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Author Topic: choosing a snowmobile  (Read 7236 times)


  • Guest
choosing a snowmobile
« on: Nov 28, 2001, 12:24 PM »
I live in northern Wisconsin and am shopping for an ice fishing/trail riding snowmobile. Needs to be long track, 2-up, not sure if liquid or fan. Plan to use on trips to Minnesota & Ontario breaking trails, towing 1-3 sleds, etc. Anybody have any opinions or suggestions as to what machine might work out best? What about Ski-Doo Skandic or Polaris Wide Track? Anyone have experience with these types of machines? Concerned about trail riding capabilities. Rode a 2000 Polaris(model?) fan, long track, 2-up last year...very nice, but not sure of off-trail, etc. Thank you for any responses!


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #1 on: Nov 29, 2001, 04:43 PM »
I prefer an older model they seem better siuted to the task of ice fishing...


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #2 on: Nov 29, 2001, 05:22 PM »
These days brand doesn't matter. Snowmobiles have been fine tuned over the years and brand doesn't really reflect quality. Of course you have your die-hards who will live and die by a brand name, it's all personal preference. As long as the model you are choosing is equipped with the options and technical specifications you desire, you will be pleased. The biggest task when shopping for a sled is to be patient and make sure you get what you want. As to your question about polaris versus the ski-doo skandic, it's all about what you prefer. Skandics are tough sleds, perfect for ice fishing. Here in maine they are the choice snowmobile of most of our game wardens. They are built to be rugged and were designed with the worker in mind. But the only problem is that if you decide to do a lot of trail riding, their suspension is not as desirable as that of the polaris. The polaris is by no means any weaker or more fragile of a sled. My only other thought is that MAYBE the polaris being a wider track and all, might burn more gas, simply because of weight, and might be pain in the *** if you get it stuck. I personally own an Arctic Cat and a Yamaha, i use the arctic cat for riding and either for fishing. it really doesn't matter. hope this helps out a little.



  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #3 on: Dec 28, 2002, 06:37 PM »
Not many answers to this question. Any one else have an opinion. I will be in the market for a sled soon and not sure what to get.

Offline Smelt1

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Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #4 on: Dec 29, 2002, 03:51 AM »
Not sure if your looking for a new sled or a used one.I have the artic cat bearcat wide track.The new bearcat comes with the new 4 stroke engine which gives you a real quiet ride as well as unparrelled fuel economy in a sled.I perfer the bearcat over the other sleds because of the 20" wide track as well as the 156" long track.It has unbelievable pulling power I've actually used it to pull trees out of the woods like a skidder,so it will pull the largest of shacks easily.The one drawback to this sled is that it is 11.1/2' long! It hangs out over most snowmobile trailers.And because of its weight(692 lbs.)Its not practicle to put in the back of a pickup.But as others have said it comes down to personal preferance and your pocket book.One other thing to keep in mind these so called utillity sleds are not built for trail riding comfort with 2 riders as there suspension is lacking over other model sleds.


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #5 on: Dec 29, 2002, 10:20 AM »
as you have read it is mainly up to what you plan on doing with it and looks. the artic cat bearcat is a great sled for pulling and on the ice. as for trails or off the trails i would go with a Yamaha v-max. that is just me.  :) good luck

Offline kenelz

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Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #6 on: Dec 29, 2002, 02:29 PM »
I have a Polaris 700 Indy and a Artic Cat 700 Mountain cat. Both these sleds and about any other will work. If you want it primarly for a work sled, I too would suggest you look at the Bearcat. You might post this question on RSS newsgroup. (Rec Sport Snowmobile).
You wont find one sled to be perfect for both these applications, sleds are really specialized now,(just like motorcycles:trail, motocross, cruisers, hill climbers etc).


