Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Best mtn sled for AK??

  1. #1
    Member jockomontana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    seward
    Posts
    336

    Default Best mtn sled for AK??

    howdy all...

    I'm looking for some opinions on the best all-around mtn sled for Alaskan conditions. I currently have an '01 RMK 700 but I'm looking to upgrade
    to a newer model chassis... probably Polaris or Ski-doo... either 144 or 156... and relatively stock.

    I use it primarily to ride in the mountains and I'm looking for something that's lightweight and reliable in the remote backcountry,
    yet capable of hauling a gear trailer or doubling up a climb with a skier.

    I'm 5'10, 170lbs, and know how to ride... though I havent spent much time on the newer sleds...

    thanks and cheers!

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    153" M8 should get it done. I think that you can still mount their heavy duty hitch to it. The hitch that I put on my 1M came with a tunnel stiffener kit that worked great.

  3. #3
    Member franklinfleagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    wasilla, ak
    Posts
    109

    Default

    i would try to get on one of the new sleds and give it a test drive if you can, they are all really really good sleds this day in age, if anybody tells you that one brand is straight up better than the other tell them they are the dumbest person you ever met, lol, hopefully brand wars won't start up here in a few minutes, but you will be happy with any of the brand new sleds and its more of a decision of what fits you and your riding style better and they are so dang close these days some people are making their decisions on who has the better service after the sale, so if your doo dealer is better than your polaris guy maybe u should buy doo and vice versa if your polaris dealer is better than your doo guy than go polaris, try call either them up see if they have some basic parts in stock, see how long their service department is typically booked up, ask around see what people like and don't like about each particular brand in your area, where do you typically ride, i see you are from seward, so i am assuming lost lake as most my buddies around there love riding lost lake, anyways make that decision on your own, don't let anybody out there tell you that doo polaris or arctic cat is better than the other... you can pretty much forget about yamaha if your gonna be playing off trail and in the mountains, way too heavy to be stuck on all day in the deep snow, one day of 4 feet mashed potato snow and you'll forget about all the reliability in the world that yamaha has to offer....

  4. #4

    Default



    Too much depends on the rider to say which is best.... What works for me might not work for you. I agree with finding a dealer for the brand YOU like and I'm sure they match you with a sled.
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

  5. #5

    Default

    By the way "if it's not a cat... it's a dog"! Oops, see there I go....
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

  6. #6
    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Anchor Pt
    Posts
    682

    Default

    I have rode and owned every brand of snowmachine made today and many that have not been made for over 30 years. I think that one of the largest factors of how good a machine is, lays with the dealer. If the dealer is good and will work with you if the machine has a problem (and they all do) they can make the experience with that machine good. If the dealer is not customer friendly (and there are some that are not) you will not be happy with that machine, no matter what the brand. Ask around of your friends, what their experiences has been with the dealers and then go and talk with them yourself. I have always not only talked with the sales person, but also the shop/repair person as this is normally who you will deal with after the sale if there is a problem. If they are willing to talk to you about maintenance/repair that you are trying to do yourself, this is always a big plus.
    Retirement Plan - Having Fun and Still Learning

  7. #7
    Member icb12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,038

    Default

    2011 Pro RMK

  8. #8
    Member jockomontana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    seward
    Posts
    336

    Default

    thanks for the replies... customer service considerations is sound advice but unfortunately, I'm not that rich or looking to lease... I'd much prefer to buy a lightly used sled, ideally one that has been well maintained and merely just traded in for the latest, greatest model. I realize that most sleds these days are quite comparable and it becomes a matter of rider preference... though, I suppose there's something to be said about looking for which sleds are NOT up for sale, as often... as people are likely holding on to the ones they truly love, and when they do go up for sale, they go quick!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jockomontana View Post
    thanks for the replies... customer service considerations is sound advice but unfortunately, I'm not that rich or looking to lease... I'd much prefer to buy a lightly used sled, ideally one that has been well maintained and merely just traded in for the latest, greatest model. I realize that most sleds these days are quite comparable and it becomes a matter of rider preference... though, I suppose there's something to be said about looking for which sleds are NOT up for sale, as often... as people are likely holding on to the ones they truly love, and when they do go up for sale, they go quick!
    That is a good idea and I buy craigslist specials as well and save myself the $2000K value drop over the first two years of a new sled and pic up 2 and 3 year old sleds with low miles. Regardless of if buying new or used there, dealership still comes into place IMO. If you plan on keeping your sled for a while things WILL break if you are using your sled and a lot of the time you can fix it yourself, and a good dealer will help you when you stop by or call in with specific questions. But even if the repair is beyond your control you want to be able to take it to a trusted dealer to get it fixed right.

