Winter is setting in, and there’s talk about getting a snowmobile. Of course, this is a fantastic way to get out and have fun during the winter, but there’s a little more involved in buying one than just picking out one that looks amazing. Beginners will want to learn a lot and carefully consider the options before buying a snowmobile to avoid purchasing one that’s going to end up sitting in the garage for years or break down because it’s being used for more than it can handle.
Know the Types
There are various types of snowmobiles. The types generally revolve around the power behind the wheels and the type of intended use. The majority of snowmobiles will be for trail use, performance, touring, or utility purposes.
- Trail Use – Trail-use snowmobiles are perfect for riding just about anywhere in the snow. They’re perfect for beginners and have a lot to offer. However, those who want a little bit more after getting some experience may want to check out sport trail snowmobiles, which are similar but a little more aggressive and sporty.
- Performance – Performance tier snowmobiles are designed for sports and have a lot more power. They’re built for performance and are likely not a good option for beginners because of their power and handling. Experienced beginners or intermediate riders may want to give this a try if they’re into racing.
- Touring – Those looking for a general snowmobile that’s designed to be more comfortable might want a touring. These are not great for mountain use, but they are incredibly comfortable for those who just like to ride around for long distances.
- Utility – Need to haul things with the snowmobile? A utility snowmobile is a perfect option. It’s great for recreational use but has towing capabilities and is designed for improved grip. These are some of the most reliable snowmobiles.
Set a Budget
The cost of a snowmobile can come with a bit of sticker shock for those who haven’t considered buying one before. Some, especially performance models, can be incredibly expensive, but there are lower-cost options, as well. Set a budget before looking at the different models available and stick with it to avoid paying too much. If budget is a concern, there are used options that will be perfect. Make sure the snowmobile is inspected carefully before buying one that’s used.
Consider Intended Use
It bears repeating, but there are different types of snowmobiles based on the intended use. Someone who wants to race isn’t going to buy the same snowmobile as someone who just wants to drive around during the winter or someone who needs to haul equipment. Think about the intended use carefully before selecting any snowmobile to avoid buying one that’s just not going to be a good fit.
Choose an Engine
Snowmobiles are available in two-stroke or four-stroke engines. The difference lies in the amount of power, the torque, and the weight of the snowmobile. Two-stroke engines are generally lighter and nimble, but the four-stroke engines have a lot more torque. Looking for something light for touring or trails? A two-stroke might be a great option. If the goal is to haul gear, climb significantly, or do anything that’s going to be able to do more, a four-stroke is a better option. The decision, again, comes down to the intended use of the snowmobile.
Check the Track Length
The track length can vary based on the type of snowmobile purchased. Crossover sleds designed for a variety of different uses have longer tracks and a deeper track lug. This makes it better for on or off-trail riding as well as creating a smoother ride. They’re also better in deeper snow, but they are a little more difficult to handle compared to smaller tracks. Shorter tracks offer better handling, but they may not be able to handle all of the different things the longer tracks can tackle with ease.
Ask About Dealer Support
Buying a new snowmobile from a dealer offers the chance to get help when picking out the right one to buy. On top of this, however, after-purchase support may be available. Talk to the dealership to discuss the support available, such as warranty or recall work. If support from the dealership isn’t a good option due to the distance it takes to get there, or the amount of time the snowmobile could spend in the shop, make sure there is local support available for the type of snowmobile being bought. Some popular brands you will find at dealerships are Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-doo and Yamaha.
Get Some Training
Ask about training after the purchase or get training before heading to the dealership. It’s a good idea to be trained in how to operate the specific snowmobile’s safety features, but general training will cover most safety features as well as what safety gear to buy and how to use it. Always follow best practices when going out, such as giving someone else a travel plan and being prepared in case there is an emergency. Proper training makes a huge difference in the safety of enjoying snowmobiles. Pennsylvania offers a safety training course online.
Know When to Buy
When the weather’s starting to get cold, it’s a great time to buy a snowmobile, right? Not really. It’s actually better to go during the spring when dealerships are getting in the new models. During the spring, there are plenty of sales to encourage more people to buy snowmobiles since this is the time of year that sales typically slows down a bit. Take advantage of the sales to purchase a fantastic model at a great price, even if it means waiting a bit to use it.
With winter comes snow and the chance to get outside and enjoy riding a snowmobile. Don’t have one yet? Use the tips here to purchase one that’s going to be perfect for your needs. While the choice of which one to buy is different for everyone, by learning a little more about the options and what you intended to use the snowmobile for, it’s possible to find one that’s going to be perfect for you and that you’re going to use a lot. Make sure to check out our website to customize your sled with graphics!