If you live on the Snowy West Coast of Newfoundland, you quickly realize backcountry riding is where the action is at, and you definitely need a sled that can take you in and out, while experiencing all the fun imaginable in between.
My recent move to the snowy west created the desire for a new snowmobile, one with abundant power, floatation, reliability and decent fuel economy for the multitude of backcountry adventures available from my backdoor.
My search began last season, and I'm not taking lightly the hefty price tag many of the sleds carry these days, HCR is selling for a wopping 14K+(cdn)+taxes, so making the right choice is critical to an investment of at least five years of reliable riding. If I win the lottery, we can throw the budget out he window and the sleds are on me byes!
You really have to soul search and find that perfect match between you and a sled and of course the budget.
Don't you love when it's time to buy a snowmobile. You can't deny it's an amazing feeling to bring the sled home, new or used. Of course you baby it in the garage for awhile and drink cold ones with it and the byes while you yarn about what it can and can't do. Then the ranting starts and the next thing you know your braggin about all the mods you'll do to it. This gathering continues until the annual snow finally arrives, and you get to try it all out in the real world.
Da wife on the otherhand has other plans for your time and money ..... hmm I can hear it now, "...honey wouldn't a trip down south be fantastic right around the middle of March" .... comon, right in the freakin prime of backcountry snowmobiling? Are you out of your mind? Just for the record my wife loves snowmobiling almost as much as I do .... but I say my share of "Yes Dears" to keep her happy.
Here's the scoop on the sleds I have on my list this year. If I can remotely find any means to bring one of these home before X-Mas then I will be a happy man, and yes I still believe there is a Santa.
All of these sleds have power, agility, light chasis, excellent riding characteristics and can handle the nastiest terrain you can imagine.
#1 Arctic Cat HCR 800
The HCR is on the top of my list right now. A couple of the things I particularly like is the adjustable telescopic handlebars, Fox Zero Pro shocks and new "suitcase" seat with a huge storage compartment. You will be amazed how much gear can be fit in this seats built in storage. The whole seat is practically one big storage compartment ... thats what I call a practical concept. This sled looks mean too and sounds wicked ... I like that alot. But the new 800 HO is the hot news for 2010. The 800 HO engine is the strongest in the 800 class with a claimed 162HP, alomost 10HP more than the 2009 800 engine. With 153" of track to churn up the countryside and 15 World Championship titles at Jackson Hole, 78 out of 172 first place finishes and 15 King titles this sled has proven it loves to dominate, why wouldn't it be first on my list.
Watch an HCR do some Donuts.
Polaris RMK Assualt 800
This sled screams up hills and eats technical backcountry terrain for breakfast. When you sit on the Assualt it just feels right. Pro Taper bars give it a wide grip and the long travel Walker Evans suspension towers this sled above the ground giving it phenomenal presence in the snow. The 800 engine is a powerhouse, pumping out just over 150 ponies, you're garunteed to have alot of fun where ever you ride. I really like the shorter 146" giving this sled better agility when climbing tight tree lines and rock cuts. The Assualt is also geared very short giving it incredible acceleration, but definitely not a lake runner, you'll want to gear up a little to give the powerband some more top end balance. Despite some of its past reliability shortcomings I know I would have alot of fun on this sled, and its a little cheaper than the HCR.
Read More about he 2010 Polaris RMK Assualt Here and Here
Watch Randy Sherman Demo a 2009 RMK Assualt 800.
SKI-DOO Renegade 600 E-TEC Backcountry
This sled is pretty amazing and the most well rounded and economical of my selections. The only reason the Cat and Polaris are higher on my list is because I am somewhat of a power junky .... gotta love the smile raw HP puts on your face. The 600 E-TEC has respectable power, with a very light but snappy throttle response and the best fuel range of any snowmobile on the market. The new E-TEC technology in my opinion shut the door to the 4-stroke wars. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rumoured 800 E-TEC, which when revealed could easily put the Rev back at the top of my list. What can I say about the Renegade that isn't appealling ... and anyone that really rides can't deny the well rounded balance of performance and confident handling these models deliver. If you want to push the boundaries of your riding skills, this is definitely the sled to try it on. The Backcountry edition adds the must have upgrades, like a deeper 1.75" lug track, that many people who adventure into the white wild wilderness will install after owning it for a year or less. Most notably, I have been on numerous trips where the fuel sipping ETEC has to share its fuel with the gas guzzling big boys to make back to camp... It's a perfectly practical snowmobile.
Tough choice? Feel free to Leave your comments and Stay tuned for more info on 2010 snowmobiles.
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