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Thread: Ski Doo SWT 800 4 stroke, or something else?

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Question Ski Doo SWT 800 4 stroke, or something else?

    I'm looking for a sled that will haul a lot of supplies in and out of the lodge. It's about a 140 mile round trip, and generally I make the trip each week all winter. I'm not a mountain climber, and really just need to get from A to B. I do a lot of trail riding and breaking to keep the trails good in my area. I will probably pull a groomer behind this if I can find one also. I may have to haul drums of fuel in and out also.

    On the Ski-Doo SWT 800 4 stroke, my research leads me to believe this might be the best sled for my application. I also think I can probably pay for the sled in one winter with the money I save in fuel. Currently it's taking 10 gallons to ride my 550's each way. I'm hoping this machine does better.

    Would like to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I can't comment on the Skidoo 800, but I have a bit of saddle time on an Arctic Cat Bearcat Z1 XT 4 stroke and they are great sleds for doing whay you want to do. I think your application would be best suited by a 4-stroke in the Skidoo, AC or Yamaha big work sleds. David, the guy that hauled the logs to your place, is our local Arctic Cat dealer. He'll be back in a week or so from vacation. Give him a call.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    10334.jpgThe 800 SWt is a great machine For your purpose it should work fine. They are heavy as are all four strokes. The gas mileage depends on what you are hauling. We get anywhere from 15-20mpg. Super cold starts (-30F or colder) can be tough. If you are hauling allot you also will need to check your machine regularly. I bought mine to tow and let the dealer know that. Then after I tore one up ($3000 in damage) the dealer informs me that if I am towing allot I need to check a few things periodically. Nowhere mentioned in the manuel, not mentioned at book suggested maintenance intervals. That was my only problem with the SWT. Need two guys to tip one back over if you roll it.

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    I would roll with the 800 SWT!! That is probably my next "new" machine!

  5. #5

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    I have a 09' with 340 miles, that I want to sell. Here are my thoughts. Very, Very, Very powerful through out the throttle range. Very heavy if you get it stuck off the trail. Somewhat top heavy, but not a problem on packed trail. A world-class HOG of side hilling, wants to go up or down only. They are expensive, about $10,700. It would be perfect for what you want to use it for. You could haul tons of freight on the road with one, you could hook five of the biggest Otters full of fuel and groceries, and run 60 MPH down the Denali Hwy.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Claude- thats a perfect machine to rip frequently up and down the Denali to the lodge. The one I rode felt like a giant pig off trail but on a good packed surface like the Denail it rode like a Cadillac. Total workhorse too.

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    I'd take a Yamaha Professional over the SkiDoo equivalent. In fact....I did! Super Wides are the most uncomfortable sleds I've ever ridden. I don't have any saddle time on a Bearcat but the rear suspension sure looks like it works well when I've watched other guys go by on them.

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    I think its all a matter of how much maintenance you want to do. We run 2 Skandic SUV's to our cabin in Talkeetna, (only approx. 60 miles away from your location as the crow flies), and have not had any issues. Combined between the 2 machines we have about 5000 miles of trail miles hauling fuel, lumber and other gear, sometimes over 1000 pounds. Yes, these 550's burn a little more fuel, but other than greasing the zerks and adding fuel and oil, they have been maintenance free. I am not convinced that a four stroke is the answer at temps below -20F. My take on it is I would much rather burn a little more fuel in a machine that is trustworthy, than spend any amount of time on the trail or out in the wilderness on a machine that is not performing. Especially at temps below 0. Just my 2 cents. If you are running Ski-Doo 550's, check with CC Ski-Doo. They have a carb modification that will improve economy. HAPPY TRAILS.

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    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    These guys are serious about there work sleds.

    http://www.dootalk.com/forums/index.php?showforum=92

    Send Labrador Boy a message he has broke and fixed more v800 SWT than most people have had the pleasure of seeing. I think your onto the right track for what you need. Those guys can tell you where you will have problems and what to do about them.
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    It's about a 140 mile round trip, Currently it's taking 10 gallons to ride my 550's each way.
    Claude
    You are burning 20 gallons of fuel for a 140 mile trip?!!!! You are kidding yes? I had twice that mileage for a ported, bored, piped Polaris XCR-800 making 175hp with a 144" x 1.25" track and 296 studs!

    Rather than throw long green down on a new machine, I'd suggest learning how to properly tune your 550. You should easily be able to get 15-20mpg out of it, or better.

    Look here too: http://www.holtzmaneng.com/ The ATACC really works.
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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    If you go with the Doo get the extended warrenty. Transmissions seem to be a big problem followed by some suspension issues. The Yami Commercial is a monster but thats good for a workhorse, top heavy and I hated the exhaust smell while riding. The Cat also is big, thats one reason for the optional winch, heard of some clutch issues on the early ones but not much since. If planning on pulling a drag a big sled will make things comfy and not fatigue the driver as much.

    Hit up Trail Boss from here about making a drag for grooming. Those guys have a good setup. If you are planning on keeping things groomed before it sets up hard you (Denali Snow I should say) can make a decent setup from wood and some chain link fence or angle iron......if you come up with a plan let me know, I am no expert welder or carpenter, but would help you get something together for you to pull across there.

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    Smell the exhaust while riding a Professional? I've never heard of that. But hell, I have one. What would I know! I think SkiDoo's front dump exhaust is great for sport sleds but I like Yamaha's rear dump on the Professional. Rear dump is a problem on the Nytros but the Pro has no tunnel ice problems that I've heard of. And it dumps under the tunnel so the rack is usable.

    I wouldn't agree that any of the big 4-stroke work sleds are top heavy as much as just heavy. They all are described as top heavy because they tip over at slow speeds. When the machine starts to sink in on one side or lay over in soft snow there's not much the average guy can do to stop it. The 4-strokes have tons of power so goosing the throttle and spinning the track will usually make things worse. I have better luck trying to minimize the stuck problem and backing it out of trouble. A long hitch that's easy to release will help.

    For hauling all but the biggest loads it would be hard to beat a SkiDoo Expedition. Those are just great machines for pulling and just riding. Much better than the Super Wides for playing and much more comfortable, too. The Yamaha Pro is no sport sled. It is fast for a big hauler but not very spry in the deep stuff. It's very comfortable to sit on, though. Really good rider position. Like sitting on a cushy couch. Bearcats look similar. There's a place for all of them. You just need to decide which is best for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Rather than throw long green down on a new machine, I'd suggest learning how to properly tune your 550. You should easily be able to get 15-20mpg out of it, or better.
    I haven't heard of anyone getting 15-20 mpg out of a ski-doo 550f. My wife's machine (05 Expedition Sport) doesn't and my friend's SUV definitely does not. If fact, my 01 RMK 800 gets better mileage than either of them. I always figured it was because they are run on the rich side to help prevent overheating. They are nice dependable motors, not sure I want to mess with that to get better mileage.

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Mr Pid,
    I may be a little sensitive to the smell but the owner of the same sled was complaining of feeling a little groggy, so I rode the sled and after a short distance could smell the exhaust. I stay as far away from the Nytros as possible those make me sick unless the exhaust has the extensions added to help minimize the problem.
    Just so it is clear I am a CAT guy and still holding on to the 2 stroke party line. I do ride alot of other brand sleds and even have had the chance to ride some prerelease stuff in the past. I work on all brands and all years. I also am very familiar with the heavy workhorses from the lodges that I frequent.

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    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    This is in interesting review of utility sleds. The Skidoo Stump pullers aren't compared but the other brands are. I have no idea why they compared the Tundra Extreme to the other 3 sleds, but they do a decent review.

    http://www.snowgoer.com/output.cfm?id=2653309
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    ""You are burning 20 gallons of fuel for a 140 mile trip?!!!! You are kidding yes? I had twice that mileage for a ported, bored, piped Polaris XCR-800 making 175hp with a 144" x 1.25" track and 296 studs!

    Rather than throw long green down on a new machine, I'd suggest learning how to properly tune your 550. You should easily be able to get 15-20mpg out of it, or better."


    and I'm sure your are pulling a freight sled with your xcr too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i have a 97 bearcat with allmost 10,000 miles on it, pulling freight up the yetna river. I have pulled loads up to 2000 lbs. normally 1200 to 1500. I burn 10 to 12 gallons of gas for 60 miles of river which is 6-7 mpg. I jet my sled and keep up on maintenance. Your mileage is a lot different pulling loads, then tooling around on your piped, ported, bored 175 h/p xcr

    that said::: the 4 stroke is the machine to have if you don't need to start it in -30 or colder with no way to plug it in, good gas mileage, power and QUIET. Have lots of friends with both 550 and 800 4 stroke, so can see both sides

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    Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Go with the best!!!

    Claude
    As you know we run Arctic Cat and Yamaha's as getting parts and service from the Skidon't dealers is like pulling teeth!!! I have over 13000 miles on a 2005 Bearcat and those are not cruising miles those are miles towing large Drags. We just sold a 2006 Yamaha VK with over 11,500 miles on it again drag miles! This machine started at 30 below and got 9 miles to gallon dragging and over 17 cruseing! Alaska House of Yamaha has got us parts in a big hurry and ERPAC always takes the best care to keep us on the trail. Taking the Bumps so you don't have Too!!!!
    Go with the people that take care of you!!!
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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    This is all excellent info and a lot to consider! I really appreciate all the guidance. I'm still not 100% on what I'm going to go with, but at least I have a lot more education now then I did before. I'll kick it around. I will be pulling a groomer if I can ever find one for sale in Alaska, so if that changes anything, let me know. I'm not sure why those 550's get such poor mileage.... I have them in the shop getting maintenanced all the time, and I bring up the poor mileage, and they tell me that's how they run, and I won't get any more then that. I do agree that going with a dealer that backs the products is probably the best consideration I can give. I've used several, but now that I live full time at the lodge, was considering looking at working with a dealer in Talkeetna, or Healy. Healy has been doing some work for me, and I like what I'm seeing so far.

    Thanks again, and I still have a couple of more weeks to make my decision, so if any additional information is out there, let me know.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Clyde my 08 tundra 550F gets @ 11mpg but thats trail riding not towing a load.
    I just bought a 2011 Expedition Sport with the 600ACE motor. It is supposed to get 29mpg so says Skidoo. I will have to test that one personally though. Only 60 hp so you would not have the HP to tow a drag. Would be a good sled for the wife though for traveling back and forth hauling groceries and what not. This motor comes in a few different models for this year. Might be something to consider after you get the grooming sled you want.
    The Ace motor is a $1600 option over the 550F but with all the riding you guys do it would pay for itself in notime.
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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Chris, holy smokes, 29mpg? That would be a great sled for my employees... they kill me on gas! I might look at that one for the wife, lik you suggest. I'll look into that. Tell your dad hello!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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