Anyone remember what sled really changed the game for you?
This might show my age a little bit, but for me it was the 1997 Polaris Indy 700 RMK. At first I remember not wanting to give into the hype so I ended up putting way too much money into my 1996 XLT RMK. A 654cc big bore kit, SLP everything, lighteweight everything and even a custom-painted hood. I was going to spank all these guys who just bought the lightweight twin!
Long story short, that didn’t happen. In fact, after getting my butt kicked several times by bone stock 700s I ended up trading in my full mod for that teal blue beauty and to this day I still think that has to be one of my favorite sleds I’ve owned.
This really seems like the state of the snowmobiling right now. If you are one of those riders out there with all the bells and whistles on your 2008-10 sleds, make sure you don’t go ride with one of your buddies who just picked up his brand new sled or you’ll be heading down to the dealership just like I had to do with my bad boy XLT. I hate to applaud the manufactures too much because I don’t want them to get soft on us but dang, we really are in an awesome place with the backcountry weapons available today.
What’s funny is, with that ‘97 700 Indy, I specifically remember thinking to myself on several occasions, “How can sleds get any better?”
Well, 14 years later I sit here wondering the very same thing. I can’t count how many times last year my clients made me pull my side panels off to show them that my sled was indeed 100 percent bone-stock. The type of terrain the new sleds are able to negotiate is truly ridiculous. There was one line I did last year that sticks out in my mind where I remember sitting at the top with my hands shaking a bit from being taken out of my comfort zone. That doesn’t happen to me all that often but when it does it truly is the feeling I live for and why I wake up every morning excited to ride again.
As I write this I’m flying over British Columbia looking down at some areas that I truly think are un-rideable. Yes, I am saying that there are places a snowmobile cannot go.
Oh wait—that line I told you about where my hands were shaking when I got to the top? That was in a place where 14 years ago I said I could never get to on a sled.
Can’t wait to see where sledding will be in another 14 years!
Let it snow,