The difference between the RMK Trail, and a standard RMK has nothing to do with track or suspension. It's all engine.
The RMK Trail is the smallest RMK made. It only comes with the 550 fan cooled engine - nothing else. True - it does have a shorter track, but this has nothing to do with it's name. The 550 fan cooled engine cannot handle anything more agressive than the 136 inch track with 1 &1/4 inch lug height.
The regular RMK's come in 600, 700, 800 & now the new 900 cc engines - and they're all liquid cooled. I don't know if it ever came with the 500 liquid or not. The 600 RMK's only come with the 144/2-inch lug track. The 700's can have 144/2-inch (or) 151/2-inch lug tracks. The 800 RMK's can have 144/151/159 inch tracks-all with 2 inch lugs. The new 900 RMK's can have 151/159/166 inch tracks.
I have a 2000 trail RMK and the brother has the 2000 RMK 500. The 500 runs stronger above 50 and has the 136 inch track as the trail RMK does, along with 1/4 longer lugs on it (1 1/2" lugs). The 500 has a little wider ski stance of 42" where the trail's is 39". The trail RMK is lighter in the front and is a little quicker in the twisties. The 500 RMK tops out around 80 mph while the trail is lucky to reach 75. As far as deep snow running they are about the same and make stock tracked sleds "sleds" (as in suck) in the deep stuff.
The 500 is a drag king sled to about 60 mph. Both are very quick to 50 mph due to the clutching, gearing and traction. Neither are high speed lake racers, but for every day trail riding and hitting the back woods, they are sweet rides. Would I ever buy a standard track sled - NO WAY!
if yours is a 2000 model, then i assume it's an Edge chassis - correct?
i may stand corrected on the available track lengths with the 600 engine size. maybe back in 2000, the 600's were available with a 136 inch track in addition to the 144 inch. currently - the 600's are not available with the 136.
if you had an RMK Trail, and it's all factory - then for sure ... you would ONLY have the 550 fan cooled engine - even back in 2000. my best friend who i ride with every weekend also has 1999 RMK Trail - but the 99's were still using the Gen II chassis.
this much i know for sure. the Trail's were ONLY 550's, no matter what year they are.
additionally, if you had the RMK Trail, it would also say the word "TRAIL" on the model logo on both sides of the hood.
since you have the 600 liquid - that's that magic fact. unless the engine's been swapped - you have a standard "RMK".
Thanks, for a low-buck sled it does all that I ask of it. No fancy liquid cooling to worry about, works great in the back-woods, handles all the deep snow we get in the midwest and is pretty quick in the twisty trails. It just don't have much top speed. 60 to 70 is about tops and the suspension isn’t state of the art stuff. My next sled will most likely be a Switchback.
This is the kind of stuff I enjoy riding - backwoods single track. By the way, I found this new in the crate last spring for $3,400.
Yeah, they had a couple of 99's too. The snow was so bad in Minnesota for about 3 years, they couldn't give em away. The dealer is close to shutting his doors down right now. FYI - no electric start or reverse.
my friend, who has the 99 rmk trail, was riding ahead of me on the groomed trails last year, and without cause, his 550 engine blew. we were riding about 50-55 mph when it happened.
when his puked, i almost snorted him up & spit him out my track because i was right behind him on one of my 800's when he went into a fast decel. now that the tragedy is all over - i like to tease him by insisting that my 151 inch track with the 2 inch paddle would probably have improved his looks a bit - had I rolled over him!
but hey ... what are friends for, eh?
we really figured he burned a piston or broke a ring, but when the dealership mechanic got it tore down, we discovered it was a crank bearing that went.
we still don't know exactly what caused it. he had about 2500~3000 miles on the sled and owned it since new. he is prone to riding it rather hard, but i don't think his riding style had anything to do with this particular problem.
after the damage, he began to recollect the oil useage throughout the season seemed very low - but it didn't register in his brain like it should have.
though the 550 is a real smooth running & fun engine, it did have some durability issues from 99-02. i'm told there were a few changes to the 550 beginning in 03.
the dealership wanted nearly $1,100 to fix his engine. he was devastated. he couldn't afford to fix it and - in is bad attitude, offered to sell me the sled in it's current condition for $500.
I calmed him down and went to work on a more economical solution.
i found a 550 engine for sale on ebay and called the person listing the auction. turns out, it only had 138 miles on it because it was salvaged from a 2002 Super Sport, which was totalled out from a car accident while being trailored. the seller even had a digital picture of the speedometer/odometer reading. the seller bought the entire sled from the insurance company and was parting it out.
i threw in a snipe bid of $800 during the last 5 seconds of the auction... and won it for $640.00.
had the motor shipped directly to his door step in a plastic walmart storage bin.
my friend paid the dealership 100 bucks to swap engines.
he couldn't believe how fast we resolved the matter - and he's got a whole new sled again.
he put a higher gearing in his rmk trail when it was new. i think it's one tooth larger on the small sprocket in the chain case. because of this, it's always done about 80 mph on the hard packed shoulder of the road or ice - but 65 is about top end while on the groomed trail.
when i was thinking about buying the 2003 rmk, i had a real mental block over the idea of getting into a liquid engine. my mind was stuck in the era of early 90's when the liquids were more prone to leaks & stuff.
i finally closed my eyes - and took the plunge and bought my first liquid, and now i own three.
i've got 2600 miles on the 03 800
1900 miles on the 04 800, and nearly 1200 miles on
the new 900. never a leak or issue concerning the
given my real good experiences, i've lost my fear over liquids now.
Thanx for the warning. I just drive it in the fun mode. Hope it lasts longer than your friends did. Mine seems to suck oil, so I'm sure it's getting the proper lubrication. I got about 900 miles on her right now.