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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a beginner and would like to get a mountain sled for myself and a friend to do sled-skiing with. Is there anything that will reliably take both of us up without too much work for a beginner? The plan is to shuttle eachother up and down and ski down one at a time. Maybe ride up single first to make a track to make it easier.

Would also like something reliable and from what I've been reading it seems the Summit 700 or RMK 700 are considered quite reliable but of course most of this comes down to abuse and maintenance. Would a 700 have enough power to take us both up though? I've heard the 4 stroke yamahas are reliable too but heavy so maybe not a good choice for two-up?

We don't need to get there at record speed or anything so as long as it's something that will eventually get there, it's fine.

Looking to spend max $3500.

Recommendations? Will this plan even work?
 

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XTBX (Anthony)
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I'm no mountain rider, but I do know that there is probably enough room for two people to sit on the machine. However, you'll be hard pressed to be able to stuff all of your skis and gear onto one sled. If you can find a solution to the gear constraints, you should be fine. If powder is present then you probably will get stuck at one point or another, but that's part of the experience and with a buddy with you you'll dig it out and learn over time. Just a suggestion, but it might be worth your time to look into an Arctic Cat Bearcat, Ski-Doo Skandic WT, or Polaris Widetrack, since all of these snowmobiles have 2 seats for true 2-up riding and wide tracks around 20" that are as deep lugged as 2". They are made for true cross-country riding and not aggressive mountain driving (which you won't be doing anyway). They also have alot of storage, both under the seat and on the back. I'm sure others will chime in here, but they could be a good sled for your kind of riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm no mountain rider, but I do know that there is probably enough room for two people to sit on the machine. However, you'll be hard pressed to be able to stuff all of your skis and gear onto one sled. If you can find a solution to the gear constraints, you should be fine. If powder is present then you probably will get stuck at one point or another, but that's part of the experience and with a buddy with you you'll dig it out and learn over time. Just a suggestion, but it might be worth your time to look into an Arctic Cat Bearcat, Ski-Doo Skandic WT, or Polaris Widetrack, since all of these snowmobiles have 2 seats for true 2-up riding and wide tracks around 20" that are as deep lugged as 2". They are made for true cross-country riding and not aggressive mountain driving (which you won't be doing anyway). They also have alot of storage, both under the seat and on the back. I'm sure others will chime in here, but they could be a good sled for your kind of riding.
Thanks for the info. It seems like it's quite possible to ride two up by standing on each side of the sled and they make ski racks for sleds so I'm not too concerned about fitting the people/gear. I was mostly concerned with the power needed to push two people up a steep slope in deep powder. It was my understanding that anything other than a mountain sled is usually too heavy to go through deep powder up a hill. Would be interested to hear if anyone is doing this though.
 

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I have NEVER seen two people on a snowmobile with one on each side. I think you should rent a sled and take a few rides up the hills to see if you can get the sled to the top with ONE rider, and then plan on how you are going to do it with two. The person that is guiding the sled needs to have complete control of the handlebars and that is impossible to do when you are on one side of the sled. The ability to lean to turn the sled is key in a mountain sled. You will pretty much lose that as well.

The newer mountain sleds are not designed for two riders. The seats are too short. If both riders are seated, the rider in the front will be really crammed into the bars, severely limiting steering ability. I have had another person on my RMK once when towing back a dead sled and that was a difficult trip, even on the trails. A dedicated 2-up sled like xxxthebxxx mentioned with a deeper lugged track will safely do what you are asking.

If you can't locate a dedicated 2-up sled, the 2000-2005 Polaris Edge sleds had a bit bigger seat and would be a better choice, as would the same vintage Arctic Cat M Series. It will be better than the new stuff, but still not spectacular.
 

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XTBX (Anthony)
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Yes, as BC_Dan mentioned, it is near impossible to ride one on each side of a snowmobile as turning ability is no longer possible. Plus differing weights on each side could make the snowmobile turn unintentionally and other mishaps. There are many dedicated 2-up snowmobiles out there, and even though out of the gate they aren't mountain oriented, you could always through a mountain track on it since all 2-ups are long track.
I don't know when your season begins, but I definitely acknowledge BC; you should rent a snowmobile and experiment with your ideas first.
And coming from experience with my 06 Crossfire (which shared the seat with the M-series till the '10 models), there is plenty of room for a second rider, though handling is still compromised.
 

