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Old 09-05-2017, 01:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need Help choosing sleds (newbie)

Hey guys,

Let me introduce myself. My name is Ryan and I recently moved out the Steamboat Colorado. I work on a ship as an officer transporting oil to Alaska in the Bearing Sea as well as the Arctic Ocean. I have ridden dirt bikes four wheelers basically everything with an engine but never owned my own snowmobile. Only rented them and gone trail riding

The time has come. I have a $16,000 budget and I am looking for two mountain sleds for my dad and I. We are both 5'8" around 160 pounds. We will be riding the sleds near Steamboat Springs where we get a lot of powder! Now I understand it takes time to learn to ride powder etc...but I want to get machines that are capable of doing this so we can grow into the machines.

I have been looking at different sleds and have seen a decent amount of 2014 to 2016 Arctic cat m6000 and m8000 153" for sale. I am in no shape or form partial to the Arctic cat, this is just what I have been able to find for sale online. I am pretty sure I want a 153" length, but I am not quite sure what I want in the power of the machine. I don't want something that will be to much to handle, but I don't want something that in a years time I say, "Damn I wish I bought the more powerful sled".

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a good problem to have! Real excited about getting into snowmobiling. Common snow!!!
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ryculper View Post
Hey guys,

Let me introduce myself. My name is Ryan and I recently moved out the Steamboat Colorado. I work on a ship as an officer transporting oil to Alaska in the Bearing Sea as well as the Arctic Ocean. I have ridden dirt bikes four wheelers basically everything with an engine but never owned my own snowmobile. Only rented them and gone trail riding

The time has come. I have a $16,000 budget and I am looking for two mountain sleds for my dad and I. We are both 5'8" around 160 pounds. We will be riding the sleds near Steamboat Springs where we get a lot of powder! Now I understand it takes time to learn to ride powder etc...but I want to get machines that are capable of doing this so we can grow into the machines.

I have been looking at different sleds and have seen a decent amount of 2014 to 2016 Arctic cat m6000 and m8000 153" for sale. I am in no shape or form partial to the Arctic cat, this is just what I have been able to find for sale online. I am pretty sure I want a 153" length, but I am not quite sure what I want in the power of the machine. I don't want something that will be to much to handle, but I don't want something that in a years time I say, "Damn I wish I bought the more powerful sled".

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a good problem to have! Real excited about getting into snowmobiling. Common snow!!!
there is only one sled that will make you a better rider. only because it goes effortlessly in the snow, side hills like it reads your mind, and can go slowly in the tight tree's like it was following a line. there is only one king in the mountains. Polaris RMK. the other are just trying to ketch up?
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Get an 800 because you are going to be riding at higher elevation, the machines lose HP due to the thinner air. You could get by with a 600 and have fun with it but the 800 would give you room to improve your skills. The RMK's are very well balance machines but their motor has been somewhat unreliable. Google "Polaris Reliability kit" or "Polaris Durability Kit" and you'll see that several companies are making money off of the crappy motors. Do the same with the other manufacturers and let me know what your results are.

The cats have solid motors but I would not want to get any 2012-2013 because they had clutching / belt blowing issues. You should be able to score a 2016 or 2017 Cat for reasonably cheap as Arctic Cat released the new motor for 2018 and people are fire selling their machines to get the latest and greatest even though the Suzuki motor has been proven for many years. The 3" powerclaw and the 36" narrow ski stance are the most desirable. Good luck in your hunt and whatever you choose.
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sled208 View Post
Get an 800 because you are going to be riding at higher elevation, the machines lose HP due to the thinner air. You could get by with a 600 and have fun with it but the 800 would give you room to improve your skills. The RMK's are very well balance machines but their motor has been somewhat unreliable. Google "Polaris Reliability kit" or "Polaris Durability Kit" and you'll see that several companies are making money off of the crappy motors. Do the same with the other manufacturers and let me know what your results are.

The cats have solid motors but I would not want to get any 2012-2013 because they had clutching / belt blowing issues. You should be able to score a 2016 or 2017 Cat for reasonably cheap as Arctic Cat released the new motor for 2018 and people are fire selling their machines to get the latest and greatest even though the Suzuki motor has been proven for many years. The 3" powerclaw and the 36" narrow ski stance are the most desirable. Good luck in your hunt and whatever you choose.
Agree with your assessment of Poo. Nice, light, flickable, but questionable 800. Same to Doo. Light, flickable but questionable 800 etecs as many had 2 or 3 piston updates, iso-flex bearing issues, etc.

Cat has a bullet proof 800 from Zuke, but the machines are heavier and a bit wider which can affect sidehilling. If you can get a 2017 M-series that has the new spindles that lean back further and are narrower, along with the narrow ski stance and board width, plus the new track angle to get up on top of the snow, they have really improve the sidehilling ability of the M's.

But stick with an 800 if you can as others have mentioned, anything not turbo'd will lose hp at elevations and a 600 at 7000 ft or higher really has to work and may not take you places you want to go once you become more experienced.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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With that budget, get a pair of 800 Axys RMK. Since you're light guys, a 155 will work.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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the 800 polaris motor reliability is a thing of the past. way better from 2014 up. i work on a lot of rmk's not one has ever gone down. we have a 2011 approaching 10,000 miles on it. yes we put rkt piston's in it in 2011. @ 2000 mile mark.

we know what we are doing. a pair of piston's @ $370 and three or four hours of work for 8000 trouble free miles.

that's three cat belts? yup, cat good motor the rest of the sled is a pile. the cat guys can't go where the king can? prove this every weekend here. the only comp. is doo. cat in third place just like their sales. hey it's your money do what you want?

16/17 cats still having clutching and belt blowing issue's? guys are buying aftermarket clutches for there new sleds under warranty? that can't be cheap? cat guy we ride with have had to purchase plates/arms etc. to help with this issue? they all have problems but the 800 polaris motor issue has been blown out of proportion.
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Last edited by northstarrick; 09-06-2017 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The main thing is to get the newest best sled for your money and most definetly an 800. Second would be to really consider dealer support close to where you live. All brands have issues but to me Yamaha I would stay away from because of the weight. Poo-Doo or Cat are all good in some ways and all have issues. There is no perfect sled that's why it's important to get as new and as well cared for sled you can afford.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you can sit on them all and see what fits you best. I ride cats and they fit me well. I spent a week on a new 850 doo and did not like it much just wasnt for me. I like the feel of the polaris and dont feel they are a bad choice. Sometime one brand just feels better for one reason or another.

No matter what Northstar has to say the cats are not bad sleds. They all have issues and thats a fact.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is my opinion after my last trip. I'm still learning riding the deep stuff (or actually riding sleds at all).
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For those interested, after having ridden all these different snowmobiles, I think I’d like a Ski-Doo Summit 800/850 155” or a Polaris Pro RMK 155” (like we had the time before) just a bit more than everything I’ve ridden now. For the deep snow stuff, that is. The Lynx Boondocker 800 3900mm/154” comes close. So basically an 800cc with a long track.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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WOW there sure are some very brand loyal comments LOL, bottom line find a couple sleds in your budget that you feel comfortable on, I would not look at the 600's for the elevation you will be riding.

HP loss = (elevation x .03 x HP @sea level) / 1000, so a 160HP @ Sea level is ~112HP at 10,000 ft or a 30% loss.

Snowmobiling is a lot like dirt bikes, ORV's and most motorsports, 95% rider 5% machine. Enjoy sounds like your in a great location for sledding.
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