    Something to keep in mind at least. Good luck in finding the sled you want, you will have a ton of fun regardless of what brand you choose.

  10. #10
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,453

    Default

    i've bought two sleds of craigstlist and both of them left me hanging...i can't swing wrenches very well though.
    mt sleds...its like buying a truck, they'll all work if the engines running and tracks spinning.
    i've had a skidoo highmark with a 151" and now i have a M8 sno pro with a 153...
    i loved them both. i would never buy a sled less than a 800cc...never felt i had too much power, but felt like i needed more plenty of times!
    the 150" range is a great track size, still trails well but gits it on the powder snow and will climb just about anything that you really wanna drive down. tons of fun.
    brand don't matter to much i don't think, as long as it runs well and don't leave you stranded. little things you can change, risers, aftermarket mods and so on.
    one thing i didn't like was a ported track, i avoided buying a machine with a ported track, drove one once in sugar snow and could just feel it sink. also heard horror stories of guys skippin' water with them. so i like a track with no windows down the middle.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  11. #11
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    503

    Default

    http://en-us.ski-doo.com/showroom/summit/x/details.aspx

    Ski-Doo Summit 800 E-Tec bad to the bone!!
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

  12. #12
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    Jake, were you able to get a heavy duty hitch for your M8? I have a great one on my 2004 1M 800. None of that crummy "bumper hitch" stuff.

  13. #13
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,453

    Default

    i got the heavy duty bumper with a pintle (j style) hitch on it. didn't come with any tunnel reinforcments, but i dont' think for what i'm pulling that i'd need one.

    the etec is a sweet sled, little more spendy to buy and even more spendy to fix.
    whatever you can afford you'll love it to death if it runs right....thats the key.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    951

    Default

    Jockomontana,

    I went from an 2001 RMK 800 151 to an 2011 M8 153 and it is night and day. The newer sleds handle much better and put out more hp for the same size motor. I've used the RMK to pull boarders/skiers up hill and that was a blast. Haven't tried it yet with the M8 but I have no doubt it would pull up steeper terrain.

  15. #15
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,453

    Default

    every day i ride my M8 amazes me..stepped off in waist deep looser powder, pulled myself back on and just walked that sled around on a slow put put then canned it and jumped right out like a boat on water...awesome..no more snowplowing and you can cut a line on a sidehill like nothing i've ever road!
    i'm over 1800 miles on my 2011 M8...a spring bear hunt and i should be over 2600....
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    every day i ride my M8 amazes me..stepped off in waist deep looser powder, pulled myself back on and just walked that sled around on a slow put put then canned it and jumped right out like a boat on water...awesome..no more snowplowing and you can cut a line on a sidehill like nothing i've ever road!
    i'm over 1800 miles on my 2011 M8...a spring bear hunt and i should be over 2600....
    Dang Jake you are racking up the miles for sure. When you go to sell it are you going to tell them it was "all highway" well maybe 50% highway atleast. The rest was trail breaking, alder crashing, and cornice dropping

  17. #17
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Dang Jake you are racking up the miles for sure. When you go to sell it are you going to tell them it was "all highway" well maybe 50% highway atleast. The rest was trail breaking, alder crashing, and cornice dropping
    I have a feeling Jake is invested in that sled now. Time to buy a good service manual and learn it inside and out. Running miles like that you might as well budget to do a full tear down and rebuild every off season. I am sure sleds will get "better" but I doubt that we will see any revolutionary changed from the current "rider forward" designs in the near future. The EFI system on the current sleds is a tried and true design as are the blocks so there really isn't anything about them that can't be expected to provide a long life with proper maintenance.

    True but at 2,500 miles per year that is 10K miles. Granted I know guys with Scandics and Tundras run 20-30K miles at times, but these sleds will be very tired after that many miles and become more of a liability usually especially with 5 digit miles on them. Once out of warranty I'd dump it on craigslist and get another one.

  18. #18
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,453

    Default

    i have a four year warranty on my sled, cause i knew i'd be riding it.
    did a lube change and once over at 1700 miles and everythings good so far. i might talk to cat this summer and see what they think of the mileage on my sled and whats some precautions i can take. i bought it to ride it.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  19. #19
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Skwentna, AK
    Posts
    854

    Default

    We got a 06 RMK, that has the same big block off the bad 900 motor, but its a 755cc sled. LOTS of torque and pulls hard. The 2011 Pro RMK is a very light sled but the same factor with polaris's pro ride chassis, NO STORAGE. Still great and I dont really mind riding with a backpack on..
    -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
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AKMackdaddy?feature=mhee

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •