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  1. #1
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    Please School Me on Snowmobiles.

    Looking at getting a basic used snowmobile for family fun to get out of the house, but I have invested all of my vehicle knowledge in cars and bikes, and therefore know nothing at all about sleds.

    Looking to spend a max of $4,000, which seems to get me something about a decade old.

    Some of the local Kijiji ads are:

    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-snowmobile/fr...ationFlag=true

    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-snowmobile/fr...ationFlag=true

    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-snowmobile/fr...ationFlag=true

    Basic questions are what are the most important things to look for if I go shopping for one? What is considered too many kms for a 2005? I'm assuming reverse and hand warmers are a must?

    Another newby question, I'm assuming two adults and two kids aren't going to fit on even the longer ones? We won't be going fast, this is just to bumble around on to hit the trails, not go screaming around open fields.

    Any tips or advice are appreciated, thank you.
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  2. #2
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    Stay away from the 1000cc units LOL. You would need a 600cc liquid cooled at the most. Two up touring model would suite your needs. I have owned Ski doo since 1967, so I would be a bit biased. The fan cooled 550 would also be something to check out. Try to avoid the modified ones.

  3. #3
    Ex Coelis Canuck's Avatar
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    Where to begin:
    If you plan on going far from home, you need two sleds. If you break down with only one sled, you have a long walk ahead of you. A trailer (with a rigid towbar) is great for the kids. Hand and thumb warmers are life savers on a long day of sledding. Reverse is helpful but it's not like reverse in a truck. Once your track starts to spin, in reverse, you are just digging in deeper. Small. light sleds don't really need reverse, but as mentioned, it's helpful. Learn to use it properly. If you pin it and it didn't go all the way in to reverse gear- you will snap a chain. Have seen it happen.
    Yamaha sleds, IMO, are bulletproof. They make a nice touring sled but it's only good for two people (but will tow a sled with a couple of kids.)
    Do you have a property you will be sledding on? If not, you will need to trailer it or get something for the back of your pick up.
    Here in BC, my wife and I picked up 2 sleds for under $6,000 in excellent condition. My wife's was like new, less than 120 miles on it. Lady bought it and then found her wrists couldn't take the steering. My wife put as many miles on in two weekends as the previous owner did in two years. There are a lot of deals out there like that you just have to look hard.

    This is the Yamaha touring sled. This is a pic of a used one. Lots out there, at least here in BC. I don't know what the ON market is like.








    There are a lot of sledders on this site as I recall. You should be hearing from them as well, soon. It's a great sport and a great family time as well.
    Don't be in a rush to buy. Choose carefully depending on your plans for the machine. Ask to see their service records, that will tell you a lot about the machine and the owner.
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes an act of rebellion."
    - George Orwell

  4. The Following User Liked This Post By Canuck

    firemachine69 (01-01-2017)

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck View Post
    Where to begin:
    If you plan on going far from home, you need two sleds. If you break down with only one sled, you have a long walk ahead of you. A trailer (with a rigid towbar) is great for the kids. Hand and thumb warmers are life savers on a long day of sledding. Reverse is helpful but it's not like reverse in a truck. Once your track starts to spin, in reverse, you are just digging in deeper. Small. light sleds don't really need reverse, but as mentioned, it's helpful. Learn to use it properly. If you pin it and it didn't go all the way in to reverse gear- you will snap a chain. Have seen it happen.
    Yamaha sleds, IMO, are bulletproof. They make a nice touring sled but it's only good for two people (but will tow a sled with a couple of kids.)
    Do you have a property you will be sledding on? If not, you will need to trailer it or get something for the back of your pick up.
    Here in BC, my wife and I picked up 2 sleds for under $6,000 in excellent condition. My wife's was like new, less than 120 miles on it. Lady bought it and then found her wrists couldn't take the steering. My wife put as many miles on in two weekends as the previous owner did in two years. There are a lot of deals out there like that you just have to look hard.



    There are a lot of sledders on this site as I recall. You should be hearing from them as well, soon. It's a great sport and a great family time as well.
    Don't be in a rush to buy. Choose carefully depending on your plans for the machine. Ask to see their service records, that will tell you a lot about the machine and the owner.


    I'll add, be aware that in older sleds, if you disconnect the speedo, you kill the odometer. So while it may only show 2500 miles, look at the overall condition of the machine to give you a good idea if that's actually the mileage. I can tell you won't be looking at the speedo, when you're a newbie you tend to granny it, when you're experienced you have a good feel. So not much incentive on the older machines not to disconnect it.


    Also: plan your machine purchase accordingly (you don't want a mountain sled if you're only going to ride groomed trails), and setup the suspension to the actual rider. I just took my '96 Pantera out for its first boot of the year, and its way too stiff in the rear (currently set for 2 riders) and sloppy in the steering. I'm thinking bushings might need attention as well, although I don't recall seeing any issues when I looked it over (just bought the sled a few months ago). I don't mind tinkering with my sled while many folks treat them like cars: If they break, bring them to the dealership (and bend over for the $100/hr+ shop rates). Obviously, that's not good economics on a snowmachine worth about $1500 tops, in my case.

  6. #5
    Untouchable FlyingHigh's Avatar
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    This is a timely thread. We were out ice fishing today and I was telling Snipezilla how someday I'd like to buy a sled for getting out on the ice and back into the woods for fishing and hunting in winter.
    I'd rather make a difference than a dollar.

  7. #6
    Senior Member wolver's Avatar
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    You can get yourself a pair of Ski-doo Elans on Kijiji, for under 1500 bucks.

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    kennymo (01-01-2017)

  9. #7
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    Canuck, thank you for the detailed post. No I'm not really going that far, just within a 2-3 km loop of the house when going with the kids.

    I did see a snow trailer sled at Costco, though, so I'll pick that up.

    I'll start with the Yamaha to look at.
    I have no signature block.

  10. #8
    Senior Member coastal's Avatar
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    Whatever you do don't buy a mountain sled for your intended purposes. I took one on trade and thought maybe just maybe I could use it for putting around. Nope! Not designed for that, they don't steer well, and are really uncomfortable for anything other than what they were designed for.

  11. The Following User Liked This Post By coastal

    Canuck (01-01-2017)

  12. #9
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petamocto View Post
    Canuck, thank you for the detailed post. No I'm not really going that far, just within a 2-3 km loop of the house when going with the kids.

    I did see a snow trailer sled at Costco, though, so I'll pick that up.

    I'll start with the Yamaha to look at.
    The Costco sleigh is pretty decent, the price is excellent with the hitch included. I find some of the others too shallow.

    Keep in mind that more luxuries and bigger engines add weight. OK on groomed trails, less desirable if you want to leave said trails. I'm not huge into trail riding, if I had the cash to buy a new one I'd be looking at something similar to the Arctic Cat Bearcat 670. For trails any of the basic 500/600 sort of sleds will do nicely, and they are plentiful enough that they're worth relatively peanuts once they're a few years old. I wouldn't bother looking at anything bigger for short family jaunts.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petamocto View Post
    Canuck, thank you for the detailed post. No I'm not really going that far, just within a 2-3 km loop of the house when going with the kids.

    I did see a snow trailer sled at Costco, though, so I'll pick that up.

    I'll start with the Yamaha to look at.
    Keep in mind that after you're comfortable with/had your fill of those 2-3 km loops, there will come moonlit nights where you don't have to get up for work in the morning, where you'll think "maybe I should just go exploring for a few hours"...

  14. The Following 4 Users Like This Post By Likeaboss

    Canuck (01-01-2017), firemachine69 (01-01-2017), kennymo (01-01-2017), Prairie Dog (01-01-2017)

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