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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

A few friends and I are looking for some recommendations on what type of snowmobiles we should get for our first sled purchase ever. Let me tell you a little about us what we would like to do with them, and maybe that will help:
  • We are all in the 180-220 pound range
  • We aren't interested in hardpacked racing...we're into more of the "off the beaten path" type stuff, so we need something that's going to do well in powder
  • We might want to tow a skier in order to do some backcountry skiing
  • We aren't looking to spend $$$$$ if a sled that costs $$ will do the same job...however, that being said, we'd rather spend money on something that's going to make us happy rather than skimp and get something we don't really want
Did I miss anything? Like I said, we've never owned sleds before, so maybe there is some other important info that I missed that would narrow down the decision making process.

Basically, I'm just looking for any/all info on what to look for and what not to look for, etc.

Thanks everyone!
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now that I think about it, here are some specific questions that I have:
  • What is the difference between a long track and short track sled? I assume long track would be more what I'm looking for, but I'm not sure I really understand the difference.
  • What would an optimal cc range be? To a point, I'm sure bigger is better, but then we have to start worrying about sled weight in the powder, right? We don't want to have to wrestle a 700 lb beast out of the snow every time we get stuck (being novice/intermediate riders, I'm sure we'll get stuck at least a few times).
 

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hey there, yeah im only 15, but here is what i would look at, Ski-doo summit, or renegade, Polaris switchback or rmk, Arctic-cat crossfire, and M-sereis. And for yamha try the phazer Mountain sled, sorry dont know much about yamaha. Im not sure about the long and short track, but the way i would see it as. the longer track helps you what i would say float on top of the snow. Oh yeah about the sled i mentioned, Ski-doo renegade is for trail and powder, same as the switchback and crossfire, you can put a 2 in paddle track, but if you are going to really be only ridding the back trails and hardley ever trails i would do the summit, RMK, M-series and the phazer mountain sled.
 

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A short track machine has a 121" track. This would be no good for the mountains. A 136" track is what they call a "hybrid"...it offers decent floatation in the powder and a comfortable ride on the trails. Once you get up to 144" you are talking mountain sleds, which is what I think you are looking for. Tracks go all the way up to 166" but you need a lot of power to rotate a large track like that. After length of track, you have to consider track lug height. A pretty standard mountain track will have 2 inch lugs. You will probably want at least 600cc. If you are looking for new sleds, good choices for you would be Polaris RMK 600 144", Arctic Cat M6 144" or Ski Doo Summitt 600 144". If you are looking used, Polaris RMK's and Arctic Cat Powder Specials are good options.
 

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If you are a beginner. You will not need anything bigger than a 600 cc and the track need not be any bigger than 136 inch. The model of snowmobile doesn't matter, they are all good when there new.
People develop a prefrence for different brands because of life's experences, My personal preference is Arctic cat, but I've drove many different brands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you are a beginner. You will not need anything bigger than a 600 cc and the track need not be any bigger than 136 inch.[/b]
Why do you say no bigger than a 600? I want to have something that's going to be good for now, as well as for once we get better.

And why nothing bigger than a 136" track? Won't a longer track keep us afloat in the powder better?
 

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If you are a beginner. You will not need anything bigger than a 600 cc and the track need not be any bigger than 136 inch. The model of snowmobile doesn't matter, they are all good when there new.
People develop a prefrence for different brands because of life's experences, My personal preference is Arctic cat, but I've drove many different brands.[/b]
x2 :div20:
 

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#1 get a fuel injected sled! EFI is better than carbs!!!!! no rejets for temp and elevation!!!!!!!!!
Go for the longer tracks / no 121",144" would be better
700cc or up for towing.
any brand sled is a good one if you take care of it, Even a Yamanchor :div20:
 

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If your just starting out you will want to have a mid-range sled to get adapted to riding no matter what conditions you are riding in. Control is a key factor. A 500cc or 600cc sled seems to be a good starting point to learn how a sled functions and handles. Jumping onto a high horsepower sled off the bat can lead to serious injury if you lose control. Good luck with a fun sport. :div20:
 

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Why do you say no bigger than a 600? I want to have something that's going to be good for now, as well as for once we get better.

