Snowmobiling or sledding is a great activity to get out and explore nature in winter. If you’re a heavy rider, there a few things that you should look for in a sled before you hit the trails. Here are some snowmobiles for heavy riders and a few suggestions of features to look for when buying a new machine.
Features to look for in a sled for heavy riders
There’s several features that you’ll want to look for in snowmobile. These include the springs and shocks, length, engine performance and weight.
Springs and Shocks
Features to look for start at the base. You’ll want a sled or snow machine with heavy duty springs and shocks. These will absorb the extra weight and flex as you hit different terrain. These can be added to an older sled so you don’t have to buy a new sled. Talk to a local shop and ask about heavy duty springs and re-building shocks to accommodate a heavy rider. Air shocks are easier to adjust than gas shocks and some models like the Yamaha Apex X-TX come with them from the factory. Fox Float shocks can be added to models if they don’t come from the factory with the,
Another feature to look at is length, With a longer sled, you have more surface area for the machine to grip the snow and support you if you’re off-trail. Look for a model that has a length longer than 151″ for best performance.
Engine performance is another thing that you’ll want to consider. The more power that you have the easier it is for the sled will be able to pull itself and the rider through the snow, especially if it’s not groomed. Look for a n 800cc engine. 700cc would be the minimum but 800cc will give you enough power.
Weight is another factor. Most newer (2017+) snowmobiles are lighter than their predecessors. Combined with generally more powerful engines, a lighter sled will handle a heavy rider just as if it was a heavier sled with a lighter rider. Being lighter means being able to float better on top of the snow instead of sinking and allow the engine to work more smoothly.
Models to Consider
Here is a list of models that are well suited for larger/overweight riders looking for a good experience on a day out sledding!
Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One
The Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One is a good contender for a snowmobile for a big rider. It features a near 800cc motor which will give you plenty of power and is available in 154″ & 165″ lengths. You can also order it right from the factory with Fox Float shocks. The Mountain Cat Alpha One is another model by Arctic Cat with the longer length as well.
Polaris Pro RMK 174
The Polaris Pro RMK 174 features a 174″ track and is a great machine for climbing hills and going off trail. It has an 840cc engine which is certainly going to give you enough power to get through any terrain. Air shocks are not available from the factory but, as we’ve discussed, they can be added aftermarket.
Ski Doo Summit X
The Ski Doo Summit X features a 175″ length making it one of the longest sleds available. It comes with an 850cc engine so it has plenty of power to take you where you want to go, whether on-trail or not.
Yamaha Mountain Max LE 154
The Yamaha Mountain Max LE 154 has a 154″ track so it’s one of the shorter models on our list. It features a 794cc engine so it has plenty of power to get you through the deepest snow. It features Fox 2.0 Zero shocks as standard so no need to add them as an option or add them on later.
Other Options for riding in the snow for heavy riders
In addition to snowmobiles for heavy riders, you can consider other modes of transportation in the snow. There are several companies that sell conversion kits that allow you to add tracks to any ATV, UTV or side-by-side making them very capable machines in the snow. Companies like Camso sell after market conversion kits so you can replace your summer wheels for winter tracks and hit the trails year round.
Some manufacturers also sell kits as an option. Polaris, Arctic Cat and Can Am all sell units that they manufacture for their ATV’s, UTV’s or side-by-sides so if the idea of a snowmobile is intimidating or doesn’t sound comfortable, there are options out there for heavy riders.
Concluding thoughts on snowmobiles for heavy riders
Snowmobiling is a fun sport that allows everyone to get out into nature and enjoy the sites and sounds and have fun at the same time. Hopefully this Guide has helped you and given you ideas on what to look for in a snowmobile for heavy riders. Do you have any suggestions for other models on this list? Be sure to email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion and we’ll consider adding it to the list.
This Guide is part of a series of guides on for heavier people to get out and enjoy the world around them! Be sure to check out our other Guides such as ebkes for heavy people, bikes for heavy people, hiking gear for heavy people and a guide to RVs for heavy people.