Best Snowmobile To Buy
Ski-Doo sleds are manufactured all over the world. The brand has facilities in the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and Finland. So pretty much all the most attractive places to ride a snowmobile have a Ski-Doo facility somewhere nearby.
best snowmobile to buy
Arctic Cat is also located in Minnesota and was first introduced in 1960 but was purchased by Textron just four years ago. It specializes in manufacturing snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles, as well as the Arctic Cat snowmobile tracks.Arctic Cat is considered one of the best snowmobile brands out there, even though it only holds 15% of the market share.The original Arctic Cat sled was invented by a former Polaris employee, Edgar Heteen, and the company was known as Polaris Manufacturing. In the 90s, the firm went through some hard times and nearly went bankrupt but was saved by Arctco. Since then, the company has been known as Arctic Cat.As big as the brand is these days, Arctic Cat is still based in the US and currently has no other facilities outside the country. Their customers value the reliability that the Arctic Cats products provide, which makes the brand stand out among its competitors.Last year, the company announced that they would begin manufacturing side-by-sides and ATVs, which is very exciting for a brand this big.
Usually, Yamaha 4-stroke sleds are considered the most reliable sleds of all time. That being said, no matter how low their market share is, Yamaha is the most reliable snowmobile brand in the industry.
In the ever-evolving world of snowmobiling, determining the 10 sleds (11, with the Snowmobile Of The Year) that best serve the various niches within the snowmobile market is never easy. This year, with new chassis, new engine package and intriguing new model combinations, it was downright difficult.
Yet once we broke up the market to various categories, specific models immediately rose to the top. After extensive testing and evaluation, we believe these are the machines that will best serve riders who enjoy various aspects of snowmobiling. They are proud representations of the best of the best of snowmobiling for 2023.
Yamaha has long appealed to particular, high-end riders who value an indulgent feel and refined powerplants. The Sidewinder L-TX GT takes that edict to another level. Back for its second year with electric-assist power steering, dual-rate springs, more aggressive runners and re-shimmed skis, the GT seemingly drives itself through the woods, providing the rare combination of razor-sharp handling and super-light steering. Power comes from the silky smooth yet fantastically powerful 998cc turbocharged triple that spins mind-blowing numbers on the speedometer in a sophisticated manner. Add in a heated seat, premium wind protection, onboard storage and more, and it defines what a luxurious solo touring machine should be. This is the best high-output four-stroke trail cruiser ever built.
Every year, Snow Goer magazine selects a Snowmobile of the Year based on which sled is pushing technological innovation, and then also the Top 10 Snowmobiles based on which sleds best serve their targeted submarkets within snowmobiling.
Identify your budget first and foremost, taking into account some of the extras you will need for your riding adventures ahead. If you are mountain riding, you must factor in a transceiver, shovel, probe and backpack. For all riders, good-quality snowmobile-specific outerwear is also a must. It makes no difference how great your snowmobile is if you are cold and miserable.
Trail-specific snowmobiles are for those who expect to be riding only groomed trail systems. These snowmobiles focus on cornering, with a smooth ride, and sometimes are available with two up seating from the factory.
Agile, light weight and full of performance oomph, deep-powder snowmobiles are designed for deep-powder adventure and aggressive performance. They are designed to be rode aggressively and will often overheat if used simply for groomed trail applications. Generally track lengths are longer than those of trail sleds to provide flotation in deep-snow situations. The Polaris Pro RMK, Ski-Doo XP and Arctic Cat M8000 are prime examples of performance mountain snowmobiles. Track length varies between 153 and 174 inches, with longer tracks providing more traction and flotation.
Many manufacturers today understand that some riders, especially those from the flatlands, may spend a portion of their time in varied terrain. They have designed crossover snowmobiles that give the best of both worlds. Crossovers typically have longer tracks than do trail sleds, but short enough to provide a smooth comfortable ride on groomed trails. Suspension and rider position accommodate both on-trail and off-trail applications.
The Polaris Switchback line-up of snowmobiles is the perfect example of this type of technology. Rider position is balanced in a way that offers smooth sailing on and off trail along with excellent cornering applications. If you anticipate spending the majority of your ride time on trail or banging ditches with some time spent off trail, this would be an excellent choice for you. The Arctic Cat Crossfire and Ski-Doo Renegade are also crossover models of snowmobiles.
