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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am a northern wisconsin boy. And I was never one to ride a snow mobile.
I rode one once, crashed in minutes, never rode again.

We had a great Quad Sport 230 which was not bad in the winter, but not great.

But this is more about the snow mobiler gear. You know we talk about layering and water proofing and all that, and then I see these dudes RIP across our lake up north going what has to be at least 60 mph in the wind, in the cold.

What?!?

And you start to think about the protection that they are wearing.
Just like touring or racing motorcycle people.

but, those snowmobile guys have some pretty amazing wind protection I imagine.

Even though the branding and graphics are totally not my taste, the technology has to be pretty cool.
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I’m not a die-hard snowmobiler, but I do have a family friend in Maine who is. I’ve spent a couple dozen hours sledding on his machines over the years. I’m going to assume those guys you see on the lake are going significantly faster than 60mph. I was on the lake in Maine last winter, topping the machine (Polaris 800) out at about 110mph, with sustained cruising speeds of 90-ish. Temps were around 20*F. Pretty warm. I’ve been up there riding in -10*F for hours out in the wilderness, and honestly if you’re layered up and completely covered, it’s fine. The snowmobile itself blocks a lot of the wind, and they have hand warmers in the grips that can actually get too hot. I’ve always just worn long johns, layered pants/hoodie and Carhartts and been fine.
 

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The hand warming grips are a must have, and you will certainly want to be able to break the wind and have some removable layers. However, I have never been riding off trail and not have getting too warm being the bigger issue. It’s a work out.
 
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· Isaiah 41:10, Acts 5:29
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How long anything lasts will depend on how well it was built, how well it is matched for the actual use and environment, and how well it's maintained. In my experience, snowmobiles last about as long as motorcycles, considering how many miles put on them and any specific rider issues or accidents. If well cared-for and not abused, they can last decades.
 

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Grew up riding them and dirt bikes at the family cottage. My newest is a 1997 Yamaha VMax, all my friends gave up sledding and sold theirs so I don't pleasure ride much anymore but will use it to tow the shanties/gear when ice fishing sometimes. In recent years I'll sometimes only put about 10 miles on it just to make sure it starts, to keep everything lubricated, and run some fresh gas through it.

In years past when our home and BOL/cottage were 200 miles apart I'd trailer it home each winter weekend trip so I'd have it if a winter bugout back to the BOL was required. It's not really designed for carrying a passenger but it's do-able, the plan being that if trapped in traffic during the bugout the wife and I would have the option of abandoning the truck and finishing the bugout on the sled. Beats walking, and we'd be able to distance ourselves from the rest of the soon-to-be 'refugees' still stuck in a non-moving traffic jam, but we'd lose all the gear in the truck (and probably the truck as well). It gave us another option anyway, the idea of walking with a hoard of other refugees fleeing the city didn't sound appealing for a number of reasons. Given enough notice and time to load it I might bring it if forced to do a winter bugout from the current home since having a second motorized vehicle might come in handy at the final destination, but the drawbacks are a lot of extra weight plus some loss of some range/mobility/agility of having a trailer on the truck.
 

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I am a serious sledder. It's a lifestyle. In the 70s I rode with a full leather jacket and bibs. We had bubble helmets and regular gloves and boots. I've advanced through the years with a few different outfits. Klim is considered by many to be the top tier clothing. My sil wears it. Amazing stuff light, warm, colorful, and expensive. I choose to usually dress like a hobo except for the boots and heated visor helmet. I wear a wornout 3/4 length Columbia jacket and black bibs. Waterproof and moisture wicking is the key to staying dry. Most of the clothing nowadays cuts the wind so that's a big part. I also carry spare gloves and balaclava in the front over the engine so it is warm and dry.

The sled is the technological part that's just as amazing. Heated visor, heated grips for you and the passenger, heated seats and totally heated clothing is available as well. The snowmobile it's self takes alot of the heat from the motor and runs it across your feet in the forward position. Most of us keep our feet under us as the boot technology is fierce, but the option is there. I wear thin gloves on the bottom and thicker on the top for wind. The windscreens can be amazing if you get a taller one. I'm 6`3" and use a tall windscreen.

That about covers it. I also ride motorcycle and one of my bikes is a goldwing. I saw 2 riders last week riding in MN on the highway. Stupid choice roadwise but they were warm. Well I gotta go start the skidoo and yamaha and let them warm up. Going for a ride today. Seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am a serious sledder. It's a lifestyle. In the 70s I rode with a full leather jacket and bibs. We had bubble helmets and regular gloves and boots. I've advanced through the years with a few different outfits. Klim is considered by many to be the top tier clothing. My sil wears it. Amazing stuff light, warm, colorful, and expensive. I choose to usually dress like a hobo except for the boots and heated visor helmet. I wear a wornout 3/4 length Columbia jacket and black bibs. Waterproof and moisture wicking is the key to staying dry. Most of the clothing nowadays cuts the wind so that's a big part. I also carry spare gloves and balaclava in the front over the engine so it is warm and dry.

The sled is the technological part that's just as amazing. Heated visor, heated grips for you and the passenger, heated seats and totally heated clothing is available as well. The snowmobile it's self takes alot of the heat from the motor and runs it across your feet in the forward position. Most of us keep our feet under us as the boot technology is fierce, but the option is there. I wear thin gloves on the bottom and thicker on the top for wind. The windscreens can be amazing if you get a taller one. I'm 6`3" and use a tall windscreen.

That about covers it. I also ride motorcycle and one of my bikes is a goldwing. I saw 2 riders last week riding in MN on the highway. Stupid choice roadwise but they were warm. Well I gotta go start the skidoo and yamaha and let them warm up. Going for a ride today. Seriously.
I had not thought about the actual machine. In my head, I just did not.

But, you see these guys in northern wisconsin out in like a billion below zero, and going 70 miles an hour and that has to be cold.
 

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I had not thought about the actual machine. In my head, I just did not.

But, you see these guys in northern wisconsin out in like a billion below zero, and going 70 miles an hour and that has to be cold.
As stated above, getting cold is not the issue.
 

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So, I am a northern wisconsin boy. And I was never one to ride a snow mobile.
I rode one once, crashed in minutes, never rode again.

We had a great Quad Sport 230 which was not bad in the winter, but not great.

But this is more about the snow mobiler gear. You know we talk about layering and water proofing and all that, and then I see these dudes RIP across our lake up north going what has to be at least 60 mph in the wind, in the cold.

What?!?

And you start to think about the protection that they are wearing.
Just like touring or racing motorcycle people.

but, those snowmobile guys have some pretty amazing wind protection I imagine.

Even though the branding and graphics are totally not my taste, the technology has to be pretty cool. View attachment 496535
Over the years I worked with a lot of guys from Maine. Offshore and power generation has a lot of them.

Many of them do the sledding thing. Slower speed trail riding (and a little bar hopping..in the old days) and ripping across lakes. I went up one long weekend in late January when I was working in Lowell MA. Cold as hell. And yes, they have gear that will keep you warm and is pretty tough. I had a borrowed one piece coverall/suit. The guy I was with had the newest whizz bang suit that matched his sled. He got it when he bought his sled and got a discount...it was $400 in 2009.

I'm sure prices have come down and materials have improved. Maybe I'll look into it because the older I get the more I hate the cold.
 

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If I lived in the proper climate, I'd be a snowmobile fanatic.....:love:

I've only had maybe two chances thus far in my life to ride/race quads in the snow, and man it was fun! Especially with two-strokes! 🤘 There's nothing like the smell of premix and two-stroke exhaust in the morning...
 
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