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2006 Polaris Fusion 600, 2021 Arctic Cat Norseman 8000X
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, just curious as to what people think of this segment of sleds. By utility sleds I'd be referring to the Titan, Expedition Extreme and Norseman 8000X. I purchased one on a whim last March and never had the chance to ride it. I kind of bought into everything I read online and various YouTube videos as them being the swiss army knife of sleds. I don't have any use for the utility side of things since I'm not a trapper, don't have a cabin off the grid and I don't even ice fish. What I do have is a 5 year old daughter that's wants to go riding with dad either locally or at my buddy's cabin in Hayward.

My concerns are it's a pretty long track for strictly trail riding and the lugs aren't what I'd call necessarily trail friendly (153" 2.25"). It came with scratchers from the factory, which should alleviate any concerns with overheating and a 2-up seat with helper springs. Granted, I'm getting a bit older, but did I just purchase a grandpa sled that would be better suited for my retirement years or did I purchase the biggest sleeper out there that would put a smile on a snocross racers face?
 

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So, just curious as to what people think of this segment of sleds. By utility sleds I'd be referring to the Titan, Expedition Extreme and Norseman 8000X. I purchased one on a whim last March and never had the chance to ride it. I kind of bought into everything I read online and various YouTube videos as them being the swiss army knife of sleds. I don't have any use for the utility side of things since I'm not a trapper, don't have a cabin off the grid and I don't even ice fish. What I do have is a 5 year old daughter that's wants to go riding with dad either locally or at my buddy's cabin in Hayward.

My concerns are it's a pretty long track for strictly trail riding and the lugs aren't what I'd call necessarily trail friendly (153" 2.25"). It came with scratchers from the factory, which should alleviate any concerns with overheating and a 2-up seat with helper springs. Granted, I'm getting a bit older, but did I just purchase a grandpa sled that would be better suited for my retirement years or did I purchase the biggest sleeper out there that would put a smile on a snocross racers face?
You'll be ok, your sled is geared to pull heavy loads and the track is a tad aggressive for groomed trail but you probably never get stuck and thats a good thing when you have a youngster with ya. Ride it and enjoy, your 5 yr old will never know the difference, she'll just be glad to have dad take her on adventures, memories that will last her a life time. If you wear hyfax to fast you can always cut the lugs down .5" to .75" and gearing is easily changed too if fuel consumption is to high. No need for buyers remorse, once you get it out and see your kid smile with joy you'll feel better about your purchase.
 

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MY 2 cents
the sled will work for you , BUT due to the things you already stated, LONG sled, taller lugs, heavier sled, and it also has a narrower ski stance
its NOT going to be as much FUN to be riding on trails as a true 2 up trail sled would be
a true trail sled will have more trail friendly riding , less push in turns, less tippy , better MPG's
I am NOT sure what all passenger friendly options you got on your sled,
but true 2 up trails sleds can have a LOT of things to help make the rider more comfortable

the question I sort of have for you will be the rider be sitting behind you or in front of you here?
as if in front, the options of as rear rider won't be helping them much at all LOL

one thing you MIGHT have in your favor here if you wanted too
is,
well used sleds have been bringing some premium prices, so if you really wanted to get a more trail sled, odds are there isn;t a better time doing so
and you might even find a dealer that is way more friendly to working with you,a s many dealers have been VERY low on sleds to sell

food for thought for you any how

and as stated above, a KID s-won;t are about any of this, they will enjoy what ever you have as long as they stay warm

BUT since your the driver do you want to have to work harder than needed??
that would be the bigger question here YOU need to answer!~
 

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2006 Polaris Fusion 600, 2021 Arctic Cat Norseman 8000X
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The two-up seat is what I'd consider very two-up friendly. It has a padded backrest with grab bars that have wind deflectors. I know there's an option for those grab bars to be heated as well. She'll definitely be riding behind me and I feel pretty safe with the configuration.
As far as the ski stance, I have it adjusted to the full width which should help with cornering and being less tippy. The stock skis are monsters, 10" wide at the front and they taper into 8". I've considered swapping them out with a standard 6", but I'll see how the big boys do first. I'll more than likely change the carbides first since they're only a 4" and with the track length and lug I think it warrants at least a 6". The power is there though with that 800, but geared pretty low though with 19/50's. I'm probably over thinking it and I'm sure it'll be just fine, even riding without the kid.
 

