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Discussion Starter #21
If ever got my own sled, it would be a Thundercat 900. It is the muscle car of sleds. 900cc two stroke triple. Loud and terrible suspension, but fast.
That was basically the next evolution of my first sled, the wildcat. Cool sleds, but I hear they're boat anchors if you get stuck.

So... I never showed you guys what I wound up getting. I sold one of the 4 stroke Z1s, and picked up my dream sled, a 2015 Arctic Cat ZR8000. Yup. Went back to a two stroke. The 4 strokes were quiet... torquey... never needed oil... but they were also quiet, slow to rev, and heavy. It just wasn't as 'fun' as my old two strokes. So I went with an 800cc Suzuki twin two stroke... it was a 1 owner sled, guy polished the tunnel after every ride, OCD old dude, the best kind of guy to buy stuff from. He installed a D&D riot kit which up the power from 160 to 170.

Here it is when I first picked it up:




It was the biggest purchase I'd made in a long time, and the only reason I could justify it was I paid for most of hte sled with the sale of my old Z1. So all in, it cost me $1500 to get a sled I was completely in love with.



So.... it snows... I trailer it up north to a buddy's cabin. I'd never ridden it before. I know it's going to be crazier and faster than anything I've been on before. And... I forgot my gloves. Instead, I had my backup gloves... which are 'three fingered', like a ninja turtle. Your 4 ingers are split into two giant fingers. This is important. When I ride, I typically have just ONE finger on the brake lever, so I can modulate during turns. THE VERY FIRST RIDE, from his house, to the restaurant, I crash it into a tree. VERY FIRST. What happened? Well, I felt uncomfortable with TWO fingers on the brake because I only had my pinky and ring finger holding onto the handle bar, it didn't seem secure, so I kept all fingers on the grip. I go into a sharper corner and I'm enjoying the sled and go to brake, and instinctively lift just ONE finger, my pointer finger, up to the brake. Except it won't move. Becuase it's in a stupid 3 finger ninja turtle type glove. So then I realize what is happening and try to go aroudn the lever, but then my middle finger was jammed under the brake lever so I was pushing down with my pointer finger and trying to lift my middle finger out of hte way and instead I just didn't brake at all very well and slowly crunched into a tree.

It took out my bumper... and basically the entire front end of the sled. All the plastics were shot. It wound up taking me another $600 in plastics to rebuild it, it needed a lower airbox, both front panels, a middle panel, lots of fasteneres, gaskets, just a lot of crap. Then it turns out one of the side panels was cracked, and on a test run once I got it back together, it just ripped off and flew into the night and I didn't notice, never found it. So then I needed to buy TWO MATCHING side panels so that was another $250. Bleh. Anyway... it's back together... it's awesome... but yeah what a first weekend.




So yoked about this thing though... it will send you to the moon if you want. My backyard has access to a lot of trails on my neighbors land, here I am goofing around on it:


Can't wait for this winter. Hope we get dumped on!
 

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Wow there’s some amazing machines on here...nothing like the ones I grew up driving. My sled was a ‘72 Arctic Cat Lynx with a segmented wide track. Single cylinder, 292 Kawasaki, that thing would go through and up anything it was so light. Later I had a ‘80 Jag, but never ever tried any of the modern machines with independent front suspension—whole different world now. Maybe I’ll rent one someday...
 

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Relevant to my interest.

Sold my motorcycle a few months ago and moving to CO in October. Was thinking about getting a sled at some point.
 

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I poop on frozen lakes.
With so many toys no wonder OP complains about insurance. Think about the poo people!:laugh:

Jokes aside, there's nothing quite like a two-stoke motor, the power delivery in unique and it's just such a memorable experience. The sweet fumes, the powerband, the exhaust during idle.
 

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Wow there’s some amazing machines on here...nothing like the ones I grew up driving. My sled was a ‘72 Arctic Cat Lynx with a segmented wide track. Single cylinder, 292 Kawasaki, that thing would go through and up anything it was so light. Later I had a ‘80 Jag, but never ever tried any of the modern machines with independent front suspension—whole different world now. Maybe I’ll rent one someday...
I grew up in the late 80s and 90s but the sleds we had on the farm were similar vintage. Yeah, it's absolutely astounding how much these things have advanced...those were basically powered snowshoes by comparison.

