Choices can be difficult SBA or Winder? - HCS Snowmobile Forums

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Old 10-08-2019, 08:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Current Sled(s): 12' SBA 800
Previous Sled(s): 12SBA8-08FST-98MachZ8-94XLT-90Indy-SS440(x2)-EX340-ET300(x2)
Location: Ontario, Canada
Favorite Riding Area: Kearny - Cochrane - Haliburton
Age: 35
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Default Choices can be difficult SBA or Winder?

I just came off a MY12 - PRO SBA 144. I ride mostly trail and absoloutly loved the sled. Sold it with original motor at 6500Miles.

Was seriously considering jumping ship to a sidewinder in hopes of not worrying about engine issues that i didnt have.

Checked into my polaris dealer last night and found they have a couple 2019 800 SBA's non-current for about the same money id be spending on a used winder with about 1000 - 1500 miles.

I found a lot of info here on the new 850's, but how are the new 800's holding up? Also never ridden an Axys sled.. How much different do they feel?
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The 800 ho engine in the 2015-current model years has become somewhat of a staple engine. It is used everywhere in all kinds of applications and does very well. The reliability of the engines are much improved over the original 800 CFI from back in 2008 or so.

I dare say that they are right up there with the reliabliity of the 600's. Granted...alot of the longevity goes hand in hand with the owner and how they treat their shit, but I wouldn't be afraid of the new 800 HO's. Drive em till 4000-5000 miles...do a piston change....and keep driving them....this is common for just about ANY 2 stroke big bore.

There are guys with 8-10 thousand miles on these engines with zero issues. There is a reason the 800 HO has remained unchanged over the years...its a competitive platform and very good reliability.

I wouldn't let old skeletons in the closet from the old 800 CFI cloud a decision to purchase one....especially if its a brand new sled with warranty. buy it and drive it!

I loved (and still do) my 2018 Assault 800. Fantastic package for ANY riding. Wife drives it now while I'm on the 850 Assault and she LOVES it too. Excellent trail/field manners..good fuel mileage...not sure why anyone would choose the 600 over the 800 anymore?

Last edited by sixpack; 10-08-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you absolutely loved your 12' Assault, the 19' will blow your mind. The 12' Assaults were ok on the trail, the 19's are one of the very best trail sleds, as well as off trail. The H.O. 800's are very reliable.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 12' SBA 800
Previous Sled(s): 12SBA8-08FST-98MachZ8-94XLT-90Indy-SS440(x2)-EX340-ET300(x2)
Location: Ontario, Canada
Favorite Riding Area: Kearny - Cochrane - Haliburton
Age: 35
Riding Since: 1997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixpack View Post
The 800 ho engine in the 2015-current model years has become somewhat of a staple engine. It is used everywhere in all kinds of applications and does very well. The reliability of the engines are much improved over the original 800 CFI from back in 2008 or so.

I dare say that they are right up there with the reliabliity of the 600's. Granted...alot of the longevity goes hand in hand with the owner and how they treat their shit, but I wouldn't be afraid of the new 800 HO's. Drive em till 4000-5000 miles...do a piston change....and keep driving them....this is common for just about ANY 2 stroke big bore.

There are guys with 8-10 thousand miles on these engines with zero issues. There is a reason the 800 HO has remained unchanged over the years...its a competitive platform and very good reliability.

I wouldn't let old skeletons in the closet from the old 800 CFI cloud a decision to purchase one....especially if its a brand new sled with warranty. buy it and drive it!

I loved (and still do) my 2018 Assault 800. Fantastic package for ANY riding. Wife drives it now while I'm on the 850 Assault and she LOVES it too. Excellent trail/field manners..good fuel mileage...not sure why anyone would choose the 600 over the 800 anymore?
Thats what i wanted to hear. My 12 800 was good, but i was always worried due to the horror stories of low km issues. at 6500 miles i knew it was ready or close to a rebuild.

