Raider, Manta & Trail Roamer ~ Revolutionizing the snowmobile industry
The racing version of Manta was produced by ARBE (A Robert Bracey Enterprise) 1974-1976. The twin track version was a limited production run of approx. 150 units.
The sled featured an all aluminum riveted chassis, aluminum skis with cobra packs, and titanium cleats on the tracks, and racing harness, and coil shocks with torsion springs. It had bow-tie style handlebars and had lever-style brake & throttle controls for your feet.
It also had a tethered rope for ignition. The model had started out in 1974 with a V-style roll bar which was redesigned in 1975/76 into a U-shaped roll bar. You could order the sled with or without a motor, however the factory motor was a SACHS 340rx free air or 440rx free air that featured twin Mikuni carburetors and dual exhaust. It came with plastic or aluminum box style gas tank. The single track version featured an all aluminum riveted aircraft chassis & skis with cobra packs and titanium cleats on the tracks and leaf & torsion springs. Motors were a SACHS 340rx or 440rx with Mikuni carburetors. This design featured the standard snowmobile design where you sat on the seat. Manufactured by Texas Products Manufacturing Company. There were 3 known to exist of this model.
The trail version of Manta is the second generation of twin tracks by Bob Bracey. 1983 was the first year of the trail Manta which featured a 340 Polaris TXI twin carburetors dual exhaust liquid cooled motor, oil shocks and standard springs. This was the first year of the twin tracks that featured a steering wheel, throttle and brake foot pedals.
The headlight was featured on an off-road bar that came out behind the cockpit. It only had a tachometer. No electric start. This model was black and white with large metallic Manta decals on each side of cockpit. This model had problems with the drive shaft due to the fact that it was only riveted on the floor pan. It was also greatly underpowered by its smaller motor.
There was a 1983 model that was modified into a racing sled by Denny Atherton, called the Atherton Manta. It had an IFS front end from a Ski Doo Sno Pro with racing chassis.
In 1984, Manta offered two motors – 440 Fuji fan cooled or 500 Suzuki liquid cooled. This was the first year for both speedometer and tachometer, and electric start and gas shocks with torsion springs. This model was black and white. This was an improvement over the 1983 model which resulted in many of the 83’s being traded in for the 1984 model due to the change in the mounting of the drive shaft and the larger motors being offered.
1985, Manta offered two motors and paint colors. The 440 liquid cooled Arctic Cat motor featured dual carburetors, electric start and came in burgundy and white. The 500 liquid cooled Arctic Cat motor featured dual carburetors, no electric start, came in burgundy and silver. Both had speedometers, tachometers, gas shocks and torsion springs and same body designs with the exception of the hood which was more rounded unlike the 1983 and 1984 which was more of a square style.
1986 was the last year of the Mantas which featured a gas cap exposed with no door unlike previous years. It featured gas shocks with torsion springs. It only offered a 440 liquid cooled Arctic Cat motor with dual carburetors, electric start and color was burgundy and white. It also featured the rounded hood style like the 1985 model.