First ride on a CMX and review

jrlastofthebreed

It seemed like a good idea at the time
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Oct 24, 2016
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I had the opportunity to finally demo a CMX 120 a few days ago. Ive read and talked to everyone I could find about these things and was 90% sure I wanted one. Spoiler, It was 10x better than i expected. I never thought it was possible for a bike to be that agile on snow. A little history i have a 17 TS120le and an 18 ARO 120. This is my 4th season on snowbikes. Im average? Small jumps, 5 foot drops. 5th gear pinned on the trail.

We left the mountain horse in the truck and took the ARO for comparison. We has 6-12 inches on new snow on top of crust. On the road the CMX rallied good, couldn’t tell much difference other then some ski lift and lighter ski pressure.

Once we hit the mountain though, I was blown away. The CMX climbs!!! We did a few chutes and I barely made it poaching tracks on the ARO. Its ability to hook up is unbelievable. Describing the traction difference is hard but the cmx that day was like riding on spring hard pack. Just point and go minimal, sinking or trenching on acceleration. Fun and easy to putt around on if you wanted. Turned on a dime including slow uphill turns in the trees, then just roll the throttle and straight up it goes!

My ARO on the other hand was working hard just to keep up and I had to pull a few different lines because i couldn’t turn uphill and accelerate as well. I realize there is a power difference between the bikes themselves but mine was rapped out most of the day trying to keep pace. but you could Feel the traction! With the cmx I could stop and start pointing uphill! Crawling in steep trees the kit really shined. I'm not sure why but it turns very quickly and tight. I could do quick turns up steep treed slopes and not trench! It does wheelie some which takes some getting used to but it was very manageable. There were only a few times where the ski lifted more that a few inches when i wasn’t expecting it to. And thats adjustable with preload from what I understand. I will say that if you want to get that kit airborne, it dosn't take much. Any little bump or lip just pop the throttle and the ski comes up. blip harder and it launches.

I can’t speak much about the new ski and spindle directly. I didn’t really notice much difference in the ski/spindle overall, but either its that or the track or the combination but its a donut machine! Lays over and holds very tight turns dragging bars with ease. The ARO will do donuts obviously but its harder to lay over and does not feel as stable.

My wife is new to snow-biking but is getting pretty good. been out 8 times? I couldn’t get her off the CMX. She could ride it non aggressively and still get into technical stuff. Its wider (same as the MH) and the track is tapered but not much, so it was more stable, less tippy. combined with the point and shoot traction she was loving it!

Ive ridding with an older yeti 137 and it was good but at the time i didn’t think it was that much better to justify the cost/maintenance. Can't do a direct comparison as ive never ridden a 129 Free-ride. I have never ridden a RIOT either but heard deep snow performance is similar to the ARO. Maybe a little better? Cant speak to the ARO 3 because i’ve never ridden one but I’m sure its not as playful. The CMX is well built. i think 10 lbs lighter that an ARO 120 with more surface area. Rolling resistance is nominal. (Going to love that when unloading). Brakes worked the entire day. Never faded. Since the tracks more aggressive it skidded less going down steep hills. I think cost is right on par with a new ARO3 and a new Yeti. And it comes with everything 100% ready to ride. No “add ons” or “fit kits”.

New for 2021 they are adding a plastic belt cover (tapered design, more durable. wont warp or dent after impacting rocks, trees). Sounds like the one on timbersleds. Maybe a better/ easier chain adjuster? And possibly new side panels. Going to keep the sweeping design but try and trim a few pounds and mix up the design. Not sure what else but I'm sure it will be good! The entire kit is modular. Meaning if you break anything it just unscrews and it is replaced. but good luck breaking anything! Its stout!

One great thing is all CMX’s are updatable. So last years model isn’t going down in value much since it can easily be updated to be identical to the new models! My mountain horse is feeling like an antique! lol

Everyone asks why they didn’t go to a 3 in track and I asked about narrow rail design (yeti, Camso). Excuse my interpretation and I apologize Mark if i mess it up but the 3 in track works good a few days a year. but sucks the rest of the year. By running a very aggressive 2.5 track they get better deep snow performance than a 3 inch most of the time. Far as narrow rails he basically said its a cool idea that dons’t work as well as wide rails. I didn’t really understand, but the guys been building custom snow machines longer that I’ve been alive. Im sure he has tried a few things.

Mark and Kamron are great to deal with. Just called and asked if we could swing buy and demo. We rode all day! It would be nice if a guy has a question to be able just to call someone who knows instead of reading through pages on the forums!

