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Thread: Need advice from those in the know....

  1. #1

    Default Need advice from those in the know....

    Okay, I'm looking to buy a new sled and my purposes will be riding with the Wife, chasing Ptarmigan and predators, spring bear and the like. My introduction to sleds was a 1990 Polaris Supertrak that took me wherever IT wanted to go in the powder. Granted I was new to sleds so whether it was me or the sled I could not tame it.
    For the last 15 years now I have been riding my old Panther that I restored and modified...it's very light and I have no problems with breaking trail on it but it's an old springer and it does get old on the body at times.
    My personal choices at this time with what Internet searching I have done is either the Tundra or the Expedition Sport. Weight is a concern as well as cold weather starting and over heating if snow is on the low side.
    I think as far as motors go the 600 e-tec is out because of the overheat possibility, the 550 fan would be great but the ace motors perk my interest too. Until I get home from the Slope I will not see one in person so I'm unsure if the Ace motors have a heat exchanger or a little radiator/fan.....or mabey even both?
    Also if the Ace is the ticket do I sacrifice 21 pounds to upgrade to the 900 or not worth it? I was thinking Tundra then see a few opinions that the Expedition without the seat is a better option which I assume is because of the front a arms in place of the Tundra pogo's...... Any thoughts?

  2. #2

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    So you get an idea of what my comfort level has been these past years this is my daily rider stiff ride and all. I can't get rid of it but I'm ready to reserve it to the occasional vintage ride If I can figure out a new sled that will get me there and back without constant stucks in the waist deep slow stuff chasing animals.



  3. #3
    Member outaMT's Avatar
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    Cwoods,

    Just my 2 cents: I run Artic Cats Ė Iíve got the Bearcatwhich is a sport/utility sled and the wife runs the T570. Iím sold on the 570 fan Ė bullet proof so far. Both machines have plenty of power, light and have zero issue cutting trail in the fluffy stuff and above all, their comfortable, lots of travel front and rear. Both machines have 1, 2 and 3 up seating options, standard electric/pullstart, push button reverse, heated grips, and lots of aftermarket upgrades.

    Iíve had no cold weather starting issues, at least not at-30. Iíve never had any overheating issues with either machine during long runs, hauling freight or just playing hard.

    Good luck on your search Ė lots of good machines on the market and you should have no issues on finding what you need/want. I looked hard at the Expedition as well. Whatís your budget? Hopefully, some others will chime in.

  4. #4
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I own an 08 tundra 550f and a 2011 exp sport 600ACE.
    I prefer the expedition with the quiet and fuel efficient ACE motor. Well worth the price to upgrade.
    I'm not a fan of the pogo suspension and I'm glad my tundra doesn't have it.
    Then again I'm not trapping in brushy or hummock country.
    You really can't go wrong for your needs with the exp. sport.
    I ice fish and trail ride mostly but the 16x154x1.5 track does well off trail also. No it doesn't have the power of the Etec but I haven't needed it yet for my riding.
    I don't highmark or hillclimb. But towing a loaded sled with my stepson behind me is not a problem.
    Playing around in off trail powder isn't a problem either.
    Skidoo makes one good machine.
    Guess that's why they've outsold the competition for over 10 years now.
    "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"

  5. #5

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    I will give the Bearcats a closer look, I have heard the 570 is somewhat low on power with poor fuel milage but that's just Internet info....
    Also sounds like the 600 ace impresses you Kasilof, do you think the 900 ace would be worth the Xtra 21lbs?
    I have to say the Tundra Xtreme has kinda perked my interest but with the 600 etec being water cooled I just don't know.....how easy would it overheat in low snow conditions? I've always been a fan cooled user so not alot of experience with the water pumpers.....sounds like that e tec does sip fuel though.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    cwoods,
    Cooling issues are easliy remedied by installing a set of scratchers....non-issue in my opinion.
    BK

  7. #7

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    I was just thinking of the times on my old sled now when searching for spring bear skipping across snowless patches of tundra.... that would be a small percentage of my yearly riding though.

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    Maybe upgrade the track on your old machine, although that won't improve the ride. I sure like the rider position on the machines made in the last 8-10 years. I'd say stick to fan cooled for what you're doing, and perhaps consider a 4 stroke if fuel economy is an issue.
    You couldn't make this old man get back on a trailing arm machine if you put a gun to my head. The ride on these new machines is that much better.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  9. #9
    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    The 600ETEC is the way to go in my opinion. Do not count it out for cooling issues at all. With scratchers on it can go in any packed snow or ice conditions. And you will find it in the best snowmobiles too !

