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Thread: 2 Stroke / 4 Stroke Comparison

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    Default 2 Stroke / 4 Stroke Comparison

    Hi, with all the new technology available nowadays, I am bit overwhelmed...
    Our family is buying a sled. I have been doing a lot of reading and talking to folks, gathering info. Novice rider, looking for recreational riding, 2 up--mix in some hunting and trapping. Some bush, some trail, no high marking, no 100mph (I am also looking to learn how to trap if anyone has an interest for an apprentice/assistant)
    Some specific concerns I have are:

    Overheating-due to slow riding or starting and stoping
    Starting problems -40 and such
    Getting stuck/recovery (does size matter/weight)
    breaking trail?
    Longevity before major maintenance
    -not all inclusive but a start-

    The two sleds I have narrowed down to are:

    2014 Polaris 550 LXT Fan/2 stroke,
    2013 or 2014 Yamaha Venture MP 500, liquid cooled/4 stroke.
    -
    Pros and Cons?
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlgust View Post
    Hi, with all the new technology available nowadays, I am bit overwhelmed...
    Our family is buying a sled. I have been doing a lot of reading and talking to folks, gathering info. Novice rider, looking for recreational riding, 2 up--mix in some hunting and trapping. Some bush, some trail, no high marking, no 100mph (I am also looking to learn how to trap if anyone has an interest for an apprentice/assistant)
    Some specific concerns I have are:

    Overheating-due to slow riding or starting and stoping
    Starting problems -40 and such
    Getting stuck/recovery (does size matter/weight)
    breaking trail?
    Longevity before major maintenance
    -not all inclusive but a start-

    The two sleds I have narrowed down to are:

    2014 Polaris 550 LXT Fan/2 stroke,
    2013 or 2014 Yamaha Venture MP 500, liquid cooled/4 stroke.
    -
    Pros and Cons?
    Thanks
    If it is above a 600...... it will let you down. I have towed too many and watched too many to knot see this.

    If it does not have pull start. Pass on it. Batteries lose a significant amount of power at sub-zero temps.

    You have picked the worst 2 machines that I would recommend where I recreate. -50 and low support.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    Bill Hicks

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    Your intended riding description would send me to SkiDoo for a Tundra. Your question about 2 stroke versus 4 stroke is secondary to finding the most suitable chassis for your use.

    I've had lots of 2 stroke and a few 4 stroke sleds. I love the 4 stroke torque and fuel economy but not the weight. Direct injection 2 strokes like the Etec are my favorite for sport sleds. I still have a 4 stroke in my wide track/heavy hauler sled and wouldn't go back to 2 stroke for that. I'll be watching the new YamaCat closely, though.

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    I would have to agree with both of the previous posters.
    I run 2 sleds and I think either would work well for you.
    I have a 2008 Tundra 550 fan and a 2011 Expedition sport 600ACE.
    The expediton sport would be a good sled for you in either the 550F or the 600ACE. My ace gets twice the mileage or better compared to the 550F.
    But the ACE needs the battery to start it.
    The Nice thing with the Expedition Sport is the rear seat is removable. So you remove 4 nuts and the seat pulls off giving you more room for trapping supplies. Then you put it back on for trail riding 2up.
    Track is 16x154x1.5 so you shouldn't get stuck often.
    The Tundras are nice also though I suspicion the pogo front suspension is not as nice on the trails as the dual A arm of the Expedition.
    Just curious on how you arrived at those 2 sled choices with all the options out there and what you are wanting to do?
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Thanks for the replies...the two sleds I listed is what I came up with based on visiting 4 dealers in Fairbanks, and internet. Of course each of the salesmen's opinions are solely in their own best interest and internet info generally doesn't pertain to Alaskan conditions.

    I am open minded to other options/makes/models...The Expedition seems smiliar to the Indy LXT - The Tundra seems more like a solo sled, I anticiapate riding 2 up the majortity of the time. As a 20 year rider of Harleys, I switched to a Dual Sport-Enduro 5 years ago and love the versatility of it. I guess that is what I am looking for in a sled, multi purpose, starts, runs, doesnt have to be the best on any one thing, since I will be on trails, off trail, ice, etc.
    Again this is our first sled, so there will be a learning curve.
    Your info is appreciated, moreso than the salesman's lol, as I would rather buy a sled than be sold one.
    Thanks!

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    The new Tundras are available in 2 or 4 stroke and there are several 2-up seat options. The "pogo stick" front end is bullet-proof and has less drag in deep snow. That sounds like what a "novice" would benefit from, as would an experienced rider looking to go slow in deep snow, like on a trapline. Go visit Compeau's.

