1. Power. Sure there are snowmobiles with more horsepower. But 20 years ago we wrote, “If a manufacturer could make a snowmobile that had 125 hp with a dry weight close to 400 lbs., it would own the mountains.” And we still believe that … and the 600 reaches those criteria. They are better than the best mod sleds from past years. And they are certainly more enjoyable to ride.
2. Performance. It’s true that if you line a 600 up with an 800, the 800 will beat it across the meadow or up the slope nine times out of 10 (and that one time it doesn’t win means you either have a poor running 8 or some secret mods on the 6). But most mountain riders aren’t racers. We ride the mountains for the challenge. Sometimes it takes a 600 a little more effort or imagination to make it up to the top of the mountain. But our experience is that it almost always makes it there. Some of us ride regularly with guys 20 years younger on snowmobiles with 200cc more displacement. And at the end of the day, we’ve gone everywhere they’ve gone … and we’re not nearly as worn out.
3. Reliability. We ride in some precarious locations. Places where it takes all you have just to make it in and out. We can’t afford to have something go wrong on our snowmobile because we’re dependent on it to get us home at night. And being towed out or even riding two-up out may not be an option. The 600s have always been the most reliable sleds on the snow. Even though they have plenty of power, they don’t have so much as to put stress on important components—like crank shafts, clutches, jackshafts, etc. With proper maintenance, these sleds tend to run forever.