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Discussion Starter #1
i recently moved back to the Midwest after many years on the west coast. I want to purchase two or three sleds for my cabin. I am only familiar with long-track mountain sleds recently....want advice on pre-2010 machines that are well thought of...the last “Midwest “ sleds I had were Arctic Cat 340 Panthers and Suzuki 340’s...1972’s...
I won’t use them often, but want to know models/ years etc. for older machines that I can pick up for $2500 or less, each, and will perform in DEEP snow, as I am large 6-4, 250 lbs., and I often am riding meadows, etc and not groomed trails.
Thank you in advance. Northern Michigan area.
Kevin.
 

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Welcome!
I am Very Familiar with Mi, both the tip o Da Mit to Copper Harbor.

Moutain sleds are NOT needed there!
5-6 feet of snow up there is like 20-30 feet in the mountains.

I personally ride my 04 Pantera 800EFI

About 150 hp is all you can really use (other than Lake Gogebic)

And a 136" track is plenty to get through the Deep stuff
 

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Very familiar as well as my family came from Italy to Calumet in the late 1800s/early 1900s and settled there. The Chevy dealership was started by one of my relatives & owned by them for a few decades till they sold out, so was the bank there and there is a bar there that used to be called "Curto's Bar" that is still open and it is next to the old theater. If you go in all the people in the old photos are relatives of mine somehow someway.

Snowmobiled that area so many times I've lost count. KC is dead on on his assessment of the area and sleds. Heck I go up there with 121" tracks and ride up there. Granted I stay I would say 80% on the trails but even then the trails up there can get pretty wild.

I'll upload a picture of Curto's Bar back in early 1900. Every person is a relative and even my grandfather is in the picture as a baby. Still have relatives up there. I love that area and if it had the kind of healthcare I have here near Green Bay I would consider moving there in a heartbeat!
 

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Some it comes back to $2500 per sled is the budget and pre-2010.


There are basically four types of sleds, and after each category, I'll give Skidoo examples from the 90's

Mountain - Summit
Trail Racer - MXZ, Mach 1
Trail Luxury - Grand Touring, Touring
Utility - Skandic, Tundra

Newer sleds add Cross-overs to that list.

Simply because it fits one of those categories, doesn't mean it won't do well in another. For example, I had a Skidoo Touring for a long time and it worked fine for utility and trail as well as some off-trail. Not so great in the mountains (specially by todays standards).

Really, the only thing to watch out for is if you do mostly trail riding, mountain sleds require scratchers due to the large paddles on the track.

As far as Skidoo goes, for the older machines there really wasn't much difference between the Utility (Skandics) and the Trail Luxury (Touring) machines. Skandics nose was a bit higher off the snow, but other than that the rest of the components were nearly identical.


As far as motors go, each motor has good and bad. The 550 Fan from Skidoo is probably one of the most reliable motors ever, but it sucked gas like crazy, specially on the Skandic where it was geared lower.

From Skidoo, the balance of power vs reliability vs fuel economy, I think the winner goes to the 583 motor. Not the greatest fuel economy, but I think it is the best in the power range. Definitely one of the most reliable 2 stroke motors ever built. Know a guy that has 25k miles on one and the only thing he's ever done to it was clean the carbs and change the spark plugs. Darn thing still has 130-130 compression.

Friend of mine was about your size and owned a 1997 Grand Touring 670 and he loved it. Great suspension (for the time) and great power. He drove through powder snow all the time with it.
 
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