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Ski-Doo 2015 Summit with T3 Package

March 4, 2014

In Québec City, the new 2015 Summit X with T3 package on display.

In Québec City, the new 2015 Summit X with T3 package on display.

2015 Ski-Doo Summit X 800R ETEC with T3

Ski-Doo revealed the 2015 sled lineup in Québec tonight. And, they have been busy perfecting the mountain sled. What’s the big news? T3. The 2015 Ski-Doo Summit X 800 REV-XM is available for Spring-Only buyers with an assembly of innovations called T3.

T3 – The Track

The new 3″ lug track in a 163″ or 174″ length is an industry first from a manufacturer. In fact, the cost to swap a 2.5″ track to a 3″ Camoplast X3 track this past year was anywhere from $1,000 – $1,500 – and it’ is a big upgrade to any of the mountain sleds.

This new PowderMax 3 Flex Edge track is a new lightweight design that a few magazine editors have already tested in West Yellowstone. Ryan Harris of SnoWest said of the 174″ track, it is designed to “take your time picking your lines and accessing stuff you’re not going to do on a 154.” Ski-Doo executive Sandy Scallion touts that the 174″ version is not a niche sled for the most extreme riders. In fact, it makes a intermediate or even a novice rider a more confident, better rider.

Maybe the Spring Fever program will come with a no-stuck guarantee.

The all new PowderMax track with 3" lug in 163" or 174" length.

The all new PowderMax track with 3″ lug in 163″ or 174″ length.

T3 – Lightweight Innovations for Summit X

The T3 package includes new innovations from front to back that improve the ride, performance and weight. 16.1 pounds is what Ski-Doo engineers stripped off the Summit XM in order to make the 2015 Ski-Doo Summit X 800 174″ T3 to be the same weight as the 2014 Ski-Doo Summit X 800 163. How did they do it?

1. Exhaust – the T3 muffler is 5 pounds lighter

2. Spindles and A-Arms – the spindle is longer under the a-arms and they still lost 2 pounds

The new T3 chaincase is 1 1/2" longer and less weight.

The new T3 chaincase is 1 1/2″ longer and less weight.

3. Chaincase and Drivers – the smaller drivers and new chaincase that is 1 1/2″ longer and lower and is 1 1/2 lbs lighter

4. Rear Rear Suspension – the arms on this new T-Motion version are chrome moly and there are no idler wheels gives us a net 3 lb weight loss

5. Track - the new 3″ design PowderMax has more windows and less rubber reinforcement on the edges losing just over 2 lbs

6. Heat Exchanger has a 50% smaller surface area and is 2.5 lbs lighter.

7. Pilot DS 3 skis – these have an optional powder tip (ski flotation extension) so you can tune your sleds to the snow conditions. The keel is 12mm deeper.

8. The new spindle design is longer and sheds 2 pounds.

The new spindle design is longer and sheds 2 pounds. Ski-Doo added 20mm between the lower a-arm and ski saddle.

8. Ice Scratchers - the new ice scratchers are a little lighter and reversible

In addition to the T3 enhancement package for the Summit X, all the summits will come with the new RF D.E.S.S key that wirelessly connects instead of relying on getting a good tether connection – no more annoying beep.

T3 Exclusive for Spring Orders

Ski-Doo understands how to innovate and how to market. The X3 package is only available on the X models, and thus the way to get one is drop $500 on a Spring Order. The in-season 2015 Ski-Doo Summit SP will be the same as the 2014 with the new wireless key and color as the only changes.

Compared to the in-season orange SP model, the T3 X model is $900 more, but you also are adding the HPG Plus shocks. The T3 X is only $550 more than the orange X model with the 2.5″ track. Remember, the 2.5″ track version of the Summit X does not come with the other T3 enhancements either.

