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Thread: Is it time to buy one of the last 2-stroke snowmachines?

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Is it time to buy one of the last 2-stroke snowmachines?

    Now, I prefer 4-strokes in almost all motor applications: autos, lawnmowers, outboards, etc. They are quieter, produce less smoke, and have better gas mileage for the most part. But, 2-strokers do have certain advantages: lighter weight and back-up rope-starting, for example.

    As I watch the snowmachine industry follow the others and eliminate almost all 2-stroke motors from their line-ups, I start to wonder if maybe I should buy one, before they're all gone? And the few 550 & 570 fan-cooled models that remain, tend to be in the no-frills budget sleds, which make them seem like no-brainer bargains. But, maybe that's just nostalgia talking, and the new 4-strokes are really better in the long run?

    Or is the E-Tec the answer to all my questions?

    Thanx, Dave.

    PS - If they ever start phasing out 2-stroke chain saws, I'm gonna buy a few of the last ones!
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    Now, I prefer 4-strokes in almost all motor applications: autos, lawnmowers, outboards, etc. They are quieter, produce less smoke, and have better gas mileage for the most part. But, 2-strokers do have certain advantages: lighter weight and back-up rope-starting, for example.

    As I watch the snowmachine industry follow the others and eliminate almost all 2-stroke motors from their line-ups, I start to wonder if maybe I should buy one, before they're all gone? And the few 550 & 570 fan-cooled models that remain, tend to be in the no-frills budget sleds, which make them seem like no-brainer bargains. But, maybe that's just nostalgia talking, and the new 4-strokes are really better in the long run?

    Or is the E-Tec the answer to all my questions?

    Thanx, Dave.

    PS - If they ever start phasing out 2-stroke chain saws, I'm gonna buy a few of the last ones!
    I don't see a phase out at all. Honestly, Polaris (completely abandoned their 4-stroke lineup), Arctic Cat and SkiDoo have just as many two strokes as they did 5 years ago. Ok... they did ditch the smaller 340's and 440's, but they were sales dogs for the companies. They are compliant with current EPA regulations even with the two strokes in their lineups. I am a Stihl chainsaw dealer and it's the opinion of Stihl that the current Phase 3 regulations that have been implemented are about as far as the EPA is going to go. Stihl's future direction with chainsaws is computer controlled carburetors and fuel injected two strokes.

    I own both a four stroke snowmachine and several two strokes. Friends that ride with me will attest that I can take a four stroke Bearcat places it wasn't designed to go. The place it REALLY shines, though, is long distance cruising. If I have a choice between it and my Summit on a long distance trail ride, or even open country no trail distance running, I am picking the Bearcat every time. I hate the two stroke smell, noise and vibration. If I am hill climbing, exploring the mountains that are too steep for the Bearcat or I'm in the trees, I'm picking the Summit. I have 7000 miles on the Bearcat now and the only thing that has broken on it is one rear suspension cross shaft (just bent) and a fuel pump. It has been stone cold reliable, even starts at -30F. The only time I have been towed was the fuel pump. Funny enough, I have seen the same fuel pump go out on two stroke fuel injected sleds too. Lack of pull start has not been an issue for me.

    I am done with carb'd sleds, though. The next time the Summit blows up (on it's second rebuild) it's going in the trash. Fuel injection has proven itself with my friends' sleds and they never have to adjust them. Same goes for electric start. It's so convenient that I can't imagine not having it again.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm far from an expert on snowmachines or engine details, but I picked up a 2 stroke 550 fan-cooled machine back in February, then picked up a 2nd one in June. There are advantages to the 4-stroke machines for sure, but for my needs, the 2-stroke fan-cooled machines fit the bill nicely.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    A frtend from the village was visiting a couple years back. He was contemplating a new snowmachine purchase.
    I let him test drive my 600 ACE machine.
    He now owns one himself.
    I have both 2 and 4 stroke machines.
    Both are good but I like the 4 stroke so much better.

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    I don't think they will phase out the 2 strokes. The 600 etecs are almost as clean as the best four-stroke sleds. Ive put about 15k miles total on the 600 series (SDI and etec). They don't lose much efficiency and don't pollute as bad as the older sleds when you start racking miles up. Now my 4 stroke Yamaha vk pro is a nice sled for hauling and trail cruising, but that's about it. A friend bought a 4 stroke ace SWT this January, what a turd in the powder. The etec and even the older fan SWT sleds will beat any new 4 stroke swt. Except for mileage and towing huge loads. To me 2 strokes and 4 strokes have there own sides of the sled market, performance or efficiency. If 2 strokes are ever going to die which I doubt will happen, I'm pulling a loan out and buying 5 new ones. With today's technology the emissions are very close between the two, the etecs hardly use any oil due to the sealed crank bearings and both are using fuel injection.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishhook57 View Post
    A friend bought a 4 stroke ace SWT this January, what a turd in the powder.
    Did your friend's machine have a 600 or 900 ACE?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  7. #7

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    900 ace. Told him up and down to get the 600 etec. Hes seen my etecs have no issues for years and he fell into the salesman trick of 4 stroke is better. It is still a pogo machine so the 4 stroke isnt such a big deal, he cant jump it or go fast anyways. Thats why I love the 600 etec expeditions. You can go 100+mph with em, jump them, hill climb, carve, hit moguls going 60, waterskip with ease, stop in the powder without circling around, haul freight through overflow, and dam near wheely them too.

