reliable snowmobile

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fordson major, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    whats been your experience on a sled that has to go and not konk out . DW HAS to drive to work in some very nasty winter weather and at odd hours of the day. was thinking that a snowmobile filled the bill but have not had much to do with them since the 70's. (left on the trail to much!!!) speed is less important than durability. we do have two vintage sleds, a John Deere 440 liqufire and a Yamaha srv but dont consider them up to the job!!
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    In my experience, any of the BIG four brands will give you good service (Polaris, Arctic Cat, Ski Doo, and Yamaha). For dependibility, stick with a twin cylinder of 440cc (+/-). I have no experience with the new four-strokes, but the 440 twin two strokes will give you thousands of trouble free miles. I think all four manufactuers offer a 440 twin.
     

  3. ChickenHound

    ChickenHound Well-Known Member

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    I've had lots of experience with the new 4 strokes, but they are way more than you'll need for just going to and fro. Personally, they're all I would ever own now, but I'm looking for performance in them, not basic transportation.

    I would look at a Polaris - few would argue that any Indy is a well built, reliable, and usually a comfortable machine. They're stable and easy to operate. Parts are widely available.

    Yamaha is another excllent brand, but has had some stinkers. Stay away from Phazers of all models, unless your wife wants to dump the sled on a regular basis.
     
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    we travel by snowmobile for about 5 months out of every 12. for the past 6 years i have been driving 7 miles each way to my car on a 1991/1992 polaris indy lite. of course you cannot get new tracks for these machines as they used an odd size of 114 inches. So we have 4 of them- that way we can steel parts when needed. last year i picked up a 1996 indy 440 liquid cooled. it is much heavier! i would think that for your wife you might want to look at one of the indy lites...i know they made them up to at least 1998 and those had electric starters too! that way if she gets stuck she could lift the rear end out of the snow! they are extremely reliable machines and a 340 is about all a person needs for transportation!
     
  5. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    A Ski-Doo 500cc liquid - electric start - reverse -- is a very good combo. Long track if your in an area of really deep snow. A tall windshield might be a good thing.
     
  6. travis91

    travis91 Formerly 4animals.

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  7. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    thanks!! gives us some ideas to think on. has to be a snowmobile as a tracked four wheeler would be to slow. if she does not get to the town the shtf is quite litterall!!!! drifting snow and freezing rain are the two main road blocks . her township will send a truck to the county line but are reluctant to cross over too the city roads.(theirs are well plowed ,the city road sucks!)
     
  8. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Todays snowmobiles are 100 times more reliable than the junk produced in the 70's. Having owned one of them, the hard & fast rule was don't ride it any further from the house than you felt like walking.
    I can remember when those completing a designated 100 mile journey (it took several days back in the 70's) received an award and often got a photo in the local paper for their achievement.
    Todays sleds are EASILY capable of 200+ mile days.

    However, at the end of the day, everything still does wear out. Snowmobiles still have notoriously short lives. Replacement parts are outrageously high. Crankshafts can run $800. A good friend of mine that has raced snowmobiles for 20+ years and owns a small engine repair shop informs me that snowmobiles with over 5000 miles on the clock are pretty much kaput.
     
  9. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    i have to agree with you regarding the 5k mile thing. i was also told this. it is interesting to note however that my favorite sled has now 12k miles and my newest sled the cush mobile has almost six thousand. All engines have been properly maintained and though some of the tracks are wearing out the machines have shown no intention of failure in the near future.