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Thread: Snowmachines??

  1. #1
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    Default Snowmachines??

    what are folks favorite DEPENDABLE Smachines??..looking to buy one for trappin in the interior

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Trapping machine.

    After a lot of research, I purchased the Bearcat. We run 30 miles of line every couple of days, and so far it has been the best machine I've ever owned. Even has the multi winch on it for going front or back, which I've already had to use. What a great option that is! I have had no problem with the 4 stroke starting, even at 15 to 20 below zero. I still pack a battery pack with me. I purchased the battery pack from Sam's club for $53 bucks.

    Everyone has an opinion about snow machines, good and bad, so you'll probably get some good feedback here. I'm not a brand lover. I own Polaris's, Ski-Doo's and Arctic Cat's. Each has there good and bad sides.

    Good luck!
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    Tundra R. Love it for tight trails, bit slow out on the river, but dependable. Plus cool reverse...
    Yamaha Bravo seems to be popular with the remote trappers too, if that says anything.

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    Member forgotvirginia's Avatar
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    I also have a bearcat and am very happy with it so far. I have used it for trapping and spring bear in rotten snow with no issues except the time my buddies brown bear hide got sucked into the track (thought we were screwed but we got it out with no issues). I have the two stroke model as I was a little scared of battery issues but glad to hear that the four stroke is working for some. my main reason for the purchase was the wider/longer track, the pilot skis and the reece hitch on fron and back. An added bonus for a trapper is that you can fit a 20 Gal. rubbermade box for supplies and a 5 gal gas can on the deck.
    Hunt, Fish and drink beer with friends.........because life is to short to work all day.

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    Thanks for the input i really appreciate how fast/well people come back to threads i have posted!

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    Member mit's Avatar
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    This should be a good thread! I have a 93 tundra II, I Hate it but when I got to the cabin at -20 last weekend I got it started and it hadn't run since last march. I also have a 93 Jag 440 with a single carb at the cabin I could not get it started last weekend. I also have a 96 440 bearcat bought it new in 96 it has been an excellent machine! I bought a 2010 570xt bearcat last jan or so put 700 miles on it so far real happy with it.
    Tim

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    All depends on what your doing exactly. Bravo long track is pretty dang good!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    An old Tundra or Bravo is the first that comes to mind. The new wide track Scandic would be another if I could afford it.

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    It all depends on your price range and how much gear you plan to haul. For light hauling, you can't go wrong with a Ski-doo Tundra or Yamaha Bravo. If you want a little more hauling capability, the Ski-doo Skandic or an old Yamaha Viking would be a good option. Polaris also makes some good trail sleds, but I don't think they have any that are specifically "utility".

    I would recommend against anything that is "electric start only" like some of the 4 stroke sleds because a simple electrical problem could leave you stranded. I don't have anything against them, but if you are going to be going many miles out, all by yourself, you want something that can be more self sufficient. My riding buddy rolled his Yamaha and snapped off his key. We had to tow a perfectly good sled out. With a reliable 2 stroke, we could have hot wired it and driven it home.

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    I have run pretty much everything over the years and currently have a 550 tundra and love it probably one of the best I have ever owned especially when running in the trees tight turning and narrow enough to squeeze through a tight spot so others have to go around do that a few times and they turn around.
    For those running the new 570 Bearcats not the widetrack what is your gas mileage like? I have heard horrible things like 7-8 MPG
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    I really want a Tundra, with that said I wouldn't turn down a longtrack Bravo. Andrew on the TheWildNorth, Canadian trapline channel on Utube just got a 2003 Tundra this year. 20 year old Bravo finally gave way. He seems to be liking it.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Yamaha Bravo. It's a tank and can negotiate tight terrain.
    Now what ?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckwild View Post
    what are folks favorite DEPENDABLE Smachines??..looking to buy one for trappin in the interior
    For off trail work in the woods, something light and with a long track would be a good plan. I'm not brand loyal. I've owned polaris, ski doo, yamaha, kawasaki (older days), john deere, and arctic cat over the years.

