Bear with me, this is really about an Expedition Sport 900 ACE:
I am new to sleds. I live in great sledding country in WA state and recently bought a lightly used 2016 Polaris 800 SKS mountain sled. 900 miles, looked perfect. Ran sweetly. My first few hours of use was on soft snow and all went really well. I went on a couple of short trail rides on soft snow with speeds up to about 30 mph, which felt really fast to me, but controlled and fun.
My next ride was a disaster. I was following a friend on a hard pack straightaway, closed to traffic highway, leading up to Washington Pass. He took off at about 50 mph and almost as soon as I got up to 40 the sled swerved radically to the left and rolled violently. I was thrown clear, was not seriously injured, only banged up, amazingly. The sled was worse: bent tunnel, windscreen broken, hand guards broken, rear bumper destroyed (by attached ski rack and leverage of the tumbling skis on the rack). It happened in an instant and I had absolutely no idea what happened. BTW, I'm 72 with a lifetime of running machines, 2000 hr. bush pilot, but a newbie in sled world.
With research and friends, I learned that the suspension was grossly out of adjustment for my weight. The rear track shock spring preload was barely set at all, far looser than the factory spec of 10.5" which was for riders up to 220. Maybe 10-7/8". Should have been 10-1/8" My weight: With my ski equipment and other baggage came in at 260.
So, I've used up some of my 9 lives in sledding terms.
I've just ordered a 2022 Expedition Sport 900 ace. I'm looking to get away from exhaust smoke and noise as much as possible and Expeditions are popular here, especially for my use.
My greatest concern is the reports I've read of darting in icy conditions. Needless to say, it is extremely important to my sanity and enjoyment to set up my new sled for maximum tracking and stability. The major Criticisms of the Expedition Ds2 skis, especially with skins, have been from LE and SE owners. Many folks on the forum report huge improvement by switching to Simmons Gen 2 skis or others. So I'm wondering, would this be a prudent change to make to my new sled right off the bat? Or, does this ski only suit the wide track Expeditions? Are the stock skis just fine? For hard pack? Soft snow won't be an issue in either event, I'm guessing.
Any and all suggestions to the equipping and adjustment of my new sled would be greatly appreciated. I'm obviously cautious in light of what happened, and I'm obviously going to make sure that the new sled is properly adjusted. I just want to know any and all factors that contribute to safe fast hard snow travel.
Thanks in advance.