Made the Move out west

Jul 10, 2020
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Hi all, I'm new to snowmobiles but not to performance 2 strokes. I cut my teeth on JetSkis in the late 80's , built many pro mod boats with the old 440/550 piston port motors back when 50mph plus on those was FAST.
Brought my JetSki with me out here from Alabama but it looks like the riding season here in Montana is pretty short for those so I needed a winter sport.
Going to pick up a pair of 2009 Polaris RMK 800's with trailer today, one is a BoonDocker turbo the other is a 860 big bore ( forgot the maker of the kit ).
I'll probably have lots of little questions on where to find info on the snowmobiles as I get up to speed on the ins and out of them.
Hope to see some of you on the trails around western Montana, Lolo pass and Skalkaho road will probably be my first rides as I find new trails.
 
Jul 10, 2020
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Kinda what I thought too, but it was a really good deal on them that I couldn't pass up. Plus I'd rather have a sled I can grow into and I've got some friends here I can ride with that can show me the ropes.
 

summ8rmk

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If ur not comfortable, u will end up miserable. Here are some basics that some may not think about.

Dress in layers, try different materials(cotton kills don't wear cotton base layers)until you find a comfortable combination. Make sure the outer layer is waterproof and breathable.
Riding trails, u will get cold, frostbite is possible, riding trees u will sweat like its summer time even when its 10°F.
Have at least 3 pairs of gloves.
One thin pair, one thick and whatever u choose for the backup.
Normally, I can't wear a balaclava, it makes my head sweat and goggles fog up fast however, Riding the trail for a day with my mom or girlfriend and i have to wear the balaclava to keep my cheeks and neck from freezing.
Frameless goggles are really cold on the cheeks, u wouldn't think that little piece of plastic at the bottom of the lens would deflect that much wind off ur face.


I suggest some avy classes, doesn't need to be level 1, 3 day class but u need to understand where they happen and how to avoid them.

Always wear a tether. Carry a shovel and a small folding hand saw.
Radios are an important part of my riding gear, i always carry a spare for anyone in my group that may not have one. It is much easier to call ur buddy on the radio than driving around for hrs trying to find them.

I suggest carrying just enough food/snacks and liquid to keep you healthy overnight.

This is a decent start.
I didn't cover any of the obvious because...... it should be obvious.... lol

Hope u get out this winter. This is an amazing sport. Beautiful scenery.










Sent it
 
Jul 10, 2020
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Thanks for the info, got some of the gear as I've ridden in the past on rentals, know what you mean about the goggles though. Have a full face helmet for mine and need to get one for the wife.
Just waiting for Bob Wards out here to have their end of August sale to pick up some riding bibs and boots and have to look around for the shovels and other gear.
Wife is always good about bringing snacks with us and both sleds have warmers/cookers on them.
 

BirdmanID

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Took me a little bit ti figure out what an AVY class is, now that I know what is it that is a really good idea, along with a beacon maybe just to be safe.
a beacon doesn’t make you safe. It just makes your body recoverable or your partner findable if you have the training and practice. Education and good choices are what make you safe.
 

christopher

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Yep, training is key, but cant hurt to do both
You will quickly find that a FULL FACE helmet is not the way to go for aggressive stand up sledding. You’re very likely to want a. Open face with goggles to improve cooling and airflow..


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Blk88GT

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I can't imagine riding with anything but the motocross style helmets. I think that's what Christopher is referring to as "open face", not the traditional one that offers no chin protection.

Beacon, shovel, probe and the education to know how to use them are just as important as fuel in the sled.
 
Jul 10, 2020
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The bottom one is more what I was looking to get, My motorcycle helmet isn't going to cut , Too heavy for one.
Got goggles the goggles from my last trips just gotta make sure they fit the helmet opening.
The helmets we used were the open chin type and were cold as ( well you know ) .

It was 3 deg outside on the mountain when we went out , The guide was amazed we even showed up he thought we would be a no show plus I don't think he wanted to go out in that cold.
Had a great time, Guide took us up Skalkaho pass and got to cook lunch up on the pass.
Foot wear is another thing that I wont skimp on, when your feet are cold its really hard to enjoy yourself.
 
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Teth-Air

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It sounds like you are approaching this with the right attitude. You need to be a "half full" type with this sport and you will do fine. Too many guys get out due to cost, breakdowns, time commitment, safety concerns etc. If you truly get the bug, you are in for life.
 

turbolover

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A beacon, shovel and probe are not an option if you ride in the mountains. An avalanche airbag is expensive but when you get into some of the bigger terrain it begins to look more like a necessity also. Training and practice with your beacon, shovel and probe are as important as the equipment itself.

Just because you have the equipment doesn't mean you will be safe, just that you have a better chance of surviving when things go wrong. Good decisions will do more for your safety than the latest and greatest safety gear. Unless you ride on flat ground in a perfectly open area you will encounter some kind of terrain that could slide. People have been buried while riding down a trail and pass an area with steep terrain next to them. If you don't have the bare minimum (beacon, shovel and probe) then Search and Rescue will most likely be doing a body recovery rather than you saving your riding partner.

Not trying to scare you but accidents and bad things can happen anywhere. You just do what you can to mitigate the risk and enjoy the heck out of this addiction your getting into.
Nothing else even comes close to the freedom you have with a snowmobile in the mountains.
The only real limiting factors are how much horsepower you have and how big of cajones you have.
 
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