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Old 08-26-2014, 05:58 PM   #1
garandman OP
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School me on snowmobiles

We are buying a little place in NH that has great access to snowmobile trails. I'm sure by December my kids will want to give it a try.

But schooling myself on them isn't so easy. The manufactures seem to keep the same "family name" like Phazer or Venture, but change the specs of the machine and have different models with different engines, tracks etc.

I think I want a four stroke but don't have any good reason: there are lots of machines with two strokes. Having a reverse seems like it would be important for kids. And we'll need two, with one potentially accommodating two people.

Haven't set a budget but I'd rather spend a little more for something reliable and durable and that will hold value.

Suggestions? There's a 2012 Phazer (four stroke) for sale locally, and I have two recommendations: "buy it now" and "stay away."
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:34 PM   #2
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They're great fun until you get stuck. Then they're no fun.

4 stroke is quieter and much cleaner than a 2 smoke. Comes at a power/weight penalty though.

Snowmobiling is one of those kinds of sports where the richer you are the better you are.

Eastern US trails require a very different machine than western US mountains. (think track length, track depth, spiked track or not, engine size, ski configuration, etc.)

Search some of SnowMule's posts. He usually starts a snowmobile thread for each season.
Hmmm... Here ya go:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/searc...rchid=35924197
Happy reading!

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Old 08-26-2014, 06:44 PM   #3
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The phasers are a little underpowered so that's either a good thing or not.

I would suggest a 600 skidoo etec which is a great sled, reliable. It's a two stroke but great on gas. It's got enough power to be fun as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
We are buying a little place in NH that has great access to snowmobile trails. I'm sure by December my kids will want to give it a try.

But schooling myself on them isn't so easy. The manufactures seem to keep the same "family name" like Phazer or Venture, but change the specs of the machine and have different models with different engines, tracks etc.

I think I want a four stroke but don't have any good reason: there are lots of machines with two strokes. Having a reverse seems like it would be important for kids. And we'll need two, with one potentially accommodating two people.

Haven't set a budget but I'd rather spend a little more for something reliable and durable and that will hold value.

Suggestions? There's a 2012 Phazer (four stroke) for sale locally, and I have two recommendations: "buy it now" and "stay away."
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:50 PM   #4
Dave in Wi
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School me on snowmobiles

Yes you'll want reverse. Electric start is nice too.

If you want reliable and durable, the Polaris " Edge" chassis with the 500 or 600 twins can't be beat. These were made from around 2000-2005.

The hard part is finding a sled of that age that isn't beat to heck. They are out there though.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:00 PM   #5
Grainbelt
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If you like Jet-Skis, you'll love snowmobiles.

Otherwise, rent some stuff.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:26 PM   #6
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Make sure to get a trail sled if thats the type of area you are ridding, I have a 600 Ski-doo etec as a work sled and it's been a great machine.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:40 AM   #7
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Pick up a copy of uncle Henry's up in Maine, NH. Most sleds are listed there vs craigslist in this neck of the woods. Good deals can be had on pair too.

For kids, hard to go wrong with a 440 or 500. Anything 600 will be very fast for a kid. Don't know how old your kids are but there is no way in hell I'm letting my little ones on a 600 for their first riding experience. Think ninja 600 fast.

You might just pick up a pair of beater sleds like some Polaris Indys just to see if you like it. If so great flip them and buy a nice sled.

For you I'd want a 600 minimum. It's been awhile since I was buying sleds but I had a ski doo MXZ 600 and it was great fun. Very reliable too.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:28 AM   #8
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Great tips, what I was looking for. Really for the kids, who are 11-14, have some dirt bike experience, and maybe will visit neighbors as there are trails everywhere, right to the center of town where there is a gas station. The summit of Mt Sunapee is less than three miles away, Lake Sunapee less than four.

So reliable and durable trumps speed. An older 500 in good condition sounds like a plan. Basically the equivilent of a Honda CRF100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
If you like Jet-Skis, you'll love snowmobiles.
I despise jet skis, so that is in no way helpful. When I lived in Marblehead we used to boo them, give them a thumbs down, one of the fuel docks refused to sell them fuel, and the harbor master stopped every one he could for a "We don't like your kind around here." They are almost as unpopular as dirt bikes.

