Deep snow snowmobiling is of extreme fun. It can be the thrill of a lifetime, provided you have the snowmobile that is best suited to face the powdery snow. So what makes the best snowmobile best for deep snow conditions and what are some of the best options of snowmobiles which can raise your spirits in the deep snow? This article deals with these very own topics. So buckle up and read further before preparing for your dream ride where you and your sled will face the deep powdery snow
Features To Look For In A Snowmobile For Deep Snow
There are mainly three categories of snowmobiles. They are: Trail Snowmobiles, Off-trail Snowmobiles and Crossover Snowmobiles. The Trail Snowmobiles are designed to be ride exclusively on trails. Off-Trail Snowmobiles are designed for deep snow. If you go for Crossover Snowmobiles, then they will do well in both trails as well as deep snow conditions. Off late, off trail and crossover sleds are gaining immense popularity. Manufacturers have taken advantage of the situation, rolling out models that perform well in deep snow conditions. So let us see what all are the important features you can look for when searching for the best deep snow snowmobile.
Weight factor is of prime consideration when looking for snowmobiles for deep snow. Off-trail sleds are usually designed to be the most lightweight models available in the market. This is because lighter sled will offer the necessary floatation to do better in deeper snow than heavier sled. The problem with heavier sled is that, they will sink more in the snow due to the weight factor and can get easily stuck in the deep snow. Once stuck, it can also get quite difficult to dig them out. As weight is reduced, maneuvering the sled becomes less troublesome as you hit the powdery deep snow. This will cut down the overall effort you need to put when riding in the deep snow. As a result, you will feel less tired when spending long hours in the deep snow. This explains how significant the weight factor is when it comes to snowmobiles for deep snow.
Now the engine factor is also related to the weight of the sled. It is the engine that contributes much to the weight of a snowmobile. So obviously smaller engine is what you need to look for when snowmobile under consideration is for deep snow. So it is quite clear as to the choice of the engine that you need to make. As 2 stroke engines are lighter than 4 stroke engines, the best off-trail sleds or sleds for deep snow are powered with 2-stroke power sources. These lightweight engines also offer the best in terms of power-to-weight ratio. The best sled for deep snow should also be the powerful one. An under powered snowmobile can seldom handle the deep powdery snow and steep hills. So the 2 stroke engine is the best choice for a snowmobile for deep snow both in terms of weight as well as power.
For a better deep snow experience, the snowmobiles for deep snow are also designed with a lighter chassis as well as with aluminum parts. Most designs feature a single rider seat as it is not common for deep snow riders to take passengers with them. The design also features a lower seat height, thinner handlebars and low handlebar strap to mention a few.
Did you know that off trail snowmobiles are also known as “long track snowmobiles”? Yes, longer tracks are the best when it comes to deep snow snowmobiling. The average track length of these off-trail sleds ranges from 145” up to about 174”. So 145 inches and up is a good option of a long track snowmobile which can perform well in the deep snow. By providing more surface area, the longer tracks provide more float on top of the snow. So with longer tracks, you get good floatation as well as traction.
Other than the length of the track, the width and the lug height of the track are also important. Longer tracks usually have width around 15 inches and 16 inches and are found to offer better floatation. Longer lugs are preferred as they offer more traction as well as improved performance. Also, studded tracks are not preferred for snowmobiles meant exclusively for deep snow.
For a deep snow sled, you also need to have proper considerations for the skis. Ski length and ski stance, both are important. Wider and longer skis will offer more surface area as well as float, preventing the sled from sinking into the deep snow. They also provide a harder bite. The exact length and width of the ski is a matter of individual rider preference. However it can be advantageous if you go bigger. You also have the option of that 6 inch to 10 inch wide aftermarket snowmobile skis in case you are unhappy with your stock skis. However, they can be too costly (price ranges from $300-$500 depending on the model). Also, these aftermarket options are found to be heavier than stock skis, thereby increasing the overall weight of the snowmobile. And as said earlier, the lighter the snowmobile gets the best it can deal with deep snow. You need to balance the choice of skis with the snowmobile. If the ski is too wide, then it may provide too much of floatation around the turns causing imbalance of the sled and you may have a tough time handling it.
Another key dimension under consideration is the Ski stance. In case of deep snow snowmobiles, a narrower ski stance can provide better agility, but if too narrow, it can also cause the sled to be tippy. There are typical “hill-climb snowmobiles” featuring a wider front-end ski stance for extra stability.
You can look for off-trail snowmobiles come with high-performance shock absorbers, which performs well on every bump. A feature like a larger LCD screen brings in more convenience. With remote limiter strap adjusters you can change the limiter strap length without even getting off the seat. All these can take a toll on your budget though.
Best Options Of Snowmobile For Deep Snow
Let us see some of thebest options of off trail snowmobiles available in the market.
