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Old 11-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First Time Rider?

Just going to pony up and say it; Just bought a snowmobile and i'm going to be a first time rider this year.

As you can imagine, i know nothing of riding.

What i am asking is some tips/tricks/things you learned the hard way that i should know about riding.

I have a 1999 Artic Cat ZR700.

Here are some of the questions i've pondered up;

1. How well does a snowmobile go in the snow? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but since i've never ridden one i don't know. How would i even get the thing stuck? Is there a thing as "snow too deep to ride in"? Do they get good traction? What about on ice? Track isn't studded.
2. Should i stud the track or just leave it as it is?
3. What kind of sled is the AC ZR700? Deep snow? Trail riding? Is it reliable? Known Problems?

Can't think of any others at this moment, but am willing to read anything to learn a thing or two.

Oh, and a picture.


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Old 11-21-2012, 08:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. How well does a snowmobile go in the snow?

Depends on how well the sled runs. All kidding aside they go real well. Now with that said there also very dangerous to first time riders. They don't stop fast.


I know this sounds like a dumb question, but since i've never ridden one i don't know. How would i even get the thing stuck?

You will find your self getting stuck in some of the weirdest spots.


Is there a thing as "snow too deep to ride in"? yes

Do they get good traction? yes

What about on ice? no unless you have picks.


2. Should i stud the track or just leave it as it is? depends on what your riding on. I like picks for tracktion on ice and helps stop the sled as well.

3. What kind of sled is the AC ZR700? Deep snow? Trail riding? Is it reliable? Known Problem


I am sure more will have more to say.


you tube has some good videos to watch.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The ZR700 is a decent trail sled, not really enough flotation in stock form for deep powder. It should put out around 118 horsepower, which is a lot for a first time rider, so show the machine due respect. I personally prefer a studded track and some good carbides on the skis. It makes a big difference on hardpack snow as well as ice. Getting stuck is usually a matter of too much or too little throttle in the wrong place, and you'll get a feel for that with a little riding experience. If you haven't already been to one, you may want to consider taking a snowmobile safety course. They can teach you some tips that are easier to demonstrate than to try to explain in this forum. Welcome aboard!
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Respect the sled and don't ride if you don't feel ok with the conditions. Everyone has had their scares, and if you are lucky, you aren't hurt by it. I avoid riding in overcast conditions now, I hit a snow pile around 40 mph that was 100% impossible to see because of bad overcast conditions. Launched myself a LONG ways, landed halfway ok, and then went back to the trailer and loaded ASAP!
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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40 doesn't seem that fast until you're staring at the sky all of the sudden!
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rczr600rider View Post
The ZR700 is a decent trail sled, not really enough flotation in stock form for deep powder. It should put out around 118 horsepower, which is a lot for a first time rider, so show the machine due respect. I personally prefer a studded track and some good carbides on the skis. It makes a big difference on hardpack snow as well as ice. Getting stuck is usually a matter of too much or too little throttle in the wrong place, and you'll get a feel for that with a little riding experience. If you haven't already been to one, you may want to consider taking a snowmobile safety course. They can teach you some tips that are easier to demonstrate than to try to explain in this forum. Welcome aboard!
What is "flotation"? What is considered "Deeper powder"? At what point would you consider the zr700 useless in the snow?

How much would it cost to stud the track?

Carbides are new, i know that for fact. Not sure if there are any snowmobile safety courses around here. In the case that i do get stuck, what is the best way to get out? I can barely move the thing around in the garage.

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Respect the sled and don't ride if you don't feel ok with the conditions. Everyone has had their scares, and if you are lucky, you aren't hurt by it. I avoid riding in overcast conditions now, I hit a snow pile around 40 mph that was 100% impossible to see because of bad overcast conditions. Launched myself a LONG ways, landed halfway ok, and then went back to the trailer and loaded ASAP!
Don't plan on it. Going to start off slow and just kind of put around until i feel more comfortable.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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40 doesn't seem that fast until you're staring at the sky all of the sudden!
yep!! in my case, I didn't see the snowbank at all, I had ZERO warning. One minute I'm cruising along, next minute I'm airborne flying through the air!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What is "flotation"? What is considered "Deeper powder"? At what point would you consider the zr700 useless in the snow?

