BUILDING CHEAPER SNOWMOBILES

One thing we keep hearing is the need in the industry for cheaper sleds. If you ask any of the manufacturers, they’ll tell you this is easier said than done.

Fact is the OEMs are squeezed between a rock and a hard place trying to build sleds that have appeal to the demands of consumers these days.

It may seem like a good idea for a less-equipped bargain sled to be offered in showrooms but would you really put your money on it when there’s a loaded up gizmo-laden sled sitting next to it ready to fulfill your dreams for a higher price?

We keep hearing from the manufacturers their efforts to build cheaper stuff just don’t pan out because snowmobilers want more: More electronics, more power, more comfort, more suspension.

The other factor is the EPA. It just costs a lot of money to build sleds that meet the corporate fleet requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Everything from the design process to the testing and certification of today’s sleds is very, very expensive and requires tremendous manpower. The cost gets passed on to the consumer and there’s simply no way around it.

All this being said however, there is a sweet spot in the industry for more sleds like Ski-Doo’s MX-Z Sport 600 XP. This is a very good performing sled that meets the requirements of a lot of performance riders without breaking the bank. Its fairly uncomplicated (by today’s standards) Rotax twin is carbureted and its shock package, although very competent, is a definite downgrade compared to many competitors.

The end result is a sled that is priced right and offers everything you need in the power, ride and handling categories.

We’d like to see more of this kind of snowmobile – at least as far as the EPA allows the sled-makers to sell them.

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