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Thread: Utility snowmobiles

  1. #1
    scout88305's Avatar
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    Utility snowmobiles

    I am looking at the Arctic cat Bearcat 570 or Skidoo Skandic/tundra sleds. I read some bad press about the 550 fan cooled rotax in the Skidoo. Cannot afford a 4 stroke and the 300f Single cylinder Tundra aren't being made anymore. Anyone with opinions? The Yamaha Bravo is too small and this year will be it's last year. Polaris models were $7000 or more.
    Thank a sheepdog today for they are standing guard!

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    550F is pretty bulletproof. I do think they upped the engine recently and have it running leaner than before due to epa regs.

    We have a sled with a 550f in it.....no problems in 2k miles.

    www.dootalk.com

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    The Bravo is the only thing that will run when it is -50 below.

  4. #4
    StewartB
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    I had a Tundra II for several years while a couple of friends had Bravos. Better them than me. The Tundra was the better sled. Still is if you can find a good one in the used market. Same for a 2-stroke Viking. Great machines. Had a couple. Sold them both to good friends. The first one has to be well over 10,000 miles and is still going strong, pulling freight every time I see it. The current SkiDoo Expedition line is probably the best all-around sled out there now but I wouldn't want a 550f myself. Gas guzzlers, those. The 600SDI or this year's Etec is far and away the better engine. My friends that had 550f have all gone up to 600 liquids. The SDI and Etec motors are both winners. The 570 Bearcat is a lot of sled for the money. It should suck gas, too, but at least it has a 17 gallon tank. My current heavy hauler is a Yami Professional. I'll never go back to 2-stroke for freighting. But I went from 4-stroke Nytros to Etecs for the go-fast sleds. Lighter is still better for sport riding. The front ends are fragile, though.

    Stewart

  5. #5
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I got a 4 stroke that you can afford

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKeS26lRNRU

    Glenn

  6. #6
    OVEREASYGUY's Avatar
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    Glenn I guess you don't feel the need to go zero to 60 in 3 seconds! My last sled I had a few years back was a 700 - holly cow was that fast!

    I don't plan to buy one anytime soon but if one wanted one where you NEVER have to worry about getting stuck and can go off the trails - is a 20 inch wide track going to do the trick?

    I rode a widetrack once - one they use for grooming trails and it was pretty neat in that you could go off the trail into a field of powder and not have to worry about getting stuck at all! I like the idea of exploring where no man has gone before!

    cliff in Maine

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    I have the 2009 Tundra LT 550. It's a pulling beast and gets a whole 10MPG on a good day. The new 550's had some jetting problems but once that was fixed they seemed like a good machine. The new 600ACE four-strokes are looking promising, we will see. I also have a Tundra 300RF. It's my favorite besides my Elan's. You can usually get a good used one for 3-4 grand. Try an Elan . They are light go anywhere.I have 3 of them.

  8. #8

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    Well with 13,000 miles on my 2006 Skandic SWT 550F I have not had a lick of trouble. Which is why this time last year I picked up another 2 stroke 550F in a Tundra LT. That machine was ridden 800 miles trouble free miles last season and is much better on gas then the SWT.

    If I had to guess at least 5,000 of those miles were pulling freight sleds between 1200 and 2000lbs with at least one close to 3,500 lbs (bundle of 3/4 - plywood) from Amber Lake back into the Kahiltna area. I've worked the machine hard and it is rough on gas. I usually carry an extra 18 gallons which gives me a heck of a range even breaking trail while pulling in the deep stuff. I also have a 2001 SWT with the older 500F in it. It also has a lot of miles and has been fairly trouble free but seems to have much less ooomph to it than the 550F. The new SWT has the V800 in it and I test rode that for a week for Skidoo. I hated it, the weight and the liquid cooling. I keep telling Skidoo to make another run of SWT with the 550F so I can buy two more. The new SWT's with the V800 pull strong but you have to keep snow on the hyfax to keep it cool. If you pull your loads at night when trails are setup the firmest, you just don't have the loose snow to throw up sufficiently to cool the machines. Diving off a trail into deep snow, at night while pulling, is a good way to get yourself exhausted digging yourself out. With the axial fan 550's you just don't have that problem.

