What Happened to Redline Snowmobiles? [Video]


What happened to Redline snowmobile? Although Redline snowmobiles were considered some of the most innovative snowmobiles ever made, only 57 of them were built in 2004. Despite the company putting a lot of energy into marketing and money-raising, it still ran out of money and went bankrupt shortly after Redline snowmobiles reached mass production.

If you want to learn all about these iconic sleds 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 Redline snowmobiles under one roof!

Redline Snowmobile History

The Beginnings

Surprisingly the history of Redline snowmobiles started in the deserts of Southern California.

In the late ‘90s, a couple of off-road racers dreamed of transferring off-road truck suspension technology into snowmobiles. They put together a team and established Redline Performance Products, Inc. in 1998.

Their initial brainstorming turned into prototypes that hit the sand before the end of the millennium. Yes, it might be shocking, but these machines were tested on the sand dunes of Southern California in the absence of snow!

Incidentally, the skis of these Redline snowmobile prototypes were replaced with ATV wheels, and their hyfax had a unique lubrication system.

The company intended to engineer and manufacture revolutionary snowmobiles that utilized many advanced technologies. And there’s no question that Redline snowmobiles stood out from the crowd in many ways!

The most conspicuous feature of these iconic machines was arguably their eye-catching design. Thanks to their red and black color scheme and tubular frame, they looked like Italian sportbikes!

Redlines were not only known for their radical styling but also for their many innovative features. Like the iconic BLADE sleds, built by the legendary Karpik brothers, Redline snowmobiles also utilized several revolutionary systems way ahead of their time.

Besides the industry-first 4-stroke snowmobile engine, these machines had a special rear exhaust, a frame-mounted clutch, and unique suspension systems.

These advanced technologies, plus their design promised a unique ownership experience.

The Outstanding Marketing Campaign

Unlike competitor manufacturers that typically started their marketing campaign by allowing their drawings to appear in the media, Redline cut their marketing campaign short by revealing two complete sleds during its first public introduction.

The smaller sled was the Revolt 954 Revolution featuring a 948cc, 4-stroke V-twin engine rated at 110 HP. Its big brother, the Redline 1300 Revolt was powered by a 1294cc, 2-stroke engine that cranked out an impressive 225 HP.

However, these models never reached production, as the company started developing two 800-class sleds instead.

These models were the Redline 800 Revolt and the 800 Mountain Revolt, both powered by an 800cc, 2-stroke engine. The latter was considered as an off-trail model and had a 144” track.

Revolt sleds were also known for their hefty price tags as they were sold at about $12,000 which was significantly more than the flagship models of the competitor Ski-Doo and Arctic Cat.

Besides research and development, Redline made a tremendous effort promoting their products to create a lot of sizzle around them. Its marketing team generated massive hype around the sleds using a large variety of marketing channels, which were mainly as follows:

  • Showing prototypes and parts on displays in dealerships and at snowmobile events.
  • Setting up unique displays to illustrate how its suspension systems operated.
  • Thrilling demonstrations with the prototypes.
  • Offering T-shirts and glossy flyers at virtually every event.
  • Creating a waiting list for potential future customers.
  • Appearing regularly on TV like on the Today Show and Discovery TV.
  • The SledStorm video game from EA Sports featured the company’s trademarks.
  • Toy snowmobiles with the Redline design were launched.
  • Appearances in countless magazines from the most significant news sites to sled magazines.

The marketing worked, and the company created excitement and demand for its products!

What Happened to Redline Snowmobiles?

Despite an outstanding marketing campaign and abundant promises, Redline snowmobiles never reached full-scale production. Only 57 of these fantastic sleds were manufactured before Redline Performance Products filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

But how could this have happened?

Many people said the company focused more on money-raising and marketing than on its products. Redline sleds were virtually featured in every media outlet and won many design awards, but production did not start until 2004.

That year, the company finally began production of the 800 Revolt. The original target for the first season was 600 units, but according to SnowTechMagazine, only 57 of them were built.