Spring Fever Program

This year more than ever, it is critical to place an order in the Spring with your dealer. Otherwise, it’s the same sled. All the new innovations in the T3 package have to be ordered in advance. If you wait for a “snow check back out”, you’ll probably pay a lot more to get if you do find one. If you don’t like the Sunburst Yellow color, find a full wrap to tone it down a bit. Yes, Polaris has 20,000 options and Ski-Doo has one color option. However, this year we can thank Ski-Doo for focusing on new innovations for the mountain sleds. I can’t wait to see what the 174″ track is like in a few feet of fresh pow!

Where to Buy? (Shameless Plug)

If you don’t have a dealer that is already exceeding your expectations (many do), log on to where you can configure your favorite mountain sled and get an individual price quote for your Spring Order.

2015 Snowcheck – Is it Worth It?

March 4, 2014

Snowcheck is a term first used by Polaris in 1985 to order a snowmobile in the Spring with a $500 deposit. It used to mean that you got a gold colored name plate and a snowcheck jacket. The jacket was a way to show off that you would get one of the first of the new sleds. I remember snowchecking a 1998 Polaris 700 RMK and trading a 1997 Polaris 700 RMK for only $1,000 difference. $500 now and $500 to pick up the sled.

Today Snowcheck still means order the latest sled with a $500 deposit. All four manufacturers do it from March through the middle of April. They all have a different name for basically the same thing:

Polaris – Snowcheck
Typical Offers: Snowcheck Only Models, Extra Warranty, Low Interest Financing, Cash Discount
Arctic Cat – Spring Guarantee
Typical Offers: Spring Guarantee Only Models, Extra Warranty, Cat Cash
Ski-Doo – Spring Fever
Typical Offers: X Models with better shocks, Extra Warranty, Free Wrap, Cash Rebate
Yamaha – Power Surge
$2,000 Savings on Turbo or Extra Warranty and Special Financing

Because Polaris was first, all four programs are often referred to as “SnowCheck”.

10 Trade Price
Many dealers will give more for your trade in the Spring vs Fall because they have more time to sell it in the Pre-Season. Also, you have 6 months to sell your trade for more than the dealer is willing to give.
9 Limited Sleds
Less than 1/4 of all sleds are sold through Snowcheck. The limited edition models stand out from the crowd. They are also easier to sell and bring higher values because they are more unique than the standard in-season models/colors.
8 Financing
Zero interest financing or low interest financing is often available on these programs. Just make sure your credit is good in September when you go to the dealer. Even when you have the cash, it’s nice to work off someone else’s money for a while.
7 Warranty Options
There’s probably a reason that sleds only come with a 12 month warranty. With snowcheck, extra warranty may be available. Beware, this may be an Extended Service Contract from a third party with a deductible on every repair. The best way to determine the value of the extra warranty is to talk to the Service Department and ask how well the Extended Warranty for that brand takes care of claims.
6 Exchange Options
Manufacturers may have a program available for a track exchange or windshield exchange program to make upgrades more affordable. Good dealers will work with snowcheck customers to offer a take-off credit towards the stock parts like ski’s and side panels. There should also be savings on installation because the dealer won’t have to install the stock ski’s, for example.
5 Factory Love
The manufacturers will capture your email when you give them the $500 deposit and mail or email you additional information to keep you in the loop on special offers or new accessories. They may even splurge and buy you a hat.
4 Early Availability
The Spring Order sleds are some of the first to go through the assembly line. Most snowcheck sleds are available at the dealership before the end of October. This gives time before the rush, to have it ready to go for the early rides in the Fall! Dealers do not stock every model in the lineup. Therefore, by snowchecking you are guaranteed it won’t be sold out or unavailable.
3 Accessories and Modifications
Yamaha has the most aggressive program with 2 grand off a turbo, but even the other brands have rebates or free accessories options that help cover the costs of add-ons. Most dealers will offer a discount on accessories that snowcheckers buy that are pre-ordered or picked up the same time as the sled.
2 Best Deal
In addition to the factory incentives, dealers are willing to take a smaller margin on a guaranteed sale next Fall. This way, they don’t have to do as much forecasting in their order. Many times the margin is only 5% on a Snowcheck Order compared to a 10% margin on the in-season deals.
1 Something to look forward to all summer!