I do miss them though. My Uncle keeps a vintage JD sled from that era around and it's wonderful to tool around on it now and then.

edit: Oh, I would totally recommend renting one. Downside is you might catch the bug and start shopping, but even if it's just one ride I think you'll really appreciate what technology has done for the sport. I know as a kid I eventually lost interested in the sport, didn't ride at all for like 10-15 years, tried a new one with the high/forward weight distribution and double-a arms and was shopping that evening. :laugh:
 

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I grew up in the late 80s and 90s but the sleds we had on the farm were similar vintage. Yeah, it's absolutely astounding how much these things have advanced...those were basically powered snowshoes by comparison.

I do miss them though. My Uncle keeps a vintage JD sled from that era around and it's wonderful to tool around on it now and then.

edit: Oh, I would totally recommend renting one. Downside is you might catch the bug and start shopping, but even if it's just one ride I think you'll really appreciate what technology has done for the sport. I know as a kid I eventually lost interested in the sport, didn't ride at all for like 10-15 years, tried a new one with the high/forward weight distribution and double-a arms and was shopping that evening. :laugh:
:D

I remember when JD first came out in the market—I always thought the Spitfire was cool. The early Massey’s were unique too...good times.
You’re right, though, if I ever try a new one I suspect I will want one too. Same reason I’m avoiding a test drive on a Panigale. :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #27
If you live someplace with winter, I say get into it, do whatever you can. It's a HUGE quality of life improvement to be stoked for snow instead of hating it; tremendous boost in positive mental vibes. :)
 

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The two-finger glove or mitten thing is a real PITA on a ski, because you are supposed to signal to oncoming sleds how many sleds are behind you (closed fist for none). So if you only have a mitten or two fingers and are riding in a group, you can’t communicate that to those behind you.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Yeah the only reason I had them was a backup pair to use while moving the trailer around. A buddy had some yellow ones but I used those to look cooler. Cost me $700+ and a weekend of work.

I lit them on fire


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If you live someplace with winter, I say get into it, do whatever you can. It's a HUGE quality of life improvement to be stoked for snow instead of hating it; tremendous boost in positive mental vibes. :)
x1000. I tell people I'm from Syracuse and half the time it's "How can you manage with all that snow." My response is always "How can you manage without it?"

This is [normally] one of my favorite times of year. Football, leaves, and apple cider are wonderful to enjoy, and though they fade rapidly they are quickly replaced with 2-stroke rumble. :heart:
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Well... it's about that time boys. With Rona around this season, things are going to get weird. My GF is high risk due to her cancer meds, so we are out of the usual stops. No bars... no restaurants... no place indoors really. Probably no trips either, unless some friends up north quarantine for a while before we visit.

Couple things since my last post. My neighbor owns ... 30 acres or so in the woods, and has a decent trail network that I maintain (clear brush, trees, stumps, etc). I've put a lot more work than usual into it, because I'm planning on using it a lot since I'll be home more.

The other thing that happend is a HUGE chunk of land (100 acresish) down the street from my house was purchased by the school district, and they gave me permission to do whatever on it as long as I don't go hunting. It is completely undeveloped land, very hilly, has a pond, small cliffs, woods, prarie, etc. It was used for logging a long time ago, I'm guessing 30+... but since then it's just been used as a hunting land by the previous owners. Due to the logging, there wer trails in it but they've become severely overgrown.

I spent a LOT of effort this year to clear all the trails.... days and days of work with chainsaw, loppers, atv, etc. They're all clear now, and we put in a total of 5 miles of trails or so.

Normally, I am also a big downhill skier, but without traveling that leaves us to our local hill, and since our county is a red county that is basically pretending covid doesn't exist, the ski hill has no mask requirements in the lift lines, which means we can't really do that either. You might see where this is going.

