Honda White Fox

Here at Northeast Vintage Cycle we have one of the White Fox
snowmobiles on display in our showroom. It is indeed a rare Honda.
We believe there was only 6 or 7 in the United States. One of those has
sold to a Honda collector in the Netherlands. So now there may only
be 5 or 6 in the states. If you are in the area, stop by and take a look
at a very unique snowmobile. 
During November of 1970 the managing director of Honda Motor Company,
Kihachiro Kawashima, stated that an announcement would soon come from Honda detailing an agreement with Honda and an existing U.S. snowmobile manufacturer to build snowmobiles for sale in the United States. Plans called for the engines to be manufactured in Japan by Honda and shipped to the United States to be installed in a body built by the U.S. manufacturer. The engines were to be of a four-cycle design, which could present some problems because the two-cycle engine was more suitable to snowmobile use, but Kawashima was certain Honda could overcome the problem by using a slightly larger engine. The snowmobiles were to be marketed in the United States and Canada through Honda's existing sales network. It was hoped that a few sleds could be sold for the 1971 season before gearing up for a full-scale build for the 1972 season.

No sleds were produced in time for the 1971 season, but dealers caught
a glimpse of a prototype at dealer conventions held during March of 1971. This prototype was powered by a four-stroke, overhead camshaft motorcycle-type engine.

Nothing more was heard from Honda until February 1973 when a prototype
was introduced to a group of Honda motorcycle dealers in Marquette, Mich. This prototype was a twin-tracked, cockpit-type snowmobile powered by Honda's four-cycle, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled automotive engine. Honda had worked in conjunction with Leisure Vehicles, Inc. of Troy, Mich., to develop this particular prototype.

Dealer reaction was rather cool. Most expressed the opinion that the
sled would never be marketable: it was about 150 pounds heavier that the standard Raider (a sit-in snow vehicle also manufactured by Leisure Vehicles) and would have be sold at around $1,800 to be profitable, putting it among the most expensive models of the 1974 season.

Others were concerned that the machine was too complex- with its cooling system, hydraulic torque converter transmission system, as well as other problems inherent to the automotive four-cylinder engine. Dealers questioned at these meetings said that when Honda did produce a snowmobile they expected that it would be a radical departure from the norm, but still utilize a two-cycle engine, especially since Honda had recently introduced several two-cycle motorcycles.

In December 1973 American Honda Motor Company announced its long-expected entry into the snowmobile business the White Fox. A single-tracked, rear-engined vehicle designed for youngsters and adults weighing up to 150 pounds, the White Fox would be available only through selected Honda motorcycle dealerships in Michigan and Wisconsin during its first season.

The White Fox was powered by a 178cc two-stroke engine coupled with a
torque converter drive system. The narrow-tracked sled had a low center
of gravity for improved maneuverability and handling. At 227 pounds (dry weight), it provided exceptional fuel economy. Other features included full lighting, a fuel gauge, a special safety brake lock, a recoil starter and a fully enclosed drive chain.

Honda UL-175 White Fox
Overall length: 79.1 inches
Overall width: 31.1 inches
Overall height: 33.5 inches (with windshield)
21.9 inches (without windshield)
Dry weight: 227 pounds
Track width:  14.6 inches
Torque converter: Stepless variable
Fuel capacity:  2.0 U.S. gallons
Chain case:   0.3 U.S. quarts
Standard features:   Tail light, headlight
Engine Type: Two stroke, single cylinder, air cooled
Displacement: 178 cc
Bore and stroke: 62mm x 59mm
Compression ratio: 6.5
Horsepower: 10 hp
Honda did dabble in the snow market again when they added a
track and ski to there EZ90 Cub motorcycle.
They never brought that model here to the states.