State Snowmobile Association
Whether you are buying a new or used snowmobile, our
goal is to help you purchase the snowmobile that will give you the most value
for your dollar. We want you to not only
make the best purchase possible, but also have the best snowmobile experience
with your purchase.
Snowmobiles have been around for almost 100
years. The technology of snowmobiles gets
better every year. Basically, the newer
The #1 rule of snowmobiling is NEVER
For more safety info see http://www.oregonsnow.org/tips.aspx
to buy a snowmobile:
Snowmobile riding season usually takes place November
through April. That’s 6 months worth of
· You can join a local snowmobile club and
meet new friends.
· You don’t ever have to buy a lift ticket
· Unlike snow skiing, you won’t get cold
waiting for or sitting on a chair lift.
· Snowmobiles have windshields, heated
handgrips and heat for your feet to keep you warm.
· Snowmobiling is a very safe family sport. Anyone
from young to old, athletic to handicapped can ride a snowmobile.
· Snowmobilers care about our
environment. Snowmobilers leave no
· Do you get depressed in the winter? Snowmobilers always have a smile on their
face when they are snowmobiling! The scenery is spectacular.
I buy NEW or USED?
Obviously a new snowmobile would be great, but not
everyone can justify a new snowmobile. If you don’t want to invest in a new snowmobile here are some tips on
purchasing a used snowmobile.
· Because you’re going to depend on your
snowmobile for reliable, safe enjoyment, the service history is a top priority
when choosing the right sled. Be sure
you know it was taken care of properly
· If you don’t know the person you are
buying it from, take it to your local dealer to have it inspected before
purchasing. Just like an automobile, snowmobiles need repair and maintenance to
be reliable. It’s very possible to buy a
used snowmobile for $2,000 only to find out that it needs $3,000 worth of
· How many miles does it have? At 10,000 miles, most snowmobiles are
basically worn out (similar to an automobile with 200,000 miles).
· Is the odometer correct? Odometers can easily be
tampered with or replaced on snowmobiles. For this reason, if you don’t know the seller it’s especially important
to have it inspected at your local dealer.
· Nada Guides can give you used snowmobile
values, but remember the ultimate guide to a snowmobile’s value is what else
can you buy for the same amount of money. Older snowmobiles in good condition with lower mileage tend to sell for
more than book value.
· New or Used, any snowmobile you buy will
make you smile!
I buy a 2 Stroke or 4 Stroke?
4 stroke engines tend to be more reliable, get better
gas mileage and last longer. They are
particularly popular in areas where people use them to commute to work. As a general rule, 2 Stroke snowmobiles tend
to be more popular in the Pacific Northwest. You also never have to change the oil in a 2 Stroke,
although you do have to add oil every time you fill it with gas. Most of the snowmobiles for sale in the
Pacific Northwest are 2 Stroke. 4 Stroke
or 2 Stroke, any snowmobile you buy will make you smile!
I need a snowmobile with reverse gear?
Not all snowmobiles come with a reverse gear. If you don’t have a reverse gear you will need
a greater turning radius or you will be lifting the back of your snowmobile to
turn around. If you have weak upper body
strength or a bad back, make sure you buy a snowmobile with reverse. Reverse or
No Reverse, any snowmobile you buy will make you smile!
I need a snowmobile with electric start?
Pro-riders normally don’t ride snowmobiles with
electric start because the starter and battery add a small amount of weight to
the snowmobile. Most everyday snowmobilers prefer having a snowmobile with
electric start. If you have weak upper
body strength or a bad back, make sure you buy a snowmobile with electric start. This is especially important on any
snowmobile with over 600cc. Pull start
or electric start, any snowmobile you buy will make you smile!
cooled or water cooled?
Almost all snowmobiles used to be air cooled. They have a belt driven fan that cools the
engine. Snowmobile manufacturers later
developed water cooled engines when they wanted to increase the
horsepower. Some of the manufacturers
still make air cooled snowmobiles today. These are great entry level snowmobiles as they tend to be lighter, have
less horsepower and also cost a lot less. Air cooled snowmobiles are highly recommended for young people who are
just learning to snowmobile. Air cooled
or water cooled, any snowmobile you buy will make you smile!
long of a track do I need?
