.

– The hardest question to answer was #22  – How many total models of Sprints did Bolens release including race sleds?   Only two people got this one right.

– The easiest question to answer was #20 – What do the Spanish & French words Diablo Rouge translate to? – All but one got this one right.

Hus Ski Questions supplied by Barrie Graham – Arundel, Quebec

1- The August 1966 bulletin to dealers offered a 444 Hus-Ski for how much?
A – $665
B – $725
C – $825
D – $444.44

The 200-A sold for $665, a 444 for $725 and the wonderful, newly designed 600 single track sold for $825.

Dan the Man Art work sold separately – Dan Cousineau from Shilo, Manitoba.

 

2- According to SERVICE BULLETIN #6 on how to convert a single track 600 to a double track, was a hacksaw and a plastic hammer part of the 15 essential tools needed to do the conversion?
A – Yes
B – No
C – Why bother?
D- How big was the hammer?

As well as those two tools you would also need:
8” screw driver
Large screwdriver
7/16”, 9/16”, 5/8”, ¾”’ 1-1/4” wrenches
Robertson screwdriver  (size not specified)
Pliers and vice grips
1-lb hammer  (that’s more like it)
Center punch
Electric drill with 9/32 “ bit

Not mentioned was the patience needed when you realized you had spent many hours converting a bad machine into something worse.

3- Where was the model 600 single track tested prior to its launch in July 1964?

A – Banff and Northeastern Ontario
B – It was not tested on the snow
C – Foothills of the Continental Alps and Argentina
D – A paved parking lot in Pointe Claire, Quebec

Ed Mackisoc was the second employee hired by HUS-SKI ltd when the plant was in Hespler, Ontario.  He moved to Point Claire Quebec when the company moved assembly facilities.  It was there that he was involved with the development of the 600 single track.  He recalled the testing done in a farmer’s field behind the plant.  It was him that received a citation from local police for driving and passing a car while on a city road with a 600. HUS-SKI boasted that testing was occurring all over the world but that was far from the truth.

4– If a HUS-SKI ran out of gas in a remote area, what did the OWNERS MANUAL suggest doing?
A – Remove the pins holding the skis to the sled and tie the skis to your feet with rope or lamp wick
B – Take the skis off, start a fire to stay warm until help comes
C – Plug the exhaust pipe to create a whistling noise and let your machine whistle for help
D – Put on the walking boots you bought in case you ever bought a Diablo Rouge

Ski poles were not provided under the seat. In case some of you are wondering about the walking boots referred to in answer D, the following best explains them..

Random narrative babblings from Barrie…..

Looks like those Diablo riders are sitting at home with their fingers crossed hoping the full report doesn’t happen. I’ll try and be gentle with the facts, but facts are facts. First, I’ll have to clarify a few definitions specific to the machines.

Definition #1: Diablo at rest. This usually means: engine stopped, hood up, rider clasping the side of his head muttering something in a foreign language. He could be simultaneously walking in circles, kicking at the snow.
Definition # 2: HUS-SKI at rest. This usually means engine idling at about 500 rpm, hood down (preventing any kicked snow from landing on the engine), rider relaxing on his seater drinking a cold beverage. Number of beverages depends on duration of ” Definition #1″.
Definition #3: Diablo rider foot wear. Good walking shoes

Eight of us headed north to the cabin with seven Diablos and two HUS-SKIs. One Diablo was already a no go due to starting issues while at Port Washington and one of Randy’s machines had not been trail tested so it also stayed on the trailer. Now five Diablos and two HUS-SKIs. Remember…eight guys! There was some urgency to get to the cabin due to a certain important football game so Bruce’s son Mike quickly transported all goods with his Yamaha and sleigh while the vintage riders prepared their machines for the short ride in. Not wanting to have Jano walk in (lacking def #3) so he rode as the second passenger on a 10 hp HUS-SKI…not on one of those 16 hp Diablos. Due to a choke butterfly creeping closed, he only had to dismount once (def #3) to make it up those long, gradual hills to the cabin. The snow was soft and abundant. Monday was to be our full day of riding. All machines were in at the camp. We only had to retrieve our gas and hit the trails and soft snow. Before I go any farther there should be a few more machine specific definitions.