    I will admit I am not the typical rider. My machines are tweaked to meet my needs and well taken care of. When I am riding alone mid week a 100 miles from the truck and trailer, in the middle of a March snowstorm, it's not longer play time. I've no complaints about the ability of the 550F to get me out and back safely.

    Trapperty, I am curious what kind of loads you pull with the Tundra LT 550F. If you're pulling any kind of sizable load you must have addressed the weak tunnel and hitch design.

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    Stalledout. My 550 tundra as far as I know doesn't have a weak tunnel or hitch. I know I have tested it thoroughly . It is the RF chassis not the new one. The new one looks weaker. Most of my load pulling was over rough trail(no snow) with an Elan in the siglin, 30gal fuel, traps, and dead stuff. I tested the tunnel strength a few times in overflow using a rope with lots of slack and hitting the end of it to pull out my sled. Have you heard of them breaking?

  10. #10
    StewartB
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    Coming soon.


  11. #11

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    Trapperty, no I have the newer Rev-XU platform with the updated 550F in it. It definitely is a weaker tunnel and while it will tow, the factory design doesn't allow for much. Just wondering since you said it was a pulling beast.

  12. #12
    StewartB
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    The XU tunnel looks like my XP tunnels. With the 16" track there's not enough room to rivet a reinforcing doubler under the tunnel. I had .100" aluminum all bent up to beef mine up but hit a dead end when I went to put them in. Even with flush rivets there wasn't adequate space. It would be simple enough to do externally but it would look like Frankenstein.

    SB

  13. #13

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    Ha !Frankenstein ! There are lots of those machines around here. Mostly Polaris's with pieces of bed-frame for reinforcements. Welded up a few myself for friends.

    Here's pic of one of my loads. Notice the bumper/skidplate on the Tundra. It fixes the snowplowing that the RF chassis does. The willows,overflow, and deep snow won't stop it.


  14. #14
    StewartB
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    Sweet windshield.

    I destroyed every Polaris I ever owned except an '04 Pro X, and I still have that one in storage. Anchorage boys can cobble sleds together with the best of them!

    Nice pic. It looks like a warm spring day. We have a ways to go before we'll see any of those, eh? How's the Siglin holding up?

    SB

  15. #15

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    It was warm only -20F. The Siglin is holding up good. I hauled a few dead full sized machines in it last year. They collapsed the sides of the sled and put a kink in the bottom. I was sure it wouldn't straighten out. After the machine was removed it straightened itself out in a few days. You can't even tell it was bent.

  16. #16
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Stewart,
    i would love to see some more of your sledding pics! that sort of snow is what i dream of, im thrilled with the small mts in new england with a few feet of snow, but that looks awesome!

    Tom

  17. #17
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    I like my SkiDoo Tundra 300F. Rev chasis that is aluminum, long track, easy to get out of creeks or really deep stick. I break trail from Shell Lake to Puntilla Lake for the Iditarod with this machine. I have had a whole line of Skidoos, from Elans, Alpines, and every Tundra made up to the 300F. I think they ruined the Tundra with the pig they now produce with a 550 twin. I rode one at Rohn last year for a few days, and it is too heavy for it to be called a Tundra.

    I have bought a new Arctic Cat 550 fan BearCat. They are awesome machines, but if you get them stuck, bring your come-alongs, winches, and a lunch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acpHfZYTtnY




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  18. #18
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Scooter, it snowed all day here in upstate NY today, but if it snowed for 100 years every day here it would never be as awesome as it looks in that photo, life's not fair for the rest of us in the lower 48, enjoy it for the rest of us.

    Glenn

  19. #19

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    Wow. The 300F Tundra is now longer offered by Skidoo . The dry weight was listed at 380lbs but most from CC or AMDS went out the door right a 400. The 2009 550F Tundra I have weighs in at just over 460lbs. The spec sheet has the dry weight at 483 but mine was much lighter. Often thats because the specs are based on the spring model not the actual production run. In any case, the reality is it just 60 to 70lbs heavier. I actually think the opposite, they finally powered the Tundra appropriately. Apparently the engineers at Skidoo do too since they offer it in the full Tundra line in 2010.
    I'll see if i can get a few thousand miles on mine this winter and see if I change my mind. I'm sure to bury it in a creek or two, and sink it in overflow at some point.

    I use a old boat anchor and portable 12V winch to get out. I haven't dug any of my sleds out in years.

