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UncleJB said:
I just hate the unpredictable nature of our winters these days and couldn't imagine making payments on something that I might not be able to really use every season.
Yes. When it doesn't snow I'm not just bitter about it, it feels like money has been stolen from me. I've talked about getting out of the sport since like 2016 when our trails didn't have one day in good condition. My cousin and I even have a loose pact that if we ditch our sleds we'll buy jet skis or quads or something. But not having a snowmobile? Cure worse than the ailment for me. :ROFLMAO:

That said we bought our daughter a used Kawasaki 50cc ATV last January. It turned out to be a life saver in March and April due to covid and the fact that our daughter is an only child and we are her only entertainment. She was a little timid on it at first but with in a week or so she was going full throttle and loving it.

She had a ton of fun on it in the snow and learned about controlling slides and riding on different conditions so it was a great learning experience for all riding.
That's really awesome. Driving a quad through snowy/icy fields as a kid was my first real experience learning about four-wheeled traction, the limits are low enough and the vehicle is responsive enough that you can get that oversteer and understeer and wheelspin without having huge inputs.

Not to mention it's ridiculously fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
I've never gotten into snowmobiles even though we live in the rural Northeast. I just hate the unpredictable nature of our winters these days and couldn't imagine making payments on something that I might not be able to really use every season.
ATVs and sleds are totally different ballgames tho. On a sled you can go pretty much... idk... triple digits, still feels stable and safe. An ATV starts to feel sketchy at 25mph, imho.

But yeah... buying a brand new sled is insane, especially how expensive they are. My current sleds were around 5k each, and the only way I could afford that is that I could sell my old ones for $3-4k, so really it was a $2k investment after owning my previous sleds for 5 years. It's not bad if you do it a little at a time.

Is it still a dumb hobby? Yes, definitely. But it gives me something to look forward to, and changes my outlook on winter. Instead of being depressed, I am now irritable and anxiously updating my weather apps several times a day to check for snow. lol.
 

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ATVs and sleds are totally different ballgames tho. On a sled you can go pretty much... idk... triple digits, still feels stable and safe. An ATV starts to feel sketchy at 25mph, imho.

But yeah... buying a brand new sled is insane, especially how expensive they are. My current sleds were around 5k each, and the only way I could afford that is that I could sell my old ones for $3-4k, so really it was a $2k investment after owning my previous sleds for 5 years. It's not bad if you do it a little at a time.

Is it still a dumb hobby? Yes, definitely. But it gives me something to look forward to, and changes my outlook on winter. Instead of being depressed, I am now irritable and anxiously updating my weather apps several times a day to check for snow. lol.
Yes they are definitely worlds apart, but I have no inclination to go triple digits even in a car anymore much less on a sled. 25mph on an ATV is just fine for me.

Also - for me it would not only be the cost of a sled, but also a trailer of some sort and either a hitch on the wifes Tiguan or a full size truck. The cost starts adding up real fast if you include those on top of the cost of the sled.

It is especially frustrating as I have a rail trail access a mile away, but no way to legally get to it unless I trailer the sled to the parking area. It just isn't worth the hassle to me much less the expense.

That's really awesome. Driving a quad through snowy/icy fields as a kid was my first real experience learning about four-wheeled traction, the limits are low enough and the vehicle is responsive enough that you can get that oversteer and understeer and wheelspin without having huge inputs.

Not to mention it's ridiculously fun.
My friends when I was young had three and four wheelers but with not a lot of family income and four of us kids, we weren't so fortunate. I am happy to be in a position that my daughter can experience some of the fun I missed and she really took to it like a fish to water.

The guy I bought the used 50 from has a daughter now in her 20's that races quads and we have kept in touch. He was also very impressed with her skill level based on some videos I sent him. Now to figure out how far down the rabbit hole we want to go with it. I'd love to either build or get her on a track for some fun that is a little more challenging than our lawn.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Yes they are definitely worlds apart, but I have no inclination to go triple digits even in a car anymore much less on a sled. 25mph on an ATV is just fine for me.

Also - for me it would not only be the cost of a sled, but also a trailer of some sort and either a hitch on the wifes Tiguan or a full size truck. The cost starts adding up real fast if you include those on top of the cost of the sled.

It is especially frustrating as I have a rail trail access a mile away, but no way to legally get to it unless I trailer the sled to the parking area. It just isn't worth the hassle to me much less the expense.
Check your state laws, but here in Wisconsin it's legal to ride pretty much anywhere in the ditch, basically year round. It's definitely legal to ditch bang to to trail the trail and back, the only places it's 100% illegal are divided highways and such. Towns and villages may have other ordinances in place.

Also, you don't need a fullsize truck to tow sleds, as they are pretty light. This was my tow setup for years:



A Tiguan would pull a pair just fine. Not saying you should buy some, just saying your excuses not to aren't really as legitimate as you claim.
 

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Check your state laws, but here in Wisconsin it's legal to ride pretty much anywhere in the ditch, basically year round. It's definitely legal to ditch bang to to trail the trail and back, the only places it's 100% illegal are divided highways and such. Towns and villages may have other ordinances in place.

