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Used Snowmobile Shopping Season is Here!

Graeden Manna, Staff Member

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With the 2018-2019 season ending for snowmobilers, many are gearing up to buy new sleds during the summer. At this time of year, the question on many people’s minds is: what sled should I buy? The answer to this question varies greatly. This article will focus on used snowmobile shopping because that is one of the smartest ways to buy a sled in the market where we live.

If you are just getting started into snowmobiling and you don’t want to drop a significant amount of money on a sled, then an old Indy is the sled for you! The Indy was introduced in 1980. The Indy was a wildly popular sled and most likely will be the most well-known sled ever. The Indy came in engine sizes ranging from 340-800cc. It was also widely praised for its incredible handling. The Indy is also very reliable, and that is speaking from personal experience. My 1998 Indy 440 fan was my first snowmobile, and this was my final season riding it. I put over 500 miles on it this year, and I have had zero issues with my sled. Even though performance is far from modern standards, these sleds were bulletproof and got the job done.

If you are shopping for a used sled and want something that feels modern but is still affordable for most people, then REV is the way to go. The Ski-doo Rev came out in 2004, with a REVolutionary design (hence the name). Sleds prior to the REV had a relaxed sit-down design that was focused on getting from point A to point B. The Rev positioned the rider farther forward and raised the seat and handlebars. Because of this change, the REV was much more comfortable than an old-styled sled, because not only did your knees absorb all of the bumps instead of your back, you can comfortably stand up on the sled without having to slouch down to reach the handlebars, this acts as another way to absorb bumps. The REV was not flawless however, with issues consisting of the bulkhead being easily cracked resulting in the A-arms being bent.

If you aren’t a Ski-doo fan and are loyal to Polaris or Arctic Cat, then you want an F Series. Arctic Cat F Series sleds are considered rider forward but with much more relaxed positioning than the REV. Polaris’s first rider-forward entry into the snowmobile business was the Fusion. The Fusion was once again not as extremely rider forward, however, the Fusion was not very well received.

The successor of the REV was known as the REV XP. The REV XP was up to 50lbs lighter than its predecessor. The XP used the same 500ss (later known as 600 carb) as the REV, and Ski-Doo also introduced ETEC fuel injected engines in the form of the 600 and 800 ETEC. The XP also fixed issues such a lack of legroom on the REV. One issue that was not fixed however was the weak bulkhead. The Successor of the IQ was the RUSH. The RUSH had an incredibly unique design where the rear suspension took place of the rear tunnel. The RUSH also came in 600 and 800 variants. The RUSH also introduced the Axys platform when it came out in 2010. The RUSH was heavier then the XP and the motors were relatively similar but the RUSH had more futuristic and superior suspension.

Some things to note when buying new sleds include mileage and motor type. When buying a used sled I would recommend buying something with a carburated motor instead of fuel injection because Carbs are much easier to fix and cheaper but The upsides of having fuel injection include better throttle response and generally better performance however the only major downside of fuel injection is if it breaks you could have your sled end up in a local dealer and you would end up owing them hundreds if not thousands of dollars. When buying a REV you should avoid anything over 5,000 without an engine rebuild. Four stroke motors will last longer than 2 strokes when properly maintained, making mileage a smaller issue when buying a four stroke.

Finally here is my plan. I intend to buy a REV XP TNT 500ss. I was looking into buying a RUSH however I decided against it for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is cost. A used RUSH of the equivalent year of the XP can be over $1,000 more. The RUSH is also overkill for my riding style because the RUSH’s big feature was its pro ride suspension and I don’t need that much suspension. When I first started looking for a sled for next season I wanted a REV but I quickly realized that most used REVs are high miles and for the price, the XP is a far better value. So that is the sled I decided on. Now hopefully I’ll be able to find one.

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Used Snowmobile Shopping Season is Here!