600 OR 800 – WHICH IS BEST?

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We’ve heard arguments both ways, first from 800cc sled owners and then from 600 riders.

800 riders will ask the question: Why cut yourself short when you’re spending the money for a new sled anyway? Just buy the maximum horsepower and be done with it. Besides, if you’re riding a 600 with a group of 800’s you’re going to be looking at taillights all day.

Another point is if you’re running at maximum speeds on big lakes all day long, your 600 is going to use as much or more gas than an 800 and your oil consumption will be high too.

800 owners tend to be key influencers in any group and are usually looking for the most available power for themselves and will unwittingly put pressure on their riding buddies to go big, too. Is it always the right direction to go?

First, a 600 producing somewhere around 120 to 130-hp is almost perfect for the majority of trail riding you’ll be doing. The power delivery from an engine in this range means you’re using less muscle to lug it over trails and to keep it in maximum control.

You won’t experience the level of fatigue you might feel if you’re yanking around a bigger, more powerful sled with that extra 35-40 ponies. This is especially important for female riders, novices or younger riders.

Certainly, on lakes and straight-aways, the 800 will outrun the 600 but we’ve found a 600 at the hands of the right rider tends to be a bit more agile in the turns and the sled may even be slightly lighter overall.

In acceleration runs from corner to corner on normal trails where straights are not as long, the 600 can actually be quicker.

Today’s 600’s are great engines and historically, this engine displacement size has had far fewer durability issues than the more tightly-wound 800 2-stroke choices out there.

Just ask any 800 owner how long they keep their sled and why they want to sell it every couple of years.

Frankly, this writer loves the 600 class and finds that hp range just about perfect.

Kent Lester
Kent Lester
Kent Lester is Co-Publisher of SUPERTRAX Magazine and a regular contributor to this website.

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