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Get some heavy duty on a carbides fursure, 8" on a 1/2" host bar would be at the top of my list.....cat has always put 4" carbides one everything, and they were barely suitable on a 121" track with 3/4" lugs.
 

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I have a 2012 TZ!1. Its a four stroke 2 up. About half the time I ride it by myself. On mine, its easy to pop the back seat off, and not have it in the way. Track is 144", lugs only 1 inch on mine. I enjoy cruising in it. I know it isn't the fastest or best handling in the tight trails, but it takes me anywhere I want. Lots of flexibility.

Probably compares to a minivan in lots of ways. No one wants one, but once you have it, you understand the benefits.
 

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i'd agree you will maybe want 8 inch carbides, as all that track on the ground is going to want to push a sled straight, that is why really long skids don't make for good trail sleds! add din this sled will I gather be heavier than a trail sled(there made HD to haul and tow things)
all that added weight will make the sled harder to turn ( not a HUGE amount, but more than a trail sled will have) and that weight will wear you out faster driving it

pending kid's size, they might enjoy riding a LOT more sitting up front, as when there behind you, they won't be able to \see very much at all
and that can get boring for a kid!
I would also maybe recommend maybe getting helmets with communication in them, so you can talk to each other easier and clearer, added costs for sure, but might make things way more fun and enjoyable for your kid!(that is if there able to use them, and kdis today seem pretty capable with electrical devices maybe better than some parents HAHA!)
 

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the norseman is a mismash of parts from other machines, the 2.25 PC is way too big for a utility machine but they already had them designed for the High Country 153's so they chose that instead of designing a new track for that sled. on the plus side, it will be excellent in deep snow, but it will be more prone to overheating and will be slow on trail, not the end of the world by any means.

the proute skis came off the bearcats, and i'm sure they'll have amazing floatation, maybe not so excellent on a groomed trail. longer carbides like others said will be a huge difference, and set the skis to full wide, the norseman sleds have probably the most adjustable ski stance in the biz.

i ordered a utility sled this yr and went with the Tundra. it has an auxillary rad and a 1.5" track which should be far better for the late and early season hauling/ice fishing I do. the norseman will be stellar in deep snow, you'll have lots of fun on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The handling and overheating are my two main issues. I know the power will be there and coming from a 2006 sled the comfort will probably be night and day. I've always ran single carbides, but I'm wondering if for this particular application a dually might be appropriate? I was also hoping the two-up removal would be more of a pop in and out kind of deal, but unfortunately it looks like bolt removal. Certainly not the end of the world, just a little more of a hassle.

I agree, getting stuck will probably be very difficult to do. I thought the 1.25" paddle I put on my 121" was the cats ass! This 2.25" will be a blizzard killer in the ditch after those heavy snowfalls. For the price and what features it gave me, I couldn't pass it up. I'll take a few rides in its current configuration and go from there. I already replaced the tall windshield with one of those ultra low styles and added some handguards. The windshield looks bad ass, but probably couldn't block a mouse fart. It definitely sported up the look though.
 

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Last season I bought a 2021 Polaris Voyageur, the slightly less beefy version of the Polaris Titan. I do have a relatively off-grid cabin that is 5 miles from a road. It pulls great, has a very easy to remove 2-up heated seat for my 9yr old, and is peppy.