If 5 or more of these reasons are important to you, then Snowcheck is probably the best way to buy a snowmobile.

Remember, don’t just snowcheck from a dealer just because they have the lowest price, first see the 10 Signs of a Great Snowmobile Dealer.

2015 Ski Doo Summit X 174 Photos Leaked

March 4, 2014

We are only hours away from the final 2015 snowmobile launch. Ski-Doo will release the only significant technology improvements for the mountains this year. Here are some leaked photos of the 2015 Ski-Doo 800 Summit X with an extra long 3″ x 174″ track. Also, a glimpse of the 2015 Ski Doo full line. 20140304-002927.jpg


2015 Polaris 800 Pro RMK and the 800 HO Engine Horsepower Boost

March 3, 2014

2015 800ProRMK LE

Exciting Polaris News: 2016 Polaris 800 HO Pro RMK

The 2016 Polaris 800 HO Pro RMK is the big mountain news for Polaris. The Polaris engineered 800 HO is the most powerful 800 class engine in the industry beating out the Suzuki engineered M8000 engine and the Rotax engineered ETEC 800. The 2016 Polaris 800 HO Pro RMK will have 3-Stage electronically controlled exhaust valves, a new lightweight crankshaft- 2.5 pounds lighter, electronic oil pump and high-flow intake and exhaust. The new engine is more than 10 horsepower greater than the 2014 and 2015 Polaris 800 Pro RMK and still a couple horsepower more than the 800 ETEC and 800 Suzuki-Cat.

2015 Polaris 800 Pro RMK

The bad news….we have to wait another year. The Gen II RMK, Edge RMK, IQ RMK and Pro RMK were all introduced one year after the short track model received a new chassis. It should be no surprise that the 800 HO Axys engine won’t be converted to a Pro RMK until one year later. The 2015 Polaris 800 Pro RMK is exactly the same sled as a 2014 Polaris 800 Pro RMK with fancy new colors and graphics, of course.

The Spin

Polaris is winning virtually every stock class hillclimb race it enters with PRO RMK. The sled has a 42 lb lower “dry weight” than the closest competitor. The power, though weaker it may be to start with- transfers to the track efficiently through the belt drive. (as long as you have the new 2014 belt that doesn’t break) The 2014 Pro RMK had minimal, very minimal failures. The bugs have been worked out.

Why Snowcheck a 2015 Pro RMK? (We know about the 2016 Pro RMK)

Two reasons. 1) Polaris has 8 custom factory options for snowcheck at NO CHARGE- free. 2) $1,000 OFF Coupon for a 2016 or 2017 Polaris 800 HO Pro RMK.


The 8 custom factory options are:

  1. Side panels – Teton Grey is my favorite, but anything other than the standard red is great. They even have a pink option.
  2. Tunnel color- you can pick the color of paint you want or leave it bare
  3. Rail color – pick a color and it should help shed snow to prevent ice build-up in the suspension
  4. Starter – get electric start for free if you want
  5. Windshield – pick a tall or short windshield
  6. Storage- I like the Burandt underseat tunnel bag- at no charge
  7. Shocks- Upgrade to the Assault Walker Evans Clicker Needle shocks for free
  8. Handlebars- high or low rise Aluminum Pro-Taper bars

All these options and an instant price quote at

Bottom Line

Let Polaris work the bugs out of the new 800 HO engine on the short track models this year. We’ll be patient, if you give me $1,000 towards the new sled. For now I’ll work on wearing out the most refined Pro to date- the Flickable Fifteen Pro RMK.

