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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to high elevation powder that I will hopefully get to enjoy in CO. My career will probably have me somewhere else soon. Short and sweet I need something that plays in deep powder and run sometrails in the tight woods of the north east. Maybe someday I will be able to have two sleds, but for now I need to compromise.
Priority
1 CO Rockies
2 North East
3 Midwest
4 Alaska?

I am considering the SD MXZ Renegade 600 and 1200, and the Polaris RMK Shift 600 and 800 144" and 155". I am open Arctic Cats as well.
 

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It really depends on how much time you plan to spend off-trail and how much time on-trail.

The cross-overs (Renegade, Switchback and Crossfire) do well off-trail but start having problems getting into the 'steep and deep'. I have had my 08 Renegade 600 (1.25" ripsaw track) in about 2 1/2 - 3 ft powder in the midwest (flat lake) and couldn't get it stuck. Start adding a hill with that kind of powder and I start having problems. I could go to a bigger lug track and it will be better but eventually you get to a point where you need a longer track to make it up that hill. Really depends on how and where you plan to ride. A good rider on a crossover can keep up with so-so riders on mountain sleds. If you are riding with a batch of really good riders on mountain sleds expect there will be some places you just won't make it.

The real mountain sleds (Summit, RMK and M6/8) do really well off-trail but really don't like the trails. I spent a week on a rental M8 this winter. Loved it in the powder but squirrelly doesn't even begin to describe it on the trails - more like a squirrel on meth! I have also spent some trail time on a Nytro MTX, RMK and Rev/Summit - none were that great on the trails. With the large paddle tracks you also need to worry about snow conditions. Even with scratchers a friend of mine burned up a brand new set of slides in one day last spring taking his Nytro MTX out on icy trails.

I would stay away from the 4-strokes (1200) for off-trail. I have a friend that loves yammi's and swore the extra weight of the 4-stroke doesn't bother him. This winter he got to try a really well set up M8 out west. Now he is trying to figure out how to ditch his Nytro MTX and get an RMK... :rolleyes2:

I would also suggest going with an 800. An 800 at 10,000ft feels smaller than a 600 at 1000ft.

I love my Renegade. If I end up doing more off-trail here in the midwest I will upgrade to the 1.75" track and it will take me where I want to go. If I lived out west anywhere I would get an M8 or an XP Summit. But that is just me.

Good luck and tell us what you end up with!
dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If I go with the RMK or M8 would it be reasonable to have a 1-1.25" track to go to when the snow isnt deep and fluffy? Is a 153" track too long for a do-it-all? Should go with a crossover and get a 1.75-2" track, or go with the 140s? How much are tracks? How long does it take to change one? I am a MX guy, that rode a sled and loved it. This sled will be my gateway to sledding. Powder, off-trail and jumps are what matters most. I will only be trail ridding when I have to. I am sure I can get used to it wandering arround on the packed stuff as long as its not an all day ride.

Which has more aftermarket support, Polaris or Arctic Cat?
 

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Not quite sure what to say - I am not into jumping. From what I have read from others who are the shorter the track the better.

From everything else it sounds like you do want a shorter mountain sled (144"/146"). Summit, RMK and M8 are all good sleds. If you can, spend a little time on each to see what fits you better. If you are looking at buying new it may even be worth your while to spend the $200/day to rent each of the main contenders and try them for a day. Nothing beats seat time to determine if you like a sled or not!

Used tracks can be picked up for a couple hundred dollars. To change the track you need to drop the entire rear suspension and remove the drive shaft. Not the simplest thing to do. I think even people who have done it before will require a couple of hours of hard work to do it - not something to do often.

Usually a set of scratchers will do for saving the slides unless it is really icy. Better than trying to swap tracks all the time. You may just need to sit out a couple of days or replace slides early. When my friend blew through his slides in a day he thought it would happen - he wanted to ride anyway! :wink:

dave
 

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I would be wary of the Polaris 800, they have had a TON of issues. The 700's and 600's have been rock solid.

For your needs, you may find a 600 with a 144" will do pretty much every thing you want, and cost a lot less. If the Polaris 800 was rock solid, I would suggest the Assault, it's built to do exactly what you say you want to do. Awesome sled, but that 800... sigh.
 
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