Yeah so I am picking up a new 2015 Summit SP 800 146" today. The deals are so good right now on 2015 models. My girlfriend is completely addicted to snowmobiling now and the 600 has become hers. My old RMK 700 engine seized (after exactly one billion miles) so I no longer have enough sleds. I will be getting an E start and adding pull start (the pricing worked out best doing it that way), and I'm getting a kit to add E start to her 600 (just to be fair), even though the pull start is pretty easy. I agree that the emergency start is so easy, it kind of eliminates the need for the pull start, but I don't trust my ability/willingness to properly maintain my batteries so I want a true second starter. I kind of went back and forth with thinking about the 154 but honestly that 146 is the most traction I have ever had, and previously I have never been in conditions where my old RMK 151s could not handle it. I love the 146 2.5" lug and I just don't need any more traction than that. I also like that the 146 has a higher top speed due to the gear ratio, and I have come to really enjoy blasting the trails at high speeds. It used to be a novelty if it hit 75mph, now it seems like I"m going 75+ all the time. And 35 miles used to be a big day, now I'm doing 60+ every ride and the older sleds' gas mileage are limiting my range.
The 600 got 17mpg on our last ride of 65 miles, and that included at least 15 miles of true powder conditions, on and off trail riding, with the other 50 miles being fairly hardpack, optimal gas mileage conditions. Still, I never thought I would see more than about 12mpg, so that was pretty awesome.
We are not having a good spring snow season so far, but there is still plenty of time for that to change and there is still snow to ride on all the trails. The highlands around here are still very good. I always say bet on snow, and now I'm doubling down! I hope everyone out there gets some more snow before it's over!
I ended up getting a new 2015 pull start, black, 800 146" plus 3 year warranty, ice scratchers, a cover, and a spare belt. I have two E-start kits "on reserve" for a discount if I want to get them later. I'm not sure if $1,000 for 2 e-start kits is really the best use of my funds, but we'll see. My girlfriend is very happy that she won't have to share "her" red 600 anymore. As far as what it can do, the 600 is completely capable and really stunning, so I didn't "need" a bigger engine (especially since I ride under 5500' all the time). But the thing I like about 800s is when you hit the throttle and you go "OMG this is ridiculous". That 600 is super fun and doesn't make me feel short on power at all, so I'm pretty interested get this 800 broken in and see what it can do.
My friend who works at the dealership asked me not to advertise what I paid, but let's just say it was so so so much cheaper than getting a 2016 or 2017 model, basically now I have procured 2 2015 Summit SPs (both with 3 year warranty) for just a hair more than one really high-end current model. I wasn't planning on buying any new sleds this year, but that made it too hard to pass up.
50 miles on the first ride for the new 800, the new 600 is over 500 miles already even though I bought in January. I absolutely love the new 800. I am convinced it could flip over pretty easy with too much traction/throttle, so maybe the 146 track wasn't the best idea, but I think it will be fine. The power is even more ridiculous than I expected, while still being very under control, quick, and fairly linear. I went with narrow stance on the 800 and I really like it, I think it's somehow more stable than the wide stance (how I had the 600 set up) so my gf requested I set hers to narrow stance was well. Very easy to change over. Very happy with my choices, we had an incredible Sunday.
Gas mileage on the 50 mile ride as follows: 3.3 gallons for the 600, 6.7 gallons for the old 800, 6.7 gallons for the new 800. Kind of interesting that the E-Tec gas mileage was no better than the 2000 RMK, but I bet that will change. It is still at 80% break in (20% done) after the first ride. The 600 pulled another astonishing 15.2mpg, and a ton of that was off trail. My gf doesn't push it as hard as I would, this is her first year riding, but she does ride very aggressively and does all the same off trail stuff that I do.
For trail riding top speed and stability, the 2000 RMK is still the champion of my fleet. I was going as fast as I felt comfortable on the way home, which was about 75mph, and my buddy just blew past me like it was nothing on the old RMK. That low center of gravity is still nice in certain situations like that, but over all, of course, the new ones are massive improvements in every other way compared to the old ones.