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Who would buy a triple.

  • Example: Triple would cost an extra $5,000 for 10hp extra over a twin.

    Votes: 7 87.5%
  • Example: Triple would cost an extra $10,000 for 20hp extra

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Example: Triple would cost an extra $20,000 for 50hp extra

    Votes: 1 12.5%
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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
EPA regs had nothing to do with it. A cylinder is a cylinder,... and the same tech used to clean up the twins could/can be used for the triples. In fact, one could argue that cleaning up an equal displacement triple would be easier than a twin as the smaller piston in the triple (again, equal displacement) could theoretically get by with a slightly leaner mixture as it relies less on fuel for cooling (due to its smaller diameter). FWIW, this was one of the arguments used by Yamaha to justify its decision (in late 90s/early 2000s) to sticking with triple (600 and 700, citing greater durability and reliability) when the market started migrating to twins
I remember reading an article where Greg Spaulding said Cat really had issues meeting the current (at the time) EPA regulations with triple/triple engines. I'm assuming it had something to do with exhaust design or the fact that most of the triples were very basic technology and when they were created had no intention of meeting emissions that would be required 10 years later. I'm confident modern technology can make any engine compliant, if they want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Then why the hell wont they build a triple??!!! There are enough posts on this forum alone to let all of them know that we’d buy them…
I've never owned a triple but would consider one if available. I completely understand 6000's input on market research and the cost to develop, etc. But, there is a want. We just need an OEM to take the chance and build one. And, it's a big chance.

I had a SR Viper and even the triple in that has an intoxicating sound.

I remember for years guys would say they would kill to get a diesel in a half ton truck. Four different brands offered them and they barely move the needle with sales. This is a whole different conversation though for another time.
 

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Polaris website is claiming an extra 15-34 pounds in dry weight for the Boost model. And it's a $4,500 option. Just looking at the posted specs.
That just proves its not about the weight or money.The manufacturers just dont want to do it.There is still some stigma around about tripes blowing up all the time etc….so that doesnt help either.
I had a lot of them.Polaris 650,xlt,ultra,storm,xcr and a big bore cat.
Then ran the xcr engines in other chassis later on.I miss the smooth running engines for sure.
 

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I think it was totally a money grab to switch to twins. (And I’m ok with it I guess it is a business not a charity ) I oook at it this way if they change a suspension , color , engine size , body work etc. some will buy it some will not. But at that time they had a whole industry of sales riding around on 3 bangers. It would have been genius for them to get together and convince this whole purchasing body that there 3 hole sleds were now all junk and blown away by the new advancements in twins. Which basically sent every single sled owner out to buy a new twin over the next couple years. That’s a way to boost sales in a big fashion. Imo. Yamaha tried the same thing with 4strokes but they didn’t have the other manus on board so it pretty much fell on its face. Unlike when they stayed odd duck out on the twin migration. And the other 3 moved to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
The triples potentially have a place in "come back buyers" also. I'm 50 and was up to my eyeballs in the sports in my 20's and early 30's. Started a family, got into other things and stepped away form the sport for a while. Now that my kids are older, I have more time on my hands and more discretionary income. While I think one of the biggest challenges the sport has is to get younger riders in, I also feel the OEM's need to capitalize on riders like me. Create models that conjure up memories of the 90's/early 2000's. The car manufacturers did this with the Mustang and T-bird and the HHR and the PT cruiser with the Baby Boomers. Harley built an empire on the same philosophy to the same demographic. No reason the sled builders can't do the same thing.

Polaris has dabbled in this with the graphics kits you could buy for the Shift sleds and the vintage AXYS graphics from a couple years ago. IMO, that went too far back. Arctic Insider sells graphic kits that bring back the 90's. There's something to this is you ask me.
 

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Then why the hell wont they build a triple??!!! There are enough posts on this forum alone to let all of them know that we’d buy them…
Because the return on investment is terrible when you look at the R&D, tooling, and EPA certifications cost against the actual sales numbers / revenue potential. Plus a boosted motor would out perform at NA triple 2-stroke. And except for the lake and really big field, a capable rider on a newer 600 2-stroke can beat the more powerful sleds on a trail with turns and such.

Plus when the radar gun and the stop watch comes out, the NA triple 2-strokes are not as fast as everyone remembers.

 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Because the return on investment is terrible when you look at the R&D, tooling, and EPA certifications cost against the actual sales numbers / revenue potential. Plus a boosted motor would out perform at NA triple 2-stroke. And except for the lake and really big field, a capable rider on a newer 600 2-stroke can beat the more powerful sleds on a trail with turns and such.

Plus when the radar gun and the stop watch comes out, the NA triple 2-strokes are not as fast as everyone remembers.

A 1963 Impala with a 409 isn't all that fast by todays standards but it's still cooler than a Subaru BRZ.
 

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A 1963 Impala with a 409 isn't all that fast by todays standards but it's still cooler than a Subaru BRZ.
True.

But if you want to look cool, older sleds can be had cheap. I love it when the old triples and vintage sleds pull into the watering holes ..... I wouldn't want to ride them for more than a couple miles though.
 

