2017 Summit Review (from a regular guy/intermediate rider)

rook

Member
Premium Member
Dec 5, 2014
29
13
3
Fairbanks, Alaska
850 Summit X 165", 3", electric start
-all foam, sound deadening material removed
-sway bar always connected
-holes cut in clutch cover
-original belt, stock muffler
-Goodwin 38mm pin weight kit
-tightened/checked belt, chain, muffler sensor, & pipe sensor after every ride
-removed BUDS nub on coolant bottle
-added stainless hex self tappers to front foot area for more traction
-didn't clean clutch or belt prior to riding
-installed 6.5" riser in place of stock 7.5" riser


I weigh 230lbs without gear, and this is my 4th season riding. I'm not good by any meter, but I can sidehill, putz around in the trees, climb well enough, and keep up with my riding group.

I got my sled back in October after hernia surgery. I haven't really had a chance to ride it much due to the surgery, and the snow has been spotty at best up here in the interior. I'm at 55% break-in.

When I finally healed up enough to ride it around the house I immediately noticed the torque & chassis stiffness. Both aspects are incredible compared to my XM.

On our first trip to the mountains my wife's sled broke down, and the 850 had to tow her sled out (2014 Summit SP 800, 154", 2.5"). After getting the broke down sled to the trailer, the 850 also had to pull a plastic sled with our gear/fuel/supplies (~400lbs). Before pulling the sleds we were heading down the trail at about 35mph, and I hit a big rock with my left ski. The sled fell on its side, & I flew off. I was pretty worried I damaged the suspension, and/or bulkhead but there were no issues. It was a lame trip that we had to end early due to the dead sled. I was happy though that the 850 was able to pull a dead sled, cargo, & take a hit all while in break-in and then keep on chugging without issues.

Last weekend we went south for some avalanche training and ended up riding Hatcher Pass. The snow coverage was pretty poor. On an uphill right-hand carve I tagged another big rock this time with my right ski. The sled went over on its side, I flew off, and still no damage. We also had some trail riding back to the trucks full pin ~65mph pulls. I'm still hitting over 8000 rpm, so I'll be adding more pin weight.

This last Sunday we stopped in Cantwell on the way back home for a quick afternoon ride. I biffed on a hidden boulder in a berm that stopped me in my tracks. My left knee dented the left side plastic inverting it to where I couldn't get it to go back to shape. The left ski was standing straight up. I have yet to check out the rubber ski bushing.

I checked over the sled in the garage last night for any cracks or failures on the suspension & bulkhead and didn't see anything. Tonight when I get home I'll pull the hood and check from the inside.

I realize that comparing my intermediate riding in low Alaskan snow to some of the Burandt-esque powder hounds in BC & the Rockies is like apples to oranges, but I'm still impressed that my sled has held up to this abuse (limited as it may be compared to anyone else's hits).

I'm glad I bought the 2017, and I keep crossing my fingers that it will be able to endure as much damage as my XM.

I'm looking forward to the 2018 Summits because I might have to buy another one!
 

christopher

Well-known member
Staff member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 1, 2008
77,344
22,307
113
Rigby, Idaho
850 Summit X 165", 3", electric start
-all foam, sound deadening material removed
-sway bar always connected
-holes cut in clutch cover
-original belt, stock muffler
-Goodwin 38mm pin weight kit
-tightened/checked belt, chain, muffler sensor, & pipe sensor after every ride
-removed BUDS nub on coolant bottle
-added stainless hex self tappers to front foot area for more traction
-didn't clean clutch or belt prior to riding
-installed 6.5" riser in place of stock 7.5" riser


I weigh 230lbs without gear, and this is my 4th season riding. I'm not good by any meter, but I can sidehill, putz around in the trees, climb well enough, and keep up with my riding group.

I got my sled back in October after hernia surgery. I haven't really had a chance to ride it much due to the surgery, and the snow has been spotty at best up here in the interior. I'm at 55% break-in.

When I finally healed up enough to ride it around the house I immediately noticed the torque & chassis stiffness. Both aspects are incredible compared to my XM.