By pushing the conventional boundaries, the Ski-Doo Summit series redefines what deep snow riding is. Ski-Doo Summit series comes with the best power-to-weight ratio in the industry. Capable of transforming the mountain into your playground, this effortlessly agile off trail snowmobile can offer a dynamic performance and instant response in the deep powder snow. It is effortless to handle and features the best in class power converge delivering you with ultimate capability for deep snow riding. With the new REV Gen5 platform the riders can conquer the winter terrain in this perfectly balanced sled, which is also responsive and agile at the same time. The Ski-Doo Summit features Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo R, Ski-Doo’s the most powerful 2-stroke turbo engine ever which can deliver instant response and seamless power. The 180 horsepower engine is perfectly calibrated for full power up to 8000 feet. You also get a 55-HP advantage as you climb further up.
With the tMotion X & tMotion XT rear suspensions a new standard is set up in deep snow agility, so that you can ride with confidence. The refined geometry and weight savings contribute to increased travel, maximizing the ride quality in all conditions. The RAS 3 Front Suspension is of high precision and highly predictable. With this, you can easily initiate a sidehill and track straight and true. This holds true even when riding trees, carving meadows or riding the trail to your favorite playground.
The E-TEC SHOT Starter delivers the easiest starting. This Push-button starting acts with almost no added weight. With the initial pull-start the engine charges an ultra-capacitor. For subsequent starts, you can push the handlebar SHOT button which uses energy stored in this ultracapacitor to turn the magneto into an electric motor rotating the flywheel, and the engine is started with E-TEC technology. This eliminates nearly 20 lb. (9 kg) in comparison to the conventional electric start.
The 10.25″ color touchscreen display with BRP Connect is the largest display in the industry with full-color, customizable view and WiFi-enabled touchscreen. There is app compatibility with the BRP GO! app for maps, navigation, and ride planning with friends for a deeper connection. All in all, you can have the most advanced ride in the deep snow with the deep-snow specific design elements involving inspiring appearance, reduced weight as well as improved technical performance.
There are three packages to explore: the Summit X with Expert Package, the Summit Edge and the Summit SP.
You can also check out the Summit Neo which is a full helping of Summit deep-snow fun. The mid-sized sled is perfect for beginners, smaller riders or those intending to look forward to a less intimidating ride at a great price.
The Freeride is the Summit X-RS and is also priced higher than Summit. It is built one notch tougher, calibrated one notch more aggressive and has a wider front end than the Summit. The Freeride is capable of conquering deep-snow extremes with insane climbs and big drops in its own peculiar style. Bolder than the rest, it features a fierce attitude demanding attention. With the REV Gen5 platform maximizing the agility, capability and freedom for the instant response, you get all that the riders desire for in the deep snow. There is reduced weight as well as elevated technical performance. This perfectly balanced sled will let you own the terrain.
Ski-Doo Freeride also features the new Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo R similar to Summit, which has the capability of delivering snow shaking power.The 180 HP engine also gets a massive power advantage as you climb up. For a deeper connection, you get a 10.25″ color touchscreen display with BRP Connect
tMotion X Rear suspension invokes the Freeride with enhanced capabilities. You get a refined front arm geometry leading to increased travel as well as reducing the weight by about 3 lbs., which also accounts for improved riding quality, whatever be the situation. They also feature the KYB Pro Shocks which have proven performance on Ski-Doo race sleds. They are built to perform well even under the toughest of the conditions. The remote reservoir design can have Easy Adjust compression adjustment as well as rebound adjustment. These premium shocks are their advantage over Summit. The E-TEC SHOT starter allows easy starting similar to Summit.
Yamaha Mountain Max Le 165
This powerful sled is lightweight and has the ability to master the slopes. It features a high performance 2 stroke, 794 CC engine. The SRV-M chassis has a lightweight aluminum construction with load-bearing triangulated structure creating a neutrally balanced sled, centered on the rider. The single beam skid frame of the long, 15-inch travel rear suspension is lightweight and offers exceptional handling in the deep snowy slopes. 10 pounds lighter by design, the single rail system doesn’t trap snow as is the case with dual-rail suspensions. Premium Fox Zero QS3 Shock Package allows for reduced fading and exceptional control. With the three easy to adjust compression damping performance settings, it is easy to quickly adjust your ride to conditions as well as your riding preference. As the power valve system tunes the exhaust port opening based on RPM, maximum torque and fuel efficiency is ensured. Also the computerized fuel injection brings about reliable cold weather starting and maximum fuel range while minimizing the exhaust gas emissions. It also features165-inch long, single-ply,PowerClaw track. The track uses 3.0-inch lugs in a 3.5-inch pitch configuration. With the long, forward curved paddles, it has the ability to bite into the deepest powder. It also ensures forward motion and lift needed when dealing with steep slopes.
The SRV-M Front Suspension is ultra-compact and reduces the unwanted spindle and suspension component drag in deep snow. With the narrow stance, you get extreme maneuverability and powder turn capabilities. The lightweight, forged aluminum spindles also make way for tight side-hilling and ease of steering. There is a clean, narrow overall stance plus the elimination of the sway bar improves deep snow agility. The lightweight deep snow ski has a wide footprint, enhancing flotation. Traction lugs on the top of the ski provides sure foothold. The keel design is wide and deep so that you need to put only a light steering effort for perfect handling in the hard pack.
