1. Intended Use
Without a doubt, this is the most important thing to consider when purchasing a snowmobile. With the wide range of features and options available on today’s machines it is important that you choose a snowmobile that is well-equipped for your intended use.
The better the options and features of the machine are matched to how you will be using it, the better your riding experience will be.
How do you plan on using your machine?
a. Groomed trail riding
b. Longer riding with a passenger
c. Mountain riding
d. Utility riding such as towing work sleds or toboggans
e. Both on and off trail riding
f. Not sure
2. Number of riders
Most snowmobiles manufactured in the last twenty five years have been designed for a single rider. Snowmobiles built with the ability to carry two riders are referred to as "2-up" snowmobiles and are commonly referred to as 'touring' models.
Will you be riding alone or with a passenger?
With a passenger
3. Where the machine will be ridden
There are snowmobile-riding areas located throughout the Snowbelt regions of the United States and Canada. Obtaining information on where to snowmobile is simple. State and provincial snowmobile associations have close affiliations with clubs that represent regions of the state or province. Contacting the state/provincial snowmobile associations will then put you in touch with a local club that will be very familiar with the trail system and riding area you wish to visit. The state/provincial natural resource department also has access to trail and riding maps, local visitor and
convention bureaus and chambers of commerce in the regions you wish to snowmobile.
In addition to extensive trail systems and riding areas, there are trail heads (trail beginnings) where you can start your journey. Launch your adventure by towing your snowmobiles to the trail head, park your vehicle, unload your snowmobiles, and then you can begin your ride to enjoy the wonders of winter on groomed and marked trails.
Where will you be using your machine?
a. Public trails
b. Private land
d. Lake riding
How often do you plan to snowmobile?
a. At least 5x during the winter
b. Depends on the amount of snow we get
c. I will snowmobile on the lake once it freezes
d. Every weekend
The engine size you need will depend largely on what you wish to accomplish with your machine.
ATVs with larger displacement engines (500cc and greater) go faster and provide more power for utility tasks such as plowing snow or towing a trailer. Larger machines will require more strength to steer and control than smaller machines if they are not equipped with power steering.
Smaller ATVs are lighter, more nimble, and cause less fatigue during a long day of riding. Smaller machines can accomplish most of the tasks that a larger machine can, but produce less power for towing, plowing, and other utility projects.
Engine choices, which range in displacement from 500cc to 1056cc, will give you power levels that start in the mid 50s to a power peak of 180-plus horsepower.
What size range are you considering?
350 – 500cc
500 – 700cc
700 – 850cc
5. Electric Start
Do you want electric start on your Snowmobile?
6. Transporting your snowmobile
How you will transport your machine to your riding area is also an important thing to consider. Many snowmobiles can be loaded into the back of a pickup truck with the use of ramps and transported easily. However, larger snowmobiles may not fit in the back of a truck or may be too heavy to transport safely.
For many riders snowmobile trailer is a great option to transport their machine to and from their riding area and also provides additional room to bring tools, accessories, and other cargo to one’s riding area.
Before you purchase a snowmobile keep in mind how you will transport it and consider the additional investment that will be required with a trailer.
Will you need a trailer?
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