And why nothing bigger than a 136" track? Won't a longer track keep us afloat in the powder better?[/b]
Ok, here goes. We moved out to Colorado a little over a year ago, and here is what we have found. Short tracks aren't the best, unless you plan on staying on the trails.
We have an M6 153, that thing is very impressive. It goes pretty much everywhere the hubby's boss's SkiDoo 1000 goes, just not as quickly. Plus, you can mod a 600 quite easily and make it a 700, if you wanted to.
Just getting into mountain riding, you don't want something too big. I know I can make that M6 turn in the powder easily, and it responds well.
Longer tracks aren't always the best. Hubby's boss shortened his SkiDoo from a 162 to a 153. Too heavy and difficult to maneuver in the snow.
EFI is a must- sometimes we go from 8,000 feet to 12,000 feet. Sucks to have to be adjusting the carbs all the time.
Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions. I'll see what I can do to answer them.
I plan on getting a Crossfire for myself- that will do me just fine for the amount of off trail riding I do. I've seen them in the powder, and they do well, but not as well as an M.
Mrs red
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If your just starting out you will want to have a mid-range sled to get adapted to riding no matter what conditions you are riding in. Control is a key factor. A 500cc or 600cc sled seems to be a good starting point to learn how a sled functions and handles. Jumping onto a high horsepower sled off the bat can lead to serious injury if you lose control. Good luck with a fun sport. :div20:[/b]
Yeah, I understand that. We aren't necessarily "beginners". We've been out a few times each, going off small jumps, climbing hills, we've pretty much figured out how to lean the sled over on one ski in the powder in order to turn quick, and we've attempted figure 8s but still have a hard time linking the turns together as the rear end slides around, etc. I just don't want to buy something that is a good learning sled that won't have the power to get 2 people to the top of a hill and have to buy a new sled in another 8 months, etc. Know what I mean? I'm trying to balance the power with the "learnability" if that makes any sense.
 

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It makes sense - The solution would be to see what your local dealer has to offer for what would suit your needs. They most likey have sold a bunch to others who are doing the same thing you are. Locating a local club would be another way to see what the locales are doing. Not sure if we have a lot of riders from your area on this forum. If there are than PM them to get some info. Alot of us would be glad to help but we don't have the same riding conditions or experience or snow. :i_need_snow:
 

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a little update, i agree with efi, always changing altitude. and a 600 would be good, you can do alot of stuff to the 600 like said before. And definatlly not 166 inch, and nothing less than a 136 i would honsetly do a 144 or 153, and get something light, you may want to add a pipe or something that is less wait, oh yeah if you get a new cat it has revers comes standard. 07 that is and i think other do too. i think a 500 is too small no matter what for the mountain. 600 or bigger 144-153 inch track and a 2 inch lug your good to go
 

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4-strokes have more distributed power and are better on gas and way more reliable, but they are heavy and can be hard to work on.
2-strokes are lighter and are usually worse on gas than a 4-stroke. The engine's can be as reliable and actually the engine that has teh best gas mileage is a 2-stroke, the 600 SDI from Ski-doo.

I would recomend a 600cc sled, as it will have almost too much power for a first-timer, but will stll be enough power once you get used to it. Maybe an MXZ Renegade 600 SDI, it gets about 22mpg I hear, and uses very little oil as well. There was a piston ring issue with this motor, if you buy used, make sure the update has been done. If you get new, it shouldn't be a problem now. The Renegade was a 136" track, if you want something longer go with a Summit 144". Polaris offers the Switchback 600 H.O. and FST (four-stroke-turbo). It has a 144" track as well. Arctic Cat makes the Crossfire 600 with a 136" and the M6 with a 144". Yamaha makes 4-strokes and has has the Attak 136", but it's got power up the wazoo, they also make the RS Vector Mountain with a long track, I think it's more than 144" and they have the RS Rage in a 136", which has equivilant power to a 600. Hope this helps with your decision.
 

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"I just don't want to buy something that is a good learning sled that won't have the power to get 2 people to the top of a hill and have to buy a new sled in another 8 months, etc."

Go with a 700 or bigger it will keep you from regretting it later. You can always lay off the throttle. Just don't let a complete novice on. Thats my two cents.
 
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