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Best of the Best

The best of the best sleds are all right here... or at least we think so!
RELATED TOPICS: SNOWMOBILES | REVIEW
Yamaha SnoScoot snowmobile
Yamaha SnoScoot
EDITOR’S CHOICE
Yamaha SnoScoot
Many in the industry have long called for a sled that allows kids and tweens to smoothly transition to full-size models, and it’s finally here! Bridging the gap between the 120cc youth models and the 550 fan-cooled sleds, this in-between machine is hopefully the answer that keeps young sledders in the sport. - Mark Boncher

Runner-up
Polaris 800 Titan XC
We’ve ridden trails, ditches and powder-filled meadows with it. We’ve even hauled loaded sleighs through the bush. It’s ruggedly confident, yet it still playfully floats. We have yet to find a match for the 800cc-powered Titan XC, and that’s why it’s the runner-up in our Editor’s Choice category for MY2018.
Ski-Doo Summit X 850 175 snowmobile
Ski-Doo Summit X 850 175
MOUNTAIN EDITOR’S CHOICE
Ski-Doo Summit X 850 175
The Summit X 175 simply kicks butt! Riding the 165 feels more like a 150-class length track, and riding the 175 feels more like a 160-class length track. The only time you will really notice the length is if you are trying to do a re-entry. Then, like a dog chasing its tail, you can almost catch it! The 165 went more places than the previous 154 could, but the 175 will simply go straight up. We were blown away by the places we were able to go!
- Ryan Thompson

Runner-up
Polaris 800 Pro-RMK 155
With fun in every throttle pull, the Pro-RMK makes you feel like you’re on a roller coaster that you control with every twitch of your thumb. We love the 155 track length for maneuverability. Deep snow, steep climbs or big hits – this sled is an all-around riot in any conditions, with more than enough power to get you there!
Yamaha Sidewinder L-TX LE snowmobile
Yamaha Sidewinder L-TX LE
Arctic Cat Norseman 6000 snowmobile
Arctic Cat Norseman 6000
Ski-Doo Freeride 850 165 snowmobile
Ski-Doo Freeride 850 165
BEST 4-STROKE
Yamaha Sidewinder L-TX LE
This is the fastest stock snowmobile ever produced. Along with its Cat sibling, the Thundercat, you literally can’t find a more arm-stretching throttle pull anywhere. Yamaha decks the 137-inch L-TX LE out with some of the best shocks in the business, too. The FOX Zero QS3R shocks with Kashima coating will smooth out even the roughest of the rough.

Runner-up
SnoScoot / ZR 200
These twin sleds could go in a bunch of different Best of the Best categories. Since the engine is a highly durable Yamaha 4-stroke (actually derived from Yamaha’s generator line of motors), we know it will run forever with very few issues. The kids are absolutely gonna love them!

BEST UTILITY
Arctic Cat Norseman 6000
That same playful Cat 600 motor is now in a new utility sled. Built like a “mini-tank,” the Norseman is meant to stand up to Viking-like punishment. A long, 154-inch track gives this sled plenty of off-trail capability and pulling power.

Runner-up
Yamaha VK Professional II
This is the best place in the snowmobile biz for power-assisted steering. The VK Pro is easy to drive, and the 130+hp Yamaha triple 4-stroke motor offers lots of ponies to get the toughest jobs done.

BEST NEW MOUNTAIN
Ski-Doo Freeride 850 165
The new 850 Freeride in the Gen4 chassis flat-out rips! This sled is an absolute riot to ride. It will take hits and drops like no other, the handling is superb, and the clutching is spot-on and super responsive from the bottom end all the way through to the top. It’s such a fun sled on so many levels!

Runner-up
Arctic Cat M 8000 Mountain Cat 153
The new Mountain Cat is extremely responsive on the bottom end and in the mid-range. The narrower chassis and rider-forward position make it extremely agile and fun to ride. FOX QSL lockout option on the rear suspension is beuno!
Ski-Doo SHOT Starting System
Ski-Doo SHOT starting system
Ski-Doo Backcountry X 850 snowmobile
Ski-Doo Backcountry X 850
BEST NEW TECH
Ski-Doo SHOT starting system
The ultra-capacitor technology allows starter components to be left off (meaning less weight) and you hardly hear anything at all when you start a Summit equipped with SHOT. It is whisper-quiet and push-button simple. No other snowmobile manufacturer has this type of technology on their sleds.

Runner-up
Arctic Cat 800 C-TEC2 motor
Arctic Cat finally introduced its newest, reportedly longer-lasting, more durable and reliable 2-stroke motor, made by Arctic Cat itself. The high output, dual-stage injection 794cc motor is pumping out the horses, as our independent dyno test on p. 26 of this issue recently confirmed. It’s a winner so far!

