How to choose a new snowmobile ?

Still too often, people talk to me about their problems with their snowmobile and I very often realize that the problems do not originate from the machine nor the pilot, but from the wrong choice of snowmobile for their needs.  This article will present how to choose the right type of machine in order to get the maximum pleasure out of it. Since many snowmobilers will visit the Motorized and Recreational Vehicles Salon in Québec to determine their next purchase, I think it is a good time to share with you a few useful advices.

Sometimes, it can be uneasy to choose between so many models and names with suffixes such as X, LXR, LTX, MTX, and more.  Well, you should be relieved; if there are so many models, one should be for you.

The first step is to determine the purpose of your future snowmobile.  You must ask yourself if you are going to ride solo or with a passenger, on trails or off trails, as a tourist or as a snowcross racer, for working purposes?  It is also important for many people to choose between a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke engine.  All these questions are the first step and to my opinion, the most important one when buying since it will determine the type of machine you need.

Then, you must consider your priorities, such as your purchase and maintenance budget.  Sometimes, you must choose between the look and the comfort.  Is the wind protection adequate?  Some sport models are not conceived for chilly persons.  The engine noise can also influence your comfort.  If power is not one of your priorities, why should you pay for a 800 cc or a 1000 cc if a 600 cc would be best for your needs? Moreover, this one will be cheaper on purchase, on maintenance, on fuel and mostly, will cost less to insure.  For some of you, the weight and manoeuvrability are of a great importance, and this, mostly off-trail.  For others, the reliability and low fuel consumption are essential.

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More and more, the manufacturers let us choose our own standard features in order to satisfy every type of riders.  It is necessary to analyze some standard equipment.  Do you need an electric starter?   Even if I find it ridiculous that in 2008, reverse is not a standard feature, it remains quite useful.  Can you ride with a passenger?  If low fuel consumption is your first priority, a low profile track would be the best because higher is the profile, more the track needs power to accelerate.  A long track is perfectly suitable for powdery snow lovers or for the one who looks for more comfort when riding with a passenger, instead of being less economic.

The suspension types are now more diversified and it is sadly the worst advised aspect of all.  Too many people buy a look instead of the trail snowmobile they need.  Then they complain about the lack of smoothness they wished for.  It is no use to pay for a racer kit if you just go for a ride on trails.  Other options are also available such as heated seats, 12v switch, adjustable handlebar, electric temperature and fuel gauges.  In short, many accessories are available.

Finally, remember there is no good or bad choice; all manufacturers offer quality products with their forces and weaknesses.  However, what is convenient for you is not necessarily the best for everyone.  Remember that your best counsellors are still your dealers.  Indeed, sometimes they organize trials that are opened to the public, which is for me the best test of all.

I will be happy to see you at the Salon.  Have a good reflection!