So long story short if anyone wants a MH or an ARO were selling ours end of season lol.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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The CMX is a good kit yes but I have also seen ALOT of belts break on those this season. They have there updated belt drive deal for the older ones but thats not cheap. After riding the ARO 3 in all varieties of conditions I can tell you for a fact that the 3 inch track is not only good in powder, that 3 inch track straight up rips in all conditions and is way better than the 2.5 track in every aspect. I would encourage you to try the ARO 3 before you make those claims about the 3 inch track, they might not want to admit it at CMX but its phenomenal. Also try the riot because its also an amazing kit! Im buying aro 3 100%, its the best kit ive ridden and i have been on pretty much every kit! Anyways all snowbikes are amazing and whatever kit you might be on, your gonna have a blast if your riding a snowbike thats forsure!
 

needpowder

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CMX kits are definitely sweet. I had that 2.5 inch track on my mountain horse last year and it was a huge upgrade. The 3 inch arrow is definitely worth trying. Still nimble but climbs crazy!I might be a little biased because i am LOVING mine, but in my opinion the 120 riot crushes the 120 Aro everywhere.
 

mumur

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I love my CMX kit. I just swapped it over from a Beta to a new Honda 450R and it's amazing. I'm not sure about the belts, when I bought my kit they gave me a spare, but this is my second season on the used belt I started with and it's not showing any signs of wear when I open it up.
 

jrlastofthebreed

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The CMX is a good kit yes but I have also seen ALOT of belts break on those this season. They have there updated belt drive deal for the older ones but thats not cheap. After riding the ARO 3 in all varieties of conditions I can tell you for a fact that the 3 inch track is not only good in powder, that 3 inch track straight up rips in all conditions and is way better than the 2.5 track in every aspect. I would encourage you to try the ARO 3 before you make those claims about the 3 inch track, they might not want to admit it at CMX but its phenomenal. Also try the riot because its also an amazing kit! Im buying aro 3 100%, its the best kit ive ridden and i have been on pretty much every kit! Anyways all snowbikes are amazing and whatever kit you might be on, your gonna have a blast if your riding a snowbike thats forsure!
I would love to try the ARO 3! lol and I don't mean to make claims. Just repeating what I was told. Before the seasons out I am trying to ride the ARO 3 and the Yeti Free ride!
 

chumbilly1

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CMX is also made in the USA! I ride yetis and most the time I am a very happy customer! Only when I have to call Camso do I get frustrated. I took spanish instead of french. The CS at CMX is on point for sure. TS ehh! They were great in Sandpoint;)
 
Dec 11, 2019
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I rode a riot the other day and it was a huge disappointment! I will stick with cmx.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Just curious, but what did you find disappointing about the Riot? I have a new Riot on a yz450F, its my first snow bike setup and ive never ridden a CMX.
 

Chadx

Off the trail again...just can't wait to get off t
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... I'm not sure about the belts, when I bought my kit they gave me a spare, but this is my second season on the used belt I started with and it's not showing any signs of wear when I open it up.
Sounds like sledneksam was talking about the old 21mm wide belts. CMX and Yeti both ran those at first and then changed to 28mm which are much stronger and eliminate the breaking issues some people have. There are certain behaviors that increase risk of breaking a belt. Most have to do with abrupt shock (landing power on onto very high traction surface, clicking a bike into gear when you first start it and the clutch plates are sticky and it jerks the belt, etc.). The 28mm belts seem to handle the abuse the 21mm belts did not.
 

ravenous

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My 4 year old has been playing on my laptop! She made this quote. Sorry.
 

needpowder

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My 4 year old has been playing on my laptop! She made this quote. Sorry.
Ha. That’s funny. I have to put my phone up high so my four-year-old does not delete all my apps! I was kind of wondering what you meant by that quote.
 
Feb 18, 2009
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Only have ridden Camso, TS, and CMX. I really didn't like the Camso and TS at all almost prevented me from building a snowbike but after a ton of research I bit the bullet on a CMX 129. I paired it up with a Husky TE300i (tpi) and could not be happier!
 

byeatts

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Only have ridden Camso, TS, and CMX. I really didn't like the Camso and TS at all almost prevented me from building a snowbike but after a ton of research I bit the bullet on a CMX 129. I paired it up with a Husky TE300i (tpi) and could not be happier!
I have many CMX kits and many Yeti Kits, I see the reality and shortfalls of these and what really works side by side daily.
 
Feb 18, 2009
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I have many CMX kits and many Yeti Kits, I see the reality and shortfalls of these and what really works side by side daily.
That means zero without some additional information. So spill it, what you do like about each and dislike about each? For the record be sure to state what year each kit is as the new CMX ski and spindle work awesome!
 
Oct 23, 2019
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I rode a riot the other day and it was a huge disappointment! I will stick with cmx.
ITs really all about setup on that riot. I can almost guarantee it was not set at the correct preload for the front track shock. I have had amazing times on the riot and have nothing but good things to say about that kit. I like aro 3 better for my riding situation because I ride alot of deep and light powder and the Aro 3 hooks up like crazy! Riot does well in the deep snow as well, better than an ARO 120, but obviously not as well as the ARO 3 because of track length and lug size.
 

mumur

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I love my CMX kit. I just swapped it over from a Beta to a new Honda 450R and it's amazing. I'm not sure about the belts, when I bought my kit they gave me a spare, but this is my second season on the used belt I started with and it's not showing any signs of wear when I open it up.
Spoke too soon, snapped a belt last week and didn't have the right allen key on me to swap in the spare.
 
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