  10. #10
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    This is an easy decision for me. The SWT Skandic with the 600 ETEC. I've ridden a ton of different machines and own 10 myself. The bearcat 1100 is just too heavy for me, and does not do well in deep snow. I have a 570 bearcat also, which does better. But I spent a winter using a UAF 600 ETEC SWT and it was a dream. We put in a 100 miles a day in the backcountry for 100 days, and I only got stuck twice, both my fault. The thing started every time. Plenty of power and plenty of flotation for any surface your dealing with. Yeah, it's heavy compared to many, but if you don't get stuck it don't matter. Mileage ran 16 to 20 mpg riding in deep snow all the time.

    Anyhow, that's what I have concludedÖ now if I can just get the money to buy one this fallÖ

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  11. #11
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Love my 600 ACE in my WT Skandic. Liquid cooled. More power than I have needed to date. Over 20 mpg is sweet. SkiDoo hit this one out of the park.

    Waiting for SNOW! }:>
    Live life and love it
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  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Following this conversation with interest. I only ride a couple times each winter, so thus far have just borrowed machines now and then. That said, with my boys at 4 and 6, I imagine I'll be getting out more. The riding style will be the same - primarily bird and predator hunting like the OP here.

    Claude, you had me pretty well sold on the Bearcat 570 last year. Don't confuse me with a change of opinion!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I haven't ridden a 900 ACE but I think I would l would likely buy one if buying a new machine today.
    My 600 does have tunnel cooling as well as a radiator and fan that kicks on when it gets hot.
    Like it was said earlier mpg's are great. I get 21 mpg on mine vs 10-11 on my 550f in identical conditions with the same suspension and track. And no need to carry injection oil.
    No smell either and extremely quiet so that's a plus for hunting.
    Not only do you save $$$ on gas but you don't often have to carry gas jugs. We fuel my tundra when I'm at ~1/2 a tank.
    Its has lots of torque and I can putt around at 5 mph loooking for game etc. Never seen another machine do that.
    I love the ACE motor.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    Love my 600 ACE in my WT Skandic. Liquid cooled. More power than I have needed to date. Over 20 mpg is sweet. SkiDoo hit this one out of the park.

    Waiting for SNOW! }:>
    Another vote for the Skandic and I wasn't even considering it. Hmmm

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I haven't ridden a 900 ACE but I think I would l would likely buy one if buying a new machine today.
    My 600 does have tunnel cooling as well as a radiator and fan that kicks on when it gets hot.
    Like it was said earlier mpg's are great. I get 21 mpg on mine vs 10-11 on my 550f in identical conditions with the same suspension and track. And no need to carry injection oil.
    No smell either and extremely quiet so that's a plus for hunting.
    Not only do you save $$$ on gas but you don't often have to carry gas jugs. We fuel my tundra when I'm at ~1/2 a tank.
    Its has lots of torque and I can putt around at 5 mph loooking for game etc. Never seen another machine do that.
    I love the ACE motor.
    The slow speed operations of the Ace sound like they may be right up my alley....it's all getting a little confusing on what would suit my needs, the Skandic just seems plain heavy at 670 but if it floats it floats. I just got home from work, I'll probably be at the dealer eye balling first thing tomorrow. More input?

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    Quote Originally Posted by outaMT View Post
    Cwoods,

    Just my 2 cents: I run Artic Cats Ė Iíve got the Bearcatwhich is a sport/utility sled and the wife runs the T570. Iím sold on the 570 fan Ė bullet proof so far. Both machines have plenty of power, light and have zero issue cutting trail in the fluffy stuff and above all, their comfortable, lots of travel front and rear. Both machines have 1, 2 and 3 up seating options, standard electric/pullstart, push button reverse, heated grips, and lots of aftermarket upgrades.

    Iíve had no cold weather starting issues, at least not at-30. Iíve never had any overheating issues with either machine during long runs, hauling freight or just playing hard.