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one on each side is the only way to go, but you both have to know what your doing on a sled first. another thing to try is riding the switch backs up. theres almost always an easier (longer) way up. good luck and take it slow
 

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This guy is a skier and has seen it in ski movies where they ride one person to a runner( I know this cause I have seen the same thing and wondered about the same thing). SNowmobiles are the poor skiers snowcat and they are used as such in thse ski world quite a bit. Its not easy but it is possible and you both have to have a good feel for the sled and how the turning and stuff would have to work.

You will need a pretty hefty engine to haul two people up a mountain plus ski gear which can get heavy fast. Not sure if a 700 would do it for you I think I would probably look bigger than that if I were you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This guy is a skier and has seen it in ski movies where they ride one person to a runner( I know this cause I have seen the same thing and wondered about the same thing). SNowmobiles are the poor skiers snowcat and they are used as such in thse ski world quite a bit. Its not easy but it is possible and you both have to have a good feel for the sled and how the turning and stuff would have to work.

You will need a pretty hefty engine to haul two people up a mountain plus ski gear which can get heavy fast. Not sure if a 700 would do it for you I think I would probably look bigger than that if I were you.
That is exactly it :) I hear it takes some practice but definitely doable.

From what I read the last couple days it's more about the size of your track (length/width and lugs) than the power of the sled (although that's also important of course.)

Everyone seems to use mountain sleds for this purpose but you guys are saying a widetrack non-mountain sled can do the same job? Can they really climb steep hills in deep snow? I don't care if the going is slow as long as they get us to the top.
 

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XTBX (Anthony)
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Yes, I think a widetrack snowmobile would fit the bill well. Each of their manufacturer's has 800s available as engine choices for them and again, their tracks are at least 20" wide. I suppose you could try the one on each side mechanic, but the widetracks have two seats if it doesn't work well.
 

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I personally think you would be dissappointed by one of these wide track 800's sure they are nice for 2up riding but in the mountains with two people on them I think they would get stuck fast. I am a mountain rider I live in Utah and have been out in 2-3 feet of snow the last 2 days in a row. A good mountain sled will be a lot lighter as well, the 2 up wide tracks weight over 700 pounds dry. That means over half a ton with gear and two riders on it.

I think these guys may be forgetting about your budget as well you can find a pretty decent mountain sled for that price. I would look for a 163 if your going to have 2 people and ski gear on it. Like I said Im a skier as well and I love to get out there and ski in the backcountry off of the resorts. Riding with one on each side is hard but not impossible just takes practice.
 

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the sleds you speak of generally are summits, or rmk,s and generally long track machines
the ones i have seen have a mod to them to carry the snowboards (all the ones i have seen ) and some even have a rack for the second rider to hold on to.
the 700 class is BY FAR more reliable than the 800 class (across the board)
most of the machines i have seen modded to do this are somewhat crashed as it is very hard to control the machine with two riders on it . if you intend on towing someone with
one of these type's of machines i have found for some reason they seem to be less prone to problems when they have NOT had any engine mods (pipes ,milled heads....etc..) as they seem to over heat more easily . ski rack would be harder to do, but with a little engenuity and some practice i am sure it could be done . BTW ....
you should keep in mind , the four stroke machines are heavier and your already talking about two riders and thier gear, if you get the thing stuck, it will take a heli to get it out :) so if it were me i would steer towards a lighter platform . the new tundra extreeme has a 20 in wide track 151 (i think) and is one of the most light weight utility
machines out there at just under 500 lb's empty , this would be an excellent machine for what you are talking about doing with it , provided you were willing to pony up the 12thou price tag :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the sleds you speak of generally are summits, or rmk,s and generally long track machines
the ones i have seen have a mod to them to carry the snowboards (all the ones i have seen ) and some even have a rack for the second rider to hold on to.
the 700 class is BY FAR more reliable than the 800 class (across the board)
most of the machines i have seen modded to do this are somewhat crashed as it is very hard to control the machine with two riders on it . if you intend on towing someone with
one of these type's of machines i have found for some reason they seem to be less prone to problems when they have NOT had any engine mods (pipes ,milled heads....etc..) as they seem to over heat more easily . ski rack would be harder to do, but with a little engenuity and some practice i am sure it could be done . BTW ....
you should keep in mind , the four stroke machines are heavier and your already talking about two riders and thier gear, if you get the thing stuck, it will take a heli to get it out :) so if it were me i would steer towards a lighter platform . the new tundra extreeme has a 20 in wide track 151 (i think) and is one of the most light weight utility
machines out there at just under 500 lb's empty , this would be an excellent machine for what you are talking about doing with it , provided you were willing to pony up the 12thou price tag :)
Yeah, $12k aint happening. Sounds like I'm looking for a Summit 700 or RMK 700 with a long track or one with a shorter one that I can get a longer track for.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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I have NEVER seen two people on a snowmobile with one on each side. I think you should rent a sled and take a few rides up the hills to see if you can get the sled to the top with ONE rider, and then plan on how you are going to do it with two. The person that is guiding the sled needs to have complete control of the handlebars and that is impossible to do when you are on one side of the sled. The ability to lean to turn the sled is key in a mountain sled. You will pretty much lose that as well.

