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I have been thinking about the 2003 snowmobiles that have been rumored, and been released, and the market appears to be doing things differently, more differently than usual...

Yamaha: The only big change for them appears to be the RX-1, obviously there is alot of changes, but dropping models is easy. They appear to be consolidating their lineup into fewer models all the time, and I think they may be the first to have an all 4-stroke fleet. I also believe if the RX-1 is successful, they will also introduce another 4-stroker based on their 600cc street bike mill, it only seems natural to me to offer something a little less potent. for 2003 Likes: the guts to put out a powerful 4-stroke, and A-Arms, long track viper. Dislikes: no new rear skid.

Arctic Cat: Whats not to like about their lineup? I think they will hit a homerun with the F5 and F7 as long as there are no major reliability issues....the reasons I believe this is the choices of styling, EFI available, snowcross track, still looks like a snowmobile (more conservative than the REV). I dont ride Cats, and never really cared for them, but I am impressed by what they are doing. 2003 likes: Laydown motor, color/graphics choices on Firecats. Dislikes: no F6 and F8/F9 (maybe next year), no new 4-stroke tech or new EFI(DFI) systems, No triples.

Ski-Doo: I currently ride Doo I like, not love their lineup. The REV is something to behold, and I am betting it will work well, but I dont think I am ready for it yet. I am also happy that the 809 is still alive, but in that tank CK3, ho-hum (I ride a 98 FIII). Kudos to Doo for betting on the SDI 800 engine instead of going four stroke only for the future....will the gamble pay off? we will see. 2003 Likes: SDI, new handle bar contols, 600 HO, A-arms (finally). Dislikes: SDI only in GT and Legend, SDI only on 800cc, REV Styling, MachZ in CK3.

Polaris: Even though their line-up has not been officially introduced, I will base my opinions on what rumor holds, no huge changes for them in 03'. I dont know about all of you but I personally think Polaris is entering a time where they will lose market share. The reasons that I think this is they have taken on a huge amount of new engineering in-house in the past 4 or 5 years, and their resources (people, not money) are taxed to their limits. Compared to the other three major MFG's they have the smallest company, because they have no affiliation or ownership by a large conglomerate (IE; Bombardier or Suzuki). I dont think Polaris can keep up pumping out new Engines and Chassis at the rate of Cat and Ski-Doo (where Yamaha chooses not to change alot), unless they are able to "borrow" the technology from someone. Their 03' lineup is indicitave of this, the use of RER is an example, as well as possible use of the FICHT injection which is now owned by Bombardier. Of course I could be wrong, as we will see on the 8th. 2003 likes: Pro-X, New colors for the Edge-X. Dislikes: No revolutionary engines, no technology no one else has.

Others...Blade, Redline etc...:  I think for the Blade, the Firecat and the REV will deal it a death blow, they only weigh a few lbs more, they both have good mass centralization like the blade, they both have competetive if not better suspension than the blade, they are half the money. Therefore the Blade's market has kinda dried up. The Redline....if it is EVER produced at this time has a good chance, but this window may close if they dont hurry. It is still very different, different enough I believe to sell a decent amount, and it still has some attributes the others do not have.
                                         
 
 

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Slarson, good summary.  You pretty much covered all the basis pretty fairly.  The way I would explain it is that the big four are heading toward filling niche's, and putting out very specific models for very specific conditions and qualities.  There are so many, that one dealer could not offer them all, so they are all searching for the ones that they can supply and cater to.  

From what I've read and seen, the REV is a great snowmobile, but it fits the snowcross niche.  It also fits the bill for those that want the latest and greatest in technology and are willing to pay for it.  How come Doo hasn't put a price on it yet?  They are letting people hype it and talk themselves into and beleiving that they "have" to have it.  

The firecat bridges the gap between the REV and conventional.  It also leans toward the snowcross niche, it is an alternative to conventional sleds.  

Obviously Yamaha is trying to fill the 4 stroke and triple niche, and doing a decent job of it except for the chassis.  They need some updates.  

I guess we will have to wait and see what direction Polaris is going to go.  If they build a 900 or bigger twin that will beat the ZR 900 and the 800 HO in the doo touring??? and leave it in the edge x package, they might have a winner as far as sales goes.

Good luck, I know I need some help in deciding what I will buy next year.
 

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Getting information on the Polaris sleds has been difficult at best.  During my Yellowstone trip, I saw a single Polaris Frontier snowmobile.  This is their 4 stroke machine.  After much digging, I've managed to find out the following:

The engine is a two cylinder unit.  Pistons move up and down in unison.  Stated power is 48 hp.  The reason for the design is to make the engine more compact.  Rumor (and that's all it is, so take this for what it's worth) is that Polaris has been having some problems with their engine design.
 

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I agree with you.  I've only seen the 2003 Ski-Doos, so I can only agree with you on those.  But, I dont see too much of a change, which is fine with me.  All in all, I'm happy with what they look like, which is all I can say.
 

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The Firecats look kick butt.Doos lineup is very impressive,but should have put more new time in R and D in making all SDI engines.Why not Doo? the technology is all there.Pol seems to be in a lul,same old same old,but the X machines look great.Yamars are in the right direction.I will stick with Doos  
 

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Polaris had better have something up their sleeve.  From the look of those pictures Snorat, I am pretty disappointed with the '03 lineup.  Dont get me wrong, the sleds look great, but what is new other than cosmetics and a few other little things.  I think my die hard Polaris dedication may just have to change. :!!:  
 

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Not a  whole #### of alot in this lineup to make a Polaris owner too proud I tell ya.
 
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