121, 136, 145, 153, 154, 162, 163, and 172 are some of
the common track sizes
As a general rule the longer the snowmobile the less
likely you are to get stuck in deep snow. Also, the longer the snowmobile, the harder it will be to maneuver
especially if you are a beginner or don’t have a lot of upper body strength. Ski Doo makes the 172 snowmobile and it is
extremely long. If you are going to go
off a groomed trail into the powder a 145 to 154 length is normally preferred
for a beginner. Short track or long
track, any snowmobile you buy will make you smile!
type of snowmobile do I want?
The most common types are touring, trail, crossover,
and mountain snowmobiles. You will want to purchase the type of snowmobile
designed for the type of riding you plan on doing. All of these types can be used for beginners.
· Touring snowmobiles are designed for 2
riders. They are a lot heavier and are
not recommended for off trail use as they will easily get stuck in deep snow.
· Trail snowmobiles are designed for groomed
trails. They usually have shorter track
lengths and a wider ski stance which make them more stable going around corners
than the crossover and mountain snowmobiles.
· Crossover snowmobiles are designed to be
good on trails and on the mountain. They
also have a softer and more comfortable ride than mountain snowmobiles.
· Mountain snowmobiles are designed for deep
powder and are least likely to get stuck in deep snow, but because of their
longer tracks and narrower ski stance they are slightly more difficult to
handle on groomed trails.
Touring, Trail, Crossover or Mountain, any snowmobile
you buy will make your smile!
big of an engine do I need?
When it comes to snowmobiling bigger is not always
better, especially if you are new to the sport. Here are some general rules to
consider about engine size and horsepower:
· The larger the engine the more the snowmobile
weighs. The more your snowmobile weighs the easier it is to get stuck if you
are a beginner.
· Less horsepower means longer engine life
and less maintenance.
· Less horsepower is a lot safer and better when
you are learning to ride.
· Less horsepower equals better fuel economy
During the last 10 years most snowmobiles were either
600cc or 800cc. Many new riders have had minor accidents with 800cc snowmobiles
simply because of the extra horsepower. Most experienced snowmobilers don’t let their inexperienced friends ride
their 800cc snowmobile for this reason. Most 600cc snowmobiles also cost less than most 800cc snowmobiles. Small engine or big engine, any snowmobile
you buy will make you smile!
brand of snowmobile is the best?
you join your local snowmobile club, this will be a never-ending topic of
discussion, kidding and laugher! Arctic
Cat, Polaris, Ski Doo and Yamaha are the current snowmobile manufacturers.
· Every piece of
machinery or equipment can break down and will need proper maintenance. Having a dealer close to you is a huge plus
when you need parts or repair for your snowmobile.
· All 4 brands currently make really good
snowmobiles. The differences between
them are generally very slight and unless you are a pro-rider you will most
likely not be able to tell the difference.
· Even among the pro-riders the differences
in the brands tend to be more of a personal preference than anything.
Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski Doo or Yamaha, any snowmobile
you buy will make you smile!
things to consider:
· Join your local snowmobile club to
optimize your snowmobile experience and learn how to ride like a pro.
· If you don’t have a valid Drivers License
you will need a Snowmobile Operators Permit to operate a snowmobile in Oregon. To get a permit you will need to take a class
sponsored by your local snowmobile club or Oregon State Snowmobile Association. If your child is old enough to read and
comprehend they can usually qualify for a Snowmobile Operators Permit.
· Helmets are not required for snowmobiles
in Oregon but you will rarely see anyone without a helmet. Helmets not only protect your head, but also
help keep you warm.
· Snowmobile trail maps are available from
your local snowmobile club and the Forest Service.
· Insurance is not required but is highly
recommended. Full coverage is relatively
inexpensive and will help to protect your investment. Even if you don’t want full coverage for your
snowmobile, liability insurance is a must!
· Water cooled snowmobiles can overheat if
you are operating at very slow speeds or on hard packed snow or ice. Overheating will destroy your
snowmobile. Be sure your snowmobile has
ice scratchers and learn how to use them.
· Still have questions? Come to a club
meeting (you don’t have to be a member to attend) and ask a question and enjoy
all the answers you get from all the "experts” in the club. It’s fun, possibly hilarious, and you won’t
Finally, your local snowmobile club spends countless
volunteer hours maintaining and grooming the snowmobile trails with equipment
and funding provided by the Oregon State Snowmobile Association. Membership in most clubs is usually $50 a year
or less for your whole family and includes a $25 membership in the Oregon State
Snowmobile Association. Volunteering is
not required to be a member, but you can still show your support by joining
today. You’ll be glad you did!
For a list of other local snowmobile clubs click here:http://www.oregonsnow.org/clubs.aspx