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Discussion Starter #1
Time for a sad story! After ten years of riding, repairing, and modifying old obsolete snowmobiles (which I loved and took me on amazing adventures), last week I went in to the local Ski-Doo dealer and bought a brand new 2015 Summit SP 600 E-TEC. I've been running the same old sleds for over 5 years now and the newest is 15 years old, I felt I had paid my dues and deserved a new modern sled. I went with the Ski-Doo for reliability. Reliability!!

First the good, it is an amazing rig and the power is stunning at the ~4000 foot altitude areas that I ride in. It has more bottom end pull than my 800 and is a match for my old 700 on top end. It just goes where you point it and is a lot easier and more fun to ride than the old tub chassis sleds. Incredible fun bouncing through powder pillows. Basically it is the sled I always wanted. And the computer is still in break-in mode...supposedly the performance will improve after that's over.

Except it died. 3rd riding day of it's first week, at about 70 odometer miles, going slow down a powdery trail that had a lot of fallen tress in the way. Coolant temp was below half, I give a touch of throttle and feel it start to die. It starts beeping, the check engine light came on and the display said "check engine" and then it shut off. And that was it, completely dead as if it had lost electrical.

I was riding with one of the dealer's shop mechanic who had done the dealer setup. He was riding my old 800. He looked over everything and could not find a problem. So we had to tow out of a very powdery situation for 15 miles. Luckily my old 800 was up to the task, despite a broken torque stop, and we towed it back to the trailer without issue.

And I just dropped it off at the dealer SK Northwest for warranty service. I guess we'll see how it goes. I am afraid it will drag on for weeks and I'll miss prime mid-winter riding time, but I'll report back either way. So far this is definitely the worst reliability of any machine I have ever owned!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
A few hours after drop off I was told it was a shorted coil and should be an easy fix. We'll see! The new coil is supposed to be in Friday morning.
 

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Sorry you had problems, but I'm pulling for you that it's an easy fix! The 600 E-Tec has a great reputation, it would be sad for your sled to soil it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The PTO coil was sitting on some kind of metal clip that worked its way right through the soft bottom of the coil until it shorted. So they replaced the coil and reassembled it to avoid that. Got the sled back Friday (didn't have to pay anything for the work), and although we had terrible weather this weekend we put on about 40 soaking wet miles. It was a lot more fun than it should have been and we splashed around on some seriously heavy untracked snow and got stuck a couple of times.

So I love the sled over all. My big complaint is the recoil starter sucks, and if you get an E-start model then you don't get a recoil starter. You have to choose one or the other, which seems ridiculous. I can't rely on a battery, that's just not ok for me. The only way to get both is buy the recoil model and add the e-start kit. That also sucks. It costs about $700 to add E-start to the recoil model, which is getting close to an additional 10% over the purchase price (I got this 2015 model for $7,677 base price). That seemed crazy, but every day I hate the recoil starter. Getting the e-start model with no recoil is $500 more than base.

I could get the e-start kit for $500 but dealer install is $200. I am not sure if i can install it myself without voiding the warranty..and I'm not sure if I want to spend another $500 on this sled anyway.

Specifically, the recoil starter is fairly easy to pull but you have to pull it an extremely long distance to get it to start. It is about twice as far as you have to pull my old 700 and 800. So you have to stand way back, lean in, do the first half of the pull with your back and then the last half with the full reach of your arm. Maybe I'll get used to it. It does start on the first pull when you do it right, but if you are tired you might find yourself pulling several times trying to get enough juice into that last two feet of rope.

At any rate, the sad story appears to be over and I am definitely enjoying my new sled. It was time. Now I need to learn how to ride this chassis because right now the 600 is all the power I can handle...I feel like I would have already crashed if I got the 800! Very happy with the 600 and the 146" x 16" track - this is the exact sled that I need at this point in time. And then when I factor in how much sled I got for the money, this thing was a slam dunk.
 

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It's always awesome when you're happy with a new sled! Congrats!

I've ridden with a few guys that have the same engine/track, and it's pretty amazing how well that sled stays up on the snow. The extra width seems to climb better than a sled that is longer but has the same footprint. I was impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, my friend the sled mechanic and I have been riding for a very long time on these old Polaris 151" RMKs. We had the same initial reaction to the new sled: "I can't believe how good the traction is". The increase in precision maneuverability is also stunning, although that was more expected. You take lines that would be stupid on the old sleds, and you just know you are going to make it because you feel the increased level of control. It's going to be a while before I learn the full capabilities of this thing, as it keeps surprising me with what it can do.

