View Poll Results: "two is one, and one is none"

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  • Two identical machines

    4 66.67%
  • Two different machines

    2 33.33%
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Thread: If "two is one, and one is none" then . . . . .

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Eagle River, AK

    Question If "two is one, and one is none" then . . . . .

    . . . . for moving a family around on snow-machines, where mom & dad both drive and the kids ride two-up. Would it be better to have two identical machines, or two different models?

    Thanx, Dave.

    PS - Is having to stock & carry only one set of spare parts & tools a significant advantage?
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I use to think that was a good idea. Not any more, you and a specially the wife need a snowmobile that you are comfortable riding and fits your stile of riding. Each snowmobile should have a spare belt and you carry all the tools needed to field repair the machines. There is no reason a snowmobile should break down in the field with proper maintenance at home.

  3. #3
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    I agree with MacGyver on riding what suits your needs/wants best, and on proper servicing and maintenance. Any two, clean, well maintained machines are enough. The wisdom of two identical machines is ease of servicing for those of us with no more than intermediate mechanical skills--Only one set of specs to remember.

    As to preparing for the "What if's"? It's easy to get lost in the weeds with worry over what could happen. The focus should be on the higher probability what if's--i.e. What's probable vs What's possible. And that should be based on a given trip--short run down the trail to the cabin vs epic 150 mile cross-country trip

    My advice is to modularize your tools and gear so you can better customize what you carry to your needs on a per trip basis. Some trips you might want a come-a-long, or a chainsaw, or a generator and a mig welder (Just kidding). The goal is to weigh the likelihood of needing a thing vs it's actual weight and bulk. For instance, if your sleds have trailing arm style front suspensions and you do any off-trail riding, you could break one. It's not too likely but is a common enough occurrence to prepare for, and carrying the means of expedient field repair makes sense since it won't be much of a burden weight and bulk-wise. (BTW that's two 8" pieces of 1" angle iron and a handful of worm-screw clamps)

    What I see often is guys knowingly riding machines that are not 100% beyond the range of help. They carry impressive kits of tools and spare parts in anticipation of a breakdown. That's a's called gambling, but it's a method. My point is if you're carrying things like spare carbs and pistons and you're not practicing for the Iron Dog, you're doing it wrong. A better investment is to spend that time and effort in the garage and keep your machines in top form. If you've done your due diligence and you still lack confidence in your machine, replace it with one you ARE confident with.

    I have never had a catastrophic mechanical failure on a ride, but I could. This is why I ride prepared for some impromptu winter camping. I keep with me the ability to make a big fire and a shelter. My plan is get out of the wind, get warm, get dry and stay that way until the cavalry arrives. As for tools and parts? I carry a clutch key (my sled uses one, yours may not), a small selection of wrenches, two screwdrivers, a spring tool, pliers, a spare set of plugs, and an awl/zip ties in case I ever need to stitch body panels back together. Oh, and duct tape, of course.

    Also, explore the ins and outs of your machine(s) in the comfort of your garage first. You really don't want the first time you dig into something like removing, unclogging, reassembling and reinstalling your air-box out there on the trail. Or indexing your plugs to your injectors. Even changing a belt for the first time can be daunting if it's -20...
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