Types of Snowmobiles
There are six types of Snowmobiles to choose from:
1. Working Snowmobiles
Approximately 80 percent of snowmobilers use their snowmobile for trail riding and touring in marked and groomed trails. The other 20 percent of snowmobiler’s use their snowmobile for work. Working snowmobiles range from snowmobile club members who like to groom trails and carry food, tents or safety equipment, to commercial snowmobiles such as Alpina, offering models for multi person transports at ski areas, rescuing injured people trapped on a mountain or even bringing scientific expeditions to the Polar ice caps.
Working snowmobiles also called utility snowmobiles are longer, wider and heavier than recreational snowmobiles. As expected, they work well on trails and in heavy snow conditions and typically come equipped with an electric start and reverse gear as standard features.
Examples of working snowmobiles include:
- Alpina Snowmobiles
- Ski-Doo Skandic® Tundra LT 600 ACE
- Yamaha RS Viking Professional
- Arctic Cat Bearcat® 570 XT
2. Touring Snowmobiles
Two ups or touring snowmobiles are made to carry two individuals. These snowmobile models are designed to give two people a comfortable ride over long distances. Touring snowmobile models will come with electric start, side-mounted mirrors, reverse gear and larger windshields. Some high end touring snowmobiles feature luxury amenities like heated seats, MP3 players and communication systems. Touring snowmobiles are larger, heavier and have a longer track length than either Performance or Trail snowmobiles.
Examples of Touring Snowmobiles include:
- Ski-Doo Grand Touring SE 1200 4-TEC
- Yamaha RS Venture GT
- Polaris LXT Turbo IQ
- Arctic Cat T 570
- Arctic Cat T Z1 Turbo LXR
3. Trail Snowmobiles
Trail snowmobiles models are a great choice for snowmobilers new to the sport. These snowmobiles are economically priced, light weight and easy to handle on rough trails. Trail models accelerate faster than a Touring snowmobile and offer more comfort than a Performance style.
Examples of Trail Snowmobiles include:
- Arctic Cat Sno Pro 500
- Polaris 550 IQ Shift
- Ski-Doo MXZ TNT 550F
- Yamaha Phazer RTX
4. Performance Snowmobiles
Performance snowmobiles, just like the name implies are built for speed and punishment. Designed for aggressive riders who like the thrill of an adrenaline rush, these snowmobile engines will typically generate over 85 horsepower, are light weight and come with advanced suspension systems for precise handling. Although not designed for comfort, this snowmobile style is perfect for flying across a frozen lake or participation in a sporting event. Performance snowmobiles are recommended for experienced, expert snowmobilers.
Examples of Performance Snowmobiles include:
- Polaris 800 Rush
- Arctic Cat CFR 1000
- Yamaha Apex SE
- Ski-Doo 800cc E-TEC
5. Mountain Snowmobiles
If you like the challenge of climbing vertical slopes in deep snow, a mountain style snowmobile may be for you. Mountain style snowmobiles have high horsepower engines that perform well in higher altitudes, are narrower than other models, weigh less and have longer lug tracks. Naturally mountain snowmobiles maneuver best on tough vertical climbs vs. groomed snow packed trails.
Examples of Mountain Snowmobiles include:
- Ski-Doo Summit Everest 600 H.O. E-TEC
- Yamaha FX Nytro MTX 162
- Polaris RMK 700 155
- Arctic Cat 1000 Sno Pro 162
6. Youth Snowmobiles
Snowmobile clubs and trade associations promote snowmobiling as a great way for the family to enjoy the winter season together. Snowmobile manufacturers agree, and have smaller scale Youth style snowmobiles available for ages 8 and up. Youth style snowmobiles offer safety features like the ability to limit speed and a tether strap that will kill the engine immediately. Most of these Youth snowmobiles are low horsepower single cylinder motors – with one or two exceptions. As the sport of snowmobiling continues to gain popularity, more Youth snowmobile styles and features are expected to follow. Polaris distinguishes between the sexes with youth snowmobiles in pink with white flames and black with white flames color options. Currently Yamaha is the only manufacturer without a youth snowmobile offering.
Examples of Youth Snowmobiles include:
- Arctic Cat F120
- Ski-Doo Mini Z
- Polaris Youth 120