Regarding E-TEC: Some Objectivity Please!

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Dear Motorhead:

With regard to the “HOW LONG WILL AN ETEC LAST?” article, some objectivity please!

I believe an ETEC will last. However, will it last as long as a 4 stroke? Hell no! Yes it will be cheaper to fix, but it will be fixed long before the 4-stroke.

As for fuel economy, let’s have a head to head on different terrain, different throttle settings at different mileage intervals over the course of a winter with documentation.

Then’s there’s oil consumption and lastly and often overlooked, RESALE. Check dealer black book. The ETEC outshines 4-strokes in many areas, but from a purely ‘money’ standpoint it takes a backseat to today’s best 4-stroke technology.

Greg F

Dear Greg:

We appreciate and respect your comments.

One more issue that’s of material consequence – weight. Until we get 4 stroke engines to produce similar power-per-kg as DI 2 strokes the E-TEC argument is hard to counter. No other vehicle outside of Off-Road MC’s are as sensitive to weight as snowmobiles. I

think E-TEC resale – not other EFI or SDI 2 strokes – but E-TEC specifically has exceptionally strong resale right now. In five years? Dunno.

We are convinced 4 stroke fuel economy is not in the same league as E-TEC. We have done same day comparisons every year since the first 600 E-TEC arrived and the difference is significant. Unfortunately, we have decided not to publish hard data mpg numbers because readers will inevitably mis-interpret what they mean.

Snow is a transient medium and it’s always different. So, we draw our conclusions from what we see and report it in a way that we believe verifies E-TEC’s superiority in fuel economy. It isn’t the odd time the E-TEC beats comparable 4 stroke mpg – it’s everytime.

Oil cost E-TEC vs 4-stroke gets harder to declare a winner as the miles pile up. 4-stroke oil economy is better if you ride more on your seasonal oil change. E-TEC is level – ride a mile and use the same amount of oil every mile.


Motorhead Mark

I agree with most of your comments, Mark. Much more difficult to achieve in a snowmobile application, but it would be sano if a snowmobile 4-Stroke could hold it’s durability & performance and drop to 2-Stroke weight levels.

Yamaha has recently achieved this in an award winning Marine Outboard product and the weight distinction in MX is small with the 450’s having clear performance advantages over the old 250’s & 500’s.

We wouldn’t dare to try to jump some of the triple’s we do today on the old 2-Stroke MX bikes.

I can tell you’re predisposed to Yamaha and that’s okay. However, think about this – the new 600 ACE from SD is a feather.

I would guess a turbo or more preferably a Supercharger could be fitted to that engine and the total weight of the sled might come in scary close to competitive 2 strokes – not necessarily SD’s – but the competition.

The engine – if it’s strong enough (probably isn’t) could be boosted to the 125 HP range and that would be as close to 2 stroke weight of any sled I can think of with 4 stroke power. Anyway, just a thought.

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