We’ve selected four 10-year-old sleds we think would be good choices to look for as used sled buys this winter. We’ve deliberately chosen sleds with longer tracks to more accurately reflect the type of riding enthusiasts are doing in this decade.
One advantage is we’ve been able to make our selections based on the track records of both performance and reliability these sleds have exhibited down through the last ten seasons. Take a look and let us know what you think!
2011 ARCTIC CAT TURBO LXR 128 OR EXT 144
Arctic Cat pioneered turbocharged snowmobiles. It’s been nearly 16 years since the first 660 Suzuki car engines, complete with teeny-weeny little turbos, were somehow shoehorned into a modified ZR sit-down-ergo chassis.
Following the T660 era the move to insert a purpose-built 1056cc even firing parallel twin avec turbocharger in the new Twin Spar chassis was completely in character with the bravado Arctic Cat displayed at this time in sno-mo-history.
These sleds were out-of-the-box crotch rockets the aftermarket immediately modified to deliver way, way more than 200 ponies. Unfortunately, these modified Suzuki powered sno-missiles experienced amazing – sometimes heroic – ejection of drive belts along with secondary clutches and belt guards when honing a lake at WOT.
I personally had my left foot compressed by a 100-mph secondary pulley flying around under the hood of a Twin Spar turbo. The noise was similar to 35 flying ball bearings inside a galvanized garbage can.
The good news is this: If you can find a used Twin Spar Turbo that hasn’t been chipped and/or the waste gate modified you can own a sled that’ll give a new Pro Cross Arctic Cat Thundercat Turbo a good run.
While it is wise to use boost judiciously – that means not holding the sled wide open for 90 seconds at a time – you can still zoom past the C-note with your hair on fire. Speed is speed and horsepower is horsepower. Despite being 10 years old these sleds are revered for their top end and acceleration to this day.
I mostly agree with Mark’s choice here, mainly because the big 1056cc Suzuki 4-stroke twin was so reliable.
However, an easier-to-find and equally reliable answer would have been the 2011 F8 using Suzuki’s famous 800 twin. The fact is, this 800 was the most trouble-free and reliable 800 of this era.
Yes, it smoked like a radio emcee and had some faults like excess vibes and not the best gas mileage but it could take abuse and outlive the competition’s 800s on the long haul.
It also made that particular Cat chassis feel reasonably light – especially lighter than the bulky Twin Spar Z1Turbo.