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Modding sure has changed nowdays too. Not as much modding to do for the average guy. 15 years ago it was pipes, skis, bar risers, newer taller seats, alot of awesome clutching info and most of all people willing to give out secrets to help someone dial in their sled.

Nowdays everythings a secret it seems. Every company's helix it seems has the numbers milled out. And if they arent, people are loyal and wont give that info out after they purchased it. I get it, gotta protect what bring in money.

It seems people have really wised up to aftermarket pipes too. They finally realise you cant get much more out of the factory sleds.

Sleds are so good nowdays average guys dont mod anymore. I dont. Other than clutching. 15 years ago I was looking at handlebars, risers, rear skid mods, seats, skis, lexan hoods. Maybe its my age too. Not much I want to change, but it seems there is less to offer.
 

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Even urban development has got rid of a lot of areas. Just about everywhere we road other then up north as kids is a neighborhood now.
My test track when I was racing was across the street from me. Over a hundred acre parcel (farmland) that now has dozens of big homes on it.

I'm sad for the fact it's been developed. It was a very beautiful piece of land....for my area of CT over 1300' elevation in a section, we rode all the time up there. At night we'd star gaze. And dozens of animals made that spot they're home.

At least I have the memories made...
 

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Sledding has changed so much from when I started in the mid 60’s it’s almost not the same sport. No groomed trails the odd single lane dragged with homemade 3 foot wide drag. Then it started ( some may remember ) groomed trails but with a median in the middle. Then when sleds got too wide here in Quebec we went to an 8 foot single lane which grew to what we have now10 foot draggs which are staggered any where possible to some Trans Quebec trails that are 30 feet wide.

Back in the 60’s we would sled all day never get more than 30 miles from home and change about 2 or 3 sets of plugs. The clothing would get wet and soggy , lots wore construction boots and open face helmets and goggles or an old style bubble face shield that fogged in the blink of an eye was the norm. Oh the good old days. No e start and lots of sleds had a metal cable for a pull cord which often wouldn’t return back into the motor so you had to jiggle them until they finally went in enough to not run over them. You young guys have never had the chance to ride a steel cleated track on ice! Wow that could scare the shit out of you so quick it was crazy. I could go on and on. All I can say I endured it all and still love it as much as ever.

Now I’m riding with e start, heated seat, heated thumb & grips, studded track, adjustable seat, reverse, no oil to mix, heated visor, full face helmets that are warm, gortex suit that keeps you dry, adjustable suspensions and on and on. So to compare early years to now is impossible. It’s 2 different sports. Lol
In a strange way i kind of liked that single lane grooming. It reminded me being on a bobsled track. When years with a lot of snow, you couldn't hop the berm very easy.
Those steel cleated cat tracks back in the 70's sure sucked in icy corners. Best thing that ever came along was studs and carbide runners.
I agree on the heated face shields, sucked with old 2 layer shields of the past always icing up. Nothing is more critical than having clear vision.
 

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Lynx XTrim 850 RE3500 -18
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Suspension and rider ergonomics. When I started riding all sleds were leafsprings in the front and if you sat down on them you would sit almost on the ground with your feet in front of you.

But older sleds were easier to slide around corners...
 

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Bought my first sled in 1967, I believe it had a 28 inch ski stance and would tip over just making some turns, everything in snowmobiling has changed since those earlier days.
We are a very lucky group of people here. We participate in one of the best sports that exists. I for one have had an amazing time snowmobiling. From the age of 5 to..(actually today is my birthday and never mind how old I am :LOL:) The memories will carry me through the rest of my days.

I plan on taking a more "active" role in my club when both my H and I retire soon. And have more time to head up to snow country (for us that's 4.5 hrs) to help.

I wouldn't trade the early days of sledding for anything. The day long rides just to go 15 miles..getting stuck repeatedly. Figuring out the best way to get places....breaking the pull rope (and learning how to start the sled on the clutch) changing spark plugs. Towing each other out of the "pucka-brush"..fighing over who's turn it is to ride the Rupp Nytro (50 mph sure felt fast then).

I'm going to try to avoid bitching about the things I can't change. I'll adapt. And work on the things I can change. I keep the past in my rearview mirror. It "informs" my future, or what's in front of me.
 

