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
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
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
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
Mfgers represented Arctic
Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo
Average MSRP $8,589
Estimated average horsepower 120
Track range—length 144-155
Track range—depth 2-2.4
Weight range 472-484
Details in which issue December,