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Discussion Starter #1
Love this board -Glad to join!

Have a few questions - relatively new to sledding (former downhill skiier) my wife and I are intersted in two 'trail touring' models, still trying to learn the brands +'s and -'s. We have decided against a two up model (she wants to drive , I can't 'just' ride) we are educating ourselves - hope to hit the Syracuse NY show this weekend and also hope to purchase this early season. Leaning toward new..but...

If you could folks please share your thoughts.

Carb vs EFI ?

Liquid or Air cooled? any longevity issues

We plan to sled in PA, NY, and ONT.

500 or 600 size? (we don't need to go 100mph+)

Suspension (I am 6'1 275lbs) anything to look out for/insist upon?

Budgeting $5,5000 (USD) per sled.

In your opinion are all brands equally durable? we are hoping to keep the sleds 7+ years.

Oh the reason we want to sled is I am tired of the folks 'flying' across our farm at all hours in the winter having all the fun to themselves, especially when it is dumping!

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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My .02 is to look for a package deal. A lot of dealers have them with sleds clothes trailers all for one price. Here in Michigan you find a lot of individual owners selling out, 2 sleds, helmets and a trailer because of no snow or didn't ride as much as they thought they would, various other reasons. Any late 90's and above sled should be more than reliable. Being a big guy you will want at least a 600, I like triples myself. Once you get into it you can always trade up or add mods.

Good luck and welcome to the board. (Always wanted to say that to someone)

You'll find as I did that these guys know they're stuff and are pretty cool too.
 

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Welcome, welcome Mr. & Mrs. Abombinable,
The sled brand thing can ba a touchy one around here, I ride a '99 Polaris, and have a 2nd sled for the wife, well me when she comes, is a 81 Trailcat that I just restored.

I love all the brands, the Revs and Firecats look like lots of fun.
AC's battery-less EFI is great, I have only heard of 1 or 2 minor elecrical problems, but nothing that your local dealer can't fix with a real expensive part.

Most ppl go with liquid cooled sleds these days, lost more punch, and no worries about over heating on warm day, however icy trails are anouther matter.

If you plan on trail riding, a guy your size might want to go with a 600, it is the most popular class in sledding. I am no lightweight though, 215 lbs, and my 500 XC is plenty good for 100 mph on the lake. Short track twins handle best in the corners, triples will stretch your arms for high speed runs.

If cross country appeals to you, nothing beats a sled with a little more track under you to blast through the powder filled stubble. Polaris has the SKS, and Ski-Doo and the MXZ Renegade, both with 1.25 inch lugs on the tracks.

As far as reliable long service, if you look after them, any brand of sled will got the 7 years you are looking for, and then some.

Good luck sled shopping, the best kind.

When hell freezes over, we'll ride there too.
 

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If the riding you will do is mostly trail riding and the temps changes are not drastic, then a carb model sled will work great (A carb model will always work great but depending on your mechanical ability if you need to change jets often and prefer to just ride I would recommend an efi)

As for fan or liquid, Its a matter of performance.
You will get a lot more power from a 500 liquid (100+ hp) than you will a 500 fan (60-70hp)

You may want to have heavier springs put on your sled being a big guy.
I did this being 6'5 and 260.

Everyone has a different idea on which brand is better but here is my $.02
All of the manufactures are making really good sleds, you can't go wrong with any brand these days. OK I bleed green and prefer Arctic Cat but I have my own reasons for that. A/C does make the only EFI available on a sled these days.

As for which model, Probably a ZL600 for you and a ZL500 for her. Both of these sleds is capable of approaching the century mark if set up properly.

Ski doo, Polaris and Yamaha also make great trail sleds, for the money you might consider a Yamaha they have a factory 3 year warranty that might be nice for a first time buyer who isn't into wrenching on sleds yet.

Just my thoughts
Good luck and let us know how it goes.

THINK LOTS OF DEEEEEEEP SNOW!

Member #2 of the Arctic Cat Mind Control Team
 

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I would have to agree about the package deal. go to www.spicersboatcity.com for an example. This is my dealer that i go through. Im not pushing my dealer, just using them as and example. If you are planning on 5,500 per sled you can easily affor one of these package deals, which includes 2 sleds, a trailer, gas cans, spare belts and plugs, and 2 complete snowmobile outfits. they have 2 ski-doo 500's fro $10,499 plus freight prep and shipping which will bring you in your budget. If you ride the way you say, i would say that a 500 would be plenty for the both of you. this is just an example, you can check out that site i referred to for more examples. Hope this helps

Polaris is my way out - Other people just use a door.
 

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I'm from Ontario, and the sledding here is really good. If you are coming this way I would try to start sledding in the Parry sound area or north, southern ont. doesn't get much snow anymore. Parry Sound is really busy on the weekends, the trails get rough fast, and lots of hard riders from Toronto area. During the week it is ok.
Northern Ontario is a lot nicer, more snow, wider trails, less traffic.
A weekly trail pass is $70.00 cdn I think, and there is no stud permit needed.
Here in Sudbury, the trails are great, and you can ride to any place you want on quaility trails.
Try "snow goer" web site they may have maps and hotel listing or try "O.F.S.C." web site.
Happy sledding.