What’s more, as little as 14 machines reached completion, as the rest were delivered without the exhaust system.

On top of that, the majority of the units arrived at the dealerships without skis. As you might assume, this resulted in a lot of frustration amongst customers and dealers.

At this point, the buyers who pre-ordered the sled became anxious and turned away from the brand, not to mention the investors who were also tired of waiting and didn’t want to give the company another chance.

The writing was on the wall, and Redline closed its doors in May 2004, and bankruptcy was filed in August.

In the following years, there were some rumors that Redline had made a comeback, but this did not materialize in the end.

Although Redline snowmobiles weren’t reborn, this brand name was later used on some dune buggies.

Redline Snowmobile Specs

Redline Snowmobile Models

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the known Redline snowmobile models into one list:

  • Redline 800 Revolt
  • Redline 800 Mountain Revolt
  • Redline 1300 Revolt
  • Redline 954 Revolution
  • Redline SX702 Rebellion
  • Redline SP604S

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and take a closer look at each of them!

Redline 800 Revolt Specs

It’s safe to say that the 2004 Redline 800 Revolt was the first and only Redline sled that reached mass production.

This model was designed for trail riding and utilized a high-performance 800cc, 2-stroke engine. It was built on a Chromoly steel tubular chassis and had innovative suspension systems.

The revolutionaryRedline T-15 rear suspension featured a single shock and had an impressive suspension travel of 22”. Just like the rear unit, the wishbone (also known as “double A-arm”) front suspension also utilized large shocks.

Another revolutionary idea of Redline sleds was its Clutch Isolation System.

Unlike the standard snowmobile clutch system, the drive clutch of Redline snowmobiles was mounted to the chassis. To keep the clutches aligned and decrease vibration, the connection also utilized a unique rubber dampener.

One of the most distinctive features of Redline snowmobiles was their unique exhaust system. It was mounted under the saddle, and the mufflers exited out the rear end of the machine.

It was similar to what we saw on the legendary Yamaha RX-1, but don’t forget that this sled debuted four years later than the Redline 800 Revolt.

The dry weight of the machine was only 640 pounds and was propelled by a 121” track. In contrast, the off-trail version of this sled, the Redline 800 Mountain Revolt, utilized a 144” track.

Redline 954 Revolution Specs

It’s safe to say that the Redline 954 Revolution was the first 4-stroke snowmobile in history. Keeping the stricter 2007 emission requirements in mind, Redline engineered this sled with a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled V-Twin engine rated at 110 HP.

Unfortunately, this model didn’t reach mass production. The key specs of Redline 954 Revolution were as follows:

Model 954 Revolution
Engine stroke 4-stroke
Cylinders 2 (90 deg., V-Twin)
Engine displacement 948cc
Horsepower 110 HP
Cooling system Liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke 95mm x 66mm
Fue Delivery Electronic Fuel Injection
Lubrication Gear driven oil pump
Chassis Computer designed space frame, 4130 chro-moly steel tubing bent via CNC
Drivetrain Direct drive – RPM sensing primary, and oversized roller secondary
Weight 460 lbs. (121″ track)
Ski Stance 41.5 in.
Track 15x121x1.0 / 15x136x2.0
Brakes Brembo Disc
Rear Suspension Redline T15 offering 22 in. of vertical travel
Front Suspension Double “A-Arm” offering 12 in. of vertical travel

Redline SP604S Specs

Another 4-stroke model was the Redline SP604S, powered by a smaller 595cc, single-cylinder engine. This entry-level unit was designed for trail riding and economical operation.

Model SP604S
Engine stroke 4-strokes
Cylinders single cylinder
Engine displacement 595cc
Cooling system Liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke 95 mm x 84 mm
Fuel Delivery Electronic Fuel Injection
Lubrication Gear driven oil pump
Chassis Computer designed space frame, monocoque combination
Drivetrain RPM sensing primary and roller secondary, through Redline’s gear box, via matched helical gear sets
Weight 425 lbs.
Ski Stance 41.5 in.
Track 15x121x10 / 15x136x1.2
Horsepower 60 HP
Brakes Brembo Disc
Rear Suspension Redline T15 offering 22 in. of vertical travel
Front Suspension Double “A-Arm” offering 12 in. of vertical travel.

