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newby needs advice on older snowmachine?

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  • newby needs advice on older snowmachine?

    anyone know if a polaris 97 classic 500 touring, and a 96 polaris XLT 600 touring machine would be a good first machine? or should I look at newer ones. or anyone have a brand in mind. Wife and I are retired but not dead yet.

  • #2
    Trail Riding?

    Not bad machines but they do burn a lot of gas and are really just Trail Machines!!! Don't get them stuck, they are a little heavy and have only 1 inch paddles on the tracks. They are geat to run the store or resturant, and go for a cruise on the trails, or even for the Tok to Dawson run. They have a great ride if you set them right.
    Good Luck!!!
    Trail Boss
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    ALASKA'S Winter Park Cabins
    To boldly make trail where no man has gone before!!!


    • #3
      So, what would be a better choice? Would like a fan cooled model. Heard Polaris 550 fan models have sever problems.


      • #4
        type of riding?

        What do you think you want to do the most? And what does your partner want to do? It might be a good idea to check to see if both of your interests or expectations are similar.
        My guess is that for the most part, especially if you strike out on your own, will be trail riding. There are lots of them in South Central. If that is the case, the machines you mentioned will work great, and should not break the bank to buy. They'll also do pretty well in powder.
        Depending on mileage and how hard they were ridden, you may need to do a little suspension work to get them back into shape so they have a comfortable ride.
        The 500s have lots of power for that type of riding. The 600, for a novice, could be scary on the top end. Even though the XLT was built for a lot of years, and that engine is really solid, I am personally not a triples fan. It is one more cylinder to maintain. That is not the end of the world, just take it into account with your own abilities.
        The fan cooled sleds are lighter, and when driven on packed trails, especially in warm weather do not overheat. Some of the fan cooled sleds will put heat back by the driver too. No such perk with a liquid sled.
        The Polaris 440s with the 432 engine, the 500 with the 488 come in both liquid cooled and fan cooled depending on the machine. They are both great engines. The 550 is also very dependable. I really can't see a problem with choosing any of them. Another good sled is the Polaris Lite in a 340. The GT model is the long track.
        Buy sleds based on what you are going to do, at least in the beginning. As you become better riders, and learn the trails and places to go, you might outgrow those sleds. If so, sell them and upgrade to what fits. Good luck, have fun, and safe riding.
        And one more thing. Buy your wife the best, most comfortable gear you can find. Help her enjoy every moment on the trail. Those efforts will pay dividends.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jkswor View Post
          So, what would be a better choice? Would like a fan cooled model. Heard Polaris 550 fan models have sever problems.

          The 550 have trouble with cooling and eating pistons/cylinders.
          A bunch of them have gone down in the bush and lower 48.
          They have trouble with what is basically trail speeds.
          Take a look at snowest in the polaris section big thread on the 550.
          The 500 motor is about as bomb proof as you can get.
          Sit on a few different sleds and try ask for some rides.
          Have fun.


          • #6
            I agree with badriverman, the polaris 488 cc is the most bombproof motor that polaris has ever made......period. My father has 6,000 hard miles on his without a single issue. I have 2,300 miles on mine (polaris widetrack) without a single issue to date. flip the choke pull the cord and go anywhere. I've hauled well over a 1000 pounds with that torque monster motor with no problems. Isn't too bad on gas......way better than the big triples.


            • #7
              Mainer, Did you resolve your heating issues? what did you come up with? that early am running like driving on concrete.+1 to the 500/488 Is a Good engine I still have my widetrack 92 12,000 or about, never had the motor apart. The 550 They had a lot of trouble with. I don,t know about the 600 never owned one of them. How ever First early 90,s XLT triple had issue with bearings and that 3 cyclinder, Something about getting lubercation to it.Sound like you are looking at these to buy? Have someone Ck them out for you they are over 10 yrs old, How many miles on them?
              Last edited by SusitnaAk; 04-07-2009, 06:57. Reason: more
              Remember, Mother nature has no forgiveness for stupidity.
              If you don't care where you are, your not lost


              • #8
                I bolted on a pair of scrapers that have flexible (cable) scrapers that throw snow at the heat exchangers. They seem to work. I would like to run a radiator someday too.


                • #9
                  Good deal. every little bit helps this time of yr,
                  Remember, Mother nature has no forgiveness for stupidity.
                  If you don't care where you are, your not lost


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