Ariens snowmobiles were very popular sleds in the early ‘70s. The first Ariens snowmobile was revealed in 1969, which was the model 300. Over the years the manufacturer introduced several new models for various purposes. These sleds were manufactured in Quebec by Skiroule Ltd. and were marketed in the U.S. and Canada as well. If you want to learn all about Ariens snowmobiles and find out where you can still find one, this post is for you.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know about vintage Ariens snowmobiles into this post!
Ariens Snowmobile History
Ariens is an American-based equipment company that is well known for its high-quality lawn tractors, lawnmowers, and snow blowers.
The company was established in 1933 by Henry Ariens, who built the first gas-powered roto tiller in the U.S. At that time, only imported rotary tillers were available, so Ariens’ products were considered quite innovative.
However, rotary tillers were not well known in the U. S. at that time. Because of this, Ariens had to put a lot of effort into marketing and education to get their products accepted in the marketplace.
The first Ariens roto tiller was referred to as a “Model A Tiller,” which was followed by the more modern “Model B.” The company also released several new tillers for various purposes.
Later Ariens turned to winter-related machinery and developed many great snow blowers. In the ‘60s the snowmobile market exploded, which attracted several new manufacturers into this industry.
Ariens also grabbed onto this opportunity and started producing snowmobiles in 1969. But surprisingly Ariens snowmobiles were actually produced by the Canadian firm Skiroule Ltd.
However, the entire machines were not built in Skiroule’s facilities in Quebec. Instead, the seat and the sled’s plastic body were manufactured in the U.S.
In the first year of production, Ariens offered only one sled, known as the Ariens 300.
This machine was powered by a 293cc single-cylinder Sachs engine that featured a Tillotson HR18A carburetor. This tiny engine cranked out about 20 HP and propelled the sled to a top speed of 40 mph.
The whole machine was built on an all-steel chassis and offered a low center of gravity. The tilt-up hood was made of high-impact thermoplastic ABS.
It also featured a 6-gallon fuel tank, a reinforced 15” track, Arctic-dynamic 40” skis, a well-padded seat with backrest, chromed front and rear bumpers, a large storage compartment, and an electric start.
The throttle and brake controls were mounted on the handlebar, while the large “wrap around” windshield offered reasonable protection for the rider.
Regarding dimensions, the Ariens 300 was about 31 inches wide and 99 inches long with the skis. Its height was only 33-inches, which jumped up to 43¾ inches with the windshield.
The overall weight of the machine was approximately 300 pounds.
The distinctive features of Ariens sleds were the twin sealed headlights. And the chromed air intakes mounted between the headlights perfectly complemented the design.
Because of its shape and white color, this early model was often referred to as a “bathtub” by enthusiasts. In the following years the colors orange, red, and black became more prevalent on Ariens sleds.
The 1971-1973 Ariens snowmobile lineups contained many different machines designed for different needs. These sleds were named “Arrow” and featured 277-437cc 2-stroke engines depending on the model.
The entry-level model was known as the Ariens Arrow 275s, powered by a 277cc, single-cylinder Sachs engine. Ariens marketed this affordable sled primarily for younger riders.
The 275s featured a well-padded vinyl upholstered seat and backrest, passenger handrails, wood grain dash, and a 15” rubber track.
Another small-bore sled in the fleet was the Ariens Arrow 295s. This machine had a slightly bigger, 293cc, 20 HP, single-cylinder Sachs engine. According to the manufacturer, this sled was tested and proven dependable under extreme conditions at World Champion races!
The more advanced Arrow 300S was manufactured with the same engine. This sled was equipped with a bogie-wheel suspension system, front and rear wrap-around bumpers, a reinforced 15” track, an ABS top hood, and a rear storage compartment.
Based on a vintage advertisement, the 300S was available for $759 with a free snowmobile suit in the 1972 model year.
The more powerful Ariens Arrow 340S and 340SE featured the Kohler K335-1 power plant.
Although this engine was still a single-cylinder model, it had a displacement of 335cc and cranked out 23 HP at 5500 RPM. The manufacturer recommended this “sports car styling” sled for all-around enjoyment, from recreational to racing purposes.
The smallest twin-cylinder Ariens snowmobile was the Arrow 350S which featured the Kohler K340-2 engine. This power source was a 338cc twin that produced 24 HP at 5500 RPM.
The 350S was designed for touring as it featured a well-padded seat and backrest, along with many other convenience features like an electric start or large storage compartment. The Arctic-dynamic skis ensured precise and smooth handling and the sled also offered excellent braking ability.
In 1972, this machine was available for $899.
The Ariens Arrow 400L and 400LE were designed and marketed for families.
These were roomy enough to accommodate two adults and two kids, so the machine offered complete luxury and comfort for the entire family. The lowered center of gravity resulted in better balance and higher safety.
They also featured a larger, 19-inch-wide rubber track for better handling, stability, and traction. This wider track was exclusively available on these models and was made of reinforced molded rubber and nylon piles.
The large storage compartment could accommodate the cross-country gear along with the necessary snowmobile equipment.
All great points on a family sled!
The sled was powered by a 399cc Kohler twin which put out 28 HP.
In 1972, the Arrow 400L was marketed for $999 with a free seat riser. This model hit the market in 1970 and remained in production until 1973.
The sporty counterpart of this sled was the Arrow 400SS. Although it was powered by the same Kohler K399-2 engine, this model was instead designed and built for competition.
It featured a special racing saddle with a backrest, a 15-inch track, heavy-duty front and rear bumpers, a rally windshield, and a special clutch.
The 400SS was very fast and powerful, but at the same time offered great maneuverability thanks to its balanced suspension system.
The flagship models in Ariens’ fleet were arguably the Arrow 440 and 450SX.
These models had the most powerful Sachs SA2-440 engine. This 437cc, 2-stroke twin produced 35 HP at 6500 RPM. What’s more, these innovative sleds came with a slide-rail suspension system!
In the mid-‘70s the snowmobile industry had to face mild winters and high oil prices. These negative effects resulted in a shrinking demand for sleds.
Because of this, several snowmobile manufacturers left the market and Ariens was one of them.
Since this business was no longer profitable for them, Ariens stopped manufacturing snowmobiles in 1973.
Ariens Snowmobile Models
Here is our list of the production Ariens snowmobiles:
- Ariens 300 (1969) Engine: Sachs SA290
- Ariens Arrow 295S (1970) Engine: Sachs SA290
- Ariens Arrow 340S, 340SE (1970) Engine: Kohler K335-1
- Ariens Arrow 400L, 400 LE (1970-1973) Engine: Kohler K399-2
- Ariens Arrow 440SS (1970-1973) Engine: Kohler K399-2
- Ariens Arrow 275S (1971-1972) Engine: Sachs SA280A
- Ariens Arrow 300S (1971-1973) Engine: Sachs SA290
- Ariens Arrow 350S (1971-1973) Engine: Kohler K340-2
- Ariens Arrow 350SX (1972-1973) Engine: Sachs SA2-340
- Ariens Arrow 440SX (1971-1972) Engine: Sachs SA2-440
- Ariens Arrow 450SX (1973) Engine: Sachs SA2-440
Ariens Snowmobiles for Sale
Vintage Ariens snowmobiles are still popular among collectors and vintage sled enthusiasts. Sometimes they appear in vintage races or even on the trails.
Since new snowmobiles are very expensive and not easy to work on, many younger buyers turn towards vintage sleds. These aged machines feature a much simpler design and are far more affordable.
If you’re considering buying one, the good news is that you can still find some Ariens snowmobiles for sale on Craigslist, Snowmobiletrader, or other snowmobile classified ad sites.
You may also want to visit Ariens snowmobile forums and FB groups. Besides some great deals, you can find a lot of useful information on vintage Ariens sleds through these sources.
Takeaways – FAQs About Ariens Snowmobiles
As a takeaway, we’ve compiled the most common questions about Ariens snowmobiles under one roof!
What Years did Ariens Make Snowmobiles?
Ariens snowmobiles were in production from 1969 until 1973.
Who Made the Ariens Snowmobile?
Ariens snowmobiles were made by Skiroule Ltd. located in Quebec, Canada. However, the body and the seat of these machines were manufactured in the U.S.
Why did Ariens Stop Making Snowmobiles?
Ariens stopped manufacturing snowmobiles because this business wasn’t profitable for the company. In the ‘70s a recession hit the snowmobile industry, which resulted in low sales figures.
When did Ariens Stop Making Snowmobiles?
Finally, Ariens stopped making snowmobiles after the 1973 season.