We’ve been writing about the benefits and value of owning a sled with a 136-137-inch track all year – and frankly, because you can go into off-trail powder with them and trail ride them, too, longer tracks do make tremendous sense.
There’s no question those sleds are selling big right now. However, we recently put some late-season miles on a couple of sleds with 129 and 120-inchers and, wow, we’d almost forgotten how great those things handle on trails.
Without question, when the snow is packed down and frozen and you want to glide through corners with minimum steering effort, a free-wheeling short tracker turns telepathically and can snake through the trees like an eel dipped in Vaseline.
We rode a couple of 120-inch Ski-Doos (XRS800 and a 1200 TNT), a Cat (LXR 7000) and an Indy 800 along with a group of 137s for comparison.
We’d best describe the difference as the shorter tracks having more nimbleness overall than a long track and very quick turn-in with a lighter feeling at the handlebars.
The hard truth is, the 137-inchers available for 2015 are incredibly good handling and riding sleds and no one can deny their versatility – but we just can’t get over how awesome those short trackers work in the tight stuff.
If you’re ordering up a new sled this year, we can’t honestly predict which one you’d like most. However, after putting some big miles on the short trackers, we love ’em!
We’re even wondering if there might be a place for Arctic Cat, instead of using its 129-inch track, to put a 120-incher underneath a Pro-Cross chassis (maybe a 600 or 800 2-stroke) – sort of offering the ultimate-handling super-light trail ripper. Who knows?