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This is an oversimplification but marketing is the driver behind all sales. The industry creates a need/want then creates product to sell fill the demand. If you recall, triples had about come to the end of their life as far as development. Ski Doo came out with the CK-3 chassis that was supposed be a true trail weapon with triple power but it never took off. Polaris laid a complete egg with their triples and the Agressive chassis. Starting with PWC engines didn't help them at all. Cat made good product. However, there weren't a ton of new innovative ideas coming down the pipe in those sleds.

At the same time, snocross and cross country racing was dominating the racing news cycle and people paid attention to that. They wanted the next race sled or at the very least, the technology that was on it.

So, marketing stepped in, told us we all needed big bore twins and the rest is history. Then we needed four stroke, then we needed rider forward, then we needed.... The list goes on.
Marketing is not just about promoting a product that is coming or already exists. It starts way before that, with market research, trying to establish what the needs of the public and potential consumers are. Marketing also involves creating the product, and working out its distribution. Then, and only then, is a promotional campaign planned.

Can demand be created or is it discovered? That's the old chicken or the egg argument. There is no doubt the mfrs pushed consumers towards twins as a way to maximize their profits, that's what businesses do. It's also what Yamaha tried to do in launching the RX-1 (though not for cost considerations obviously but as it perceived itself to have a competitive advantage in four-stroke engine tech).
 

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That's right. Marketing is not just advertising. Marketing is product, promotion, and pricing. Marketing does the research on what they think they consumer wants and what the consumer will pay for it. And then (in most companies) marketing gives their requirements (including cost and timeframe) to engineering.

If you see something lame, like the Pontiac Aztek, that wasn't engineering that came up with that POS, it was marketing that told engineering to design that POS.

Can demand be created? Yes, just look how Polaris created the recreational Side by Side market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
Marketing is not just about promoting a product that is coming or already exists. It starts way before that, with market research, trying to establish what the needs of the public and potential consumers are. Marketing also involves creating the product, and working out its distribution. Then, and only then, is a promotional campaign planned.

Can demand be created or is it discovered? That's the old chicken or the egg argument. There is no doubt the mfrs pushed consumers towards twins as a way to maximize their profits, that's what businesses do. It's also what Yamaha tried to do in launching the RX-1 (though not for cost considerations obviously but as it perceived itself to have a competitive advantage in four-stroke engine tech).
That's right. Marketing is not just advertising. Marketing is product, promotion, and pricing. Marketing does the research on what they think they consumer wants and what the consumer will pay for it. And then (in most companies) marketing gives their requirements (including cost and timeframe) to engineering.

If you see something lame, like the Pontiac Aztek, that wasn't engineering that came up with that POS, it was marketing that told engineering to design that POS.

Can demand be created? Yes, just look how Polaris created the recreational Side by Side market.
I agree with a lot of what's here but the bolded statements are true. I think OEM's can generate demand through marketing. Nobody thought they wanted or needed a performance oriented 4S snowmobile until the RX-1. Then everyone got excited and now they're common. Surely, Yamaha did market research but people are visceral. They like to do things that don't necessarily make sense but the decision invokes a sense or emotion that makes them happy.

There was no demand for energy drinks and that's a HUGE market segment now. I went to a Jet Ski race in the 90's and they were giving away cans of Red Bull. Giving them away... Marketing.
 

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Because the return on investment is terrible when you look at the R&D, tooling, and EPA certifications cost against the actual sales numbers / revenue potential. Plus a boosted motor would out perform at NA triple 2-stroke. And except for the lake and really big field, a capable rider on a newer 600 2-stroke can beat the more powerful sleds on a trail with turns and such.

Plus when the radar gun and the stop watch comes out, the NA triple 2-strokes are not as fast as everyone remembers.

I beg to differ, my 96 ZRT 600 did 114.7 on radar with just clutching.......thats 125hp......it now takes 165hp and an 850 to run that speed. Those triple were fast.
 

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I beg to differ, my 96 ZRT 600 did 114.7 on radar with just clutching.......thats 125hp......it now takes 165hp and an 850 to run that speed. Those triple were fast.
You can thank the chassis' aerodynamics for that more so than the engine. I had a 96 F3 (LOVED the engine, though the chassis was horrible) and many buddies had ZRT 6's and they were great sleds, but a modern 125 hp 600 is just as potent as a triple 600 (hp is a measure of an engine's ability to do work, and 125 hp = 125 hp; can't fool mother Physics)
 

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You can thank the chassis' aerodynamics for that more so than the engine. I had a 96 F3 (LOVED the engine, though the chassis was horrible) and many buddies had ZRT 6's and they were great sleds, but a modern 125 hp 600 is just as potent as a triple 600 (hp is a measure of an engine's ability to do work, and 125 hp = 125 hp; can't fool mother Physics)
I think it’s not so much aero but these big suspensions. I remember my 93 XLT was a rocket, my 95 XLT a complete turd with the xtra 12 suspension. It ran out 103 just like the 93 but was about 100 feet behind it.
 