"tie wrap it wide open"
 

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Mind if I ask exactly where your at? I ride PA and NY. Not really to help your questions just interested. As for other things all makers make good sleds it would prolly be better if you found a specific sled and asked about it.
 

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I'll keep it short and sweet.
EFI is great for always running its best (cold or warm).
Carbs are most popular and more models are available than EFI.
Liquid performs better and puts out more power than fan cooled units.
Being a big guy plus adding the weight of the wife, get the biggest unit you can afford for the power. 600 minimum. 700, 800, 1000.
Most touring sleds that are 5 years old or newer have good suspensions. The bigger or more highly optioned sleds will have the better suspensions.
I'm die hard Polaris, but Arctic Cat and Ski doo put out great touring sleds.
Good luck and enjoy!!!!!


'HAMMER DOWN !!'
 

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I can't help you out with which sled to buy, but i would try to stay away from the triples. I have only ever owned one and it blew the middle cylinder after 3 years. Depending on which brand you decide to go with, you may not have to worry about carb or EFI. Ski-doo for example is still carbed, but it adjusts itself through its DPM. polaris and Yamah to my knowldge still need to be rejetted for different altitudes and tempatures. Good Luck
 

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my 2 cents.....i love my EFI....its awesome...just pull her twice when she is cold.....let her warm...and go......

i would go with liquid because fans tend to dog when it gets to be in the 30's usually...and liquid has a lot more horse and punch

and bout the suspension....artic cat is the smart suspension which is pretty good from what i hear.....and you can always have your suspension set up for you.......

and oh yah I LOVE MY AC....i also bleed green as someone stated before.....so...but hey...check all the brands out...im sure you will find something you like!

ARTIC CAT....my way to play
 

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As a woman rider, I wouldn't recommend getting a smaller sled for your wife. I ride a 583 and it was my first sled. All of the women I ride with ride 600's or higher. She is going to want to keep up with you and not get left behind in the powder. It's no fun when you constantly have to play "catch-up".

The only other thing I would look for that I haven't seen mentioned is electric start. I know a lot of guys don't mind pulling, but I'd just as soon turn a key and have it fire right up. You don't look like your're into racing, so the extra weight from the battery shouldn't be a concern.

Good luck and happy riding!

Jacqui.
 

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One addition to the great info that you have already received. Since you are looking for used sleds, I would stay away from sleds that have aftermarket pipes. These can add great power, but they are much louder and you want a pleasurable experience for your wife! If she comes away with her ears ringing, she may not like it.

Pipes sound cool and add power, but start stock and work your way up. Just my $.02.



You don't have to believe everything you think!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you very much for the info, I appreciate all of you taking the time to post your thoughts.

While price is very important in our decision process the capabilities and durability of the sleds is of great concern, that being said did most of you find the sled you were looking for at the dealer on the floor/out back, visit multiple same brand dealers 'til you found it, or, did you have to 'order' it?

The reason I ask is we have been to see dealers of three of the four large sled makers (still need to get to the Ski-doo dealer) but it has dawned on me that the inventory at the shops has not looked real large so I am curious as to the general process /time frame for getting the particular sled one wants.

Again, thanks.


Sled Dog we are in eastern PA (Atown area)
 

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I can't be much help to ya about new machines but.....
the last sled I bought was my '99 500 XC, the guy had only put 1000 miles on it and stored it inside.

There are lots of good used sleds out there, I recomend looking for one 1 - 2 years old, sleds, as with all motorsports vehicles have a very steep depreciation curve in the first 2 years.

As you know fall is not the time to get many of those barely used machines at a great deal though.

Unfortunately there are always ppl leaving the sport due to lack of snow, but not where fluffystones lives, did you check out those snow shots!!!

When hell freezes over, we'll ride there too.
 

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i would look for a package deal.....ive seen quite a few around, just find a auto trader mag or sumptin, and dealers will have deals for sleds, u can get hooked up w/ 2 brand new sleds, trailer and clothes i assume for bout 12 or so grand depending on what u buy, i would go liquid cool, and electric start for the wife, EFI is nice as they will always start...:D, and a 600 is a good size or a 500, wait for snow then go ride different sleds to see what u like, we can give u pages of facts, but we cant tell u what u like, just give u ideas of what to look at....:D

good luck


When's Winter Coming Back?​
 

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Ditto on all the great advice allready given.
Especially the electric start and liquid and same size sled for your wife.
Being that you mention coming to Ontario from N.Y., You don't need to drive in your tow-vehicle for 6-10 hours to go to northern Ontario unless you're talking late season riding. (late March, April)
There's awesome trails just 1-2 hours west of Buffalo and if there isn't any snow there yet, go to the Durham area about 3-4 hours from Buffalo.
In the Turkey Point area last year they had over 2 feet of snow dumped on them in a 24 hour period. They were the first area in the province to open their trails. That lake effect snow does wonders for the south.
The real beauty of the southern trails is that they're not jam packed like in the north on the weekends. Make sure that you keep this little know jewel a secret though just between you and me. We don't want our trails over-crowded. LOL
Welcome to this site, this great winter sport and some of the friendliest people that you'll ever meet.

Jeff

RIDE SAFE - RIDE SOBER
 
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