2015 Polaris AXYS / Pro RMK Snowmobile – More Power, Less Weight

February 28, 2014

For 2015, Polaris is boasting 15% better Power to Weight ratio with the new generation Axys platform. Today, they launched a sneak peak campaign at the same time the media is riding the new 2015 Polaris mountain sleds near West Yellowstone, MT.
The official launch of the new sleds is only 48 hours away. The new Axys platform being promoted in a series of 4 Polaris videos carefully concealing any specifics or actual shots of the new design, however it looks like a flat land model.
The good news it that Polaris engineers are shedding weight and increasing horsepower. It seems impossible, but the new 2015 Polaris Pro RMK 800 could be the recipient of the same improved technology reducing weight 35 lbs and more horsepower.
Will it be applied to the 2015 Polaris Pro RMKs or will we have to wait until 2016? If history repeats itself, the short tracks will be a year ahead of the mountain sleds once again.
(AD) Sign up for email notification 2015 Snowmobile pricing and special edition information first at

10 Secrets to Finding a Great Snowmobile Dealer

February 24, 2014

Not all snowmobile dealers are created equal. Here’s ten signs that a snowmobile dealer is a good one.

10 Not a Boat Dealer
Are you buying from a boat or RV dealership that sells snowmobiles? If possible, find a dealer that doesn’t just have sleds as a side-line. Look at the dealers Facebook page to see what pictures are posted. If you see a bunch of boats and RV’s, keep looking.
9 Sled Savvy
Your dealer should know about the sleds and what makes them work well. A great dealer rides snowmobiles, not just sells them. They know the differences between all the brands. They know the strengths and weaknesses.
8 Trades
Find out if your dealer takes trades. If you feel like they are pushing you to sell your trade on your own because you’ll make more, you may not have the option to trade if it doesn’t sell. Great dealers will give you fair market value for any trade, any day.
7 Hassle Free
When you call a dealer and they won’t give you a price without talking to a manager, just talk to the manager. If the manager won’t talk to you, you’re talking to the wrong dealer. Pricing should be hassle free with discounts and fees stated up front in black and white.
6 Follow Up
If you are trying to buy a sled and the salesperson says they will call you back, and they don’t; imagine the service you’ll get when you’re having a problem. A great snowmobile dealer cares enough to call you back. Don’t bother with ones that don’t, even if the price is cheaper. You’ll pay in the long run.
5 Accessories and Gear
Buy from snowmobile dealers that have snowmobile parts, accessories and gear in stock. When you pick up your new snowmobile, you should be able to pick out everything you need to ride, not order it and wait. Many times, you can bundle the gear and accessories in with the snowmobile financing.
4 Fun
Buying a snowmobile should be a fun experience. If you have to drive a ways, it can still be an adventure. Visiting the dealership should be a fun experience, a cool factor. Check into the riding areas near the dealership and take advantage.
3 Unbiased
A single line dealer is going to be 100% biased towards one brand. It’s a good idea to find a snowmobile dealer with multiple brands of sleds. Manufacturers take turns at building the best sleds and you may want to consider trading in one brand for another. A great snowmobile dealer has options.
2 The Shop
The best snowmobile dealers have the best snowmobile mechanics. These mechanics ride and tune and really know how to make a sled work. It would surprise you how many dealers don’t really have snowmobile mechanics. Find dealers that have a great snowmobile service department.
1 Big Ears
Dealers that like to hear themselves talk, might never figure out what you really want. Find a dealer that will listen! When you call your dealer, do they ask questions or spew information out at you? A dealer that cares is one that listens to their customers.

Of course price is important, but a snowmobile dealer that offers a fair price should also make a fair profit. If a dealer that meets these criteria is a few hundred more on a ten thousand dollar sled, it will be well worth spending more money and even driving further to pick up your new sled!

(AD) Looking for a new dealer? Try for great expert service and low prices.

2015 Arctic Cat M8000 and M9000 SnoPro – Uncut and Honest Review

February 20, 2014

McClure Edition

An Honest Look at the 2015 Arctic Cat SnoPro M8000 & M9000

What is most exciting about 2015 Arctic Cat snowmobiles for the mountains?