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    I guess it's all personal preference. I bought a 15' Expedition Sport last year with the 900 Ace and I can't imagine someone not being happy with what it's intended for. Plenty of power for me, great low rpm engagement and as a plus it's VERY quiet with good mpg. But then again I didn't buy it to "wheelie" that's for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cwoods View Post
    I guess it's all personal preference. I bought a 15' Expedition Sport last year with the 900 Ace and I can't imagine someone not being happy with what it's intended for. Plenty of power for me, great low rpm engagement and as a plus it's VERY quiet with good mpg. But then again I didn't buy it to "wheelie" that's for sure.
    Not that we had much deep snow last year, but did you get a chance to drive it off trail in soft snow? Curious how that particular machine does in deeper snow. Not so much to tear around in, but simply getting from point A to point B without getting stuck.

  10. #10

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    We have a friend with a sport and it does decent in the deep stuff, but it is a 550 fan. I believe they went to a taller lug on the 4 stroke sleds. Ski skins are your friend on 4 strokes and make 2 strokes float like a helicopter. He never got it stuck even towing a otter tub with 200 pounds of ice fishing gear in 2 feet of fresh powder.

  11. #11

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    Took it up to Denali and found deeper stuff up higher to give it a test and was very impressed although I to put wide skins on it before riding it the first time. I'm not disappointed one little bit.

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    I'm with AKdoug on this one. I too had a Bearcat four stroke and rode the pis$ out of it like a trail/bump sled. I can haul anything I needed to the cabin, unhook the sled and go play on it the next day. They ride smooth, kinda like a Cadillac and are plenty quick enough to play on. Will definitely get another in the future


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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishhook57 View Post
    We have a friend with a sport and it does decent in the deep stuff, but it is a 550 fan. I believe they went to a taller lug on the 4 stroke sleds. Ski skins are your friend on 4 strokes and make 2 strokes float like a helicopter. He never got it stuck even towing a otter tub with 200 pounds of ice fishing gear in 2 feet of fresh powder.
    I've never stuck my 4 stroke because of the skis. Even the big fat Bearcat 4st has plenty of ski stock. Those skins take so much away from steering on trails, and carving in the powder, that I'm not sure why folks use them.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    Not that we had much deep snow last year, but did you get a chance to drive it off trail in soft snow? Curious how that particular machine does in deeper snow. Not so much to tear around in, but simply getting from point A to point B without getting stuck.

    I have an '08 Yamaha RS Venture GT 1000cc 4 stroke machine and have not had any issues in powder.
    Late season deep corn snow though is a pain. I don't think it's much good for any sled really.
    Mind you my track only has 1.25" lugs.
    Last year I was playing around in waist deep powder out on one of our lakes and was able to stop and start with no issues.
    The sled would top out @ about 80 MPH in the deep stuff though. I haven't had the stones to see where it tops out on late season hard packed trail yet. I start to lose my nerve past 100!!!

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    The ski skins that skidoo sells are the ones I run, no difference at all on trail and you can still carve well because most of the width is biased to the inside. I like the ski skins because it keeps the front out of the alders, that was my primary reason for them, also in serious sugar powder fluff snow I had the stock skis dig and grab a bush in a swamp, bending an a arm. No fun. My friend with the new bearcat he just got swapped his skis out to the old expedition style, which is 12 wide and has stock skins. Most everybody in my area runs skins on everything, and my friend from a village said you wouldn't see a sled without a set of skins on it out there. Now on a race or mountain sled thats a different game, I don't have skins on my Viking either, but I never take that thing off trail unless the snows really firm.

  16. #16

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    Same here, love the Skidoo skins and they seem to handle no problemO' on the trails. I see them as a huge plus on the machine. These new Expeditions are way nice and the 900 Ace motor is the cats meow so far. No pun intended my fellow Bearcat owners ; )

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I've never stuck my 4 stroke because of the skis. Even the big fat Bearcat 4st has plenty of ski stock. Those skins take so much away from steering on trails, and carving in the powder, that I'm not sure why folks use them.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question

    Thought I'd bump my thread back up to the top after a year, with a couple of new questions:

    I was comparing two Ski-Doo Expedition Sports, one with a 550 fan two-stroke, and one with an 600 ACE four-stroke. The ACE is reported to get double the gas mileage of the other motor (20mpg -VS- 10mpg) under real world riding conditions. The ACE also costs $1450 more, which roughly equates to about 100 gallons of gasoline, which then equals 5000 miles of "free" riding on the 550 two-stroke.

    Do 5000 "free" miles up front on the 550, outweigh all of the "half-price" miles provided by the ACE beyond 5000 miles?

    Given a 10.6 gallon tank on both machines: How inconvenient is the 550's limited range of approximately 100 miles per tank?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Don't forget the 2stroke oil...
    Just out of curiousity, what is the HP to weight ratio on the 600 ACE compared to the HP to weight on the 550fan 2 stroke?
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Having similar machines one with each motor if I had a choice I would choose the ACE.
    If you do longer trips the ACE fuel economy is nice.
    Shorter trips it isn't that much of an inconvience.
    How far do you plan to travel in a day?
    Also remember with the 550 you need injection oil as well.
    But the synthetic oil for the ACE isn't cheap either and it will need changed at least once a year.
    I carry spare plugs for my 550f and go through a set or two a year.
    I have yet to change the ones on my ACE though mine is somewhat low miles as I ice fish a lot. More short trips than long ones.

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