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Thread: Sled advice!!

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    Default Sled advice!!

    I have not owned a sled myself but rode a couple in my time. I am looking to buy a cpl machines when I get home, but not sure which kind to focus on.. Im not sure on the long track/short track benefits and what not.. Basically I am not looking for a machine that will break any world speed records or climb the highest mountain, but some machines that are dependable and will work for getting out and hunting as well as just riding with the family.. Thanks for any advice..

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    You need to stick to the entry level utility class. Long tracks are a must in Alaska. The difference is that short tracks are made for groomed trails down in Yellowstone and New England where they never go off the trail. On a groomed trail, the short track works better and goes faster.

    If you get off the groomed trail (most of Alaskan riding), then you want more track. More track means more flotation in the fresh snow.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Are you looking to ride one up or two? What is your weight? From what you said, I agree with Joat...look in the 500 to 600cc class. Track at least 141 inches. All the big name machines run great and are mostly reliable. Ther have been some smoking deals on CL this fall. Avoid any machine that has been raced or owned by a teenager and you should do fine. go out with friends that have machines and see if they will let you ride some of the a little to get an idea what you like. The first year or two needs to be a feeling out period and see what you like and don't like...you will want to upgrade in a year or two if snowmobiling is for you!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    I myself am 220lbs my wife is about 115... And we got a couple lil munchkins to add to that... ... I have been on her uncle's sleds as her family has a couple cabins out off the yukon river and we go out that way sometimes... I am definitely not looking to buy anything new(yet).. I wont be able to buy until I get back from deployment in the spring.. Im just tired of snowshoeing it for ptarmigan, fox, and the occasional moose in the winter time...

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Bearcat 440
    Bearcat 550
    Ski Doo Skandic WT
    Ski Doo Skandic SWT
    Polaris Widetrak LX
    Polaris Trail Touring
    Yamaha Venture
    Arctic Cat Panthers
    Polaris 440 two seaters
    Polaris 340 indy lite gt
    Yamaha VK 540

    I would not hesitate to take any of the listed machines out into the back country pulling a tote sled and another passenger.

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    Member FishKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Bearcat 440
    Bearcat 550
    Ski Doo Skandic WT
    Ski Doo Skandic SWT
    Polaris Widetrak LX
    Polaris Trail Touring
    Yamaha Venture
    Arctic Cat Panthers
    Polaris 440 two seaters
    Polaris 340 indy lite gt
    Yamaha VK 540

    I would not hesitate to take any of the listed machines out into the back country pulling a tote sled and another passenger.
    The Skandic is not a good choice. It will go anywhere but the ride sucks. it is a work horse. Bearcat is better for general use. skidoo Tundra is a good choice for a little of both worlds. I have a bearcat and love it but I need a better riding machine.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Yes, the Skandics are rough riding. I caught a ride on one during those heavy winds on Saturday (A super wide track), and she was a rough riding machine. It was alot rougher than either my Widetrak Lx or our Bearcat. But I have to give credit where credit is due, it's one amazing work sled.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I have a bearcat and love it but I need a better riding machine.
    How old? The new ones ride like a dream.

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    The new Skandic swt four stroke is a great riding machine. The raised the seat and tapered it. Also bigger running boards. Lot better ride than the old ones!

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    you just gotta know how to ride to get a shorter track machine thru the outdoors, look at the 70 and early 80's mostly short track leaf spring machines, did just fine up here. dont replace technology with rider smarts and skills.
    Semper Fi!

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Besides the obvious five inches, how much of a difference is there between a 136" and a 141" track?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    Besides the obvious five inches, how much of a difference is there between a 136" and a 141" track?
    Not enough to make converting one to the other worthwhile buy when making a decision to purchase a sled I tend to agree with a 141 as being the shortest I would go. There has to be a line somewhere in the decision and that is a pretty good one.

  13. #13
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    Find a previously owned Arctic Cat Bearcat 570 fan-cooled. 2004 to 2008. They are loaded with all the bells and whistles, two-up seat (removable for extra cargo capacity), cargo area is rectangular and can carry a 15-gallon drum, backrest, thumbwarmer, heated grips, reverse, 12.7 gallon gas tank, 156x16" track, carry two up easy, go 75mph if you want, and are bullet-proof. Lastly, if you get stuck, you won't need a helicopter to come get your sled unstuck.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    You need to stick to the entry level utility class. Long tracks are a must in Alaska. The difference is that short tracks are made for groomed trails down in Yellowstone and New England where they never go off the trail. On a groomed trail, the short track works better and goes faster.

    If you get off the groomed trail (most of Alaskan riding), then you want more track. More track means more flotation in the fresh snow.
    I don't know if you're referring to the entirety of New England or what, but where I'm from (in Northern Maine), most of my riding was off trail or un-established woods trails that have never seen a groomer. Living near the Mountains, we had in excess of 6 ft. of snow almost every winter. Where you live(KP), is much more traveled, groomed, and populated than the northern woods of Maine. Speak of something you're certain about instead of puking your uppity theories as some sort of truth.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Chill mainer. I was referring to the country's largest contiguous groomed trail network covering New England and Canada. No one said you can't go off trail. I was providing a description of what a short track is for. Relax dude.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    LMAO...... http://www.visitaroostook.com/resour...mobilemap1.pdf Man I wish KPenn had that many trails.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    lower 48 riding is for fools on groomed trails, they dont know nothing down there about a snowmachine really..
    Semper Fi!

  18. #18
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    LMAO...... http://www.visitaroostook.com/resour...mobilemap1.pdf Man I wish KPenn had that many trails.
    I'm not sure what that ITS trail system map proves? Anyhoo, if you need more groomed trails (which seems to be your cup of tea) , there are plenty to be had when the snow returns, dozens of em in this southcentral area, and the KP.
    http://anchoragesnowmobileclub.com/trail_reports.htm

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    Thanks to everyone for the advice.. Got the wife scouring craigslist right now, if there is a good enough deal I might have two sleds waiting on me when I get back in April and catch the last part of riding season...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ga2akwild View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the advice.. Got the wife scouring craigslist right now, if there is a good enough deal I might have two sleds waiting on me when I get back in April and catch the last part of riding season...
    Don't stop yet! What'd we all decide here.....?

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