I have one and love it. I do have to do a full top end job on it and just replaced the oil shaft, bushing, and all of the seals around the water pump shich seems normal. Mine has 4k on it.Rebuilding the shocks every year is a pain but what isn't. Do a search on zrt600's on this website and you may see all the things you need to look for. It's heavier and sluggish on the low end but it really goes after 25mph and smooth. It'll blow most 600's out of the water.
MY DAD HAS MY OLD 97 ZRT 600, IT HAS 3800 MILES ON IT. NEVER HAD TO TOUCH ENGINE. SLED IS FAST. BUT IT TAKES A STRONG GUY TO RIDE IT. IT'S A HEAVY MACHINE, AND TAKES ALOT TO THROW IT AROUND. IT'S DEFINITELY NOT A MACHINE FOR JUMPING. THE FRONT HAS TOO MUCH WEIGHT AND WHEN YOU JUMP THE FRONT COMES DOWN FIRST!
Had a 96 and 97 both engines were identical. Both are still alive and running to this day. The zrt 600 is a strong motor and a few cheap mods like timing, clutching, reeds and jetting will make it screw.
It's a great handling sled for all around trail riding and the occasional lake run
That engine is pretty much bullet proof provided you maintain it properly. I had a 96 and put 10,000 miles on it with no engine problems at all.
I will agree with Jimbo about the sluggish low end. the engine does not like to be below 5K rpm.
Things you have to look for are:
Rear motor mount clutch side (I had to replace it twice)
clutch side drive shaft bearing (replace every 3-4K miles or 3 seasons)
Leaky exaust pipes (no big deal)
intermittent ignition key cut-out problem (no big deal)
My Best Friend works in a snowmobile salvage yard, been there for 11 years.
Here is his word from experience:
ZRT600 engines have a habit of breaking pistons around 3500 miles.
The primary clutch on the 1996, 1997 and 1999 models had a casting flaw where as many of them grenaded destroying the hood bellypan and engine in the process.
I personally have seen three 1997 Cat primary clutches rip apart sleds.
I Think my 1998 ZRT (which is the same machine for the most part) is the best sled in the world!
Well...I hate to spoil this party, but my cousin owns a 97 ZRT 600 and although it is a strong runner when its working, He has had alot of problems with the engine and electrical system. Also, that sled is brutal on fuel! He says he gets about 65 miles to a tank....and he is not a big guy.
I have a '96 and love it. Everything mentioned earlier pretty much holds true. It needs to be clutched to engage no lower than 5000. Everything else on mine is stock. My riding has lately been limited to family cruises. This sled is awsome for that style of riding where the extra weight is more of an advantage (ie. smoother). Very dependable and strong (once the RPM's are up).
For the most part, they're a great all around sled that isn't a class-leader in any given category but does everything well.
There's always that chance of getting a lemon like Rocketman's cousin, but if we all sat around worrying about that, winter would be boring and we'd all be walking to work.
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