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Heck...15 miles, my first 74 400 F/A ski-doo couldn't make it 5 miles without crapping out. Traded it in for a leftover 76 cat that was much better. We did 180 miles days in quebec, but it did have its issues that needed towing in with a failed stator...another trip the steering post snapped off. Jumped ship to yamaha buying a new exciter in 79. That sled was stone reliable. Not one issue. I put 7600 km's on it that season.
 

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Season keeps getting shorter. The good one's are few and very far between.
I don’t think that is true. It’s perception. I look back at old pictures from back in the day and 1/2 the pictures are on snow I would not ride on today and close to home. Now those riding areas are gone and I wouldn’t trailer a sled to ride on any of it
 

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2022 Polaris Indy XCR 850 136
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I am part of the "younger" generation of snowmobiling so I have been spoiled in regards to what sleds I have ridden. My first sled was a brand new 2006 ski-doo 380F in the rev chassis so I never had to endure the old suspensions or anything like that. I have owned quite a few sleds since then and I would say the biggest advancements have been in rider comfort. Better ergonomics, better suspension, better hot grips, better gauges and some more power and better reliability. But all of this has come with a big increase in price.
 

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I don’t think that is true. It’s perception. I look back at old pictures from back in the day and 1/2 the pictures are on snow I would not ride on today and close to home. Now those riding areas are gone and I wouldn’t trailer a sled to ride on any of it
Idk, i use to ride several areas here in connecticut and ma. back in the 70's. Seemed there was way more snow every year where you could ride just about every week without going too far north. Now your lucky to see snow last a week before rain, or a warm spell wipes it away. Some years there's not even enough to take the sled out unless trailering further up north.
 

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I don’t think that is true. It’s perception. I look back at old pictures from back in the day and 1/2 the pictures are on snow I would not ride on today and close to home. Now those riding areas are gone and I wouldn’t trailer a sled to ride on any of it
Over the past five years we have had 1 season with 6 consecutive weeks of open trails in our county. The rest were all less than 6 weeks with staggered closures for weeks at a time. I'm not dreaming this. Last season our trails were open for 2 weeks total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Over the past five years we have had 1 season with 6 consecutive weeks of open trails in our county. The rest were all less than 6 weeks with staggered closures for weeks at a time. I'm not dreaming this. Last season our trails were open for 2 weeks total.
I live in Green Bay and ride northern WI and the UP. I rode at least one day per weekend for 15 consecutive weekends last year. I had to trailer every time and I rode on some garbage trails. But I rode and that's all I cared about.
 

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In addition to the sleds themselves GPS & the internet have really changed the sport. Now you can go to a website and see how much snow is on the ground, another site tells you how much of that snow is fresh, and other sites show you live cams so you can see it with your own two eyes. Compare that to back in the old days where you had to call the motel that wanted your business, sure there's plenty of snow, come on up. But you didn't really know till you got up there. In a way it was more exciting watching the snow get deeper the further you drove and it being a pleasant surprise. Course we used to get a nice surprise in the mail box every spring, it was the very first glimpse of next year's new sleds compared to today's FB reveals. Back to the GPS, imagine you told a snowmobiler in the 80s that some day the trail map would be displayed on a computer screen in your snowmobile's dash board and oh yeah, there will be a little dot showing you exactly where you are on the map. They would've thought you were crazy. I started riding in the 80s when most sleds you saw on the trail had leaf spring front suspension, yeah a lot has changed including the darn prices. A top of the line sled back then was what 3-4K.
 

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Personally, I see no difference in the winters. Every decade has had some good, some bad, & just some ok winters. That hasn't changed near as I can tell. People tend to remember the gangbuster winters and forget all about the brown ones and suddenly they believe every winter back in (insert favorite decade here) was great.
 

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Heck...15 miles, my first 74 400 F/A ski-doo couldn't make it 5 miles without crapping out. Traded it in for a leftover 76 cat that was much better. We did 180 miles days in quebec, but it did have its issues that needed towing in with a failed stator...another trip the steering post snapped off. Jumped ship to yamaha buying a new exciter in 79. That sled was stone reliable. Not one issue. I put 7600 km's on it that season.
Most of those exciters are probably still running
 
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