So, when we talk about hypersleds, what do we mean? In our Supertrax vocabulary it merely means “ultimate”, “top drawer performance”, “extreme”.
Really, even that description is not completely descriptive of what we mean. Some of our readers and viewers think it only refers to a snowmobile’s top speed or acceleration.
As you know, these results are only part of what makes a snowmobile an extreme performer. Frankly, if it was only about top speed and getting up there, the Yamaha and Cat Turbos would win the class every time. However, they don’t complete the whole performance story.
When we talk about hypersleds we mean it has to be about the performance of the whole sled – and that means handling, ergonomics and ride, too. This is one of the reasons the 800 and 850 2-strokes do so well in comparison to the super-powerful turbos.
The fact a 2-stroke’s low weight has so much to do with the overall performance of a sled is difficult to overlook. You can run an 850 2-stroke down a trail against a turbo and the 2-stroke will outperform the 4-stroke every time. It’s only on the wide open lakes and forest access trails the 4-stroke runs away – and not by that much.
Weight, or “power-to-weight”, is the great equalizer with snowmobiles and since snowmobiles are ridden in all kinds of situations: Powder, hard packed snow and tight, twisting trails, a hypersled has to outperform in every situation.
It really comes down to the type of rider you are and how you want to use your high performance sled. If you’re exclusively a groomed trail rider who likes to get out on the lakes once in a while and exercise the tach needle, the turbo is an excellent choice and will give you exactly what you want.
If you’re a trail rider who likes to run tight, groomed trails, play in powder, do some lowland hill climbing, grab some air or just use the sled in a hundred different ways, the big-inch 2-strokes will satisfy you better.
Ultimate is ultimate and it means it has to do everything well. Tough to compare the category when results are so radically different!