With a wider front-end ski stance and a stiffer track, hill climb-specific snowmobiles are for those who love to go up . . . way up. Hill cross-style racers love these types of machines as they have a wider ski stance, creating extra stability in the front end, a beefed-up suspension and a stiffer aggressive track providing excellent traction. With the track length being around 153 to 155 inches, they can be used for basic boondocking although the stiffer track often lacks some of the flotation that regular mountain performance snowmobiles have. Hucking, dropping it huge and sending big jumps are a breeze for this style of chassis. The Arctic Cat HCR and Polaris RMK Assault are hill climb-racing models of performance snowmobiles.
It comes down to riding style and personal preference when choosing between a two stroke and four stroke. Four-stroke snowmobiles are heavier than are two strokes but require less maintenance. Two strokes have a snappier response and a higher power-to-weight ratio. Many who love to climb opt for a turboed four-stroke snowmobile which can run higher pounds of boost, creating the perfect chute-slaying machine. Four-stroke technology has come a long way in recent years, with Yamaha leading the pack. They are creating lighter machines in their four-stroke line-up that are snappier and more responsive, allowing riders to enjoy basic boondocking like their two-stroke buddies.
Getting into snowmobiling may be intimidating, but buying a new one can be both affordable and give you a warranty to keep you on the snow. The manufactures have done a great job building entry-level snowmobiles and this year feature technology that was only available on top of the line machines years ago.
The Indy 121 is a full-size model and great for any adult's first snowmobile. The 550 fan is less maintenance and still plenty of power to keep the fun factor high. This model also sits on a Polaris Pro-Ride chassis, which is well regarded for its maneuverability.
Back again for 2022, the MXZ Sport was rejuvenated and moved up to the G4 chassis in 2021. It's the same one all of the high dollar MXZs are on! Also new for this year, the 600 motors have been upgraded from carburetor to EFI. Making for easier starting and less maintenance. This is a tremendous first full-size snowmobile for anyone. It is the highest-priced entry-level sled and packs much more advanced technology and is an excellent bang for the buck!
As Yamaha's partnership continues, they have come out with their version of the Blast ZR. It features the same 397cc motor, 121" track and chassis but equipped with Yamaha plastic. If you are a die-hard Yamaha fan, this is an excellent entry sled for you. Also, with Arctic Cat having no in-season sales, you can get your hands on this snowmobile year-round from your local Yamaha dealer.
As all the manufactures still face supply chain shortages, being able to walk into a dealership to buy one of the sleds below is rare. If you did not snowcheck one of the below machines, you may have a tough time getting one. The used market is a great option and we have a great article on the best ways to find and get the best deal on one of these used snowmobiles here.
You cannot go wrong with any of these entry-level snowmobiles. The Evo, Blast, Neo and SX Venom are smaller and more manageable for teenagers and young adults. The Indy 121 and MXZ Sport are full-sized and are great picks for your first snowmobile as an adult. They are all lightweight and forgiving for novice riders.
One of the best ways to enhance a snowmobile to make the handling predictable and give new riders confidence in all trail conditions is the addition of snowmobile studs. All these beginner models would call for a lower amount of studs making the kits just as affordable as these snowmobiles. To see what stud kit is right for your new snowmobile, check out our guide here.
Many say that Ski-Doo is the best snowmobile brand, as this company is the market leader in the snowmobile industry. Others disagree and say that Yamaha is the best snowmobile brand, even if it has the smallest market share. This is because the durability and reliability of Yamaha snowmobiles are legendary. To make the decision more difficult, you can find two more reputable brands on the market, which are Polaris and Arctic Cat.
Arctic Cat is also one of the best snowmobile manufacturers, as it has the second largest market share in the snowmobile market (around 33%). The most frequently asked questions about this company are as follows:
While their engines are manufactured in Osceola, Wisconsin, Polaris snowmobiles are made in Roseau, Minnesota. Aside from sleds, many off-road Polaris vehicles are manufactured and assembled here as well.
Yes, besides the 2-stoke models Arctic Cat makes 4-stroke snowmobiles as well. If you are considering buying a 4-stroke Arctic Cat sled, you can choose either naturally-aspirated or turbocharged power sources. The most powerful 4-stroke model is the Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat, powered by a 998cc, 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine. This amazing powerplant produces more than 200 HP! 041b061a72