Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Two Versus Four Stroke Cost of Ownership

  1. #1

    Default Two Versus Four Stroke Cost of Ownership

    I donít know if there is much interest in this but since alot of people I talked to, and the dealers I dealt with, tried to convince me that owning a four-stroke sled is much more economical to own even though the upfront cost is higher I thought I would post this.
    Since I am very frugal (my wife uses different words) and kind of a math geek I did some calculations that may be of interest to those making a decision about a sled purchase. When we were looking at buying sleds last year everyone made it sound like you are saving fist loads of gas money by going with a four-stroke. We were looking at Tundra LTís and the price difference was about $1800 between the 550F and 600 ACE. The dealer said we would recoup that in a year or two, but when I did the math, at $4 gallon we would of have to have of ridden over 6,500 miles before it was more economical to own the ACE over the 550F assuming the ACE uses a third the gas (10 mpg vs 30 mpg which is probably being generous) and other maintenance was equal. I donít think the average person is going to ride that many miles in two years, let alone five.
    Yes, there are advantages to four-strokes besides fuel economy, but I liked the idea of a back-up pull start, less maintenance, and two-stroke simplicity/reliability. I am not trying to convince anyone that two-strokes or better than four-strokes, but unless you are realistically going to use your sled way more than the average person you may be better off financially going with a two-stroke.

  2. #2

    Default

    Math if anyone is interested (or doesnít believe me):

    At $4/gallon-ACE costs $0.13/mile($4.00/30) while the 550 costs $0.40/mile ($4.00/10) for a difference of $0.267/Mile.

    $1,800.00/0.267= 6,750 miles

  3. #3
    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    ANCHORAGE
    Posts
    785

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBow View Post
    Math if anyone is interested (or doesnít believe me):

    At $4/gallon-ACE costs $0.13/mile($4.00/30) while the 550 costs $0.40/mile ($4.00/10) for a difference of $0.267/Mile.

    $1,800.00/0.267= 6,750 miles
    I Love Math, However you forget the 2stoke high dollar oil you have to use. Lets go again cost per mile. with that too. They both have there pro,s and con,s I own both and been driving them 50 years, And Not all 4 stokes get better mileage than lets say 600etec in the same frame ,My 2009 800swt gets 13 to 15 on a good day,My friends newer 600etec swt 18-22 miles per gal. Haven't seen any real world no#s on the new 900 ace . I will be watching.. tho, I will tell you this, after listening to the high pitch whine of 2 stoke for 45 of those 50 years I do love the sound of a 4 stoke .That in itself took about year to get used too. Too each of there own and the use they have for there machine. P.S.Take what a Dealer says , with a grain of salt.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Posts
    117

    Default

    In my experience I've saved the most money buying used machines. In the last two years I've purchased 4 used 4 stroke Yamaha sleds. I'll list them and the miles on them at purchase.
    1. 2007 Apex Mountain 1,370 miles, $3,700.
    2. 2007 Apex Mountain 400 miles $4000
    3. 2009 Apex Mountain 390 miles $4000
    4. 2007 Viking Wide Track 1,300 miles $5900.
    I must say that the performance of these machines has been beyond my expectations. I'm very please. I've never had a starting issue and I've used my sleds down to -20. I've done an oil change in each one just to be safe and now I don't plan to do another for 2,500 miles. The fuel milage is better than a comparable 2 stroke but not by a huge amount. I know it doesn't put money in my pocket but I love the overall package these machines offer,very low maintance no adding oil every other fill up, turn the key and go, huge power band and sweet sound. In the spring I lock them in the shed and as of yet I've never had one not start with the turn of the key when I pull them out in the winter.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    The cost of top end rebuild isn't included in the 2 strokes either- that is if you are going to put many miles on them. Some of the newer ski doo large 2 strokes are just as and more expensive than 4's.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,905

    Default

    Maybe I screwed up on my math a couple years ago, but I compared a Yamaha Phazer Mountain Lite to the current 2 stroke Polaris I was riding, a 700 Dragon Switchback, and come up with the Yamaha paying for itself in 10,000 miles in saved gas and $50 a gallon oil. I was looking at purchasing the Yamaha used, not retail. The Yamaha, a 2008, was listed for $3500.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Posts
    117