Definition #4: HUS-SKI at play: Frolicking in the deep powder, climbing drifted hills
Definition #5: Diablo at play: Following the trail of a HUS-SKI, definition #1

After a magnificent breakfast cooked up by our host, we set forth to get our fuel for the day. Four Diablos and two HUS-SKIs all made it to the road but now things start to get interesting. Randy’s 503 was having “issues” so it was trailered, his 502 driven by Rick was still performing. Now we are down to four Diablos and two HUS-SKIs! Bruce decided to pull out his 500 to do some riding however it had “issues” ultimately diagnosed as “major carb problem”. Looking bad ….but low and behold!! Roy carries a spare carb in his bucket of tools and parts!! Who other than Roy would carry this?? While we are buzzing around changing a carb and trailering machines, Rick goes flying by on the 502 and around the corner. With the carb issue settled and the 500 running again I go for a spin to warm up my 400. Having forgotten about Rick, I thought a local resident was joking around when a saw someone hitch hiking on the side of the road as I approached. It was Rick!!(definition #3). He tells me his machine was going so good he just wanted to ride it while it was running well. He continues to say that it is up the road a “ways”. So I taxi him for at least a mile to determine the spark plug wire had fallen off (definition #1). We both drove back to the trucks, meeting Al on his way to find me. Now with everyone at the trucks, we gather our gas and head back to camp…down one machine. I offer to take Rick back to camp but apparently just as he was to sit on my seat, I accelerated so fast I left him standing in the snow. (definition #3). Back I go to get him, then return to the camp. A riding day which had early beginnings, will now begin at 1 pm, I’ve used half a tank of gas rescuing riders, taxing tools etc but the memories will last forever.

Barries Museum   Barrie’s Hus Ski Museum. I think he needs a little more red in it than just that jumper he has hanging there.

5- According to a SERVICE BULLETIN from Hus Ski, how can you increase the performance of a 252 JLO engine?
A – Increase the size of the perforations in the tailpipe
B – Turn in the high speed needle
C – Use aviation fuel
D – Install a 7 tooth sprocket

HUS-SKI recommended dismantling the muffler to expose the innermost end of the tailpipe.  This end was capped on original mufflers. They wanted this end cap removed to reduce back pressure on the engine thus letting the engine run with more RPM. Increasing the size of the perforations would have the same result.

6– What is black and yellow and goes 700 MPH?
A – A HUS-SKI being shipped for testing in Australia
B – A HUS-SKI driven by Evil Knevil
C – A bumble bee in Horton Hears a Who’s Clover Field
D – None of the above

Along with testing in North America, HUS-SKI ltd boasted sending units to Australia, Italy, South America, Japan and Alaska to distributors.

600 Ad

7– If you need electrical parts for your JLO, which of your neighbors sleds would have the right parts?
A – Bolens
B – Briggs and Stratton
C – Bombardier
D – Bagona

Bombardier used ROTAX engines made in Austria. JLO engines were made in Germany.  Both engines used electrical components made by BOSCH.

8– In 1964, Bombardier produced 8352 machines. How many did HUS-SKI pay royalties for?
A – 0
B – 7648
C – 8352
D – 200 + 400 + 600 + 444 = 1644

After reaching a high production in 1964, HUS-SKI introduced the 600 single track only to see sales drop by 60%.  Although the 600 single track had features common in other makes, its articulated design did not favor a single track style. See the answers to question 10.

9– How long should the recoil cable be for a 252 JLO?
A – 42 inches
B – 157 mm
C – Out to the handlebars
D – To the backrest on the sled

157mm is 62 inches.   However a properly tuned engine will start without pulling in excess of 24” of cable length

10– Who did HUS-SKI Ltd pay royalties to for their initial idea?
A – The Goulet Brothers
B – The Ringling Brothers
C – The Brolet Brothers
D – Huey, Duey and Luey

The Goulet brothers had built a machine to propel them to their bush site.  It was driven by a Pioneer chainsaw.  When the McOuat brothers (who also sold Pioneer saws) saw their invention, they bought their idea and continued to pay royalties to the brothers until 1966.  Royalty paid was a s follows:

1963   1875 sleds
1964   7648 sleds
1965   2721 sleds
1966   1751 sleds

 

Diablo Rouge Questions supplied by Bruce Schoblaska – Sobieski, Wisconsin

11- What is the origin of the headlights on a Diablo Rouge?
A – Germany
B – England
C – China
D – ACME and wherever Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner gets their rockets from

WIPAC created lamps of various designs for European cars and trucks. The WIPAC lights Bolens used were typically back up lights for vehicles. For some reason, Bolens thought this was a good design for the headlights on Diablos.

12- What two sizes of pistons would have been standard in a Diablo’s Hirth Motor?
A – 74.83mm & 74.88mm
B – 74.83mm & 75.00mm
C – 75.00mm & 75.50mm
D – 8675309 (Jenny!)

Early pistons were 74.88mm in a 75mm bore which gave them slightly less than 0.005” clearance. Sometimes there was not enough clearance causing the aluminum piston to grow faster than the cast iron cylinder causing what some called a “Cold Seize”. Later 74.83mm pistons gave a couple thousands extra clearance to eliminate the possibility of a cold seize.