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    Went to Compeaus at lunch, they had some out of boxes to look at, makes a difference when half what they are talking about makes no sense, like hyfax--now I know what that is...any way The Expedition 550F seemed pretty suitable and comparable to the Polaris 550 LXT,

    Could you folks help me decypher what the notable differences are?
    http://www.polaris.com/en-us/snowmob...fications.aspx
    vs.
    http://www.ski-doo.com/showroom/expe.../sport/details
    Dirt-you said the Polaris may be one of the worst machines (-50 and low support) - How do ya mean?

    Mr. Pid, Thanks for tip on the Tundra, the seem real solid, but beastly, maybe next year, lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlgust View Post
    Dirt-you said the Polaris may be one of the worst machines (-50 and low support) - How do ya mean?
    No support meant that when you are 15 miles from the road, you have to be able to fix it yourself. I watched 2 Polaris rental machines get worked on for 2 days last winter and they still had to be dragged out. They were 550 fans and newer machines.

    The Expedition seems like a sweet ride. Not as nimble as a Tundra but people really like them.

    The Yamahas seem to be heavy, 4 strokes don't like to start as well when it gets real cold, some don't have pull starters or even offer them.

    I have 2 Tundra 550F machines. A 2010 Tundra Sport 136X15 and a 2011 Tundra LT 154X16.

    A lot depends on where you will be riding and your riding style.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    Bill Hicks

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlgust View Post
    Could you folks help me decypher what the notable differences are?
    http://www.polaris.com/en-us/snowmob...fications.aspx
    vs.
    http://www.ski-doo.com/showroom/expe.../sport/details
    Dirt-you said the Polaris may be one of the worst machines (-50 and low support) - How do ya mean?

    Mr. Pid, Thanks for tip on the Tundra, the seem real solid, but beastly, maybe next year, lol.
    The polaris has a 144x15x1.0 track. That means it is 144" long by 15" wide with a 1" depth to the lugs.
    The expedition has a 16x154x1.5 track or roughly 304 more square inches of track. That equals more flotation. The 1.5" lug means more traction in deep snow.
    Depending on which motor you get the 600 ACE is close in HP to the 550F.
    I don't like Polaris but thats just me and my own opinion of them.
    It is nice to have a local dealer of whatever brand you are going to buy nearby for parts maintenance and service.
    The machine might not break down but you might break something riding in the woods and it sucks waiting for parts.
    The Tundras are made for trappers and people traveling through the woods. They are not anymore beastly(except maybe the Tundra Extreme)than your other choices but are made to be more nimble in the woods and the pogo front suspension is also made for trappers and other woods travelers as it catches less brush and has a much lower chance of breaking front suspension parts should you hit a hidden rock or tree stump.
    There is a reason one brand outsells the other 3 worldwide. And it is probably the same reason top Irondog teams ride that same brand.
    Just my two cents.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Big long tracks aren't always the end all. I recall days where I took a Tundra II to rescue hopelessly stuck wide tracks. Several days. Lots of sleds do lots of chores well. What works best for the all-around is what trips my trigger. To each their own. If I was to buy an Expedition it'd have a 600 Etec. Big long tracks aren't much good without the power to spin them. And for what it's worth, I still have a Yamaha 4 stroke Viking. Great sled. It starts fine in any temps I've had it in. -45 was the coldest I've had to start it. No pre-heat. Not a problem as long as you have the battery power to get adequate spinning speed to start it, and spinning speed is the key. You just need to get to know the machine. And it never hurts to have a second sled around just in case!

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    The 550 is NOT one of polaris's better motors. This is pretty widely known. They are not to be driven slowly as in trapper speeds through the woods...my .02. If I were in you shoes I'd look strongly at the tundra and expedition as others have stated
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Back to shopping armed with more info--
    --I think a touring with off trail and some utility capabilities is a good fit for us. Won't be hauling wood, trapping is more wishful right now, since that is another thing I need to get smart on. Wife must be comfy behind me. My short list has changed...gotten longer actually, the Yamaha, and 4 strokes are out, I just won't feel comfortable not being able to pull start. I think a 2-Stroke fan may be the best fit for my first machine, although I am impressed with the E-TEC, but moving up to that model adds about $4500.

    $9099 msrp http://arcticcat.com/snow/sled/Bearcat570xt 20 x 154 track = 3080...17 gallon tank
    $7999 msrp http://arcticcat.com/snow/sled/Bearcat570 15 x 151 track = 2265
    $8317 OTD quote for Expedition Sport 16 x 154 = 2464
    $8117 OTD quote for Grand Touring 16 x 136 = 2176
    $7516 OTD quote for Indy 550 LXT 15 x 144 = 2160
    analyzing cost vs. benefit, I should have mention 10k is about top end budget. I was wrong on the Tundra being a beast, I was looking at a Skandic. All of them Ski-doos looked alike!
    is 300 more sq inches worth $800? Relative I suppose if I have to dig a lot?
    Is a 20" track too much? A 17 gallon tank seems nice, but as Mr. Pid mentioned would 570 be enough power to push it?
    --Each has their own niceties for different costs--I know I said trapping before, but that may be wishful thinking for me, right now.
    The more I learn from you folks, the more my idear of what is most suitable changes.
    I look forward to reading your additional thoughts.
    Thanks!