Also, you don't need a fullsize truck to tow sleds, as they are pretty light. This was my tow setup for years:



A Tiguan would pull a pair just fine. Not saying you should buy some, just saying your excuses not to aren't really as legitimate as you claim.
It is definitely not legal in NH to use the ditch to get trail access. Do people do it an not get caught? Probably.

They aren't excuses - they are reasons. ;) Purchase price of sled(s), purchase price of trailer, install price of trailer hitch, place to store trailer where it isn't in the way, annual registration, and on and on. Just because those aren't legitimate reasons for you doesn't mean they aren't for me.

I appreciate that you love the sport - I have a friend in Montana that is out in the mountains every weekend and has all the toys and loves it. If I lived out there it might be a different story for me, but as I said I can't count on good winters anymore in NH and don't have mountains tall enough to play in for enough of the year to justify the expense.
 

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I am happy to be in a position that my daughter can experience some of the fun I missed and she really took to it like a fish to water.
I commend you for it. Those are some of my best childhood memories and she'll never forget it.

And it might actually be an investment in her future. Along with Lego and Nintendo, messing around with stuff like that is a huge part of why I went into engineering, which has worked out well for me. 🍺
 

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Shhh I'm convincing myself :p
Lol one ride ought to be enough to do that. I messed around with sleds as a kid, but we didn't have to trailer or find trails or even insure and register as it was on my grandfather's farm, so it never seemed like a big hassle.

When I went to college I got out of it for a few years, the farm got sold, snowmobile prices went through the roof, etc. I remember thinking "wow, now we'd need a sled, a trailer, a tow vehicle, a trail pass, insurance, registration, etc. etc. for 1-3mo/year. Trail riding would have to be the most fun hobby in the world to put up with that." I made the mistake of renting a sled in like 2013. Turns out it is. 🤣
 

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I commend you for it. Those are some of my best childhood memories and she'll never forget it.

And it might actually be an investment in her future. Along with Lego and Nintendo, messing around with stuff like that is a huge part of why I went into engineering, which has worked out well for me. 🍺
Well at the moment she wants to be a baker. She baked chocolate chip cookies yesterday and brownies today. Not easy losing weight around here. :LOL:

But if nothing else I'm hoping it will help her learn some skills that will make her a better driver/rider later in life. For now I am just happy she enjoys it as much as she does and like I said, it is one of the few things that she does on her own.

You never know - we may try a sled at some point. My inlaws live up in the White Mountains near Bretton Woods and there is a trail access at the end of their road. We could leave the sleds up there and go up on weekends so it might be worth trying. 🤔
 

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Yeah, with little snow we had to improvise.
63159


63160


FYI the Honda above is limited to about 50-55mph and I had it pegged in 4wd on icy roads and it felt just fine. Or maybe I’m just dumb.

Sleds are way more fun though.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Small update to my POS ZR600 Project, which nobody really cares about except the 3 other snowmobilers on this forum, but whatever:


Primary came off easy, but I tried literally everyone's suggestions here for the secondary, including buying the official secondary puller, but nothing was working, just went YOLO and started taking apart the chaincase, brakes, side of the sled, and pulled the whole jackshaft to get the clutch pressed off at a local shop.

Any guesses on force required to press off the secondary from the jackshaft? Closest guess wins!
 

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Haha watching the clutch pop off is cathartic, I know that feeling well.

For the secondary...if you're about to break the puller it's probably well over 10k lbs. It'd be tough to estimate but I'll guess 25k. Floor standing press territory.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Answer: almost TWENTY FIVE TONS OF FORCE required to pop the secondary off the jackshaft, lol. No wonder the puller didn't work.

Oh well.

Quick update:


- Slot Bracket to Install Engine Snubber - Shim Secondary Clutch for Proper Belt Engagement (reduce belt tension, harder launches!) - Clean Clutches - Replace Jackshaft Bearings - Reassemble Chaincase - Install Jackshaft - Install Carbs - Install Clutches - Install Exhaust - Install Body Plastics

Got it all back together, and with the shims removed from the secondary, I now had the CORRECT 1.25" of belt deflection, AND I had an engine snubber, so the engine shouldn't rock backwards on launch. FEELING GOOD! Next up is a quick alignment and test and tune :)
 

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I’ve lived my whole life in the south. I don’t even think I’ve ever seen a snowmobile in person.
 

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Still haven't ridden this year, been too busy on the house. Wrapping up some carpentry this week and hoping to head north for some miles after. At least use up the old gas in the tank and maybe more.

Answer: almost TWENTY FIVE TONS OF FORCE required to pop the secondary off the jackshaft, lol. No wonder the puller didn't work.
Awesome work. That should totally help your issue if not fix it entirely. Let us know!

I’ve lived my whole life in the south. I don’t even think I’ve ever seen a snowmobile in person.
Imagine if a motorcycle and a big angry tractor had a baby that grew up into a wingless airplane. There's really nothing else like it, riding them even at a normal pace feels like you're breaking physics.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Okay, so should be the last update on this project for a while; I have owned this thing 5 years and it's been basically unusable the entire time. I shoved it in the back of my garage and ignored it and it just made me angry every time i looked at it, but I was DETERMINED to throw some more effort at it this season and get it usable!

Ski alignment and TEST ride! :D

 

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it’s a beautiful day for riding, I’m just about to leave Milwaukee be there a pretty good amount of snow here overnight, probably much more than there is back home.
 
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