My girlfriend loves it possibly too much, she is jacked to go sledding every weekend now. Last Sunday it was full-on raining and she knew we would get soaked, but she wanted to go anyway - and was happy about it afterwards. It has made her a true sled addict in a very short time, which is priceless. So I don't really get to trail ride it very much, but that's ok, I get plenty of quality time off trail where it really matters. The old 800 is still a blast on trails with it's superior top end power and top speed, so everybody is happy.

Oh and I got 14 mpg last weekend riding fully rain-soaked slop, about as heavy and sticky as it gets. It used 2.25 times less fuel than each of the old sleds, which also got fewer miles since they were often parked while we took turns riding the new one. And the engine computer is still in break-in mode after 125 miles, so I haven't even experienced the full power/efficiency yet. Pretty sweet.
 

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It's definitely night and day different from the Gen II Polaris RMK to a new Summit (or a new RMK, or a new Cat, even!) I felt the same way going from a 2005 800 RMK 151" to my 08 600 155"... I got stuck a LOT less than in the older sled. Now I'm lusting for a new RMK with the AXYS suspension... spendy little suckers, though!

It's awesome that your girlfriend likes to go riding. I haven't had the wif out in 3 years... she doesn't do hills and doesn't like cold, and.. and.. and... Oh well.. enjoy it while you can!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You said it, I am definitely taking full advantage of the current situation. I was looking at the AXYS RMK (really I want the SKS) but I got such a killer deal on this Summit and I have wanted to try E-tec for quite a while. Once I saw how cheap I could get one, that was it. My old 700 just gets terrible mileage, 20% worse than the 800, and riding range had become a real problem. I almost ran it out of gas nearly every time out this year. The Summit 600 just seems like the right sled for right now, considering all the factors. Most of my riding is the Mt. Hood area which you probably know is fairly low altitude, 4000 to 5000 feet most of the time. I want to branch out to Adams and St. Helens, but those areas are all new to me, and at Mt. Hood I know exactly where everything is and where the best destinations are on a given day. One of these weekends I just have to go for it. I have never ridden Bachelor or Eastern Oregon either. Do you have any suggestions?
 

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Love my 600 Etec Renagade BackCountry.


A friend has a 07 Cat 800 and took mine for a test ride and he was impressed with the responsiveness as well.


I've stopped on hills that I would have never been able to stop on (going up) with my old Summit 583. The old Summit would have just trenched. Just pull the trigger on the Gade and it picks right back up where it left off.


As for the starter. I agree. I've heard about people getting the E-start and putting on the pull start to the tune of $300. (rope and pulley?? really BRP?)

I have the electric start. After I've seen how easy it is to start using a rope on the clutch, I'm not worried about the battery going bad. They start on first pull ever single time. A friend cold started his 800R at -20F with the rope around the clutch. Fired first pull.
 

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There's a lot of good riding around Mt. Bachelor with a well marked trail system. Lots of different terrain from steep hills to boondocking through the trees to open meadows. If you want to go east, the area around Baker has a great rep, too.

I'm in Southern Oregon, and we have tons of snow in our riding areas this year. I share my time between Pelican Butte, Brown Mountain, Medicine Lake, and Annie Creek. All are great places to play.

If you head down this way, I'm sure someone would be available to show you the good spots. It's nice to have options on where to ride this year!!
 

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BTW - the shorting of the coil is more common than you think. Over on Doo talk there were a few people talking about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
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!
 

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Nice sled! I've ridden with a few guys that have the 146" 600, it's a really nice sled and does just as well as my 155" 600. The wider track really makes a difference.

Sorry your 700 bit the big one, but with the one billion miles, it was time. Most don't go 500,000,000. You got a good one ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry your 700 bit the big one, but with the one billion miles, it was time. Most don't go 500,000,000. You got a good one ;)
Yeah when I got it it already had 500,000,000 miles on it, so I never thought it would last this long. Over the years I have heard those Polaris 700s are legendary for reliability - I have to agree.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
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.
 
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