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Thread: Brand wars.... Consider this...

  1. #1
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default Brand wars.... Consider this...

    It is a lot easier to call the missus at work, and tell her you found a homless CAT, then any other brand.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  2. #2

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    Nope bought her Polaris cause she reminds me of the "nothern star"

  3. #3
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    OK, 2 good ones so far........lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  4. #4
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I truly enjoy all the brands, but I like to know about the bad ones too, so you know what to stay away from.

    Here's a list of machines I've put a few miles on:

    Ski-doo safari Scout
    1972 Bombardier Olympic 399cc (my first machine)
    Yamaha exciter 340 longtrack
    Yamaha Bravo
    Ski Doo Tundra
    Ski Doo Tundra ll
    Arctic cat cheetah
    Arctic Cat bearcat 440 ll
    Arctic Cat 340 longtrack
    Polaris Widetrak
    Polaris Trail Touring Delux
    Kawasaki Sno Jet 440 (yamaha motor)
    Polaris indy-lite gt 340
    John Deer Spit Fire 440
    Eskimo (completely restored) with the orignal Sachs 292cc single cylinder engine.

    when I was a 12 year old kid my father's best freind who was always an immature "toy boy" bought a thunder cat and the motor was a 1000cc I believe. During an ice fishing trip he told me to "open it up". He gave me his helmet, and I did just that. His helmet fit so loosely on my kid noggin that it would violently shimmy from side to side and felt like the wind force was going to snap my neck. With the track being heavily studded, I must have been doing at least 100mph. It scared the crap out of me.......but I had a fearful and new found respect for Arctic Cat from that day on. I've run utility machines ever since, never wanting to go that fast again.


    My all time favorite was the older fan cooled yamaha 340 longtrack. It was so light, simple, and the motor was smooth and balanced. The machine had it all: light weight, twin cylinder torque, smooth revving, bullet proof, and reliable. I would not hesitate to find a used one and completely restore it.

    No brand loyalty here...............

  5. #5
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Some of the early Polaris efi are problem prone if you don't practice dilegent battery maintenance. If you leave them parked for months in the summer or winter you will have buy batteries when you want ride. Late 90s skidoo 583s can start hard they have no choke just a primer so I would never know if it was to much or to little priming. To much gotta pull the plugs to little and possible shoulder surgery from yanking that stupid rope. needless to say neither model will ever be on my place again.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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  6. #6
    Premium Member bmunsell's Avatar
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    2001 Skandic SWT 500 fan - the only good thing I can say is that it never left me walking, but I was to broke to buy gas most of the time after the constant cost of parts. The voltage regulator, which I replace multiple times, or something had problems so you couldn't keep a headlight in it, and the taillight would go too, as would the main cdi. I put in a new stator coil? the coil on the end of the motor that supplies juice, that was after I lost all power out between Ophir and Cripple on a black night in February a few years back. That was fun riding using the headlight of the guy in front. The bolt would come out of the back of the starter bracket even though I would check it on a regular basis and then the starter would break the front bracket and fall down in the bottom of the tub. I actually broke the rear skid at one point, had to replace the main drive axle at another and went through a set of springs and shocks, and finally sold it cheap to some guy in Talkeetna on the condition that he never called me and complain. But I never ended up walking.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmunsell View Post
    2001 Skandic SWT 500 fan - the only good thing I can say is that it never left me walking, but I was to broke to buy gas most of the time after the constant cost of parts. The voltage regulator, which I replace multiple times, or something had problems so you couldn't keep a headlight in it, and the taillight would go too, as would the main cdi. I put in a new stator coil? the coil on the end of the motor that supplies juice, that was after I lost all power out between Ophir and Cripple on a black night in February a few years back. That was fun riding using the headlight of the guy in front. The bolt would come out of the back of the starter bracket even though I would check it on a regular basis and then the starter would break the front bracket and fall down in the bottom of the tub. I actually broke the rear skid at one point, had to replace the main drive axle at another and went through a set of springs and shocks, and finally sold it cheap to some guy in Talkeetna on the condition that he never called me and complain. But I never ended up walking.
    It is an achievement to never walk as a sled owner. Out of curiousity, how do you lose a stator and not walk?

  8. #8
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I think he was referring to the lighting coil. Separate coils for ignition and lighting systems. The machine will run just fine without the lighting coil.

    Back when I used to think it was actually fun to constantly work on sleds, I had more fun than one can handle with the Kawasaki Drifter 440. I think the *most* fun I can ever remember is breaking the throttle cable at the throttle lever on a late night just starting to head out of the Caribou Hills. My buddy and I frequently drove from Soldotna all the way down to the Hills and spent the weekend. So, towing a big iron sled and using a pair of needle-nose pliers to pull on the throttle cable where it exited at the center of the steering column, we made our way from 4-Corners back to Tustumena Lake road, up K-Beach to the Great Swamp, and on through to Wendy Lane and finally on to Gaswell. If you're ever looking for something more miserable than water boarding, try controlling a springer towing a load using pliers to run the throttle while being forced to remain in the sitting position with only one hand to steer.

    My buddy was always a Cat guy, though my Dad was a Polaris guy and his riding buddies included a Doo guy and a Yamaha guy. So, our group ventures always included at least 1 of every major brand. Naturally, with that first-hand experience, I quickly became a Cat guy.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkb View Post
    Some of the early Polaris efi are problem prone if you don't practice dilegent battery maintenance. If you leave them parked for months in the summer or winter you will have buy batteries when you want ride. Late 90s skidoo 583s can start hard they have no choke just a primer so I would never know if it was to much or to little priming. To much gotta pull the plugs to little and possible shoulder surgery from yanking that stupid rope. needless to say neither model will ever be on my place again.
    Old Polaris EFI sleds had a little black battery relay mounted out of sight under the battery tray. That little part was the cause of most dead batteries. Really easy to fix but rarely diagnosed.

    I've had lots of Polaris, several SkiDoos, and a handful of Yamahas. Never a Cat. Was tempted once, but the 600 Cat I rode for a week was so low on power compared to other 600s I walked away. F sleds ride nice, though. Current fav? SkiDoo's XP chassis. Polaris is catching up. The new F led looks really nice. Yamaha? In reverse and on the gas for all but the Professional line.

    Bad news? The SkiDoo front end is vulnerable to big hits and expensive to fix. Polaris can't build an 800 to save their lives. Cat? The Crossfire is way outdated. Time for a Twin Spar Crossfire.

  10. #10
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    1973 Skidoo Elan
    1979 Yamaha 440 Exciter
    1982 Yamaha ET 340 Enticer LT
    1984 Arctic Cat Panther
    1988 Arctic Cat Jag 340
    1992 Arctic Cat Jag 440
    1996 Polaris Trail Touring 488
    1999 Polaris Transport 440
    2006 Polaris FST
    2005 Polaris RMK 550
    1999 Polaris Transport 440
    1997 Polaris Transport 440

    Snowmachine I had the most problems with was the 2005 Polaris RMK 550, had to rebuild the engine twice and now it's waiting for a 3rd rebuild. First time had the crankshaft bearing changed out, piston rod replaced, 2 pistons with rings changed out, also resleeved the one cylinder, new gasket kit, also replaced the plastic oil injection drive gear with a metal drive gear. Second time around replaced 2 pistons and rings, both cylinders were honed. Now it has broke down for the 3rd time, left side piston lost compression. My son has a 2006 RMK 550 and he had the engine worked on twice. First time replaced both pistons and had a cylinder resleeved. 2nd time around both reed valve assemblies had to be replaced, and now for the 3rd time around on a "need to rebuild" his right side piston lost compression and is very likely damaged so guess I am gonna have to do the piston/cylinder replacement work all over again.
    Only snowmachine on the list that I never had engine problems with were the Elan and the Yamahas, shoulda kept my Yamaha ET 340 Longtrack. Sure was a good snowmachine back in it's day. Matter of fact the Elan was a good ride as well. Now I am gravitating back to the Polaris Transport 440, good engine, good fuel economy. Had one back in 99, sold it to my cousin, bought another 99 this winter, buying another 97 model for family use. So there it is my list of sleds and my favorites based on reliability, and the ones that I consider not so reliable. If I buy another new machine it will very likely be one of the Skidoo Scandik Tundra models, Yamaha Viking is starting to look pretty darn good too. Or maybe even find an older model Yamaha 340 ET Longtrack.

  11. #11
    Premium Member bmunsell's Avatar
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    yes, I was referring to the lighting coil, I just couldn't come up with the term, has something to do with too much oxygen here at sea level, I'm over jetted and stumbling around. LOL

    It's interesting that you have had so much trouble with the polaris 550. We have a friend with a 2004 Trail RMK and its been run hard with no problems in 2500 + miles, just oil and gas and go. I have a 2002 600 RMK that has close to 6000 miles on the orginal motor with no problems and a 2005 700 RMK that does okay until you get into the really fine powder and then it runs like crap. I've tried sealing up around the headlight and any areas that could be sucking raw air and installed a SLP big horn kit with the fine screens they sell, but still have the problem. Oh well. Still not walking.

  12. #12
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    i think our first was a Montgomery Wards the old man went to anchorage to buy in the 1960's. Then it was a Suzuki around 1970 or so. On my wife's side she still has her beat up old Rupp that she got when she was a kid. I think its a '69 model, hasn't run in years but she won't let it go. Then we went through a bunch of Cats and Yamahas through the years.

    I think I'm gonna get a new snowmachine next year...just a put put, thats lightweight. not sure which one yet.

  13. #13
    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    have (2) 2010 rmk 600's and besides one being sent from the dealer with an air sensor disconnected have had absolutely no problems with either of them. one has about 2600mi the other (the wifes) has about 1500mi. No issues to speak of and still on the original belts. (i checked mine and hardly any signs of wear but probably starting to stretch a little thinner after a couple thousand miles). Couldn't be happier with them. I can't say the same for some of my buddies that went the skidoo route.

  14. #14
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    '98 500 indy trail(About 5k miles)
    '99 500 indy trail(About 4.5k miles)
    '02 700 Edge(3k miles)
    '07 600 IQ Shift(3.5k miles)
    '06 "755cc" RMK IQ Chassis(Same big block thats off the 900 motor)

    The only problems were with my RMK, Since it was build off the original 900 big block it had some vibration, but not that bad. And loose wires in the wire harness. Which cause the headlight and dash to contantly blink... It also wasnt counting miles when the dash blinked, kinda made me think about all these "low mile sleds ''
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
    -Local 907 Riders Union
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