So... went to menards a few days ago, after whipping this up in solidworks:





There is no one good place to learn about groomers/drags, so this was the result of soaking in a lot of knowledge from various sources. The thought is the angled blades will knock down high spots, fill in low spots, and churn up the snow a bit to remove air. The rear area is designed to hold several cinder blocks for weight, and the corrugated metal is at an angle to compress the snow onto the trail. Corrugation itself increases the surface area of the trail, allowing it to setup more quickly and create a firmer base ,as well as improving the compaction slightly.

Going to build it this weekend if I don't get too distracted... it was about $100 in materials, so I hope it works.
 

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Wow there’s some amazing machines on here...nothing like the ones I grew up driving. My sled was a ‘72 Arctic Cat Lynx with a segmented wide track. Single cylinder, 292 Kawasaki, that thing would go through and up anything it was so light. Later I had a ‘80 Jag, but never ever tried any of the modern machines with independent front suspension—whole different world now. Maybe I’ll rent one someday...
Yeah, I spent a lot of time on them in the 70s and 80s bombing around my friend's family farm. But have never ridden a modern machine.

Growing up in Coos County NH, sled culture was definitely a thing, kids would ride them to school and had their own little "parking lot" even. My uncle used to take long trips up into Canada on sleds.

We visited a northern Vermont Ag college with my son late last winter and they were allowed to have 2 vehicles on campus, a car/truck AND a sled. :D

I can't find the article but snowmobile dealers are already running really low on stock for winter 20/21. Much like kayaks and bikes this summer, outdoor recreation equipment sales are crazy high with the pandemic.
 

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Pretty cool! Are you doing this for skis or snowmobiles? If just a few people are riding sleds you might not even need to groom anything.

As far as your design, only thing I could think of is to add some sort of 'sail' that pushes deep snow or accumulation down and keeps the device from diving down into deep powder. My thinking is that snow cats usually have a plow at the front as well as lots of weight so the trailer doesn't ever see deep stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Both. I picked up a cheap set of XC skis, so we'll see how that goes. I haven't done it since I was 13? lol.

I think it should be okay with the snowfalls we typically get, which is less than 1'. If it's over a 1', maybe it'd be an issue, but it's somethign to consider. Maybe on the front edge, add another board that pushes downwards? I haven't built it yet so there's still time to modify it a bit. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Well, 3" of snow yesterday, so FIRST BRAPS!

55690


I have all the materials for the drag but have not had time to build it yet, so because this was packing snow I figured a few passes on the trail network might help compress it and setup a good base. I'll keep an eye on it, it is supposed to warm up a week from now. Tried to go as slow as possible and not spin the track.
 

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Awesome! My mom doesn’t trailer and had ordered a new sled; on Saturday I took delivery and hauled it up to their camp. ’21 Enduro 900ACE (95hp 4-stroke). Not really my speed (figuratively or literally) but I was really impressed with it; has a heated seat, air suspension, rides and drives very smoothly, etc., but still quite sporty. I’d call it the 540i of sleds. I was blown away by the color...powdery and bright but not obnoxious.

55704
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Fellas, 4 strokes + heated seats are what keep the ladies happy. I had 4 stroke Z1 Jaguars up until last year, they were okay but kind of big and not super fun, but decently powerful, reliable, etc. End of last season, I saw a 2014 F1100 pop up for sale pretty local to me; I texted the guy and he said he'd be out riding it with the rest of his family... so I asked "where exactly?".

We met up at podunk bar about a 45 minute ride from my front door, and I bought him a drink, let her 'test drive' the sled, and she was in love. The stance is so much narrower than the twinspar chassis, and she absolutely loves the heated seat. Engine was the same thing in my Z1, so she was cool with that too, tho honestly she never even uses all of that power. 95hp would def be fine for her.

Anyway, here she is on the last day the trails were open, the day after we bought it. Pretty big valentines gift :p

 

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Snowmobiles are pretty neat, but I would rather have something the whole family can enjoy.

Now that's what I'm talking about! I can't tell from the angle, but is that a 200 HP or 250 HP Mercury?
 
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