The Real Cost of Mods

Frostbite

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I am really starting to think all the mods on my 2015 are becoming a real detriment when thinking about getting a newer sled.
If I had a stock sled, it would be a lot easier to part with than mine now with all its expensive painstakingly installed mods.
Sure, I could steal the TKI belt drive, ZBros Kiss Bracket, and the Barcode kit but that's about it.
The running boards, Boysen rage cages, Full SLP pipe system, Power Commander V, MDS weights all turn into selling points for my sled but, nothing more.
I guess I could remove some of them and sell them separately.
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy doing the mods for the most part and they give me some great shop projects when the weather is bad. They are a form of a mental escape. Listening to tunes, having a beer or two and putting life's stressors out of my mind.
Perhaps a few mods are good (especially if you can steal them and use them on your next sled) but, going whole hog and trying to make your older sled keep up with the times is never a money making proposition.
Moving forward, the practical thing to do might be adding a lightweight exhaust canister, a set of skis or a bar riser would be the extent of my mod list, if I were smart. But, I'm not, and like many of you, I grew up modding what were essentially trail sleds trying to make them work in the mountains.
Those old traditions die hard and doing mods has become part of my life.
What's your solution for the best way forward when sleds now come from the factory better than we could ever build them 10 years ago?
 

Dam Dave

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Gave up most of that stuff, all I want is pull and go sled, even a stock sled is better than 90% of riders

add gas and oil and ride
 

bgraff1

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same thing with anything really. sleds/rzr's/trucks etc you never get out of it what you put in, need to be ok with the loss. after putting so much in to my last sled (parted out in the end) and my last truck which i lost my ass on trading in from now on they are staying basically stock, or things im ok losing on/can move to the next one. fine line between making it your own and "wasting" money. need VS want....
 
Nov 26, 2007
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From here on out, I’m done with mods. Sleds are way too expensive now and come well equipped out of the box. Risers, can, bracing / skid plate and storage and fuel canister is as far as I’ll go.

They are cool if you have extra money and time to burn, but the at 10 cents on the dollar when you try and sell your sled and some actually turn a lot of buyers off. If you go full in on mods, you should plan on keeping your sled for 5 years or more.
 

Vern

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I typically try to stick with handling and protection mods i.e. bumper, skid plate, etc., and leave the engine stock other than a can. I usually keep a sled for at least 5 years so when I got my '20 I had a list of mods that I had broken down into groups of importance and planned to spread out over the next couple years. Well, I think I suffer from the same problem as you frostbite, I ended up having the whole list wiped out by mid Winter.
 

Frostbite

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You all make so much sense. Bgraff1, you nailed it. My 97 and 2016 Powerstroke, Triumph Tiger and CFR250L motorcycles and Yamaha and CanAm ATVs are the same way.
I think it's a sickness :)

On the flip side, I do tend to keep my vehicles for years, if not decades. Hence I am always trying to keep my stuff up with the times.
I keep my stuff so long that they tend to become a part of the family. :)

I do have a riding buddy that recognizes all the work I do to make them work well. He's doesn't do mods, so he bought my last sled and he may be ready to buy my 15 soon. It's nice to ride with him and see my old sled work so well and take some pride in it.

Guys used to get a new sled every couple years to minimize depreciation but, the dollars and sense of it just don't add up anymore.
Maybe if you buy a left over model for a couple grand under retail? But if you do that, it's already depreciated for two additional years.
I know it's not a cheap sport and I'm fine with that.