Glad to hear the new ones are even better. The yammcat chassis and the uncertanty of AC has me worried about going the winder route.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 12' SBA 800
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Favorite Riding Area: Kearny - Cochrane - Haliburton
Age: 35
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Originally Posted by Frankie406 View Post
If you absolutely loved your 12' Assault, the 19' will blow your mind. The 12' Assaults were ok on the trail, the 19's are one of the very best trail sleds, as well as off trail. The H.O. 800's are very reliable.
Thanks for the feedback. Im excited to try an Axis.
Think im leaning back to Polaris.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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17 up Switchback makes the pre-axys ones feel like antiques. Sidewinder is fast, but no where near as much fun on trails that aren't uber wide open. They become a handful and their antiquated suspension is completely underwhelming. Smokin' motor, but meh on the chassis. If Cat releases a new chassis that is worth a crap and somehow manages the weight of that motor it could be a hoot...so far they fail at that.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Favorite Riding Area: Kearny - Cochrane - Haliburton
Age: 35
Riding Since: 1997
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Originally Posted by Deephaven View Post
17 up Switchback makes the pre-axys ones feel like antiques. Sidewinder is fast, but no where near as much fun on trails that aren't uber wide open. They become a handful and their antiquated suspension is completely underwhelming. Smokin' motor, but meh on the chassis. If Cat releases a new chassis that is worth a crap and somehow manages the weight of that motor it could be a hoot...so far they fail at that.
I was leaning to the XTX as i figured it would be closest thing to my sba. i thought the additional corner to corner pull would be nice, and not having to carry oil on the long trips a bonus.

I also though that if i bought a new polaris i would look for an 850. But buying a new 800 vs and slightly used 800 seems more appealing suddenly.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 2018 Switchback Assault 800
Previous Sled(s): '16 SB Pro-X; '15 Rush Pro-S; '12 SB Pro-R; '09 Dragon -Cats
Location: MN
Favorite Riding Area: Lake Namakagon/Cable, WI
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I don't care what anyone says about people using the phrase "Fun" when it comes to riding a sled ... the AXYS is FUN. That's not a knock on Cat or Doo, but they lack in comparison. Doo is a very capable sled, but I'm sorry - they just feel ... boring. And the Cat still has an older feel to it, like it's somewhere between the old school feel and the rider forward of Doo & Polaris.

For you being up in Canada, and having the wide open trails, I can understand the logic of going with a 4-stroke. Even more so given your comments about oil needing to be carried (or purchased). I didn't do any 250+ mile loops last year on my Indy XC, but I did several 200+ mile rides and oil wasn't a concern. Engine longevity is clearly something anyone would have concerns with, but I feel like the 800HO and the 850 (with the improvements made to the crank) are capable machines.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tons of storage space on the Assault for oil....

My buddies winder is fun to pull the throttle a few times, but I can't wait to get back on my Assault. Sled is outrageous. And Chris hit the nail on the head, the Cat chassis feels a ton like a well setup IQ. Not rider forward, not a complete ass dragger, but somewhere in between. I seriously hope they update it soon.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Current Sled(s): 2019 SWB Assault 800; 2016 SWB Pro-S 800
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18-19 Mileage: 2313
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Late model Axys platform 800s are sweet. I've got two of them, one with 6K miles on it, and so far so good as far as durability. I see no reason to rebuild the hi-miler, it's still under warranty and 130-130 compression.

If going fast is your thing, a set-up Assault will hang in there with just about anything else. The combo of how that platform hooks up, transfers weight, and rolls efficiently makes it inherently fast and it handles too. My '19 800 is stock engine and exhaust and I've invested in clutching, gearing, and suspension setup, and the only two stroke sleds that have anything for me are the 850 Indys and Assaults and some of the 850 Doos. I'm not talking racing, just "anything you can do I can do better" kind of trail riding in the places where I ride.

For the sake of direct comparison, the big Yamacats can get all over me on the straights ... but I have yet to encounter a sidewinder that I can't walk away from in the corners, in heavy whoops, or in technical woods sections. And at the end of the day I'm not wrestling a heavy sled near as hard as the guy on the Sidewinder has to work. Don't do much in the way of miles on lakes or straight fire lanes, so the virtues of a sled that will pull 115mph for miles at a time are kind of lost on me.

As for carrying stuff, my idea of fun is a 250+ mile trail ride. Last year I did three over 300. Two quarts of oil on board is plenty to get me through the day and I'm seeing 13-16 mpg depending on trail conditions, temps, and how hard I'm hitting it.
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Last edited by Wantry; 10-08-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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