How much would it cost to stud the track?
Flotation is just what it sounds, how well a sled floats on top of deep snow. So where are you and what kind of conditions do you plan on riding in? Studs are helpful on hard pack and ice conditions, but they are of no use in good snow conditions or in deep snow. In fact, they become a drawback at that point, they are extra weight and also extra risk of throwing one through your heat exchanger.

As far as how deep of snow, there are far too many variables. Depends on what type of snow, track lug size, elevation, and most importantly, rider skill. Everyone gets stuck occasionally, its just part of it. Getting unstuck is sometimes as easy as just getting off and doing a little lifting. Other times its an hour or more of shoveling and packing down snow. I've cruised on top of multiple feet of snow, but also have gotten stuck in 6 inches or so. (uphill with just a little snow resting on top of prairie grass is a great way to get stuck in an embarrasing amount of snow! Studs would have helped there.)

If you aren't mountain riding with it, that sled will be fine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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To stud a track with 96 studs which is what I'll be putting on next week would cost around $1.50 a stud so like $140 plus the mechanic to put it on if you don't know how but its very easy to do. Studs come in handy when you find yourself trying to get up an ice covered hill. A 121 sled which is what you have and what most trail sleds are will be able to get through a couple feet of snow. Your gonna love it first time you hit the throttle.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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X2 on the safety course. Check with your dnr or local dealer and they can direct u to a course. And do by all means ride around the yard and maybe a local farmers field (with permission) and get used to your new ride. Helmets are good to keep your head warm and safe. When you feel ready to tackle the trails have an experienced rider go with. I case u get stuck or break down and to offer helpful advice. In 30+ years if ridding I still don't like going alone. Stuff happens. All that being said take your time and enjoy the sport! And welcome!
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Check for a local snowmobile club, too. Getting to know some other sledders is a great thing to do. I have never ridden with anyone that wouldn't help others when they are stuck, even if they weren't in our group. Most states have a state snowmobile association and local clubs, it should be pretty easy to find others in your area that can help a new sledder out.

Good luck, and welcome to the addiction!
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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NEVER RIDE ALONE! Have someone else out there with a sled to ride with!
Umm Lean into the corners! Slow on the gas quick on the brakes! Bring tools and a spare belt! Watch out for Barb wire fences!
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hudson, you neglected to include your location in your profile so it makes it hard to help you there.

The 700 has gobs of bottom end torque that will stretch your arms is you are not careful.
This can also lead to getting stuck in deeper snow due to track spin [aka Trenching].
An unstudded track on ice or hardpack does not do well, although some are better than others.
You so not have to use the push through studs, there are also the "screw in" kind that just screw into the tracks lugs and do not add so much weight.

You can easily get stuck on a 2% grade with a little snow over ice or just frozen ground. Not even counting burying it in a 4' snowdrift, plow drift on a road crossing, or just a 3+' snowfall.
The track you have will also have an effect on how well it goes in deeper snow.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Call dnr and they can send you a cd corse. That has some good points for beginners


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Old 11-24-2012, 10:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by smokingcrater View Post
yep!! in my case, I didn't see the snowbank at all, I had ZERO warning. One minute I'm cruising along, next minute I'm airborne flying through the air!
I have done that too


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Old 11-25-2012, 11:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I would say it all depends on the brand and the model. Like skidoo summits can do a lot in snow but not all that good if all you want is to ride the trails.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Hudson;522981]Just going to pony up and say it; Just bought a snowmobile and i'm going to be a first time rider this year.

As you can imagine, i know nothing of riding.

What i am asking is some tips/tricks/things you learned the hard way that i should know about riding.

I have a 1999 Artic Cat ZR700.

Here are some of the questions i've pondered up;

1. How well does a snowmobile go in the snow? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but since i've never ridden one i don't know. How would i even get the thing stuck? Is there a thing as "snow too deep to ride in"? Do they get good traction? What about on ice? Track isn't studded.
2. Should i stud the track or just leave it as it is?
3. What kind of sled is the AC ZR700? Deep snow? Trail riding? Is it reliable? Known Problems?

Can't think of any others at this moment, but am willing to read anything to learn a thing or two.

Oh, and a picture.


[/QUOTE

to your first question I would say it all depends on the brand and the model. Like the skidoo summits can do a lot in snow but if all you want is to ride the trails summits might not be your best option. but a touring sled also might not be your best option because if you want to go off trail you don't want to have to worry about getting stuck.
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