BEST CROSSOVER
Ski-Doo Backcountry X 850
A new cMotion rear suspension and the 850 E-TEC motor are big selling points for this sled. But it is the easy feel both on and off trail that make it a great crossover. This is the sled we wanted last year when the 850 motor was first announced, but after a year of waiting, we are thrilled to have it in 2018.

Runner-up

Polaris 800 Switchback Assault 144
This was our best crossover sled last year, and our high opinion of it has not changed for 2018. The 144-inch IGX rear suspension with tipped-up rails is still tough to beat on the trail, and its off-trail floatation and deep snow capability are drawn straight from the RMK mountain line.
Polaris 800 Titan Adventure snowmobile
Polaris 800 Titan Adventure
Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS snowmobile
Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS
BEST 2-UP
Polaris 800 Titan Adventure
Brand new for 2018, the Titan takes the “extreme utility / 2-up” segment and makes it even more interesting. With a 155-inch track, this sled seriously bridges and smooths out bumps, and that is what’s most important to 2-up and touring riders. But this sled is also fast, fun and built to take a punch from Ivan Drago!

Runner-up
Arctic Cat Pantera 7000 XT Limited
This was our best touring model last year, and it still gets high marks for luxury, comfort and durability. It is warm as well as 4-stroke powered, so longevity is also a high point.

BEST HIGH-HP 2-STROKE
Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS
A race sled with a trail sled’s suspension calibration and a totally stock motor – that’s what you get with the X-RS. It is surprisingly pleasant on a Sunday strolling ride, and it can go all out through a mogul field without blinking.

Runner-up
Polaris 800 Switchback Pro-S
The Pro-S is an AmSnow staff favorite because it is super light, low cost, and it does just about everything pretty darn well. Corners and small choppy bumps are where this sled shines.
Arctic Cat ZR 6000 El Tigre snowmobile
Arctic Cat ZR 6000 El Tigre
Arctic Cat XF 9000 Crosstour snowmobile
Arctic Cat XF 9000 Crosstour
BEST 600 TRAIL
Arctic Cat ZR 6000 El Tigre
The 600 C-TEC2 motor has continued to grow on us, and the terms we throw out to describe it are playful, zippy, and light to the touch. It truly is what every snowmobile should be – powerful, lightweight and maneuverable. The El Tigre 6000 hits on all of those fronts.

Runner-up
Polaris 600 Switchback Pro-S
We love the Switchback Pro-S, and the overachieving Polaris Liberty 600 is still super fun to snap the throttle on. Seriously, we’ve met guys who have bought this little 137-incher for their spouses, but it was so snappy and surgical in the trail that they didn’t want to give it up!

BEST ENDURO VENTURE
Arctic Cat XF 9000 CrossTour
It’s big, fast, comfortable, and built for the long haul. Under the hood is the same motor that sits in the Thundercat and Yamaha Sidewinder. Plus, with all the storage availability, this machine can literally and figuratively “haul the mail.”

Runner-up
Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro 800
For the second year in a row, we’ve put this sled into this slot. You simply cannot beat the plushness and the easy-to-use Air Ride suspension in the Enduro line. Not to mention that the older 800 E-TEC engine is no slouch for performance. Though often overlooked, we feel the Enduro is one of the best all-around trail sleds.
Sled Categories
High Performance - Get your ride aboard the highest horsepower, most technically advanced machines on snow! These sleds are engineered to take the best beating you and the terrain can dish out and still come back asking for more. They’re priced accordingly, but don’t expect anything less than the best.

Sport Trail - Having a hard time justifying that big-ticket sled? Are you a novice or need something for a younger rider? Try shopping here, where a little less power can cost you A LOT LESS money without sacrificing much in the way of quality or riding experience.

Crossover - Ready for anything the snow gods throw at you, the crossover segment offers both trail tamers and powder slayers a one-size-fits-all snowmobile solution. These sleds are great for folks who like to venture off trail but do not want to give up any handling on the trail.

Mountain - The best views are usually from the top of the mountain. If it’s panoramic vistas you seek, hop atop one of these long-track snow stallions to take you there! If you live in one of the Rocky Mountain states, Canada, or just really like spending all day off trail, then these are your rides.

2-Up Touring - Does a couples’ day on the trails sound better than a day at the spa? Then you’re in the right place! These sleds offer suspensions, storage and (sometimes) heat for two. They’re spacious, warm and aimed to accommodate passengers.

Enduro Venture - Where comfort meets capability, this category can offer as many amenities as a five-star resort, but with enough power and capability for a backcountry camp excursion. Well-equipped to handle long-trail days as well as off-trail forays, they can be thought of as do-it-all sleds as well.

Utility - Attitude usually takes a front seat to appearance here. These beefy machines lend a hand on the ranch, in the bush, or wherever you’ve got work to be done. Utility does not mean boring, though, as many of these sleds have
the motors to have some serious fun.

Youth - Raising them right? Of course you are! And it only gets better with more youth sled offerings in 2018. This is a crucial segment because the family that snowmobiles together, stays together!
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