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The Class With Class

600s are a great way to learn snowmobiling

Published online: Sep 11, 2007 Feature
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Most everyone can look back at the time when they were in school and name a favorite teacher. The one who seemed to help us learn the ropes and teach just a little better than the other teachers. The really cool teacher who made learning fun. The one who helped us along until we finally "got it."

There are many in the snowmobile industry who look back at the 600cc sleds and say the same thing. Oh, we might have graduated to an 800-or bigger-but it was the 600 that provided the training ground to learn the great sport of snowmobiling. The sled that was fun to ride while we learned how to ride.

There may be no greater tool to learning how to ride in the mountains than a 600. And in 2008, there's a stable of them waiting to take sledders out for a ride.

Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo each have one model in this class while Polaris offers three different versions, two of which are differentiated solely by track length and the other a new model called the RMK Shift.

One of the most appealing aspects of the 600s is the manageable 120 hp that this class offers. These sleds are not scary fast but they have enough umph to climb and attack deep powder. You won't set the highmark against bigger sleds but you'll be able to play on the mountain with them. Extremely deep powder might swallow up a 600 but with the tracks available in this class, if you stay on the throttle, you'll be able to bust powder in the meadows and trees.

The tracks-between 144 and 155 inches-do a great job of providing traction for not only off trail riding on and off the mountain, but along the trail, too. Regardless of the make or model, any of the 600s being offered for 2008 are just as at home on or off the trail. That can be a comforting notion for someone who is giving snowmobiling a try for the first time.

And, as you gain experience and confidence, the 600 allows sledders to expand their horizons and become more aggressive (or not).

If we were forced to come up with one word that best describes the 600s, it would be versatile. Versatile because of all the reasons we've just described as well as the options that are offered in the class. First you've got three different manufacturers to choose from. Next, there are five models with three different track lengths and two different widths, as well as three lug heights. Prices range from $7,999 to $8,999. Sled weights are a manageable average of 478 lbs. Just one of the things snowmobilers learn fairly quickly is that a sled's weight can work for or against you. There's not much worse when snowmobiling than fighting a sled because it's too heavy. And it's a double whammy when the snow is deep because you're continually digging it out.

Some sledders "graduate" to an 800 as they gain experience while others are just content with staying with their 600. That's the beauty of this class.

 

Class Facts

600cc

 

Mfgers represented                               Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo

Models                                     3

Average MSRP                                    $8,589

Estimated average horsepower  120

Track range-length                             144-155 inches

Track range-depth                             2-2.4 inches

Weight range                                        472-484 lbs.

Details in which issue                            December, 2007