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Keep in mind, a modern 800 or 850 2 stroke, makes 155-165+ hp. To put into perspective, 800cc is 48.8 cubic inch. A good yard stick is horsepower per cubic inch. The very best naturally aspirated racing engines, make about 3hp/ cubic inch. So, a typical 350 chevy, would need to make 1050hp. That feat would be nearly impossible. It would take 11,000+ rpm to do it, and it would last about 50 1/8 mile runs or half that many 1/4 mile runs. Do the math, that's not many miles, without major maintenance. A 155hp 800 cc is 3.17hp/cubic inch. Try getting that 1050hp 350 chevy to go 2500 miles without touching it, it would be a pile of scrap in about 50 miles. Put that way, they are actually pretty impressive.
 

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Whats the problem?
A Doo 850 or Polaris 136 is just as heavy and bulky.
I'm not getting into a pissing match with you, but if a Viper weighs the same as a 2 stroke Doo or Poo 136 in the real world, on the trail, full of gas, oil and snow I'll buy 2 of them. I don't believe it.
 

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I worked for a touring company in Quebec as a photographer. The owner regularly puts over 10k miles on his 800s now 850s (his & guides sleds) without touching engine. Also have a friend with a 2016 800 Ski Doo X over 11k. Myself I have a 900 Ace 2016 Ski Doo Blizzard 11k and my riding buddy 17k on his Enduro 900 Ace.
Buy a 900 ace in a Tundra or Expedition for your back country skiing
 

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... When you do research on forums, facebook groups, ect you will always find the negative. Most people don't get on every day posting they have no problems. But 1 person out of thousands that have something have issue and post about it and it seems like everyone has it. Doesn't matter sleds, trucks, washing machines, whatever lol
I agree with above quote.
 

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Keep in mind, a modern 800 or 850 2 stroke, makes 155-165+ hp. To put into perspective, 800cc is 48.8 cubic inch. A good yard stick is horsepower per cubic inch. The very best naturally aspirated racing engines, make about 3hp/ cubic inch. So, a typical 350 chevy, would need to make 1050hp. That feat would be nearly impossible. It would take 11,000+ rpm to do it, and it would last about 50 1/8 mile runs or half that many 1/4 mile runs. Do the math, that's not many miles, without major maintenance. A 155hp 800 cc is 3.17hp/cubic inch. Try getting that 1050hp 350 chevy to go 2500 miles without touching it, it would be a pile of scrap in about 50 miles. Put that way, they are actually pretty impressive.
And see how long a 350 lasts at 11000 RPM
 

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See my above example, about 6.5 miles, lol.
Actually, at 3.17/cube, a 350 would make over 1100 hp. If it has been done, in some Comp Eliminator application, which is about the only reason to even try, I really don't think anyone has ever made that much at 350 inches. It would be VERY short lived and mind boggling expensive. Would take non stop maintenance also. So, with that said, the reliability of a modern 2 stroke is pretty darn good compared. Not to mention, the above 350 example would require $20/gallon race fuel. And would use about half a gallon per 1/8 mile. The modern 2 stroke, uses regular pump gas, and can get 10-15 mpg. Pretty darn good compared to the above 350.
 

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I think most of you that are posting big miles are missing a key factor. You are trail riders not mountain riders ringing the guts out of the engine non stop. To the OP since it sounds like you are not really becoming a snowmobiler, but more so using a snowmobile as a tool I would definitely look at lower horse power mountain sleds like a newer 600cc or in the past there was even 500cc sleds. Lower HP sleds definitely last longer due to less stress on them and I get the feeling that you are a gas and go type of guy and may not do much of your own maintenance, which is fine. If you have no brand preference I would probably buy whichever brand dealer is closest to you for convenience of having it worked on and or buying parts. But as far as modern 600cc go, they all seem to hold up fairly well, but I would place them in the order of 1.Arctic-Cat 2. Ski-Doo 3. Polaris. Just based on forum feedback. Good luck with your maybe purchase.
 

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I'm not getting into a pissing match with you, but if a Viper weighs the same as a 2 stroke Doo or Poo 136 in the real world, on the trail, full of gas, oil and snow I'll buy 2 of them. I don't believe it.
Took a second to find some concrete results, here is a Viper with a Turbo kit:
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2016 Real World Wet Weights
Arctic Cat XF 8000 CrossTrek: 637 lbs.
Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Limited**: 683 lbs.
Polaris 600 Switchback Pro-S: 559 lbs.
Polaris 800 Switchback Pro-X w/storage rack: 592 lbs.
Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS 800 (129)**: 604 lbs.
Ski-Doo Renegade Backcountry 800: 571 lbs.
Yamaha SR Viper L-TX LE w/MPI Turbo**: 630 lbs

Without the Turbo kit that would drop the Viper 10-15 lbs, give or take.
So lets call it 615lbs.
Thats only 20 lbs heaver then a switchback with a storage rack, and only 15 lbs heavier then a MXZ XRS 129.
 

