Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of miles of groomed snowmobile trails in North America, not to mention virtually endless raw terrain? You probably did if you’re thinking of buying a new or used snowmobile – a fun and exciting purchase to make. There are several different types of snowmobiles, and each type has its own unique features and practical uses.
Types of Snowmobiles
• Mountain snowmobiles: For uphill action, nothing beats the climbing power of a mountain snowmobile. This is the right choice if you live in an area with lots of mountains, inclines, and snow. Mountain snowmobiles typically offer 120+ horsepower, electronic reverse, and hydraulic brakes.
• Trail snowmobiles: High-speed acceleration and a sporty look make trail snowmobiles attractive to performance lovers. Perfect for rough trails, these usually come with 130+ horsepower, electric start, mechanical reverse, and high-pressure shock absorption.
• Performance snowmobiles: Also well suited for rough trails and high speeds, performance snowmobiles are often the tempting choice for thrill seekers and snowmobile veterans.
• Touring snowmobiles: Touring snowmobiles are great for long-distance rides. Heated seats and smooth suspension keep leisure riders comfortable, but high speeds are still an option with this type.
• Utility snowmobiles: The perfect combination of function and fun, utility snowmobiles are great for everything from carrying supplies to towing other sleds.
What Is Your Skill Level?
Will this be the first time you’ve ever tried snowmobiling, are you a seasoned pro, or does your skill level lie somewhere in between? To choose the right snowmobile for yourself, be honest with yourself; how and where you will ride your snowmobile the most can help you determine which one to buy. Do you like hitting big bumps? Will you go fast or slow? On or off groomed trails? On flat landscapes or steep inclines? Choosing the right snowmobile can help keep you safe and make sure you have the best possible riding experience on your sled.
What Type of Engine Should You Choose?
There are two basic types of engines found in snowmobiles: two-stroke and four-stroke. A two-stroke engine completes a full engine cycle with two strokes of the piston per crankshaft revolution. Similarly, four-stroke engines take four piston movements to complete the engine cycle.
Two-stroke engines are generally lighter, more compact, and have fewer moving parts than four-stroke engines, with they have a high power-to-weight ratio. Newer four strokes, however, are lighter than their predecessors.
Because both types of engines come in a broad range of quality levels, one type isn’t necessarily better than the other. The better choice depends on your individual needs and preferences, as well as the quality of the specific engines in question.
What about Snowmobile Track Length?
Choosing a track length can be a bit confusing, as there are many options. The track is the reinforced rubber part wrapped around the rear suspension system. In general, longer tracks will make for a smoother ride. In deeper or fresh snow, longer tracks typically offer better traction and help you to not get stuck when slowing down. They typically are not quite as good at handling trails and sharper turns as shorter tracks. Keep in mind that longer tracks add more weight, so they require stronger engines.
Short tracks, on the other hand, are great for quickness and maneuverability, so they are good when you’re on narrower trails or making sharp turns. As opposed to long track snowmobiles’ usefulness in deep and powdery snow, short tracks are a good choice if you’ll be riding on groomed trails or packed snow.
Knowing the answers to these and other questions can help you figure out where to begin in your search for a new snowmobile. There is a wide range of snowmobiles on the market, so the perfect one for you is out there, regardless of your skill level, location, or budget.