With a snow machine we will have winter access to several hundred square miles of park land. Without one, almost none. Sold the V-Strom so I can spend $4-5,000 without guilt.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:54 AM   #9
garandman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidoxidationman View Post
Search some of SnowMule's posts. He usually starts a snowmobile thread for each season.
Thanks, found another thread, though it was short on specifics.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1004302

Example from CL: 2005 Polaris Classic 550 with less than 500 miles. Crazy asking price but right kind of machine?

2002 Arctic Cat 660 4 stroke with electric start, reverse, mirrors, grip heaters. Owner says it will go 6-65mph max and is a good beginner sled. $2,500

2004 Polaris 340 Classic? Sounds like it might be good for my kids?
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:38 AM   #10
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Yeah that's the basic idea. Remember your kids are going to be new to sleds even with some dirt biking experience. I remember when I was that age riding sled in Maine growing up. There were a lot of unexplained cowling cracks bent skis ripped seats etc.

If you have 4-5k I would def be buying two. It's fun to go out in pairs and having two sleds is way better than just one. I'd buy a nice 4k sled for yourself and a 1k older smaller sled for the kids. Once they have learned the ropes on the beater sled, they can take out dads 600 and proceed to beat the crap out of that one. Having a second newb sled is a good idea when their friends come up skiing and want to go out. You can turn them loose on the beater and not worry too much.

The equivalent of a crf100 isn't anything you have listed. A 550 will probably do close to a 100 and they are a lot different than a bike esp regarding stopping.

A 340 is closer to a crf100.

Here's what I would buy, I'm partial to ski doo only because I have had awesome luck with them, but they are all pretty good.

http://nh.craigslist.org/snw/4634744217.html

And

http://nh.craigslist.org/snw/4636520538.html
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
...So reliable and durable trumps speed. ...
In that case, seriously look at the Yamaha 4 strokes. Nothing beats them for reliability (in my personal, slightly biased opinion...been riding Yamaha's since the early 80's).

The Venture is a great 2-up sled, and has plenty of power (120 hp). My wife has one, and I have ridden it plenty...no complaints.

The Phazers are fun, and great size/power specs for younger riders. My buddy's 15 year old son has one, and loves it.

The Vectors are also a great mid-powered sled (they also have 120 hp, so definitely not under powered). The older version of these were called the Rage.

Seriously consider getting 136" tracks...the extra length will ride smoother, and comes in handy if you venture off the trails.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:52 AM   #12
garandman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
The equivalent of a crf100 isn't anything you have listed. A 550 will probably do close to a 100 and they are a lot different than a bike esp regarding stopping.

A 340 is closer to a crf100.

Here's what I would buy, I'm partial to ski doo only because I have had awesome luck with them, but they are all pretty good.

http://nh.craigslist.org/snw/4634744217.html

And

http://nh.craigslist.org/snw/4636520538.html
Awesome, thanks, I want to pick one or two that are solid and go through them or take them in for dealer service well in advance of the first snowflake.

This is more my style for winter travel....
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:59 AM   #13
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Yeah well you'll be singing a different tune when you gets some awesome powder over the windshield and are carving some virgin turns on your sweet sled.

Snowmobiles are such fun, right up until they arent
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:56 AM   #14
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Snow machines

Garandman,

I have two Polaris 600 machines and an enclosed trailer that I am thinking
of selling. Not ridden much. One is a 600 lightweight triple and the other is
a 600 with fuel injection. Both two strokes. Trailer is Sled doc, enclosed.
Both are quick, fun and reliable. I think they only have about 3k on them.
I would sell very reasonably - 3500.00 or so for the whole deal.
Might be a bit quick for the kids but never too young to learn throttle
control. And for you, the lightweight 600 triple will lift the skis two feet
off the snow when you punch it. Lots of fun, little time and my youngest
is now 28 and on to other things.
Send me a pm if interested, not on flea market as I was waiting till closer
to winter.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:11 AM   #15
sailah
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Damn that's a smoking deal even without the trailer.
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