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Mopar crazy
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The past few years of riding for me has been very disappointing. If I remember correctly in the past 3 possibly even 4 years I have ridden maybe 15 times combined where years before I was riding a minimum of 15 times in a season. Anyone that has read or commented on one of my posts has definitely seen my struggles over the last few seasons. It's extremely frustrating to deal with all of the issues and spend the money that I have to continue having issues with sleds. I guess I should be more clear whichever sled I happen to be riding not all of the sleds I have had. This year has been extremely frustrating for me because after spending over $1,500 to rebuild my summit engine, I feel like I have had constant problems. I feel like I can only get at best every other ride without something happening to my sled. The last ride (#4 of the season) my wife and I went on she ended up towing me back and it was the best snow that we'd been in all year. We literally live minutes from phenomenal areas to ride. From my driveway I can see a mountain across the highway that I can ride my sled from my house to get to. If I truly wanted to I could take my sled to work with me and unload in the parking lot and ride anywhere I wanted to. I realize that that's kind of part of the game is at some point you're going to have a breakdown but when I figure out the percentage of ride time versus downtime and money spent to get whichever snowmobile back up and running until the next breakdown, it doesn't add up to fun just another f word.
So here is where I would love to hear your guys's input.
My wife has finally decided she is okay with me buying brand new, the sled that I want. I have talked about possibly getting just a 600 because I truly don't need an 850 or 800. But when your wife says go for it why not go big? The downside, but it is a good thing, is we have a baby on the way and I really don't know if I can justify paying around $200 a month for something that this year I could have only ridden three months of the season with the lack of snow. It's not that we can't afford the payment it's that $200 could go towards something else. My wife is telling me that she really doesn't want me to give up snowmobiling because she knows it's a passion and she feels like it wouldn't be fair if I had to. The other downside to that is most of the time my wife does not have fun when we go. Whether it's the cold or the breakdown of my machine or just her flat not wanting to go but she does because she enjoys spending time with me.
I've recently thought about possibly getting tracks for our ATVs. I'm looking at a couple of sets that are around the $3,000 mark. To me it seems like that would be the way to go because like I said where we live there's phenomenal areas to ride but it's hard to justify beating up a sled to get into those areas with low snow conditions, when you could take a tracked ATV in and be able to use it as a multi-purpose all year round machine. I'm looking at that it may be more cost-effective and quite honestly more fun for the both of us to get tracks for the ATVs and just be completely done with snowmobiles. I realize the mountain riding days would be over for me but we both do have a lot of fun on the four-wheelers. I have done my research and seen the pros and cons of getting tracks for a four-wheeler.
Now I realize this is a snowmobile forum and most guys would say if your wife is telling you to buy a sled buy a sled. Here's my thoughts about tracked ATVs versus new snowmobile. With a tracked ATV yes they're expensive to buy upfront, $3,000 a set. If I could eliminate two things that would have yearly maintenance and the insurance and also not have a payment that would be a plus for me. My other thought was to get rid of both snowmobiles and four wheelers and just buy a four seater side by side and get tracks for it.
Anyways your inputs and opinions would be greatly appreciated. I'll share with the wife so maybe we can make a more informed decision
 

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The 600's offer a lot more power these days than they did in the past. And they seem to last longer as well.

The guys that I know that have gone from the older Summets to the newer chassis all really like the ride, but two riders that I know that have 850s have both had their sleds in the shop several times for issues, so break downs are not just in the older stuff.

Tracked ATVs are not legal on the snowmobile trails here unless they are less than 1100 lbs and less than 60" wide, so check the regs where you ride to make sure you can ride where you want to go before you go that route.

I have seen a ton of folks that are getting Timbersleds and they seem to do really well (if you are a bike rider.) I was pretty amazed at where they could go and how effortless it was when a couple were in a group I was riding with. Just another option...

good luck!
 

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Mopar crazy
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have wondered that myself, how reliable the bigger CC engines are. Breakdowns are part of the game, so an occasional issue would be way better than every other ride. In reality you're not paying that much more for an 850 vs the 600. I've read articles that the 600 Etec is an extremely dependable engine and that in 154 summits have plenty of power for most riders. My other thought was possibly a tundra or similar with the 600 4 stroke. With reviews on those, it'd be a great dual purpose sled.
Is there a way, possibly website that would should some sort of break down of issues per engine/manufacturer? Would be curious to do some more research on that.
We don't have many snowmobile trails here. The places we ride have no restrictions except a couple area so should be good on that end. But may check into that to be sure I'm safe. Really didn't think about that part.
 

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Another vote for a 600. They have all the power you need unless you are going to be bashing through the trees in 3 feet of powder.

The 600 Ace 4 stroke has about half the power of a 600 Etec 2 stroke. Great engine for trail riding and will top out at about 75 mph depending on the sled you get. They will last a long time.

For tracked ATV's. Unless the snow is hard packed, they can get stuck real easy depending on now deep the snow is. People around me try to take their tracked side by sides and ATV's off the hard packed trail and get them stuck big time. They need firm snow because the lugs are not real high for traction depending on what you get. They also do not float on top of the snow like a snowmobile does. they dig in more. You can buy a real nice used 600 sled that will be reliable for years to come for the cost of those tracks.

Good luck in your search.
 

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Mopar crazy
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I've heard lots of good things about both 600s, think probably the 2 stroke would be the way I'd go if I actually get to pull the trigger. But if I find a smokin' deal on a 850 I probably wouldn't hesitate.
I've seen quite a few reviews and videos on the tracked ATVs. One guy showed his outperforming snowmobiles. Now they weren't mountain sleds by any means, utility and 2up trail and the riders looked like they didn't have much confidence. It was impressive to see him preform fairly well in deeper snow. I just worry about exactly that, when they get stuck how bad will it be. The other thing would be wear and tear on our machines. From what most companies say, there's not too much more stress on your machine with tracks. I've heard some guys say they smoke belts and clutches really bad. We've got older manual shift 4 wheelers so I worry about the strain on the transmission.
I guess for me I'm more focused on making sure my wife is comfortable and having fun so that's why I lean to the tracks. But I've been a sled junkie since I was a kid so that's what makes the decision hard.
 

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Mopar crazy
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, I guess my questions stop here. My wife did something for me I never thought would happen. My wife surprised me for my birthday with this. Extremely excited, definitely surprised. Hoping to get at least one test ride with it before the end of snow, and already can't wait until next season
 

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Nice sled! Your wife is a keeper!! You can get a two up seat for that one. Were I ride, I see quite a few Summits with two up seats. Then when you want to do some tree bashing, you just switch it out to the single seat. It takes less then a minute.
 

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Mopar crazy
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you. She's a keeper for sure. I might have to check into the 2 up seat. That's interesting, may consider that option.
 
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