  20. #20
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    @StalledOut You must have got a light one, as most of the new 550 Tundras are coming out over 500lbs.

    When I break through those creeks in December and early January breaking trail, my skis are pointed towards the moon and the snow flap is in the bottom of the creek. If you can't jump in the creek and throw the machine out, you are toast. Thought about the winch, but just wouldn't cover some of the get stuck that I get into. I carry a rope come-a-long with 200' of rope, and use it alot (sometimes a long way to find a little tree to anchor too). Good idea on the boat anchor, actually brilliant. I will have to get one. And maybe a buoy too for those deep creeks! Plenty of overflow around to get into, let me know and I will send you some coordinates!

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    Scooter have you broken any engine mounts on that 300F? That and the carb boot are definite weak points on them. The vibrations from the chainsaw sized engine do most of the damage. I really like mine though and wouldn't trade it for the new sleds. The 550 isn't really a Tundra just a heavy work sled.

    Stalledout the boat anchor idea is great. I have a nice light one I use for my canoe. I never though of using one for unsticking a snow machine or a cub.

  22. #22
    Crash's Avatar
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    Utility Sleds

    Utility Sleds....I've owned a few. First one was an '01 Ski-Doo 500F SWT (Super Wide Track, 24" x 156"). This one I rode 1,100 miles (in January) to Nome before the trail was in. Self contained no support. Took 8 days.

    Sold it and bought an '06 550F Ski-Doo SWT. They're great machines for towing a heavy sled but not much of a "riding" machine.

    Sold it and bought a Ski-Doo 550LT Tundra. Liked it so much I bought a second one as well as a 300F in the same chassis.

    Never had ANY problems with the 500F or 550F engines in these sleds.

    They're actually jetted way too rich. That is why they have a bad rep for gas mileage. Change the pilot jets to #35's and the mains to #170's and they get around 15 MPG average.

    On the 550 LT Tundra another good thing to do is get rid of the big heavy 2 up seat. Changing to a 300F seat takes off 35 lbs and makes the machine much easier to move around on.



    Stock MAMMOTH two up seat on the foreground 550LT. 300F seat on the 550LT next to the Cub. I've since changed both sleds to 300F seats.



    Tundra 300F seat on a 550LT. Also gives you more rear rack space.

    Great sleds for towing a load, breaking trail or just having fun.

    Crash

  23. #23

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    If you get one of those swivel type anchors you can often just get it out in front, pointed to the tundra and let it dig down until it finds something to gab onto. It works better than you'd think. I have one of those cheapo winches from Costco, and it has about 50 feet of cable. I added 100 feet of the Warn nylon cord and a little chain up where the anchor is. I've never needed more. I go out front and stomp it down a bit and let it do it's thing. If you're stuck going up a hill it works great.

    I've been down at the east end of your lake in overflow before, down by Dannys place.

  24. #24
    Siwash's Avatar
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    When all the artsy fartsy machinery fails, the Tundra II keeps on trucking...








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    Crash switching the seats saves 35lbs? What does the 2 up seat weigh? I like the looks of the 550 with the 300 seat. You re-jetted both those machines? How many miles do you have on them? What temps are you riding in? I'm interested because most of the reason I don't ride the 550 is gas consumption.

  26. #26
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    Nice photos of the Tundra II's Siwash! I have one of those too, great sleds.

    I have had problems with the carb intake boot on the 300F. After having it fail, and walking home once, I now have a spare under my seat. It is not item you can fix on the trail, regardless of the amount of duct tape or wire you have with you.
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    I bought a new 2010 Bearcat 570 (the wide track version) last year and used it all season. It is not fast, but a heck of a work horse. I use it with the largest rack available and am always the one to haul the ice auger, all the baggage and portable shack. It grooms a few miles of ski trails after every snow and it never complains. One buddy is buying a 2011 this season and everyone else that has riden it, raves about the ride. Steve

  28. #28

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    One friend has a 09 Bearcat one has a 10 the guy with the 09 put a few thousand miles on it last year and isn't happy with it. Not enough power and over heated. He bought a 2010 4 stroke at the end of the season. Waiting to see how he likes it. I bought 2, 93 tundra II's new. They ain't worth a crap. Still have one and cuss it every time I ride it. I also have a 96 440 Bearcat that has been excellent. The guy with the 2010 2 stoke didn't ride it much last year but was OK with it. Think about the Polaris Wide track they have kept them the same pretty much and where fairly reliable.
    Tim