The newer mountain sleds are not designed for two riders. The seats are too short. If both riders are seated, the rider in the front will be really crammed into the bars, severely limiting steering ability. I have had another person on my RMK once when towing back a dead sled and that was a difficult trip, even on the trails. A dedicated 2-up sled like xxxthebxxx mentioned with a deeper lugged track will safely do what you are asking.

If you can't locate a dedicated 2-up sled, the 2000-2005 Polaris Edge sleds had a bit bigger seat and would be a better choice, as would the same vintage Arctic Cat M Series. It will be better than the new stuff, but still not spectacular.
You need to whatch the sled skiing on Nomads. It worked for them! :) Just saying. Also, DO NOT buy a Yamaha for this... if you do, getting stuck will be your life. Aim for a Summit or RMK
 

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Thats if you have two sleds though
 

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We use our sleds for ski shuttles all the time, have for years. Here are a few of the machines we have used... 1999, 2000 and 2001 700 RMK, 2001 Summit 800, 2005 RMK 900, 2004 Summit 800, 1997 Summit 580, 2001 MXZ 680 (or similar?), '99 Yamaha SRX 700, track length varies from 136 to 151", all have 1.5"-2" lugs and all worked pretty well, . All sleds have ski or snowboard racks and a moutain grab-bar. Motor size (700 cc or larger) and track length and lug size will be the most helpful for your cause. I would stay away from larger 2-up wide-track sleds.

Key is to have a nice trail packed out and some turnarounds as well before you start taking 2 people on a sled. We usually ride side by side, but its not the safest thing to do and it requires very skilled riders. But its actually easier to control the sled.
 

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First off; if you're a beginner, you'll never be able to run a sled with 2 people on it in the back country. It would take expert skills to do it. Like BC_Dan said - there's just too much going on to be able to coordinate 2 rider's actions, and make it very far in deep snow. It's hard enough with just 1 rider! There's no easy way to do what you want to do.

Help us out a little... your profile makes no mention of where you're from. Where are you planning to ride? That may help us understand your definition of "mountains" so that we can better assist you.
 

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Well sled skiing is widely done my me and many others here in Sea 2 Sky Whistler. First off you will need a sled, the best is an 800 ski doo rev or rev xp but with your budget you will get either and 03 zx ski doo summit (still pretty good) 800 or a rev 800, you need an 800 for doubling in powder.

The best thing you can do is put as many miles as you can on with sledding to get use to the riding, side hilling, carving etc. then your ready to double but you still will get stuck lots and like people said you will get better.

Get a CFR rack for sure, worth every penny for skiing and boarding Cheetah Factory Racing 2011/2012 | Snowmobile Racks, Accessories, Backcountry Snowboarding & Snowmobile Adventure Hub and you can move it from sled to sled as you up-grade, have a blast cause it is awesome. Here are some vids on sled skiing and rack instal cheers dave






 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just picked up a 2002 Polaris RMK 800 with a 156 track for a really good deal. Plan to do a lot of practicing just riding around before bringing the skis but it seems like this will be a decent machine to shuttle another person around eventually when I get good at it.
 
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