On our first trip to the mountains my wife's sled broke down, and the 850 had to tow her sled out (2014 Summit SP 800, 154", 2.5"). After getting the broke down sled to the trailer, the 850 also had to pull a plastic sled with our gear/fuel/supplies (~400lbs). Before pulling the sleds we were heading down the trail at about 35mph, and I hit a big rock with my left ski. The sled fell on its side, & I flew off. I was pretty worried I damaged the suspension, and/or bulkhead but there were no issues. It was a lame trip that we had to end early due to the dead sled. I was happy though that the 850 was able to pull a dead sled, cargo, & take a hit all while in break-in and then keep on chugging without issues.

Last weekend we went south for some avalanche training and ended up riding Hatcher Pass. The snow coverage was pretty poor. On an uphill right-hand carve I tagged another big rock this time with my right ski. The sled went over on its side, I flew off, and still no damage. We also had some trail riding back to the trucks full pin ~65mph pulls. I'm still hitting over 8000 rpm, so I'll be adding more pin weight.

This last Sunday we stopped in Cantwell on the way back home for a quick afternoon ride. I biffed on a hidden boulder in a berm that stopped me in my tracks. My left knee dented the left side plastic inverting it to where I couldn't get it to go back to shape. The left ski was standing straight up. I have yet to check out the rubber ski bushing.

I checked over the sled in the garage last night for any cracks or failures on the suspension & bulkhead and didn't see anything. Tonight when I get home I'll pull the hood and check from the inside.

I realize that comparing my intermediate riding in low Alaskan snow to some of the Burandt-esque powder hounds in BC & the Rockies is like apples to oranges, but I'm still impressed that my sled has held up to this abuse (limited as it may be compared to anyone else's hits).

I'm glad I bought the 2017, and I keep crossing my fingers that it will be able to endure as much damage as my XM.

I'm looking forward to the 2018 Summits because I might have to buy another one!


GREAT REVIEW.
Thanks for your comments.!!

I am also eager to see what they are going to offer on the 2018 so I can decide if I am going to Snowcheck a 2018 or grab another 2017.
 

rook

Member
Premium Member
Dec 5, 2014
29
13
3
Fairbanks, Alaska
The original post was mainly to show that I'm good at hitting rocks!

As for the sled's performance: it's pretty nuts. The thing is just a tractor. I really like that I can slow down on the hills in the trees, and consider a line. On my 154" XM I have to commit and just hold on!

Downhill turnups are much more predictable, as is right-hand sidehilling. It's very easy to keep the sled on edge.

I have yet to get the new sled stuck beyond a ski-pull.

This chassis & engine really do inspire confidence for a guy like me.
 

christopher

Well-known member
Staff member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 1, 2008
77,344
22,307
113
Rigby, Idaho
Good at hitting rocks?
Ya, Tell me all about it.
All THREE of my sleds took the HOW TO HIT A ROCK COURSE at Togwotee back in December.


The 3rd one comes out of the shop this weekend at long last.!
 

wellfed777

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 1, 2007
2,223
412
83
Oregon
cracks me up how we buy these super expensive machines
and then have a long list right out the gate of all the fixes and modz we made to go ride them :face-icon-small-dis

glad your riding it
definitely seems like a big upgrade from the XM
(rode both yesterday)
 

christopher

Well-known member
Staff member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 1, 2008
77,344
22,307
113
Rigby, Idaho
cracks me up how we buy these super expensive machines
and then have a long list right out the gate of all the fixes and modz we made to go ride them :face-icon-small-dis
Really is the truth isn't it.
There is just no way for the manufacturer to build a sled exactly the way that each of us wants it.


But thank God for the aftermarket.
This summer will be a FUN FILLED JOURNEY of custom mods transforming my 850 Summit X from bone stock GOOD into Full Mod GREAT!


Maybe I am just the odd man out here.
But I honestly LOVE working on my sleds over the course of the summer.
Garage door is open, sled is up on the stand, BBQ going, Stereo cranked up, friends over hanging out..


That for me is the PERFECT SUMMER!!!




And all summer long all I think about is winter.
And as Fall finally arrives..


Well, that's what gets me through the long hot summers.
 
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