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #7 on: Dec 29, 2002, 04:57 PM »
   WOW banjeau, what a LOADED QUESTION, HAHA!!! that's what is great about this site ask a question and you could get 1/000's of differant ideas.
   I own a '96 Skandic Wide Track with a 500 fan cooled motor, a 20 x 156" track and I must say has done any thing I have asked of it, I ride a Touring LE 440 most of the time but only to save the Skandic for DeeeP snow and hard going, I've run it in 30" of slush before and runs like a big paddle wheel. It is a great sled, and it may not have the greatest suspention, but the great seat more than makes up for it.
   I also ran a 440 Bearcat for a while ( my son owned one for a while, but decided it wasn't for him) I thought it was a nice sled.
   I don't know much about the Polaris.
   If I didn't want the Skandic so bad when I bought it and didn't know as much then as I do know about the Yamaha VK640, I would have hunted the Vk down and bought one, IMHO the Yamaha is the best choice, it is the machine that most snowmobile clubs in my area buy to groom their smaller trails with, my local club has 2, and swear by them, and if it matters to you they will blow a Skandic away. They seem to be quite bullet proof, and if I was to buy another work utility sled that's where I'd spend my money. The problem is finding one.
   Hey Mike how have you been? PSSS, got the shack out today!!!

Offline mnfishman

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Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #8 on: Dec 31, 2002, 04:18 AM »
Get yourself a fourwheeler.  If you are fishing in Minnesota there might not be enough snow to trail ride and then you will be stuck on the lake.  Last year all my friends with sleds put a whopping 100 miles on them due to no snow.  Polaris Sportsman 500 is the way to go...

Sorry I hate sleds.  Can't see spending $7000 for something that you can only use 4 months out of the year.  I guess if I lived in Alaska it would be a different story.

Offline Trevor

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Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #9 on: Dec 31, 2002, 04:50 AM »
I agree with mnfisherman.  I live in Canada.  We haven't had enough snow the past three winters to justify the expense of a snowmobile.  A quad is much more versatile.  Gets you to those remote trout streams in summer as well.  

Guess it all depends on your budget.  Can't use you boat in winter either...


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #10 on: Dec 31, 2002, 06:44 AM »
I fish all over Minnesota and NW Ontario. I am a big guy and haul a fair amount of gear includung an otter portable. I fish deep in the bush alot and need a machine that can handle the terrain as well as slush on the lakes. I use to own a Polaris XLT SKS, loved it! It would haul me through anything. Last year I picked up a Polaris 700sks, it too has proven to be awsome! I would suggest a liquid cooled engine over a fan, reason being, it has been my experience that they are much more tolerable to temperature swings. Head out into the bush on a cold morning only to have the temp rise to 40. Had one hell of a time getting out of the bush that day. The guys with liquids had no problem.


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #11 on: Jan 08, 2003, 12:22 AM »
All the M.N.R. and trappers use around here are Tundras and Skandics .They,re not great trail riding or road running machines but cant be beat in the bush breaking trails for those 700 cc sleds.LOL Don't ask me for help when you get stuck other than for a ride out. Been there,done that,never again.
                 Trapper-Dirk Ontario,Canada ::) ;D

Offline Wyoming_Ice

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Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #12 on: Jan 08, 2003, 02:52 AM »
I have the Artic Cat Cheetha(The Bearcat has taken its Place).
It is the best machine for the type of fishing I do.It will haul Big loads,Has a great rack on the back,seats two well,and has a reverse for unloading.
With the weight these type of sleds scale in at,go with the water cooled engine.You never know when that feature might come in handy.
Wyo Ice
RIP "LT"   This place just won't be the same...


  • Guest
Re: choosing a snowmobile
« Reply #13 on: Feb 24, 2003, 02:54 PM »
I run a Polaris Transport 440 its  a long track. I also run a Kodiak Quad. We've had a couple of mild winters and everyones on the quad bandwagon. A good used sled is theway to go. We'll get a real winter and then all those quads will be at home.Then you can buy one of those for real cheap when those guys are looking for sleds. :D


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