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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I know this is kinda the wrong time of year to be buying a sled but I would like to get your opinions on which sled I should buy. I am searching on the internet for a used sled (my budget is 3k). I will be using it for riding around on our farm, so I will be using it for riding in ditches, riding on roads, riding in pastures, and occasionally jumping, and hill climbing.
My main concern is reliability I would like to get the most bullet proof sled I could. I do understand these machines need to be maintained regularly, but I would like to get many years out of it before a engine rebuild. And I think it is also important to say where I live the snow can vary a lot. Some years we only get 3 to 6 inches of snow, and some years we are completely buried in snow.

Thank you
 

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There are a lot of sleds that will meet your needs in your price range. In your search, consider what dealer support is like in your area; lack of dealer support when things go wrong may be a deal breaker. Also, if you have friends that have sleds, consider getting something similar to what they have. They may have expertise you can rely on and special tools you can borrow, which can make owning the sled less expensive in the long run.

As a general rule, the more HP and cc the engine has, the less reliable it becomes, so looking at the 500-600 cc range in all the makes usually gives the greatest reliability. And a sled that has had awesome maintenance over it's years with a lot of miles may go more years than a much newer sled that was not cared for. Those will be questions for you to ask when you are looking.

If you find specific sleds and can post about them, I'm sure the guys will help you pick apart the details.

Good luck!
 

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Welcome
That is a question that has been asked alot.
Finding a 10 year old sled with 500 miles on it is possible but hard to find!
I would never be afraid of rebuilding a motor either!
Good luck and as Dan said post what you find.
One thing that I feel I must say is that Cat has always had the best EFI out there as well as suspension, especially 10 years or so back before every other Manufacture went to the double A arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your posts, I have done some research and I think I have narrowed it down to 4 sleds. Ski Doo mxz 600, Polaris Indy 500, Artic cat zr600, or a Yamaha rs vector. I would love the reliability of the Yamaha 4 stroke but I was worried about the weight.

I would like to get your thoughts on these sleds, such as, what years are the best, common problems with any of these sleds, and any other issues they may have.
Thank you
 

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If you do any aggressive jumping, rule out the Yamaha pretty quickly. They are not known for being able to take a lot of hits without stress to the front end. You are right, that engine is pretty heavy. Skidoos have their "flying nun" bulkhead weakness, so that may not be your best bet either. The ZR has a much better suspension, especially if you get one newer than 1997. The Polaris 500 engine made by Fuji was put in more sleds for more years than any other engine, which is a testimony to it's durability. It isn't as powerful as an AC 600, but with good maintenance, should last a very long time.

If you find a Polaris 500, the Xtra-10 suspension in those sleds is more robust than the Xtra-12 suspension. The Xtra 10 came out in about 1996 or so in the short tracks.

You may want to look for a "crossover" sled that is a mix of trail sled and mountain sled. The crossovers (such as the Polaris Switchback or the SKS) have a bit longer track like a mountain sled with a wider ski stance like a trail sled. They do great when you get off the trails in deeper snow...
 

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With a budget of $3k you should be able to find newer than the 02 ZR 600 EFI but that sled is a Great trail sled!
And again Cats EFI is great!
 
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