    Good luck on your search Ė lots of good machines on the market and you should have no issues on finding what you need/want. I looked hard at the Expedition as well. Whatís your budget? Hopefully, some others will chime in.
    What this guy said! I have a 2007 Bearcat 570 fanner that just keeps going and going...I still have the original plugs, and sliders on it after 8000 miles! I replaced the original belt only after 7000 miles. The slides are on the thin side, and I'm replacing them with the Teflon insert types, but that is all. They are light, maneuverable go forever on the 12 gallon tank and comfortable. You need buy nothing as they are loaded. Try to look around for one 2004 to 2008 before AC went to the tank. MUCH less expensive than buying new.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwoods View Post
    I will give the Bearcats a closer look, I have heard the 570 is somewhat low on power with poor fuel milage but that's just Internet info....
    Also sounds like the 600 ace impresses you Kasilof, do you think the 900 ace would be worth the Xtra 21lbs?
    I have to say the Tundra Xtreme has kinda perked my interest but with the 600 etec being water cooled I just don't know.....how easy would it overheat in low snow conditions? I've always been a fan cooled user so not alot of experience with the water pumpers.....sounds like that e tec does sip fuel though.
    You couldn't pay me to trust a 900 in any brand of machine! The 600 will do anything you've listed without trouble.


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    I bought a tundra lt 600 ACE last year. Really like the quiet and fuel economy. I only wear earplugs now if my skis are slapping on ice. If riding ice for a longer time, scratchers are needed for the sliders--remember that.
    It is a bit nose heavy, even with ski skins. I block my front intake in powder. I went riding with some folks in mountains I'd never been in and down some steep stuff with fresh powder. On the way back out, that four stroke couldn't turn the track very fast and I almost didn't get back up and out that night. It took afew runs at it and I was sweating. The 600 2-strokes were fine. Since then, I just pick the conditions--let the snow set more.
    The new tundra is VERY tippy. My next one will have a wider ski stance. It will also have more HP, and be lighter, and quicker

  19. #19

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    You couldn't pay me to trust a 900 in any brand of machine! The 600 will do anything you've listed without trouble.
    ....... I have been scouring info on forums about the 900 ace and can find no negativity on them although yes they are a new displacement but are also a 600 ace(which seems to have proved itself) with an extra cylinder.
    I don't like not having an auxiliary start back up but am getting used to that with my 13' Big Boss, the water cooling subject is getting easier to swallow with the Ace having a conventional radiator and fan also.

    I bought a tundra lt 600 ACE last year. Really like the quiet and fuel economy. I only wear earplugs now if my skis are slapping on ice. If riding ice for a longer time, scratchers are needed for the sliders--remember that.
    It is a bit nose heavy, even with ski skins. I block my front intake in powder. I went riding with some folks in mountains I'd never been in and down some steep stuff with fresh powder. On the way back out, that four stroke couldn't turn the track very fast and I almost didn't get back up and out that night. It took afew runs at it and I was sweating.*
    ....... this kind of feedback helps me look to the 900 ace for a little more oomph over the 600...thanks Btk.

    At this point I am VERY interested in the Expedition Sport 900 Ace but....that may change once I'm physically standing beside the machines, I could end up on something else entirely different. Thanks for the incoming feedback guys, it is definitely what I was hoping for.

  20. #20

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    My hunting partner turned me on to the old Panthers years ago and he has been running his 71' since the mid 80's. I learned a lot through him and did a lot of the same mods to mine over the years. I have a 500 f/a out of a newer cat in it and 12" wide skis up front for flotation. The old steel 5 gallon tank came off the rear and a welded up aluminium 10 gallon got mounted under the handle bars in place of the plastic dash garbage that was there. Alot of other mods but these three did much for the deep powder trail braking. I dare to say it weighs under 300 lbs but the one limiting factor is the track style with metal cleats, not enough "dig" and we zig zag up the mountains where the newer stuff trenches right up...not to mention the body beating ride but you put us in the alders on the flat with even armpit snow and we can putt around all day and not get stuck. Can the newer bigger sleds do this still???
    Also here's a big reason I need newer, my buddy has upped the ante on me and I will NEVER hear the end of it if I'm looking up at him where I can't get to on my old Cat. He's been working on this for a year and is almost done. He took a 68' Panther and grafted it to a 2014 Tundra 154" that had 30 miles on it and hit something in the front. He rebuilt a new 500 f/a for it and it was tight enough where he had to trim the tub and cowling for the primary you see sticking out the side by just a bit and refiberglass the hood.
    The action packer setting on it is just there as we where heading out moose hunting and his gear was stacked on it. The packer is setting on the seat pan he built up to be like the older Skandics with under seat storage, he's just waiting on the seat to be apholstered. He should get around good as its still super light, I'm looking to just buy new.... I don't have the time to follow suit right now with my ongoing house remodel and I wouldn't mind the newer comfort we will never see on the old girls. We've put a ton of miles on the old sleds over the years and I've been pulled out one time for a lighting coil going out always hearing "what the hell are you boys riding?"





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