Author Topic: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks  (Read 528 times)

Offline MT-Trout Slayer

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Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« on: Feb 28, 2021, 10:55 AM »
Considering a Honda 520 w/tracks for ice fishing and other uses. Already have a Pioneer 1000 so familiar with the good & bad of the product line. Looking ahead to retiring in a few years and fishing much more. We can get considerable slush and I know there is no good solution but how does a sxs/tracks compare to snowmobile?

I would lean toward a 4-stroke snowmobile but have not run a newer class machine - used to run a skidoo citation w/pull behind sled. I am thinking a SxS would also stretch out the early and late access with the low snow amounts we seem to be getting.

Any feedback from guys running one or the other and points I may be missing would be appreciated. I have an open trailer that would handle either machine as far as transport but would consider an enclose trailer for other uses. Thanks.

Offline SpitzoMT

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #1 on: Feb 28, 2021, 11:15 AM »
Just curious.....Any particular reason you wouldn't just get a track set up for your Pioneer 1000 ??
        

Offline Gamalot

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #2 on: Feb 28, 2021, 11:21 AM »
The biggest drawback to ATVs and S X S machines with tracks or not is when they get high centered in the deep snow and slush. I hate slush with a passion but it sure appears that snowmobiles do better in it to a degree. My Snowdog does a decent job in some slush but once it gets buried it sure is a PITA to get it out. Last year I did watch a few snowmobiles stuck in deep slush and a S X S with tracks did rescue them without much trouble. We don't often get real deep snow and slush around this part of NY and it was a rare instance with about a foot of snow on top and 6 full inches of slush beneath it. The tracked S X S did great but would have had trouble if there was much deeper stuff on top. Regular ATVs and even ones with chains all around were dead on arrival unless they had a very high lift kit on them.
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Offline Skywagon

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #3 on: Feb 28, 2021, 01:21 PM »
Since you already have a SXS and are open to a snowmobile here are my thoughts.  No contest on how nice the new snowmobiles ride and handle compared to the old ones, you will find plenty of power in the newer 4-strokes to keep you out of trouble, a lot of the older machines would power out in deep slush because they did not have the HP, not so much the newer ones.   Early or late snow you would probably do fine with wheels.  Where I live we usually have 5 months of ice, I can't think of any time that having both a 4-wheeler/SXS on wheels and a snowmobile that one or the other would not get me to any fishing spot I want to go, if I thought tracks were the thing I would have them.  Another consideration is that tracks sure make a mess for snowmobiles to try to drive in, they and snowmobiles are just not compatible. 

Offline MT-Trout Slayer

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #4 on: Feb 28, 2021, 08:43 PM »
I use the Pioneer 1000 for plowing so the plow and aggressive chains stay on it all the time. Mainly, I'm less wanting to travel with it, especially in the winter as it weights 2000 lbs w/accessories as opposed to much less for a 520 or sled. It's significantly heavier as an ice vehicle - like driving a car on the ice and in NW Montana the ice sometimes isn't very thick.

I am thinking the 520 would be better to haul around the state as a hunting rig, would fit in a enclosed trailer better and easier to extract if problems arise such as a breakdown. A snowmobile would have to be a two-up so wife or friend could go as well & sxs would accommodate two & dog.

Sometimes it's a matter of getting to a lake rather than driving out to the fishing grounds and either would work for that as long as there's adequate snow. Seems like the sxs would excel if there wasn't enough snow for a sled, either early winter or late when bare patches start showing up.

I appreciate the input on the slush & power of the newer sleds maybe overcoming that obstacle. If money and storage space weren't an issue, it would be ideal to have one of each. Not much into recreational riding on a snow machine any more so purely utilitarian.

Offline chaumontriverguy

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #5 on: Mar 01, 2021, 04:52 AM »
i have a can am outlander 800 with tracks , and multiple long tracked older sleds and a 2019 polaris titan adventure 800 with a 20x154 track , if you have a low snow year the wheeler is the way to go ,but it has drawbacks it'll run through slush as long as u stay moving it's main problem is it'll cover u in snow and or slush and it has no backup recoil if u have a battery issue . now my sled has a studded deep lug (1.75) track it has a radiator and road wheel kit for low snow conditions and high and low range with reverse and a back up recoil . if money is no object and i had to choose sled wins hands down it's low range,  monster track for traction and flotation and huge horsepower (155) it has a built in gps and it's roughly same price as my outlander with tracks , that being said i can use the wheeler year round so it's cost effective and it doesn't require a trailer . I made a rack so everything mounts on it , hut, auger and multiple buckets and i drive it into back of truck i usually use it if trailer parking is an issue . So i guess it depends on your situation but the sled is my go to usually especially on big water my 2 cents

Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #6 on: Mar 01, 2021, 05:10 AM »




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Offline badger132

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Re: Snowmobile vs S X S with Tracks
« Reply #7 on: Mar 01, 2021, 12:15 PM »
I am familiar with the snowmobile route. I run an old Tundra that weighs just over 350lb. Has what would be considered a short track nowadays, very small worn out lugs, and no power. It never gets stuck. If I bog down, it is easy to lift the back, and walking alongside, it climbs right out of the slush. The other vehicle I have seen do well is an ATV with tracks- they guy just goes slow, and does not break through. In both cases, I think the solution is low PSI on the snow, and low speed. I would try to figure out what the PSI is for the vehicles you are considering, fully loaded.
An ATV is the wettest and windiest ride, the snowmobile the most civil.
Guys in the ID/MT backcountry also run snow runners- huge tired Toyota pickups with 6-8 PSI and 2 transfer cases to get double low. Has anyone ever tried them for slush? They also use the slow and careful driving style to stay on top of the snow.
In all cases, remember it is the heaviest rig out there that falls through first. We see almost no snowmobiles, a few ATVs, and mostly side by sides go through around here.

 



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