    One of the nicest little machines is the Ski Doo Tundra. Once you remove the injection crap, they become a very reliable machine. I think the tundra ll would be better with the reverse though. Reverse is a nice thing to have when working a tote sled through tight woods. The Ski Doo Tundras (the 250's and the 280's) have more exposed track height and more power than the Yamaha Bravo. DKwarthog (forum member here) has used both and claims that he could go more places with a Tundra. I wouldn't hesitate on either of them though. A clutch that engages tightly at a low speed when pulling weight is important too which is what you get with the smaller utility sleds. Hands down, my favorite small machine is the bearcat 340. It has better load hauling power, and equal or better fuel mileage to the Ski Doo Tundra 250, and will go all the same places. Although slightly heavier, the suspension allows a much more comfortable ride for really long runs. The Bearcat 340 is about 70 lbs. heavier than an older Tundra though. Wide skis, and a more aggressive track would help save your back a bit though, as well as a ratchet rope. I've used my ratchet rope so much, I've worn out two ropes, and the handle is slightly bent.

    With that said, I'd probably never use a huge gas hog or any heavy widetrack type machine as a dedicated trapping machine.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I started my son on a Tundra LT with wide ski skins, and a more aggressive Camoplast track that I completely restored and studded the track. It was a great sled with the primer, it always started right up. We shared the machine, or I would just hitch a ride from him when heavy loads weren't involved. It hurt his back on long runs though.

    The next season, a trapper bought the Tundra in less than a half hour after I posted it, and had it flown out to a remote location. I then stepped up my son to the Bearcat. He can really run a machine through the woods. We share this machine too and try to use the Widetrak as little as possible. He does miss his Tundra, but he doesn't complain about his back hurting anymore. That tundra could really go some places.

    The only close call was when pulling two passengers, and ice fishing gear up a real steep hill. The motor lost a good amount of torque and we barely made it up the hill as the little single cylinder bogged down at the top even with the throttle pinned. Same hill, even bigger load, the Bearcat chewed it up and spit it out. 50 percent more power, and better fuel mileage than the Tundra with the Bearcat. Faster trail speeds and better clutching too (bearcat wide ratio).


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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    A few more pictures:

    On the second season, my son was competent enough to pull heavier loads to more remote places and longer distances prompting me to get him a more comfortable machine:


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    Ski-doo tundra or bravo for light inexpensive sleds. Got a tundra myself and love it 93 tundra II lt. Whole family learned on it. I have heard great things about the bearcat, never ridden one but they got high price tag!

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    not a 89 ovation (first year), they are short and fast, easy to drive "with your body" but they are crap. and the snorter than normal short track (109 inches, is what the brother said) sucks for anything but a packed trail, it can do it, but your bogging like crazy and you have to run wide open and you won't make it very far.

    That said, the later years long track is pretty good, if you take care of it. a frien of mine has a 90 and once he got it running it hasn't quit since, and he runs the swamps with it no problem hauling a dog sled full of tea and his little brother.
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    just bought a 2012 tundra lt 550...i love it. have had it out twice on the line so far...put almost two hundred miles on it...and cant find anything to complain about. more power than ill ever use...hooks up real good at low rpm...and tows all kinds of wieght, as well as handling deep powder. love it
    They say its unsafe to own a gun, I say its unsafe to have only one!!!

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    rawd...what kind of mileage are you getting? Is that the 550F? I am currently looking at one also.

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    We have 2 four stroke Ski-doos, one 20 inch and one swt. Love em as we use them in our frieght hauling business. Also have a Polaris widetrack and a bearcat to spell the other two and they are adequate for sure. For the trapline though I have to say the Tundra or the Bravo are the only way to go, I have a 2006 Tundra 300 with the rave design and it kicks butt in the woods. Looks like a little bug but it sure can turn! Yep, little is better on the trapline.

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