The comfort features includes the M-TX mountain seat having a lightweight, tall and narrow profile. It is shorter and more tapered towards the front allowing the rider easier rider transitions from side-to-side as well as much better stand-up ergonomics.
The digital gauge displays are easy to read and features critical information in a glance. With the switch controls on the left handlebar, it is easy to change functions. It features a standard electric start. The engine can be restart in reverse with a simple push of a button. The under seat bag will give additional storage.
Yamaha also features the entry level model, SXVenom MTN. It features mid performance 2 stroke, 394 CC engine. It features 12 inch rear suspension with lightweight single rail design, 7 inch wide footprint ski and twin tube shocks.
Arctic Cat M Mountain Alpha One
Built for next level riding, it comes with bold styling for next-level backcountry riding. The M 8000 MOUNTAIN CAT ALPHA ONE features a powerful, next-gen 8000-Series C-TEC2 2-Stroke engine. The twin-cylinder, 165-class horsepower engine delivers serious power to carry you through the toughest climbs and the biggest jumps.
When working together with the ALPHA ONE Single-Beam Rear Suspension, you can ride without compromise. M 8000 MOUNTAIN CAT ALPHA ONE WITH ATAC also includes the versatility of ATAC adjustable on-the-fly suspension, for pushing the boundaries further letting you surpass the toughest climbs and highest jumps. With the ATAC on-the-fly suspension, you need not have to get off your snowmobile to adjust your suspension. You can easily switch between suspension settings with the push of a button.
Alpha one single-beam rear SUSPENSION has a unique design. It will not trap snow and keeps the sled light, letting you stay on top of the snow. This allows more control and maneuverability. ADAPT CVT SYSTEM offers smooth power delivery. The design is lightweight and narrow thereby increasing performance as well as belt life. Also, being the only self adjusting clutch, it can offer better throttle response. Fox Float Qs3 Shocks offers unparalleled versatility by providing easy adjustability for maximum deep-snow performance. The ski stance is adjustable between 35.5-37.5-inches, letting you easily react to whatever challenges the mountain may throw at you. The Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS) front suspension is optimized for deep snow. The Power Claw track is lightweight and delivers the ultimate deep snow traction and performances, letting you slice straight through deep snow. The models feature quick and convenient push button electric start.
Identical twin to Mountain Cat Alpha One is the Hardcore Alpha, with difference mainly on the shocks in the suspension. They also differ in color options.
Polaris RMK Khaos
Polaris Khaos is meant for “All-Mountain Performance with Superior Versatility”. It is built for dynamic deep snow riding and offers the industry leading agility with effortless control. The high performance 850 Patriot, which is the most powerful snowmobile engine built by Polaris offers commendable deep snow performance with outstanding durability, refined run quality as well as instant throttle response. It also features the all new rider first RMK Matryx platform. Featuring a next-level rider interface, features like a sculpted cockpit, narrow seat and tapered tunnel combine to offer effortless control.
The RMK Matryx Platform possesses an unique design catering to the needs of the deep snow riders. It allows seamless movements. Instantaneous lift and lightning fast response is delivered. With the tapered low drag tunnel and the Polaris tracks, the lightweight chassis is lifted on top of the snow, offering superior control and performance in steep terrain and deep snow conditions. The 2.75″ Series 8 Polaris Exclusive track with a 3.5″ pitch gives superior traction and lift in deep snow.While the low inertia QD2 drive system, which is also the lightest drive system in the industry, you get a fast response. The RMK Matryx Platform also features a raised design, which increases the clearance as well as reduces the drag, keeping you on top of the snow. This also makes way for improved sidehilling as well as faster and easier climbing with instantaneous lift so that the sled pops onto the snow faster. The RMK Matryx Platform features an all-new adjustable toe hooks which lets the rider to fine tune the fit and performance with three different toe hook heights. It also allows the toe hook to be completely removed. Also, the Centralized Cooling System comes with improved cooling capabilities while minimizing snow and ice build up. The RMK MatrYX Platform incorporates the most advanced technology. With the industry-leading 7S Display with Ride Command Technology, you can plan, track, and share your ride. It is available as an accessory for the RMK Khaos. It features a 7-inch glove touch display, purpose built for snowmobiles, they feature on board diagnostics, trail maps, points of interest, and vehicle to vehicle Group Ride technology which lets you see your ride group with or without cell coverage.
The RMK React Suspension can deliver the riders a precise, effortless ride in the deep snow. You can have the most predictable ride with less fatigue. For predictable handling, you have the 36″-38″ stance and a sway bar. Also, the forged a-arms and spindles are so optimized for strength as well as durability. The RMK Khaos Rear Suspension geometry enables transfer and traction for light handling and control, invoking the capability for best response in all riding zones. The premium Walker Evans Racing Velocity shocks are well suited for different mountain conditions with the high and low speed compression adjustment.
Another model is the Polaris RMK Khaos Slash, with 650 Patriot, built on the Matryx Slash platform offering ultimate lift, control and power.
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