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Looking for good used snowmobile

10/7/15 @ 11:31 AM
User since 3/21/14
Hello everyone, I'm very green to snowmobiling but am interested in getting into it. My question is this..What snowmobilies,model years,features would be best to look for in a first time snowmobile? Not looking to spend to much, as I would probably use it just to ride around our property/lake an hour or two on weekends. Speed not important but reliabilty/maintainability are much more important. Also, any models to stay away from?

Thank you

10/28/15 @ 7:04 PM
Brent Hess
MEMBER since 12/18/07
Sounds like you are looking for an air cooled machine...

Reliable, not too fast, and will get you out on the trails. Liquid cooled sleds are faster and perform better, but there are more things to go wrong.

An air cooled Polaris Indy would be a good sled for you to consider.

A few things to look at closely:

- The track, is it missing any lugs, clips, or showing signs of wear? A new track installed can cost around $700 which really hurts if you paid $800 for the sled

-The chain case, how does the fluid look? Is it dirty or clean, any big chunks of metal sticking to the magnet on the dipstick?

- If it has reverse, check it to make sure it works

-Hyfax and wear rods, check them both to see how much wear they have

-Check the belt, is it missing any lugs or showing signs of wear

-Spark plugs and compression. Are the plugs golden brown or white hot or fouled? What is the compression? Is it similar in both cylinders?

Those are the biggies, if your not comfortable checking these things on your own, your money ahead to pay a dealer $80 bucks to give the sled a quick once over. It will give you peace of mind, as well as give you negotiating power for anything that needs attention.

Best of luck

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
10/9/15 @ 9:01 AM
MEMBER since 9/25/08
The Yamaha Phazers from the mid 90s to 2000 were dam near bulletproof.

10/8/15 @ 7:25 AM
User since 4/11/08
I agree with Bugle. Although every manufacturer built some great bullet-proof models over the years, the venerable Polaris Indy Trail still sits at the top of the heap. A reliable fan-cooled 488cc around 60 hp, simple construction, readily available parts, light weight, easy to work on and good ride. And they are priced very reasonable. You should be able to find a good '96-'99 for around $1000 or less.

10/7/15 @ 12:27 PM
User since 9/27/01
When I upgraded our sleds for trail riding, I kept my old '96 Polaris Indy for ice fishing and chores around the cabin. It is still a great running sled and I still take it out on the trails if we need a 3rd. The suspension is not as good as the newer sleds but the motor is super reliable. To this day it starts easier than my newer Arctic Cats. I think they made that motor for years so it's fairly bullet proof.

If you have little experience with snowmobiles, either find someone who does to give you a hand or take it in for a once-over at a shop. There are a few critical grease fittings that need attention every year. Some of the newer sleds have fewer fittings but I'm guessing that you're not looking for anything that new. You'll also want to have the hi-fax and bearings checked as well.

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