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There have been lots of changes over the years that have robbed speed. Longer lug tracks, 252 pitch change to higher hurt a lot, ride height and the biggest was track attack angle. All that for better ride position and comfort. I’d like to see a company compromise a bit. Give us that 3 cylinder we want with a lower attack angle so 252 pitch, 1 inch lug track, and lower ride height much like the last Crossfires or Indies with the new front end. I’d buy one. Loved every 3 cylinder I owned 650 Indy, 93 T Cat , 96 ZRT 600 and 98 ZRT800. Fun and noisy.
 

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There have been lots of changes over the years that have robbed speed. Longer lug tracks, 252 pitch change to higher hurt a lot, ride height and the biggest was track attack angle. All that for better ride position and comfort. I’d like to see a company compromise a bit. Give us that 3 cylinder we want with a lower attack angle so 252 pitch, 1 inch lug track, and lower ride height much like the last Crossfires or Indies with the new front end. I’d buy one. Loved every 3 cylinder I owned 650 Indy, 93 T Cat , 96 ZRT 600 and 98 ZRT800. Fun and noisy.
.....and smoooooth!!!
 

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I agree with others here, it was all marketing that moved to twins. To save on one less cylinder to build. There wasn’t much torque in the twins after they dropped the triples compared to nowadays. Just imagine the hp a triple with todays advancements. They got a lot more torque now in the twins, the triples nowadays would have a bit more of that and a lot more HP.
A triple shined because it fired 3 times every revolution. That’s why they had way better ET and top speeds. The triples do not fall flat on it’s face after 80/90/100mph. They just keep on pulling until they reached overdrive.
I would have loved if a manufacturer did one right now. Release it with a nice attack angle, lower the travel and use something like the PPS suspension so it would shine with short travel. Aerodynamic front bulk head and hood and low mounted engine to make room for triple pipes. Don’t care if hood has to be a bit longer and wider. That will help in the aerodynamics. Moving the steering post a bit further back would aid in that room.
 

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The triples potentially have a place in "come back buyers" also. I'm 50 and was up to my eyeballs in the sports in my 20's and early 30's. Started a family, got into other things and stepped away form the sport for a while. Now that my kids are older, I have more time on my hands and more discretionary income. While I think one of the biggest challenges the sport has is to get younger riders in, I also feel the OEM's need to capitalize on riders like me. Create models that conjure up memories of the 90's/early 2000's. The car manufacturers did this with the Mustang and T-bird and the HHR and the PT cruiser with the Baby Boomers. Harley built an empire on the same philosophy to the same demographic. No reason the sled builders can't do the same thing.

Polaris has dabbled in this with the graphics kits you could buy for the Shift sleds and the vintage AXYS graphics from a couple years ago. IMO, that went too far back. Arctic Insider sells graphic kits that bring back the 90's. There's something to this is you ask me.
Yep. You’re exactly onto it. There is a massive number of us sledders who grew up riding in the 90’s with triples. And many of us have done fairly well and have some disposable income that we’d probably gladly blow on a triple. Hope the manufacturers are reading this thread…
 

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Because the return on investment is terrible when you look at the R&D, tooling, and EPA certifications cost against the actual sales numbers / revenue potential. Plus a boosted motor would out perform at NA triple 2-stroke. And except for the lake and really big field, a capable rider on a newer 600 2-stroke can beat the more powerful sleds on a trail with turns and such.

Plus when the radar gun and the stop watch comes out, the NA triple 2-strokes are not as fast as everyone remembers.

I understand what you are saying. Good points. But you are also coming at this from the perspective that maximum speed and maximum performance is all that matters. Reality is not that. There are many other pleasures of snowmobiling that have nothing to do with radar guns and flat-out performance when riding on the ragged edge.

One of those pleasures is the ohhhh so sweet sound that a triple 2 stroke puts out.

If one of them built a triple…I’d bet they’d sell out their production quota in spring check sales within 24 hours.
 

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You can thank the chassis' aerodynamics for that more so than the engine. I had a 96 F3 (LOVED the engine, though the chassis was horrible) and many buddies had ZRT 6's and they were great sleds, but a modern 125 hp 600 is just as potent as a triple 600 (hp is a measure of an engine's ability to do work, and 125 hp = 125 hp; can't fool mother Physics)
Im pretty sure it was the engine.I know a few engine builders that would disagree on your hp statement.The triples pretty much got weight penalized out of drag racing because the twins of the same hp couldnt compete so that says somthing.I dont know if you have ever heard the term “backup torque” but it definately applies in the twin vs triple debate.Im pretty sure that a zrt or xcr reed engine bolted in a modern day 600 chassis would be faster in a drag race than the sled with a twin 600.
Just a couple years ago a buddy of mine built a 440 triple that dominated on grass in 440 classes that summer and won quite a few races in classes with nearly double the ccs.Hearing a tripple 440 fly by at 10,000 rpm is somthing else.Im pretty sure that a modern 900cc would be pretty stout.
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