The first part of fixing something is recognizing there is a problem, and the good news is, I think I MAY have reached that point?
 

bgraff1

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i bought my 18 in summer of 2018 with 600mi on it and it already had the CFR bars/riser, airframe boards, TKI belt drive and SLP skis on it for 10k canadian. all i added was MDS clutching, sealed the air box, cleaned up the bars and added a tunnel brace with fuel/storage cans. thats more than it needed but glad it came done up the way it was
 

skidawg

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It all comes down to your disposable income. At this point in my life, I can afford all the mods I want and I do enjoy doing it, from an individual aspect of it anyway. 20 years ago when I still had a mortgage, college tuition for 3 kids and weddings after college, I didn't have a pot to piss in! Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be cheaper doing drugs, but then again I realize that I'm getting high on sledding!
 

joshkoltes

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I'm having a hard time convincing myself to put on the clutch kit that's been on my kitchen counter for over a year. Partially due to lazyness and partially being unsure it's even worth it for the 100 rpm I'm short
 

kidwoo

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I'm with vern. I'll always do mods that noticeably improve ride quality or durability without adding complications.
 
Nov 26, 2007
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The one thing Cat has going for it right now is that that you can get a new 2021 for close to $3000 cheaper than a Doo or Polaris. You can purchase a lot of accessories and mods and still be under the price point of a new Doo or Poo.
 

BeartoothBaron

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I think what it boils down to is you're going to spend money either way, so how do you prefer to spend it? I can't leave anything stock: my sled, my truck (97 Powerstroke, BTW!), my Mercedes, my old Fairlane... On which is cheaper, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with some numbers on how much you're likely to spend on keeping a sled longer and modding vs. upgrading more often. For a starting point, a holdover sled makes the most money sense if you're buying new. It's dried up a little, but a year ago you had a pretty good selection of '18s for around $10k. Of course, when it comes to resale, people will pay more for a tricked out custom order vs. off-the-floor model, but what, $1000-2000 compared with $5000+ initial price? Another question is whether you're more likely to turn into a kid in a candy shop modding and upgrading or custom-ordering a new sled. You could blow everything you saved buying a holdover on just a couple sets of shocks...

Anyway, my thinking on the value of the mods themselves is you lose value at the same rate if not more slowly on mods as the sled itself, but only if you swap back to stock and sell the parts individually. I don't think what was spent on mods ever gets you more 20c more on the dollar when you sell the sled complete unless your name is Burandt or something (maybe I should change my name!). So, to maximize your resale, you have to go through the pain of selling pieces one by one. That said, if modding keeps you happy with your sled for a couple more seasons and you don't go crazy trying four or five different track/suspension/engine setups, you should come out ahead vs. buying a new sled every year.

Now, keep in mind I'm on the budget end of the sport, but even there, you have the question of whether to buy a newer used sled or replace parts on your own. There's no end either way, but as long as you're having fun, I say!
 

Artic Cat

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The one thing Cat has going for it right now is that that you can get a new 2021 for close to $3000 cheaper than a Doo or Polaris. You can purchase a lot of accessories and mods and still be under the price point of a new Doo or Poo.
But Doesn’t cat have 1 year factory Warranty vs Doo 4 year ?
 

boondocker97

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If your plan is to mod within the first year the 4 year warranty isn't worth as much anyway. If you want to ride it stock add some more years of warranty and up the price some more.
 
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But Doesn’t cat have 1 year factory Warranty vs Doo 4 year ?

This point exactly...I never thought much about warranty until this year when my '19 blew up with 175 miles and 1 month of warranty left. It was fixed on warranty but now its off warranty and I don't know how long this one will last. I'd certainly consider paying more if I was getting 1-3 more years of warranty next time
 

ullose272

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The one thing Cat has going for it right now is that that you can get a new 2021 for close to $3000 cheaper than a Doo or Polaris. You can purchase a lot of accessories and mods and still be under the price point of a new Doo or Poo.
Well thats what i thought too. Now i have an $18,000 alpha
 
Nov 11, 2010
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Do small mods that can be easily removed and sold separately. Take the money you were going to spend on more parts and roll that into a new machine more often. I sold my last sled for $6k almost completely stock, I could have got maybe $6500 if I had left everything on it. Instead I pulled it off and sold it off and wound up with $2500 for it all. That's an extra $2k towards the new machine. I have been so happy with my Alpha all it has are bumpers, boards, Linq brackets, a can, and steering bushings. At most I might add a Y-pipe and clutching.
 
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