It could be what didn’t change, because very little did. But there are changes and options that are a lot more significant than the industry is letting on.

  1. Engine – Rumors were flying when Arctic Cat introduced the C-TEC 600 Clean Technology 2 stroke and separated from Suzuki that the C-TEC 800 was next. The 6000 series has turned out good. Arctic Cat successful executed a reliable, well performing 600. But, the Suzuki 800 is so good, it could have easily gone backwards. Instead, Arctic Cat leaders reined Suzuki back in and penned an agreement to continue the manufacturing relationship for at least a few more years. For now, the Suzuki 800 NOT changing is great news for 2015.Image
  2. Weight – Arctic Cat stripped 18.5 pounds off the SnoPro chassis last year. Typically, a big weight loss without a dramatic design change results in a downturn in durability, and it didn’t. For 2015, another 5 pound weight loss could have compromised that integrity. Although they used more magnesium on components like the idler wheel block, the jackshaft was beefed up at the chaincase end with a larger bearing and circlip making it more durable and easy to service. Net difference in weight is likely a couple pound gain, but that could be a good thing.Image
  3. BNGs – Almost everything else didn’t change. The first iteration of the new generation M8 (2012) was a big downgrade from the 2011 M8. Change was bad that year. It was heavier, it didn’t turn, it was harder to sidehill, belts were blowing and overall, it was a nightmare. After updates and upgrades, the 2012 worked out fine, but the third iteration, the 2014 Arctic Cat M8000 was drastically improved. Besides BNGs, here’s a list of updates for the 2015 Arctic Cat Sno Pros.

Suspension Upgrades

The 2015 SnoPro’s will get improved suspension with collaboration with Fox on the calibration for the Fox Float 3 shocks including adding Fox Float 3 in the rear skid. Suspension real braces were added. The Fox Float 3’s calibrated well makes the difference between feeling wore out or feeling read for more at the end of the day.

Track: Bad News & Good News

No, there won’t be a 3” Power Claw available from the factory as a Spring Guarantee Option. However, we do get 7 tooth drivers instead of 8 tooth from the factory. Arctic Cat is finalizing plans to produce a 3” Power Claw with Camoplast. So, you’ll have two options to go 3” with the Challenger X3 track that has worked so well with the SnoPro power and powder. Work with a dealership that has a track exchange program to save money before you pick your sled up.

Rob Kincaid and David McClure Editions

Who are they? You may wonder. I’ve known these guys for years and they are polar opposites. Rob is a pure country, pine martin trapping maniac that has been competitive in the RMSHA circuit for almost 20 years, an old guy. No one loves snowmobiling in the backcountry and competitively racing more than David. He is fun and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He told me the biggest compliment he received in his career was when an Arctic Cat dealer mistook him for Tucker Hibbert. Both are real riders and true ambassadors for the sport. Motorfist has some uncut videos of these guys riding dirt bikes in the summer and trying to out do each other on their Cats every chance they get. The only things they have in common is they love Motorfist gear and Arctic Cats.

These signature Mountain Editions named after Motorfist riders Rob Kincaid and David McClure will be unique not because of the wild graphics package. You get the Pro Climb front bumper, HCR vertical steering and a tether for only about $400 more than a standard SnoPro model.

Ride a 2015 Arctic Cat First

A limited number of production 2015 M8000 and M9000’s will ship to select dealerships by the beginning of March and there will be opportunities to demo the sled before you throw down $500 on your new David McClure Edition or Rob Kincaid Edition M8000.

If you don’t own a 2014 Arctic Cat M8000 because you were concerned about the weight loss compromising durability, and you’ve had trouble with the vertically adjustable bars, you will now have confidence owning the 2015 M8000 Sno Pro Limited Editions. And, it will cost a lot less to go with a 3″ cleat.


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