    Default

    I've also noticed my 4stroke sleds don't seem to go through belts. I've have not had to change a drive belt on any of the new to me four strokes I've owned. It seems like I always had to change at least one belt per season on my two strokes. I think it has to do with the machines power band and belt engagement.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alexander Creek
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    As Freight business owners my partner and I put 5,000 a year on each machine so fuel economy is Important. Four strokes are nice and all, I love my 2011 SWT 800 TUV. It has 15,000 miles on it and still going strong! My partners 2007 Expedition 800 TUV not so good. At 5,200 Miles she lost a timing chain and it wiped out the crankshaft. She loved the ride and had it rebuilt. Ski doo quit making the 800 TUV so we had a hard time getting the parts and of course at top dollar. It ended up cost in $5,200.00 to get it going again. The older models are at risk of timing chain failure but the newer motors have a timing chain guide that prevents the chain from dropping in the chain case if it breaks. Also as Susitna AK says watch yourselves with the dealer. They are out to make money and that's it. I have bought 5 machines, a four wheeler, and a trailer from one certain Ski Door dealer in the Valley and the service has gone from excellent to pi## poor in that time span. I will not walk thru their doors again. I get parts such as idler wheels, skags, and oil and such from Fish creek sales. Major parts can either be found or ordered from Alaska Snowmachin Salvage. They are super helpful and will I really like them. Like Branr1, I will look for good used buys from now on. I have a Polaris LX wide track with 11,000 miles on it, that is stuuded so I use it for hauling during ice conditions. I can do all the work on it myself saving the costly computer diognostic work it takes for four strokes and the Polaris 500 motor is virtualy bullet proof. I bought my Polaris from a friend well below what it would normally cost but if I, as a freight business owner bought 5 1997 Polaris Lx wide tracks at a cost of $2,200 each and put say $500.00 into each one on the average that would cost me a total of $13, 500.00 to get started, about what one new SWT would cost off the show room floor. Also these 5 machines would last forever because you would trade them out every haul and each would have minimal use! Go with 2 stroke trust me!

  9. #9
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,425

    Default

    Well I made the jump last year to a 4 stroke after a long debate and I am no where near sorry I made the change. Using your math I will make back my money in less then a year. I bought the sled in March put 1300 on before putting it away for the season and now with the poor start this year I am sitting at a little more then 2500 total miles. I hope to get a good 5k in riding this year.

    Those of us that ride distance and remote, fuel gets real expensive very fast. There was one place last year I was paying $11 a gallon....and we were near empty on arrival. So it was about a 10 gallon fill to get back to where fuel was $6.75 and only required a half tank to get to where fuel was $4.50. With the 4 stroker I can get out to the $11 fuel and back to the $6.75 before I put fuel in and then only half as much. So seeing I make this trip about twice a month that alone will save me almost $900 a season there. One additional expense on the 2 stroker is the gallon of 2 stroke oil per trip which is $44 retail versus the $42 retail cost for an oil change every 2000 miles. I can make 5 trips before the oil change is required....so I would save almost another 200 bucks for 5 trips. No I don't ride an ETEC so my 2 stroke oil consumption is a little higher.

    There is more expenses in that trip then my above example and some of the numbers were rounded to ease my math. In reality my savings with the 4 stroke is actually a lot higher then I posted. Last thing is I am still working on tuning and clutching to hopefully see even better fuel mileage.

    On drive belts.....the new compounds in drive belts should easily give a 2k to 3k life. I know some 4 strokers where I heard of 4k plus. If for some reason you ever slip (not burn) a belt because of snow getting to the clutch you really need to look at your drive and driven clutches for damage. These new belts are hard enough to cut into the clutch sheaves. If you burn the belt, need to remove the belt and inspect to see if the belt delaminated any. If it is just shiny just take a scotch pad and buff it some to remove the shine. If you see seperation in any of the layers replace.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mean streets of Fairview
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    Those of us that ride distance and remote, fuel gets real expensive very fast.
    Good point, I ride my 600 ACE 2013 WT on $7 a gallon fuel. My old 2 stroke meant carrying a gas can also.

    I didn't buy it to save the money on gas. It is quiet and doesn't smell up the woods so much.
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  11. #11
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I don't care about the savings. Not having to breath two stroke exhaust is priceless.

    At 5000 miles my 4 stroke is humming along. While many don't need it, there are a hell of a lot of 550 fans out there that need a top end at that point.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,905

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I don't care about the savings. Not having to breath two stroke exhaust is priceless.