I'm in my mid-40s so I'm already on the downside of excitement riding. The power of these sleds on an open lake at 70-80mph is starting to make me uneasy. This utility sled will go that fast, so it's plenty for me. Will I beat another sled off the line? No, but that isn't my goal. The only slight negative that I've found to my "utility" sled is that it is a bit more tippy than my 2010 Arctic Cat CFR 800. On trail turns that could be an issue, or making fast turns on the lake. I don't really ride that way anymore. However, it is tippy on the uneven backcountry trail that gets me to my cabin. It's just something for you to be aware of with a little one riding in back. A well-place leg out into the snow can prevent that roll-over if you aren't going too fast.

Good luck and enjoy. My daughter thinks that our new snowmobile is the coolest thing in the world. Yours will do, if you get her out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It seems like more and more in the segment lean a bit more towards the sport side of things vs. work. I really think the Norseman falls into that Titan XC and Expedition Extreme category vs. say a Tundra. Not that I have anything against a Tundra or straight work machine, it's just that I don't have any use for that type of sled. Now that Polaris have put that 650 engine in a Voyageur I wish I would've held out a little longer to get that Matryx chassis. Who knows though, I might be comparing two very comparable machines?

Really, what it comes down to is a machine that's both fun for myself and the little one on the back. She'll think it's the best thing ever and that's what matters to me.
 

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Apparently to you, yes. Thanks for the input.
It's obvious that you really don't want honest input. I'm assuming you want people to tell you what you want to hear to help you rationalize an impulse buy that's less than ideal for your needs.

Reality: the things that a utility sled is best at, you have no use for. And the things that a utility sled is least suited for, is what you really want it to do.

Frankly, I can't think of a worse choice for trail riding around Hayward, especially with a 5 year old. You answered your own question by outlining the disadvantages of that sled on the trails around Hayward.

There are much better 2-up trail sled options out there that are actually trail oriented. Will it work?? Yep. But it's less than ideal for riding around Hayward. Any decent utility sled is worth big money right now. If you've already purchased it, I'd sell it, and buy a real 2-up trail sled that will better meet your needs.

Sorry, just being honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You may be correct, but it was also my understanding that the big three are getting away from the traditional 2-up trail type sled and putting their resources into the sport utility machines to cover a lot of bases. Probably not great at one thing, but good for a lot of things. Granted, like I mentioned earlier, the Voyageur with that new 650 in a two-up configuration would be tough to beat. Would it handle better than the Norseman, who knows? I did want the step up in power to the 800 class. I may have to look at options to go with a lower lugged track and see what that will do. It was probably also smart on cat's part to use the trail front end setup vs the mountain. It may take some trial and error on my part, but I like playing around with different combos to find the right setup.
 

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I trail rode a Titan last winter in Errol for about 75 miles. I loved it! I actually considered getting one and I am primarily a trail rider!
 

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You may be correct, but it was also my understanding that the big three are getting away from the traditional 2-up trail type sled and putting their resources into the sport utility machines to cover a lot of bases. Probably not great at one thing, but good for a lot of things. Granted, like I mentioned earlier, the Voyageur with that new 650 in a two-up configuration would be tough to beat. Would it handle better than the Norseman, who knows? I did want the step up in power to the 800 class. I may have to look at options to go with a lower lugged track and see what that will do. It was probably also smart on cat's part to use the trail front end setup vs the mountain. It may take some trial and error on my part, but I like playing around with different combos to find the right setup.
but it doesn't have the trail front end set up, its a narrower ski stance than the trail sleds!! than pure trail sled's do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
True, but what I guess I was referring to was it has the ARS front suspension vs the AMS. The ZR's ski width is 43", whereas the Norseman is at 41.5." These would be at max adjustments according to cats specs. So, you're correct, not as wide.
 

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I trail rode a Titan last winter in Errol for about 75 miles. I loved it! I actually considered getting one and I am primarily a trail rider!
I would love to try one...what was your take on track noise and vibration at trail speeds.
 

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Rode a 144 2” on 2000 miles of various trail last year and the tracks in prefect shape and in most conditions it hooked up and braked incredibly well with minimal vibration at 90 mph. I wouldn’t go less than 2” any more but also 50/50 or more off trail
 
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