13- How were the serial numbers categorized for the Diablo Rouge?
A – All serial numbers were sequential starting with the serial number 10000
B – Model 500’s started at 00000, model 502’s started at 10000 and 503’s started at 20000
C – Model 500’s started at 10000, model 502’s started at 20000 and 503’s started at 30000
D – No rhyme or reason as Uncle Dale just drew numbers out of a hat each day

If you had a 502 with serial number 20250, it was the 250th 502 built. In our knowledge of serial numbers, there was no change in this sequential numbering upward from year to year. Interesting though, in 1966 when the 500 was being built for the 1967 Production Year, Bolens did stop the 10000 series serial numbers at some point, made a number of engineering changes to the 500 and then restarted the serial numbers at 15000.

14- What was the “Top Speed” of a Diablo Rouge according to specifications?
A – 28 Miles per hour
B – 30 Miles per Hour
C – 35 Miles per Hour
D – 0 to 60 in an eternity

Stated in various literature, but this was on a good cold day on a hard trail for sure!

15- What size of chain and how many links were used in the Diablo Rouge 502 gearbox?
A – Size 40 Rex and 54 links
B – Size 50 Rex and 54 links
C – Size 50 Rex and 56 links
D – Chain? I thought there was a piece of rope in that gearcase????

The 502 & 503 used 56 links. The 500 had a slightly shorter chain using 54 links.

16- What was the “Weight” of the Diablo Rouge 502 according to specifications?
A – Tractor = 330 lbs and sleigh = 70 lbs
B – Tractor = 340 lbs and sleigh = 80 lbs
C – Tractor = 355 lbs and sleigh = 68 lbs
D – When stuck in 3 feet of snow, it was measured in tons, not pounds

Stated in literature and yes, it seemed a lot heavier when it was stuck in deep snow. Orjan Gasland from Norway would agree. 

Orjan Gasland

17– How many tires and how many bumpers are on the bogie wheel stations?
A – 16 tires and 28 bumpers
B – 28 tires and 16 bumpers
C – 28 tires and 14 bumpers
D – Forget tires and bumpers, I’m still trying to figure out that “0 to 60 in an eternity” answer

There are 14 bogie stations with each having 2 tires = 28 tires. The front two stations have two bumpers each and all the others have only one bumper each = 16 bumpers.

18– What brand of carburetor is stock for a Diablo Rouge?
A – Tillotson
B – Stromberg
B – Mikuni
C – Holly Race Q Series 4 barrel

Diablos came stock with Tillotson HR3A and HR14A carbs. They were the same carbs, just made in different years.

19– What were the track cleats on a Diablo Rouge were made from?
A – Steel
B – Aluminum
C – Stainless Steel
D – Wood – Ha, what engineer would ever think a wooden cleat would work????

The aluminum was extruded and the mounting design used a steel rivet rail with 6 aluminum rivets.

20– What do the Spanish & French words Diablo Rouge translate to?
A – Devil in Disguise
B – Red Devil
C – Devil Sled
D – Devil’s Advocate

Diablo is Spanish for Devil. Rouge is French for Red.

Randy Roy and Bruce Randy Heinle, Roy Teske and Bruce Schoblaska in Constance Bay, Ontario

 

Bolens Sprint Questions supplied by Steve Kappes – White Bear Lake, Minnesota

21- What color were Bolens Sprints?
A – Red
B – Burnt Sienna
C – Mauve
D – Raw Umber

22- How many total models of Sprints did Bolens release including race sleds?

A – 18
B – 20
C – 25
D – 146

Although there are a total of 25 models listed throughout the brochures and paperwork, there are a couple that are very elusive. Whether they were built or not, they are the 1969 model 624 with the Bolens twin cylinder engine and the 1970 S295 with a 17 hp JLO L297. Also possibly no manuals were ever printed.

23- In 1970, which 3 engines were used in Sprints?
A – JLO, Kohler and Hirth
B – Gutbrod, JLO and Kohler
C – Gutbrod, Kiekhaefer and Kohler
D – Chevy 350, Ford 302 and Hemi 440

Gutbrod was a German manufacturer that made the engines exclusively for Bolens to put their name on.

24- What year did Bolens first use a slide rail suspension in the Sprint (consumer or race)?
A – 1970
B – 1971
C – 1972
D – 1901

The 1971 race sleds were the first Sprints to use a slide rail suspension. The next was the 1972 SS with the Kiekhaefer 440. They are very similar in design but the rails were larger and beefier on the race sled.

25- Which Sprint models used an automotive style alternator for battery charging?
A – TR399 & TR440
B – TW295 & TW340
C – TW433 & TW440
D – LMNOP123 & QRSTUV56

The alternator was a 360 watt automotive style and was mounted to the block on the front side of the engine under the carb and was belt driven off the shaft.