    At 5000 miles my 4 stroke is humming along. While many don't need it, there are a hell of a lot of 550 fans out there that need a top end at that point.
    Wait....I love the smell of 2 stroke smoke. Especially if it is combined with sawdust while felling a cedar tree.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  13. #13
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Whitehorse Yukon
    Posts
    1,345

    Default

    Having just gone through this process, agonizing over whether to get the ACE or the 550 in the Tundra LT, in the end I went with the 550 primarily because of the 2 stoke performance characteristics and it's pull start. The older ACE engines have a very flat torque curve which you really notice boon docking, maybe the new model with the canned tunes is different.
    If a person is only a very occasional user, it is hard to justify the extra cost of the. ACE, but it is a amazing engine, and it is incredibly quiet, fuel efficient and odour free. For primarily trail miles, it's hard to beat, and if you are racking up the miles, it will pay for itself, and not just in the financial sense, as Doug said, not having fumes and the quiet is priceless. I have only tried the older ACE, but if the '15 model has better performance, I could see picking one up next year.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  14. #14
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Before agonizing over the numbers you must must determine where and how you want to ride and then pick the machine that suits your other requirements.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  15. #15

    Default

    Used machines can be a good deal. I bought a used 2003 Polaris WT, and just sold it in Dec 2014. The "capital cost" of ownership for 10 years, sell price - buy price, ended up being less than $200 a year.

    I have a 2008 Ski-doo Tundra 800 4-stroke. No complaints. It's kinda like driving a 4-wheeler on tracks. But I spend a lot of time with one machine and a long way from anywhere, so I never had a good feeling about the battery-only starting. So, this year I bought a SWT and I choose the eTec 600 for the fact that I could get a pull start for it. It would be the total sh*ts if you were way out there and you turned the key and ... nothing. Feel a lot better with a pull start as a backup.

  16. #16
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Whitehorse Yukon
    Posts
    1,345

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dinglishna View Post
    But I spend a lot of time with one machine and a long way from anywhere, so I never had a good feeling about the battery-only starting. So, this year I bought a SWT and I choose the eTec 600 for the fact that I could get a pull start for it. It would be the total sh*ts if you were way out there and you turned the key and ... nothing. Feel a lot better with a pull start as a backup.
    There is a bit of a discussion re. the ACE angines and pul start on the Doo talk forum. Lots of ACE owners pointing out (accurately) the reliability of the ACE. No question about that, but batteries can an do die, and as you said, you sleep better at night (at least I do) knowing that you have that second starting option. Maybe its irrational given the reliability of the ACE, but not worrying about starting your sled is a big deal. Kind of like having a back up battery in your boat.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    There is a bit of a discussion re. the ACE angines and pul start on the Doo talk forum. Lots of ACE owners pointing out (accurately) the reliability of the ACE. No question about that, but batteries can an do die, and as you said, you sleep better at night (at least I do) knowing that you have that second starting option. Maybe its irrational given the reliability of the ACE, but not worrying about starting your sled is a big deal. Kind of like having a back up battery in your boat.
    Yep, I think 4 stroke engines are wonderful. And if I was always travelling with someone else, I'd probably be 4-stroke exclusively. But you learn from the hard lessons in life. Like ruptuing a fuel pump diaphram on the Big Su and burning through all your fuel (by pumping the bulb to try and get back to Deshka Landing, but not making it). After that - I never go on the Su w/o two engines, and one is a pull-start. My PWS boat - also two engines (paid off when I couldn't start one once out in Dangerous Passage), and with two EXTRA batteries. So having a backup to battery-only start sno-go is the kind of redundancy I strive to travel by. Sure thing, a 4-stroke engine will probably never hick-up. But friggin' batteries ... they always have the tendency to go south unexpectedly and bite you in the ass (at least for me). So that's why I went back to pull and electric start two stroke (600 eTec) with my SWT.

  18. #18
    Member oakman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    1,172

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dinglishna View Post
    It would be the total sh*ts if you were way out there and you turned the key and ... nothing. Feel a lot better with a pull start as a backup.
    Maybe something like this?
    http://antigravitybatteries.com/videos/

  19. #19
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mean streets of Fairview
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    Maybe something like this?
    http://antigravitybatteries.com/videos/
    That's what I bought. Insurance.
    Now if it would only snow.
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  20. #20
    Member cod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Ak.
    Posts
    2,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    That's what I bought. Insurance.
    Now if it would only snow.
    I gotta get one of them. How much is that micro and who carries em in south central?
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •