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Thread: Utility Sleds? Which to buy? Tough question in my book.

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    Member akflyer's Avatar
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    Cool Utility Sleds? Which to buy? Tough question in my book.

    I know another one of these, just got some property, almost groomed trail access. Building a cabin. Need a hauler/ride in machine. A friend has been leaning on me to find a Polaris LX Widetrack. I'm leaning to a Bearcat 570, and another friend uses a Scandic 550WT. I have had NO experience with any off these, let the opinions fly!!!! Thanks,

    Lynn

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    SkiDoo expedition. It'll do the work and can still go out and play. Best all-around sled in my opinion. There are better haulers and better play sleds but none better at compromising between the two.

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    You buying new or used? All three machines can do what you want.

    To clarify I believe Pid is talking about the widetrack version of expedition.

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    just because i like pictures the start of my new generator shed with the 570 xt bearcat
    not a big load but about 1500 lbs the beams and 16 concrete block in the bottom
    to balance the tail wieght
    and sure is a nice ride

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    True, the SE and LE are 20 x 154. The Sport is 16 x 154 but the Sport probably doesn't have the ponies to spin a 20" track. I've not seen a Sport in action. It should be fun, too.

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Correct on the new ones. If akflyer looks used then the exp. sport is something that won't do the job with it's 136 track. I've got the original TUV and it is great. 7200 miles of work and play and still think it is the best 20" out there. Then there is the 24".......hehe.

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    From what I gather, from chatting with you on the phone, you're trying to go used right? In that case, any two-up widetrack will do well for yah. I personally like them all. The Bearcat Widetrak has that wide ratio clutch, but I prefer an actual two speed transfer case. The Skandic Widetracks seem to be the most popular where I go, but I do see all the utility machines. I just hauled a good 1200 lbs load and did so in low gear. I just put-put along at 12 mph. 12 mph on a Widetrack puts you just above 5000 rpms in low gear. This allows the clutch to grab nice and tight on the belt, but still give yah good fuel mileage. The only reason I went with the Widetrak LX (at the time), was because it's much better on fuel than the 550 ski doo motor, the 540 Yamaha Viking motor, and the 550 liquid cooled Arctic cat. I pulled the big load for 37 miles and only burnt 3-4 gallons of gas. It's actually a good thing to go with a big machine, and a smaller one for commuting and smaller loads. The smaller machines like the Tundra, the Bearcat 340, the Polaris 340 indy lite gt, and the Yahama Bravo. My father always taught me that anything over 2000 miles on a sled is just too much, Alaska taught me otherwise. Don't get too caught up on mileage with utility machines, they are usually owned by mature adults who don't do dumb sht to their machines like reeds, pipes, or pinning the throttle to climb a mountains every day. The thing I admire about the Widetrak LX, is that my 2000 model is the SAME THING as the 2011 model LX........that oughta tell yah something. Over a decade of the same machine........that's for a reason.

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    The original post that started this thread said he had "almost groomed trail access". So that would say that pretty much any non-play sled will work.

    I agree with the previous poster. The fact that the late 90's LX Widetracks are basically the same as the 2011 ones says something.

    'Cuz snowmobiles cost so much - I don't bash or bolster brands. If you got something that you can afford, you like it and it does the job - that's all that matters. Seems like Ski-doo 4 stroke SWTs are big with freight haulers that can afford them. But I see P's, Y's and AC's hauling too.

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    A friend of mine is running a 2010 polaris IQ wide trak 600. That thing pulls an incredible load at 35-50 down the trail/river in HIGH gear. It drives like a cadillac and is super smooth when not towing. It can play out in the powder and seems really good on the fuel. Plus it has the larger fuel tank, if I'm not mistaken it is 14 gal. The work-light on back makes it great for running loads at night as well.He has only put it in low twice! Once, was to get up a hill that he had stopped halfway up with about 1500 lbs of wood on a solid 35-40* hill and the other time was getting that same load of wood out of the forest in about 2-2.5 feet of snow. neither time did that track spin out when it was in low. it just went. I have been exceptionally impressed with this machine and how it handles, I also really like the power that the 600 has when you need it. On that thing you can do 50 or 60 and not think your above 25-30, it rides and drives that nice. I seen these used once in a great while but my dealership up here always has good deals in the spring on their demo model.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    I think any of those machines will serve you well.

    One thing I like about my 2010 Bearcat 570XT is the optional winch. I got it with the option of switching it between front or rear mounting. And it's come in handy a few times.

    There is a recall on a whole slew of 2010 Arctic cat snowmachines. I'm talking from memory now, so take it with a grain of salt. Out of 16,000 machines sold 13 have developed a crack in the front suspension. They have a bolt on reinforcement for a fix. I'm guessing those 13 machines were driven a lot harder than I drive mine. I give Arctic Cat brownie points for addressing this with only 13 failures.

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    Almost all of these guys recommend the bulldozer sleds; heavy, high sitting, quite tippy in powder. I guess if you are driving on "groomed" trails that look like highways. But if you plan on going off-road, try to find a 2008 (last year made), 570 Bearcat. 156x16" track, you sit low and exceedingly comfortable, and it doesn't feel like you're riding a park bench, try this with a SWT and it is decidedly uncomfortable. You don't need an electric winch, 3-guys and a case of dynomite to get it out when you get stuck, it is fully loaded with goodies, has a 13-gallon tank, is fan-cooled and the best part: it's not a Ski-Doo. Now before all the Doo folks start ragging me, out here machines are tools unlike the toys they are in the occupied territories, they are used until they fall apart. Unfortunately, with the exception of one or two here and there, the Doo's seem to fall apart quite a bit sooner. I am unfamiliar with the newer Pols, but the older ones are bulletproof.

    As for my Bearcat, I was uncomfortable with buying it as I had always owned Pol, but I have had 5k trouble-free miles on it. At 22 miles I had the upper chaincase bearing shatter, and I've changed 2 speedo keys (50 cents). That is all. I am on the original plugs and even the original belt! There are several out here and they are all still running around. Best of all, they are the same platform for nearly six years (I think), and the 570 has been around for 10 and more years so parts are easy to find and the sled is dirt simple to work on. Lastly, when I was looking to buy in '08 (I bought an '07 leftover), the AC was $7.5k while the Doo's were $10k. Bingo.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    .... try to find a 2008 (last year made), 570 Bearcat. 156x16" track.....
    Why do you say 2008 was the last year made?

    I bought a new 570 Bearcat in 2010 with a 156"x20" track.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    From Hauling wieght to hill climbing my Tundra has never let me down and it has stunned more than one person in Turnagin pass! Fast, light, manuverable and not at all shy about getting work done.
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Rick P.,
    What kind of weight are you hauling on the Tundra and what year is it?
    I picked up a '94 Tundra II LT this year and have been hauling some decent loads. (55 - 2x6 studs on one load, another load w/14 sheets of T1-11, and so on)
    Just curious if I am being easy on her or not?!
    BK

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akflyer View Post
    ... almost groomed trail access. Building a cabin. Need a hauler/ride in machine... I'm leaning to a Bearcat 570... I have had NO experience with any off these, let the opinions fly!!!!
    Bearcat, bearcat, bearcat - that's THE best answer. Proven & simple.

    In regard to "groomed trail access", you can toss together a 2x4 frame drag and make your own groomed trails pretty dang quick, so that's not really a factor.
    Winter is Coming...

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    You don't happen to have a picture or a sketch of that 2X4 frame drag you mention. I have been thinking of putting something like that together. Nothing real fancy, just something simple to smooth out a trail to the cabin.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matanuska View Post
    You don't happen to have a picture or a sketch of that 2X4 frame drag you mention. I have been thinking of putting something like that together. Nothing real fancy, just something simple to smooth out a trail to the cabin.
    <---- Like he said. I'd love to see something that works too. I've been wanting to build a drag frame but wasn't sure how to go about it.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I would have to agree with Rick P. I have 2 Tundras a 99 Tundra R and a 2008 LT 550F and they are a great sleds.
    I don't tow real heavy loads mostly just some icefishing gear or occasionally some winter camping stuff.
    Never more than a few hundred pounds. But these sleds do well at it and the 550F is fun to play with off trail or on.
    I am currently riding a 2011 Expedition Sport 600ACE and really like this sled as well.
    That ACE motor is very torquey and the fuel mileage is incredible. I also just love the comfort and handling of the XP chassis on that one.
    My girlfriend has been riding the Tundra and she likes it although I do need to make some suspension adjustments to make it how she wants it. Thats an easy one though. And both these sleds have good suspensions that the 99 Tundra is really lacking. I do understand that it really wasn't made for serious trail riding though but a newer Tundra has the suspension to handle it just fine.
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  19. #19

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    mainer in ak

    " The only reason I went with the Widetrak LX (at the time), was because it's much better on fuel than the 550 ski doo motor, the 540 Yamaha Viking motor, and the 550 liquid cooled Arctic cat. "

    I'll pull you pound for pound with my 550 bearcat for fuel milage any day!!!!

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    The 2009 Bearcat design was switched to the new Bulldozer platform. Google for photos.

    It appears Pol has decided to switch to the IQ platform for the Widetrack too.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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