Redline 1300 Revolt Specs

The flagship model in Redline’s fleet was arguably the Redline 1300 Revolt. Powered by a 225 HP, 1294cc, 2-stroke triple, this machine was the most powerful snowmobile at that time. Although it offered significantly more power than any competitor sled, it still weighed less than the 700 class.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the Redline 1300 Revolt specs into one chart:

Model 1300 Revolt
Engine stroke 2-stroke
Cylinders 3
Engine displacement 1294cc
Horsepower 225 HP
Cooling system Liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke 85mm x 76mm
Fuel Delivery Electronic Fuel Injection, or Mikuni Flat Slide TM-40MM-3 carbs
Lubrication Variable rate oil injection
Chassis Computer designed space frame, 4130 chro-moly steel tubing bent via CNC
Drivetrain Direct drive – RPM sensing primary, and oversized roller secondary
Weight 520 lbs. (121″ track)
Ski Stance 41.5 in.
Track 15x136x2.0 / 15x141x2.0
Brakes Brembo Disc
Rear Suspension Redline T15 offering 22 in. of vertical travel
Front Suspension Double “A-Arm” offering 12 in. of vertical travel.

Redline SX702 Rebellion Specs

The Redline SX702 Rebellion also stood out from the crowd in many ways.

According to Off-Road.com, the Rebellion was the world’s first racing snowmobile designed exclusively for Snocross competition.

Model SX 702 Rebellion
Engine stroke ultra high performing 2-Strokes
Cylinders NA
Engine displacement 700cc
Cooling system Liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke NA
Fuel Delivery NA
Lubrication Pre-mix
Chassis Computer designed space frame, 4130 chro-moly steel tubing bent via CNC
Drivetrain NA
Weight NA
Ski Stance 43 in.
Track NA
Horsepower NA
Brakes Brembo Disc
Rear Suspension Redline T15 offering 22 in. of vertical travel
Front Suspension Double “A-Arm” offering 12 in. of vertical travel. 46mm.

Source: Off-Road.com

Redline Snowmobiles for Sale

Since only 57 Redline snowmobiles were built, these machines became valuable collectible items. Therefore, it’s not easy to find one on the used market!

However, if you are lucky, you can find a vintage Redline snowmobile for sale on Craigslist, eBay, Snowmobiletrader, Sledswap, and other snowmobile classified ad sites.

You also can’t go wrong by visiting Redline snowmobile forums and FB groups. Besides a potential deal, you can also find a lot of helpful information on Redline sleds on these sources.

But before you buy one, keep in mind that these sleds are not recommended for everyday rides. Why?

First, as you might assume, it’s hard and perhaps impossible to find Redline snowmobile parts. Plus, their stock exhaust system tends to blow apart very quickly.

Takeaways – What Happened to Redline Snowmobiles?

As a takeaway, we’ve compiled the most common questions about the manufacturer under one roof!

What years did Redline make snowmobiles?

After a long marketing campaign, Redline snowmobiles were only manufactured in 2004.

Who made the Redline snowmobile?

Redline snowmobiles were made by Redline Performance Products, Inc. in San Diego, California.

How many Redline snowmobiles were made?

Surprisingly, only 57 Redline snowmobiles were manufactured before the company went bankrupt.

Why did Redline stop making snowmobiles?

Although Redline raised millions of dollars over the years, it ran out of money shortly after its products went into production. Finally, to the greatest regret of many fans, the manufacturer filed for bankruptcy, and Redline snowmobiles disappeared from the market in 2004.

References:

SnowTechMagazine

SnowGoer

Off-road

Powersportsbusiness

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