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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2000, 11:48 AM
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Basic Questions

I'm new to the whole ski mobile scene but I'm thinking of getting one. So naturally I don't know who makes a good rig and what to look for in them. I was wondering if you guys could point me in the right direction with some cheap advise or a few good web sights. I don't want to pay a whole lot. I don't know much about ski mobiles but I am pretty mechanically inclined so I was thinking of buying an old beat up one and fixing it up to save a buck or two. Any info you guys can fill me in on I'd greatly appreciate, thanks.

Bernie
'86 720 <font color=red>"The Stain"</font color=red>
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2000, 07:01 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

Newer sleds in general have much better suspensions and therefore are more comfortable for a days' ride. Travel is generally a good idea how good the suspension is. good luck.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2000, 10:22 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

Bernie- If you can afford the $150-$200 a month payment then go new. You get a warantee for two years and the confidence of a
reliable machine. I like working on my machine, but it averages about $1500 a year in parts alone and it never seems to stop. I ride
alot, though, 1500 -2000 miles of off trail riding a year.

If you can't buy what you want, BUILD IT!!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2000, 11:08 AM
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Re: Basic Questions

So who are the companies that make good rigs? What would be the price ranges? Thanks

Bernie
'86 720 <font color=red>"The Stain"</font color=red>
post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2000, 02:07 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

Since my buddies and I run (or used to run) medium-high power early 90's machines (1991 Mach Z, 1990 Indy 650, 1993 Formula SS?, 1993 Wildcat, 1995 XLT 600, 1994 Indy Storm, 1998 ZR500, 1988 Phazer II?, 1992 Phazer II?, 1988 Excel III (low power/slow), etc. I've often travelled with many other machines, including some 90's V-max's etc.); here are some generalities for those years I've noticed (IMO):

Bombardier (Skidoo) - most powerful & responsive engines, best straight line acceleration (stock), lift the skis too much (the 1991 Mach Z is terrible for that), relatively poor handling on twisty trails, typical snowmobile maintenace requirements (extremely high compared to any other type of motorized vehicle).

Polaris - best overall handling & feel (I do own one though so I'm biased - a 1990 Indy 650), skis stay on the ground (more often), decent suspension for bumps (7.5" of travel), fastest on the twisty trails. typical maintenance requirements (or slightly higher).

Arctic Cat - best suspension for bumps (? travel, but more than Polaris), good handling, very high power machines (Wildcat & T-cat) are very heavy and handle a little worse, but really move. Typical maintenance.

Yamaha - average handling (or slightly worse), average suspension (or slightly worse), a little less power, but much more reliable than the other 3 manufacturers.

Throughout the 90's all improved (this is based mainly on magazine reviews). The newer Bombardier's have much better handling, the Polaris's have made major improvements to the suspension for rough trails (more travel), the Arctic Cats have continued to improve overall with lighter high performance machines available, and Yamaha has made major improvements to handling and is still the most reliable (and have the best warranty).

Keep in mind that although I've been sledding for about 21 years these are not "expert" opinions, just my personal experiences (I have tried out each machine above for a couple of hours of trail riding except the Storm).

If you're looking at newer sleds than 1994 you're probably best to read some magazine reviews or ask around some more. I can tell you my friend's 1998 ZR500 handles as well as my 1990 Indy 650, it's just as fast (almost), has much better throttle response, and is about 10 times more comfortable on rough trails - no to mention the incredible headlights and with the low miles little maintenance requirements (so far).

Around here (Ontario, Canada) you can pick up a reasonably high performance early 90's machine in good condition for $2000-$3000 Cdn. Typically if you pick up one that needs lots of work, you'll end up spending close to that anyway. One friend recently picked up the 1998 ZR500 for $5000 Cdn with only 1000 miles on it.


Steve S.
http://home.off-road.com/~ovo/members/sshaw/sshaw.htm
post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2000, 10:02 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

You should be able to buy a new 600cc trail performance sled from any of the manufactures in the $6000 U.S. range and a bit less
if you deal really well. There is not a bad 600 from any of the manufactures.

If you can't buy what you want, BUILD IT!!
post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2000, 11:08 AM
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Re: Basic Questions

Thanks for all the info.

Bernie
'86 720 <font color=red>"The Stain"</font color=red>
post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2000, 01:41 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

>>>Yamaha - average handling (or slightly worse), average suspension (or slightly worse), a little less power, but much more reliable than the other 3 manufacturers. <<<

Hello???? Average handling? Average Suspension ?

You obviously have not ridden a 1997 or newer model Yamaha Sled.... I have owned polaris before, 1994 600xlt to be specific... I currently own a 1997 Yamaha Vmax 600sx.. and will continue to buy Yamaha... Why is it that Yamaha doesn't make an 800cc sled... hmm.. they don't need to.. the 2000 700SRX keeps up just fine...

The sled has more power , handles 100% better, The suspension rocks.. I have Ohlins shocks up front for shocks... Polaris never offered them stock. The quality of the Yamaha is Better... example.. the Hood Fits... enough said...

My Experience....

Uzi... Yamaha Sleds, Honda Bikes, and Ford Trucks
post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2000, 12:14 AM
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Re: Basic Questions

>>>Yamaha - average handling (or slightly worse), average suspension (or slightly worse), a little less power, but much more reliable than the other 3 manufacturers. <<<

>Hello???? Average handling? Average Suspension ?

>You obviously have not ridden a 1997 or newer model Yamaha Sled....

You obviosly didn't read my entire post. I was talking about 1993 and older machines. I actually really like the look, spec's (and reviews) of the newer performance Yamaha's - just not the early 90's ones. The 2000 SRX is one machine I want to try out.

Although I found - out of the older machines, the Polaris' handled the best (for me) I'm really sick of the high maintenance. Every one I've known who owned a Yamaha sled has had to do a very small fraction of maintenance compared to my Polaris - even when they have higher mileage.

I'm still running the 1990 Indy 650 - but this is definitely the last year (especially after this weekend - wiring problems, coolant leaks, broken suspension springs, another idler going, piston port bog with the warm temperatures, etc. - I've spent more time fixing it than riding it this season)...

Steve S.
http://home.off-road.com/~ovo/members/sshaw/sshaw.htm
post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2000, 07:25 PM
Pete
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Re: Basic Questions

My advice would be to spend at least $1500. The biggest piece of crap goes for $500 when there's snow on the ground. I've seen good sleds for $1500 and junk for $1200, so be prepared to spend enuf to get something that hasn't hit bottom.
As for brand, maybe go with something your buddies know something about and can help you work on. Look at a few sleds and try to pick something that looks clean and well taken care of. If it looks beat, it probably is.
Pete

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