where to start?
as with anything I wonder... Where should I start???
I've ridden a snow machine maybe twice in my life. I don't know the first thing about them. I am fairly mechanical, love the outdoors and spend a tremendous amount of time in the wild during the spring, summer and fall...
So over the last couple of years I've been leaning towards learning about snow machines... Each time something has come up and I've put it on the back burner... Well once again I've had a few circumstances arise that has brought it to the forefront... (mainly an open invitation to a cabin that is smack dab in the middle of snow machine, cross country skiing and snow shoeing heaven)...
So I once again started thinking... Where do I start...
I've never been drawn to the fast-n-furious crowd. I'd prefer a dependable, lightweight comfortable ride. Something I could take the kids out on and the wife could handle. Something that would handle trails as well as powder. I don't forsee climbing th mountains or traversing a glacier... Rather a steady as you go kind of pace...
A friend suggested Skandic... Are there other options out there? Is a Skandic really the most useful/best option. I'm cool w/ that I'm just looking for suggestions, opinions and advice... Ultimately I'll come to my on conclusion but for now I don't know enough to even start...
550F Tundra Longtrack. Plays well, has an articulating track for backing up in the deep stuff, handles powder well, pulls freight, lightweight and nimble in the woods. I have a 2008 and it is awesome!
Downfalls - Darts on hardpack at high speed (65MPH). Not as great MPG as the newer watercools and 4 strokes. No real windshield.
Next machine may be a 600 ETEC longtrack summit..... still looking at the idea.
Personally I have found the Polaris Switchback to be a very good all around machine. The 600 is the perfect size.
Polaris Lite GT
Yes, it is only a 340, but it rides well, will pull a fair load, goes through powder ok, and is quite a bit lighter than the others mentioned. It is fan cooled which has its advantages. Again, it is lighter weight, puts out some heat, and does not care about piddling along on hardpack trails or during warm spring temps.
Top end is plenty fast enough for kids, handling is good for anybody. You can find a mid 90's 340 GT for around $1500 which does not break the bank. And lets not forget they are pretty easy on gas.
The older Indy trail 488 fan cooled sleds were awesome also. Lots more power there, and they'll take you into the mountains so you can at least watch the big boys. For their age the ride was very good.
I have to mention my old 91 Indy Sport GT with its 440 fan engine. It is my number one go to sled now for all of the stuff I do around Fairbanks.
Those old engines I noted are time proven. I don't see how you can go wrong with any of them.
Indy Lite GT
I agree with AK RR. GREAT starter sled.
I know someone selling a Indy Lite GT...2700 miles not too beat up $1000
This is great info guys... Thanks for the replies...
aksnowmo, I'm not quite in the market yet. I know it's a good time to buy but I've got far too much on the honey-do list for spring and summer to even consider it at this moment.
I've used up my fun budget credit for a spring bear hunt and my intent on this thread is to gain some knowledge for the next "negotiations" at the table...
Besides when permits finally drop on Friday I hope to be using my bison permit as leverage for machines.... hahahahahahahahaha... ya right! A guy can always dream...
thanks for the input... Anyone else?