I make a point of reading all the comments our readers and viewers make on my articles and videos. Most of your comments are presented respectfully, albeit sometimes with a measure of intolerance. Those who are insulting I don’t bother with. In this diatribe I want to comment on some questions and comments you’ve made so far this season and share with you my take on these burning issues. So here goes!
*Why don’t the OEMs offer a 500-550 fan cooled engine in their current bodywork?
Actually, they do – or Polaris does. The EVO Indy uses Polaris’ Fuji-built 550cc carbureted, fan-cooled twin. Don’t look for more fan-cooled engines in the future. “Leaf blowers” are almost impossible to get EPA certified. Polaris is using EPA “credits” to bring the EVO to the market.
In the future everything will be liquid cooled and/or 4-stroke or SDI/DI 2-stroke powered. Ski-Doo actually replaced its 550 Fan with a 600 ACE 4-stroke liquid cooled twin.
*Why don’t you guys do shoot-outs and comparisons on fan-coolers and small displacement sleds?
The interest level in the performance of these sleds is very low for the most part. The vast majority of our viewers and readers want in-depth opinion and analysis of “meat of the market” sleds. That’s what we generally give you.
*Why don’t the OEMs bring back old engines like the 440 liquids from SD, Polaris and AC?
Not gonna happen. These “old” mostly limited-build snocross engines are incredibly dirty and were never built to accommodate EFI. It’s about EPA certification. Truth is it’s not that much more expensive to build a 600 twin. Snowmobile engines all have a basic cost “threshold” regardless of their displacement. That being said few buyers would want a smelly 9000 RPM 440 in their trail sled.
*I just want a no-nonsense simple sled I can fix without stuff like direct and semi-direct injection and 4-stroke engines.
To answer this credible complaint, I say this: Nothing in the recreational power sport industry is technically simple anymore. Fuel efficiency and emission standards dictate sophisticated fuel management that requires OEM special service tools and gadgets to diagnose and repair. 4-strokes are here to stay.
*Most of today’s sleds are built flimsy. They bend and break too easily and are not up to the way I ride.
Light is right and today’s lighter weight snowmobiles sell like crazy because riders know less weight produces a faster, better riding, better handling sled. Truth be told, these lighter sleds are not flimsy.
*New sleds are too expensive – I won’t buy a new one when I can just keep riding my 2005 Snow Bullet.
I already answered this one in an article this past fall. Check it out HERE. Truth is, for the level of sophistication a modern sled possesses snowmobiles are not too expensive. The level of technology present and a snowmobile’s ability to hold its value continue to make them an attractive powersport vehicle.
Keep sending me your questions and comments and I’ll do this again this season.