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I will say this to the OP
1. A mountain sled is used either no throttle or wide open, hence why most are rebuilt around 2500 miles.
2. Most mountain sleds are rode hard and put away wet. Lots of hidden issues, and most of the sleds get dumped onto the next guy. Take someone with experience to look at any used sleds thats not at a dealer.

Are you planning to blaze your own trail to the top or ride a groomed trail or already ridden trail up? I would say with what you want to do you should be looking for a 800cc 160+" machine. I would stay away from any 800 besides an arctic cat pre 2012. It sounds to me like a VIPER MTX would be perfect for your needs and wants. I would try to get something with belt drive as those can be changed out on the mountain whereas if your chaincase blows up your SOL. The other big thing is looking at the track windows to see if they are starting to delaminate or not, if they are pulling apart your going to be in the market for a new track.
 

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Im a polaris guy but if you want reliable get a suzuki 800 cat, polaris 600, ski doo 600 carb the most reliable engines. The pre emission regulation motors seemed way more reliable then the latest stuff. They tune them funky(lean areas in powerband) and make them run hotter to make them pass emissions But yeah like others have said mountain sled miles are totally different. Those guys can ride the balls of a sled all day long and end of day have only 50 miles on the odometer
 

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I agree on the 600 if your looking at reliability. But an 800 or up isn't as unreliable as youd think. At least within 5 or 6 years. Alot of guys try to mod their sled and keep monkeying with it. If they dont knkw what they are doing they will cause an issue. And some guys wildly put on "stage 3" type kits from all kinds of aftermarket brands and in reality those kits kinda suck.
 

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This is so true. The aftermarket kits are all complete junk waste of money making your sled run like crap and make you chase problems all season wondering why it runs like crap. Me and my friends have all learned the hard way on that
 

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Took a second to find some concrete results, here is a Viper with a Turbo kit:
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2016 Real World Wet Weights
Arctic Cat XF 8000 CrossTrek: 637 lbs.
Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Limited**: 683 lbs.
Polaris 600 Switchback Pro-S: 559 lbs.
Polaris 800 Switchback Pro-X w/storage rack: 592 lbs.
Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS 800 (129)**: 604 lbs.
Ski-Doo Renegade Backcountry 800: 571 lbs.
Yamaha SR Viper L-TX LE w/MPI Turbo**: 630 lbs

Without the Turbo kit that would drop the Viper 10-15 lbs, give or take.
So lets call it 615lbs.
Thats only 20 lbs heaver then a switchback with a storage rack, and only 15 lbs heavier then a MXZ XRS 129.

again not to get in a pissing match but does it make sense to you that an XRS 129 would weigh 33lbs MORE than a Backcountry 146? maybe there's more bracing on the XRS but 33 lbs of bracing? plus the backcountry more than likely has deeper lug track
 

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again not to get in a pissing match but does it make sense to you that an XRS 129 would weigh 33lbs MORE than a Backcountry 146? maybe there's more bracing on the XRS but 33 lbs of bracing? plus the backcountry more than likely has deeper lug track
back country doesn't have the bracing, rack steering, and the back country skid is way lighter then R motion
 

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I'm 30 years old and have been riding for 25. To be honest. Ive never had to rebuild any of my engines on my sleds. Some day I will... Its going to happen. Well I did buy a 13 pro r 800 that ibknew had a destroyed engine. But I built myself a long rod 800 for that. I knew what I was getting into there. I've had 3 different sleds with over 12,000 miles. No engine issues. But I spend alot of time in off season doing alot of maintenance. Alot. My sleds usually aren't ready in a weekend. Its usually a few week process per sled. I store them very well too in the summer. A process my dad taught me. Down to packing all electrical connections with die electric grease. Keep in mind. People come on the internet for help. So rebuilds are greatly exagerated compared to real life.
I'm 30 years old and have been riding for 25. To be honest. Ive never had to rebuild any of my engines on my sleds. Some day I will... Its going to happen. Well I did buy a 13 pro r 800 that ibknew had a destroyed engine. But I built myself a long rod 800 for that. I knew what I was getting into there. I've had 3 different sleds with over 12,000 miles. No engine issues. But I spend alot of time in off season doing alot of maintenance. Alot. My sleds usually aren't ready in a weekend. Its usually a few week process per sled. I store them very well too in the summer. A process my dad taught me. Down to packing all electrical
 

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So your looking for reliable light mountain sled that your piling 2 people on it with skis or snowboards . I’m guessing you will be in ski boots and more interested in getting to the top and back down . Look for a Yamaha Nytro turbo MTX . Fairly light weight. easy on gas for how much power output . Dependable but not the best handling but point it up hill and be impressed!!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
As many have you mentioned, I'm looking for ungroomed ride, with variable conditions, but it certainly isn't a race to the top, and as I have discussed with my colleagues, another issue is what happens with the thing breaks down out there... Leaving an expensive machine out in the woods doesn't sound so great. I've also been putting feelers out on Can Ams with tracks, etc., but now we're getting into a whole different ballgame, when it comes to cost.
 
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