26- After the Bolens racing program ended in 1971, the remaining race sleds were re-worked and re-branded for sale to the consumer market in 1972. Which model was it?
A – SS
B – TW293
C – 340S
D – Scorpion Stinger 340

The “S” in 340S stands for “Special”. Bolens removed the free air race engines, both clutches and the big mouth hood. They put on a hood with headlight, the Bolens twin cylinder 340 fan engine and different clutches.

27- What model JLO engine was in the 1969 Sprint model 621?
A – L297
B – L297E
C – 2Z340
D – Fuji F/A 400

The L297E JLO engine was equipped with electric start which is in the model 621.  The Sprint model 620 was the plain JLO L297 with NO electric start. Both 17hp.

28- What is the horsepower rating on the Kiekhaefer 440 engines?
A – 30
B – 40
C – 45
D – 155

The 440 Kiekhaefer engine was a Kiekhaefer Aeromarine (KAM) product new to Bolens.  It was an actual 433cc engine and between the 2 models in 72 that used it, they had slightly different carburetors.  The Sprint model 84440 SS KAM engine (referred to as A-2) used a Tillotson HD94A and the Sprint models 83433 and 83440 KAM engine (referred to as A-3) used an HD95A.

29- On the 1971 TR399 and TR440 with the triple cylinder engine, what Tillotson carburetor was used?
A – HD95A
B – HL279A
C – HR103A
D – Holley 4-Barrel

The TR399 and TR440 used a single carb on the engine and was mounted to an intake bottle of sorts that had 3 rubber intake pieces for each cylinder that mounted to the engine.

30- On Sprints that were NOT equipped with oil bath chain cases, what method was used to oil the chain?
A – Compression fitting in the bottom of the engine that uses crankcase oil through a copper tube that dripped on the chain.
B – A grease zerk on top of the chain case.
C – You had to take 2 wing nuts off to remove the cover and squirt 8 drops of oil on the chain.
D – You duct taped a quart of oil to the inside of the hood and it slowly dripped through a few plastic drinking straws into a hole that you drilled in the chain case.
E – You didn’t do anything. Sprints were so magical that they needed no maintenance!

The description of this is right in the answer as funny as it sounds.  The bearings were sealed bearings on the models that used this so they didn’t need the oil for the bearings, only the chain.  Bolens wasn’t the only sled manufacturer to use this type of system although it is not common.

Bonus Questions

31- What animal did Bolens use in the early 70’s to help promote Bolens Snowmobiles?
A – Badger
B – Wolf
C – Husky Dog
D – The Pink Panther

The moto “BOLENS UNLEASHES A BOLD NEW BREED OF HUSKYS FOR ‘71” was used in promotional advertising. A Husky was pictured with sales ads, the large Husky was used on site at snowmobile shows and such, a Husky patch was created with “Bolens FMC Corporation” on it and I’m sure used in other advertising.

32- Regarding the mascot above, what was his name?
A – Bull
B – Speedi
C – Buck
D – The animal had no official name but was fondly called “The Bitch” by the Bolens Advertising Group

 Husky

Seeing the picture above, one might think this was a fictional sales prop, but Hilbert tells us the prop was put together by having someone inside and people outside to assemble and bolt it together. Then crawling out the back, the tail was installed over the access hole. I’ve been told that for many years, it was assembled and on display on the roof of the Bolens main office.

33- Hus Ski and Diablo Rouge dealers showed looping projector films as part of advertising. How many versions of films were there?
A – Two
B – Three
C – Four
D – Five

Technicolor

One Hus Ski, one for the prototype Diablo 500’s (showing the infamous windshields) and one for the Diablo 502’s.

34- Who were two of the original engineers that designed Hus Skis and Diablos?
A – John Smeaton and Fred Fassbender
B – Smith and Wesson
C – Laurel and Hardy
D – Tony Stark and Nick Fury

 IMG_2786a  Bruce Fred Roy

Both have passed away now, but John was an engineer and Fred (we found out later) was the Manager of Production, Prototyping and Testing for Hus Skis, Diablos and Sprints. In a picture from 2017, top row L to R is Fred, Mike O’Reilly, Roy Teske and bottom row is Mrs. Smeaton and son John Smeaton Jr. In 2019, Roy and I met up with Fred again at the Constance Bay Run. 

Team Fassbender tells us that Fred travelled with the testing department in Canada and Wyoming, Fred also had a “L” shaped track built on the farm which was a mile long and they did a lot of sled testing there as well. Fred’s son Willy did some SPRINT test riding as well.

After Bolens, John and Fred were involved in another snow machine called the Sno Truc.

35- In 1964, a newspaper was published exclusively for Hus-Ski owners. What was it called?
A – How to Fix a Hus-Ski
B – Hus-Ski Sports Club News
C – Hus-Skiing
D – Yellow on Snow

Hus Ski Sports Club