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Thread: Buying a used snow machine

  1. #1

    Default Buying a used snow machine

    I am looking for a used snow machine for hunting and ice fishing. I have little to no experience with these and would appreciate advice of what to look for and any models to stay away from. Also I would like to be able to pull a sled. Thanks for any help..

  2. #2
    Member Jktimm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Meadow Lakes, Wasilla

    Default Need some more info...

    Do you need electric start, or are you big enough to pull it (even if you flood it?)
    Do you want reverse?
    How much do you expect to spend?
    Can you work on it yourself?
    My first thought is something like an Arctic Cat Lynx long track, 300 cc with electric start. Will run you about $1500 on Craigslist. Top speed of about 40mph, but will pull ok, won't get stuck much, small enough to lift when stuck or to load. Also cheap enough to sell when you are ready to move up to a bigger sled.

  3. #3
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States


    A couple more questions....

    How old are you?

    How much do you weigh?

    How much do you want to spend?

    The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  4. #4

    Default More info

    I weigh about 180 and as far as starting goes I just want something dependable. I am 41 and I don't expect to want to use this for tearing up the slopes so it doesn't need to be fast. I just want dependable, light weight so I will not getting stuck all of the time and can pull a sled.

  5. #5
    Member Jktimm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Meadow Lakes, Wasilla

    Default OK, here's a couple of great options...

    1.) Polaris Indy Light LT has long track, pretty fast, good on gas, and reasonably priced.
    2.) Yamaha Bravo LT only 250cc, so not fast (30mph) but great on gas and very reliable. Parts are easy to find and cheap.
    3.) Skidoo Tundra LT is 250cc also, but are in pretty high demand (for good reason.) They cost top dollar for what you get, but are good pullers.
    4.) Arctic Cat Lynx LT is 300cc twin, a little faster, and you can get reverse and elec start. Reliable and powerful, this is a great value for your money.

    1.) Worn hyfax means the sled was driven without snow to lubricate the rails. Bad sign of damage to come.
    2.) Check color of gear lube in drive chain case for drivetrain wear.
    3.) Jump on sled and then get off. Does it return to it's original height? Suspension is expensive to repair, and price should reflect any problems there.

    Don't worry about getting the perfect sled, though. You will outgrow whatever you get this year by next season, and want more power and better suspension. Just get something that has good resale value and get out and play. Hope to see you in the Big Lake, Hatcher's Pass, Petersville and Iditarod trails!

  6. #6

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the input I really appreciate it. Also if any of you are selling any of the machines listed above let me know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    chugiak, ak

    Default just my opinion

    I agree withh pretty much everything above.
    heres my 2 cents
    1. I rate the tundra the best, alot of people do, thats why they can get top dollar for them. They are simple, fan cooled, easy machines to work on. I have one I bought for $1000 off craigslist 3 yrs ago. Runs like a champ, I was clocked to 50mph with it last year on gps, I couldn't believe it. I weigh 240 all suited up to ride. My daughter and wife love the machine, they would rather ride that than the 600 summit I bought them.

    MAKE sure you do a compresion check also, that will tell you if there is a rebuild around the corner, thats probably the biggest thing I would worry about. There usually is not an odometer on these smaller machines, mine doesn't have one, and I have no idea how many miles are on it. So a compresion check is the only way to tell how healthy the engine is. Make sure the carb boots are ok, if they get cracked thats a good way to melt down and engine. Check the track, to replace those is expensive. If the hyfax is worn, not a huge deal on a fan sled, (different story on a liquid cooled machine) hyfax is cheap to replace.

    I would also keep an eye out for the yamaha bravo mentioned above, another good simple sled, they just keep on ticking also.

  8. #8

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the info

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default ...

    maybe for what you want a yamaha ovation would work well. I have a 1995 and they are a 340cc they are reliable and are light enough to lift if you do get stuck. so i would look on craigs list for one of them

  10. #10

    Default ovation

    thanks, I have been looking and so far the models suggested that I have found seem to sell quickly if they are in good shape.

  11. #11
    Member Berto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default 12bhntn

    i bought my first machine over the summer. it is a 1998 skidoo skandic 380. i would think one of these would fit your bill because i researched it and i also plan to use mine for hunting and ice fishing.

    the skandic i found was being sold by the original owner. it has 1600 miles and came with a cover, sled, and helmet for $1500.

    best of luck in your search.


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