  29. #29
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapperty
    Crash switching the seats saves 35lbs? What does the 2 up seat weigh? I like the looks of the 550 with the 300 seat. You re-jetted both those machines? How many miles do you have on them? What temps are you riding in? I'm interested because most of the reason I don't ride the 550 is gas consumption.
    The stock seat comes with a heavy back rest that is not shown on my one machine. Take the entire seat with back rest and weigh it. As I recall it weighed in the upper 40's. The Tundra 300F seat is feather light.

    I have around 1,000 miles on both sleds and have ridden them down to -20 with the leaner jets. No melt downs yet. They also run a lot stronger jetted right. I've seen 80 mph on the speedo running flat out on hard packed snow / ice. All sleds (2 stroke w/ carbs.) come jetted WAY fat to keep warranty claims down.

    You also might check track tension. If the track is too tight it causes a lot of drag and hurts gas mileage.

    Take care,

    Crash

  30. #30

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    Thanks Crash. 80mph that's pretty fast. Mine does about 70 wide open on hardpack. I will have to check the track tension. I might see what a 300F seat costs also. Skidoo parts are about as expensive as aircraft parts.

    Nice Tundra pics Siwash.

  31. #31
    StewartB
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    You 550f guys ought to look at Holtzman's TempaFlow. Great invention. Jet for the coldest temps you'll ride in and the TempaFlow will do the fuel adjustments for warmer temps. I've had several in the past. From -30s on the Su to +50 at Arctic Man. No rejetting necessary. Nothing but good feedback from me.

    http://www.holtzmaneng.com/

    Anchorage is very white this morning. Still snowing hard. Time to get the sleds out.

    Stewart

  32. #32

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    Stewart do you know anybody using the Tempraflow? I checked out their site and it looks like a worthwhile mod. I had a Polaris 550 Trail with an altitude adjusting carb system (AACS) and it seemed to work fine. I don't know if it was similar to the Holtzman or not. I was running the machine at 10,000ft and brought it to sea level when we moved and it ran fine. The plugs were an even tan color. I am sure the clutch weights probably needed changed though.

  33. #33
    StewartB
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    I've installed a few for myself and a couple for friends, all in Polaris Edge sleds. I still have one of those, too. All were beneficial. None ever had a problem or failure of any kind. Holtzman also makes a temp+altitude compensator called an ATAC. I put one in an RMK but took it out because I didn't need altitude compensation and a friend wanted it. I put a TempFlow in it's place. I have not put one into a SkiDoo because for years they had the HAC system built-in. Now my SkiDoo buddies and I have SDIs and Etecs. From what I've heard and read about the 550f it should be a good match. Maybe a call to Holtzman would be worthwhile. Those guys know their stuff.

    Stewart

  34. #34
    SteveE's Avatar
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    Allright,,, you guys with all the hotshot snowmachines....

    Well just hang on... I need to knock the dust off this one and just watch out.. I'm gonna leave you in a cloud of dust....errrr,,, snow...



    So quit your braggin...

  35. #35
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    Allright,,, you guys with all the hotshot snowmachines....

    Well just hang on... I need to knock the dust off this one and just watch out.. I'm gonna leave you in a cloud of dust....errrr,,, snow...



    So quit your braggin...
    Lets go, I'll meet you in the middle say central Ohio in January, will run for pink slips or a beer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKeS26lRNRU

    Glenn

  36. #36
    StewartB
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    Hey, Eaton,

    Want to sell that thing? It would be a big hit at Arctic Man!

    Stewart

  37. #37
    Tim's Avatar
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    Glenn, if you're going to race Eaton, don't get to close to him, he's apt to
    flip over on top of you

  38. #38
    Crash's Avatar
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    Snowmachines

    For just out rippin with the boys I also have some RMK's.



    Crash

  39. #39
    swedishcub's Avatar
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    This is how we do it in Sweden when we don't have enough of snow for the snowmobiles.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG0Rq-FiHBQ

    Swedishcub
    L21B owner

  40. #40
    Bob Breeden's Avatar
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    Does anyone know of a place online to obtain the replacement jets, for a RMK 550 Trail? Thank you.

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