A snowmobile skid is one of the main structural components of a sled. A skid frame includes the skis, the front suspension, and the rear suspension of the snowmobile. It determines the quality of the ride and the amount of control a user has over the snowmobile.
The size of a snowmobile skid depends on the size of the sled and the purpose it is designed for. Snowmobiles that are designed for racing have lighter skid frames that are more suitable for fast speeds and tight maneuvering. Utility snowmobiles may come with a heavier and larger skid frame to improve towing capability. Skid frames for off-trail riding or deeper snow is designed differently as compared to the skid frame of an on-trail or recreational snowmobile.
Which features should you look for?
Snowmobile skid manufacturers like K MOD Snowmobile Parts offer high-performance solutions for better on-the-snow control. These solutions are designed to improve your experience with easier maneuverability and accurate turns. Depending on your chosen Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Polaris, or Ski-Doo snowmobile, you can find various compatible skids for your preferred style of snowmobiling. Features like durability and versatility allow you to enjoy your favorite winter sport without worrying about frequent repairs. Before buying a snowmobile skid, make sure to look for other important features – usually interconnected ones – such as:
1. Coupling technology
Coupled skids have the added benefit of quick-adjust convenience to suit your snowmobiling conditions and riding preferences. This technology optimizes your ground power during applications like mountain riding. Even better, the adjustable coupling style helps you control the coupling level for more personalized snowmobiling. Skids that can be coupled are a popular choice among snowmobilers who look for precise and on-the-go controls in their winter recreation. Using flexible coupling, you can switch seamlessly between different terrain settings – minus the hassle of extra tools!
2. Weight transfer
Another advantage of the coupling technology is that it streamlines weight transfer smoothly as you go. When the front arm and rear arm get compressed together, the coupled skid produces greater power on the ground – and distributes the overall weight efficiently. As a result, you get to enjoy a more comfortable, power-packed journey across different terrains. This is why good coupling and weight transfer are two important features to look for in a snowmobile skid. Simple hand adjustments to control the weight transfer give you smoother transitions from basic recreation to intense hill climbing.
3. Suspension and compression
Snowmobile skids that are equipped with dynamic suspension systems check all the boxes for trail adaptability, durability, and sled comfort. With well-tuned shocks and rail setups, you will receive an ideal suspension setting that fits your journey. It helps to look for skids that come with all such hardware details already taken care of. Also, rails that are designed for lightweight benefits make your job even easier – both in terms of installation and riding. Racing shocks like those from Fox include compression adjustment and rebound, which help with tuning the skid for different weights – so make sure to keep an eye out for compression adjustable shocks.
Coupling, weight transfer, and suspension are all interconnected features that provide agile movements and superior controls on your snowmobile. If precision and user-friendliness are your goals, then coupling technology is the way to go!
4. Compatible parts
Skid manufacturers also have compatible parts that you can find on their catalogs. These parts may include hardware products like ice scratchers, anti-stab kits, limiter straps, rear axle wheels, rail cross shafts, carrier wheels, rear idler axles, coupling blocks, and skid plates. Prolonged use and storage can take a toll on your snowmobile skid frame, so when it comes to pre-season preparation, you can buy the required accessories to revamp the frame. You can also replace the whole skid depending on its condition and snowmobiling aptitude.
When To Replace A Snowmobile Skid?
A snowmobile skid frame rarely requires replacement. More often than not, it is one of the other components that may have to be changed. If you feel that your snowmobile’s ride quality is not as smooth as before, then you should first check the sled’s shockers, suspension springs, and skid plates. One of these parts might have been damaged.
There are still a few scenarios that will require you to replace the snowmobile skid of your sled.
While snowmobile manufacturers ensure the highest standards for their products, there can be times when a snowmobile skid with defects finds its way onto a snowmobile. It can be because the damage was internal or not easily identifiable. It could also be due to structural issues that only surfaced with prolonged usage. In such a case, the snowmobile skid will have to be replaced. Factory defects are covered under warranty, and you should be able to get it changed at no additional costs.
A snowmobile skid that has suffered physical damage will require replacement. The cause of the physical damage may have been a riding accident. It could also be due to an impact resulting from improper towing or transportation of the snowmobile. It may have not been secured properly and could have fallen from the trailer or pick-up truck during transportation. Any physical damage may impact the structural integrity of the snowmobile skid and can be hazardous to the rider. Physically damaged snowmobile skids must be replaced.
If you own a snowmobile that has been in your family for a decade or more, then it is quite probable that its skid frame has corroded. The sled may not have been maintained well enough, and its skid frame might be in poor condition. Irregular maintenance or lack of regular use can introduce rust and corrosion in a snowmobile. You may have to replace its skid frame to get the snowmobile trail-ready.
Enthusiast riders who take part in snowmobile races or adventure sports may want to upgrade their snowmobile skid. They might want to get more performance out of the sled or increase its cornering capability. These riders may consider aftermarket snowmobile skid frames for replacing the factory ones. The type of sports they participate in may also affect the best snowmobile skid for their sleds. Riders who want to use aftermarket parts may also have to change the skid frame due to compatibility issues.
Snowmobile skids are available from both the OEM and aftermarket manufacturers. You can buy one depending on your budget and requirements.