Does anyone have any advise regarding skid plates? Based on the type of riding you do and the overall effectiveness of it protecting the belly pan and radius arms of the sled. I have a 96 Indy XLT Special.
Get one! They protect the aluminum bulkhead (front chassis) better than it would without one. I especially find them effective in protecting the lower inner radius rods from minor impacts with stumps, small rocks or ice chunks. It covers up any cratches or gouges you may have in the bulkhead, as well as help prevent them in all but the largest collisions. To top it off, they add to that cool appearance factor as well.
The plastic will also prevent unwanted ice formations from developing on the bulkhead from engine heat. My sled came with one from the factory, and even if it didn't, i'd still put one on. Be aware every manufacturer of skid plates makes them a little different with a different fit or length. I wouldn't bother with the short ones, get the longer ones that go nearly to the track. Hope this helps...
Got to agree with MegaMan!!!! They are definitely worth it, especially after an INCREDIBLY LOUSY season, you know where you are so wound up to ride your sled that even after a heavy frost you are out there rippin' up the turf, you wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for some snow but... NOTHING!!!! You get mad at the snow gods and you decide to ride anyway, over the stumps, rocks and other non-hidden items ... I'm ramblin' off in frustration.
Seriously, the $40 or $50 bucks are worth it and they are really easy to install. Sometimes you have to trim and re-drill holes to make it fit your sled the way you want.
There is a misconception that they are only for powder riders who want to get more flotation in the deep stuff, but anyone can use them, trail riders, lake travellers, etc. Think of them more for protection rather than friction reduction or flotation.
Megaman and 1997 XLT SP, thanks for the input. I agree with every trail hazard you listed. The trails I ride tend to have these type obstacles in certain sections. Especially is you go off the trail by mistake. Sounds like the skid plate will do the trick. There is one on Ebay I was looking at. Item # 1830594977 . Not sure what brand but it looks OK. Have either you or 1997 XLT SP shopped around for these? Is an genuine Polaris better? Hole-shot? I know you mentioned a longer skid plat that is as close to the back as possible.
On another note I wanted to say that 1997 XLT SP is not the only one who rode in limited snow conditions. I laughed hard reading your response. This season basically sucked!
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