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    You want your wife to be comfy and happy? Buy two. Riding double sucks for both people. She'll be happier on her own. Warmer, too. Maybe buy a couple of used sleds and take a year to figure things out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    You want your wife to be comfy and happy? Buy two. Riding double sucks for both people. She'll be happier on her own. Warmer, too. Maybe buy a couple of used sleds and take a year to figure things out.
    rlgust, this is the best advice for you yet!
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    Two sleds, Warmer maybe, happier? not. I figured a 2up would be best for overall comfort, she has no desire to drive her own sled...EVER! I prefer riding solo also but it is what it is.

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    My wife was the same way. Guess what, one trip and she changed her mind. She's getting a used machine for the couple trips a year she will go on. Two-up sucks, even on a two-up machine.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Why buy a new sled? I rarely see a 2004-2008 AC Bearcat for sale. Tells me people who have them like them. Like myself.

    Buy a fan-cooled sled, lighter, easier to work on, carbs. Simple as dirt. The AC 570 twin fan is as bullet-proof as they get. Seventy-five horses, plenty of power. You can buy sleds only a few years old that have been used for toys. Look around. Electric start with pull as backup, reverse, hot-grips, the works. You are going to get stuck, so look for something light. Those Expeditions are tanks, as are the newer Bearcats. Heavy, challenging to ride, like a park bench. Moving on up to 700 pounds loaded. Yuck.

    I don't care for Ski-Doo, their machines are cheap, but they are light, and they have the long tracks and tall lugs. Paddle tracks are wonderful in snow. Keep up on the maintenance. Unfortunately, Polaris has gone to short-tracked machines except for the Widetrack. AC or Ski-Doo will be the one you want to look at hard. Keep it simple and light.

    Don't get caught up in the mileage stupidity. You are buying a toy. If you are worried how much gas your toy burns stay home and read a book. If you want to get out and have a blast, then do that. A friend of mine has a 380cc Ski-Doo. Sips the gas, guy was always braggin about it. Okay. He got stuck repeatedly on perfectly flat ground in snow (it was warm that day), that was only a few inches deep because the machine is/was gutless. But it got wonderful gas mileage. My 170 hp 800cc triple cylinder '99 Pol XCR-800 was a whole Hades lot more fun than his. My machine turned 13 mpg. So.....

    Like I said, look for a light 2-stroke that has the features you want. If you buy a good used machine, and don't like it for some reason, sell it and move to something that catches your eye. Plenty of machines to find on Alaskaslist, Craigs, newspapers ect.
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    last winter i had the same two sleds you have named on my short list. i was looking for the same thing you are hunting?trapping. after doing a lot more research i purchased a skandic widetrack 550f. i liked the idea of the extra floatation of a widetrack as well as the work ability. i went down to delta powersports. the service was better (in my opinion) than at Compeau's. its a lot of sled at 600 lbs and 10ft long but itll do everything i need it to do and more

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    yip, as a novice, why in the world would u consider a new sled?? screw that over-priced crap. go used.

    Your friends:

    bearcats, widetrak lx's, ski doo scandiks, yamaha vk's. If you need help checking out used sleds, don't go alone.

    Usually, these used work sleds were owned by responsible adults who took care of their sht. High mileage doesn't mean much with these rigs. All of them require maintenance, all of them have their Achilles tendons.

    Little note:

    EVERY TIME one of my friends buys a used mountain sled, they get hurt, or suffer horrible mechanical break downs. When these machines go for a tumble with the high-riser bars, all the force goes to the steering. I watched one friend go over the handle bars when they snapped off in a hairy situation. One friend had one fail on him climbing a small hill, he got a nice 6 in wide gash all the way to the bone on his thigh during that accident. Don't try to turn a used powder sled into a family/recreational/fishing-hunting machine. The clutches aren't right, and alot of times they've been abused. If they have a plethora of sled-neck aftermarket crap all over em........LEAVE! don't buy it.

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    Here's another vote for buying used when considering value for your dollar. I've been around a number of manufacturers, though in our area Polaris is far and away the most popular and their sucky 550 fan cooled engines take care of us when we take care of them. I cannot imagine a scenario where buying a new sled is a wiser decision.........
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