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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took out my new(used) 400km Skandic WT 600 ACE for the first time today and made 55 km on it riding in various trails and snow conditions, I was pleasantly pleased with its ability to navigate through the high Alpine bush around trees and up and down hills in deep powder at slow speeds. It actually surprised me what it could go through just going slow relying on pure traction and flotation rather than HP and speed, and at its stability and maneuverability for such a big sled! It also did well on the groomed part of the trails but wasn't so great on the un-groomed trails with lots of bumps.

I know it's a full utility sled and I shouldn't expect the ride to equal my other sleds the Expidition and Outback, but does she wear you out between heavy steering and stiff suspension!

Two things I noticed I'm hoping I can get some advice on. Right out of the gate I noticed the steering was very very heavy in comparison to my 2015 Expedition 550F Sport with 154" x 16" track and my 2009 Outback 550F with 136" X 16" track. Of course it's over a hundred lbs. heavier then the Expedition, but it really tired my arms out in the steering department in comparison to the other sleds. The steering was very precise and the machine turned when you wanted it to turn with little pushing in the corners but my impression was the ski pressure was super high and could be backed off with little sacrifice to steering? I also found the ride pretty firm in comparison to the other sleds which one should expect, but I was disappointed in just how firm the rail suspension was and how easy the pogo sticks were to bottom without being too aggressive. It's a very easy sled to over drive what the suspension can handle!

My suspension is currently set full soft on the front skid shock and full soft on the rear springs. Is there any adjustments I can make to smoothin up the ride and get a little ski pressure off the pogo sticks to ease up on the steering and front end ride?

I should add my front limiter strap has lots of slack and I noticed the front skid seems to sit with the machine on flat ground pretty high in the tunnel, which would put more weight on the skis, is that normal? The front skid shock doesn't appear seized or flat but it doesn't appear to be putting a lot of down force on the front part of the skid either??

If this is normal, I got a lot of respect for you fellows who pack on lots of miles in a season, your better men then I am!

All advice appreciated.
 

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I was disappointed in just how firm the rail suspension was and how easy the pogo sticks were to bottom
get REVEL front springs. http://revelsuspensionstore.com/products/skandic-wt-swt-front-spring. An inexpensive must doo upgrade.

I'm still learning about suspension settings in various conditions. I'v been trying to maximize my deep snow performance. Following owners manual suggestions my limiter strap is at maximum length, center shock at maximum preload, rear torsion spring preload cam at softest (1), rear extension spring preload cam at lowest preload, and of course the rear extension stabilizer (lock out) cam unlocked.

Each of these except lower rear torsion spring preload coincide with increased bump absorption. Each of these settings also coincide with lighter front ski pressure.

I vary the rear torsion spring preload with weight of load as it effects rear ride height. Owners manual says "slight suspension bottoming occurring under the worst riding conditions occasional bottoming in the worst conditions indicates a good choice of spring preload."

Download owners manual from skidoo website.

I just looked at the 2011 owners manual, which is similar to my 2013 manual. Download the 2013 also because it has a couple of better illustrations re suspension adjustments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Slapdappy, thanks for all the advise and information, I will follow through and adjust things as you suggest. Do the Revel Springs make it ride stiffer on the front end? In the product description they say it gives the machine a higher ski extension which I would translate back to more ski pressure I think? That might offset the skid adjustments to lighten up on the ski pressure? Perhaps the Revel springs are longer and have more coils of thinner diameter to give you more compression before coil stacking(I have no clue?)?

Did you find improved front ride with these springs without being noticeably stiffer and harder steering?

I'll go to the SkiDoo web site and see if I can find the owners manuals as you suggest, when I bought the machine I never got one with it so have no clue as to how to set it all up, thanks for that tip!

I guess in the end with my bad back(crushed disc) I'm looking for as plush as I can get it.....and easier steering if possible.
 

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Hi Slapdappy, thanks for all the advise and information, I will follow through and adjust things as you suggest. Do the Revel Springs make it ride stiffer on the front end? In the product description they say it gives the machine a higher ski extension which I would translate back to more ski pressure I think? That might offset the skid adjustments to lighten up on the ski pressure? Perhaps the Revel springs are longer and have more coils of thinner diameter to give you more compression before coil stacking(I have no clue?)?

Did you find improved front ride with these springs without being noticeably stiffer and harder steering?

I'll go to the SkiDoo web site and see if I can find the owners manuals as you suggest, when I bought the machine I never got one with it so have no clue as to how to set it all up, thanks for that tip!

I guess in the end with my bad back(crushed disc) I'm looking for as plush as I can get it.....and easier steering if possible.
The Revel springs are an improvement in every way. They are plusher and smoother, progressive in their compression, rarely bottom out. They reduce tendency of front of sled to squat and to lean to outside when turning, especially in deep snow. Can't speak to the front ski pressure. All I know is it rides and handles better.
 

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Revel springs and front shocks are awesome. The upgraded shocks make an even bigger improvement than the springs. It's hard to explain, but several have commented that the front shock/spring upgrade seems to match the rear suspension much better than stock. The springs are thicker and stiffer though than the stock ones, so ski pressure will be increased. Way better ride, no bottoming, drastically reduced body roll in corners, way less bounce and rattle compared to stock. Much better all around package.

What skis does your machine have on it? Are they the stock DS1s? Or did the prior owner replace them with something like Simmons, which just steer like a bear particularly with pogo sleds. There is no way to back off the stock spring pressure, I wouldn't see why one would want to. As you have already experienced, they are easy to bottom out. You might look for skis with more rocker, they are easier to turn. Check you skegs too, maybe the previous owner has some monster dooly under there or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for those comments, my machine is bone stock, original skis, Skaggs etc.. I love the way it steers, just takes too much handle bar torque to turn, after three hours on the trial my arms are ready to fall off(yes I'm a woose). I didn't realize that Revel also sold a front shock kit, I guess I go back to the website to check those out also.

I know right now the front skid shock(I think the manual calls it the mid shock) is set to the lightest cam setting and the front of the skid is relaxed up quite deep up into the tunnel with lots of slack in the limiter straps with machine on flat level ground. This is putting lots of weight on the skis.

I'm looking for smoother ride and easier steering to keep up with our other two sleds the 2015 Expedition and 2009 Outback both with 550F. They ride and steer excellent on the rough trails. Even with better adjustment on the skid and less ski pressure I can see it's still very easy to outride the front suspension leading me back to your suggestion for upgrading to the Revel shocks and springs.

I never bought the sled to be a Mongol pounder over the trails but am so far disappointed in just how rough it rides and heavy it steers. Before I get too judgemental I need to tweek the skid settings and see if I can improve things? I'll start with stiffening the front skid shock, soften the rear skid springs and then see how well that works. If the skid ride is better and the steering lightens up to a more suitable level I'll then consider the front shock and spring upgrades as you suggest. If in the end the adjustments don't improve the skid ride to were I can see it suitable for my use, I might just sell it rather then go for the front end up-grade.

Now having driven my first wide track, and comparing it to my two other sleds I love the thing for slow speed technical maneuvering through the powder off trail, especially wandering through the mountain alpine forest, for going slow putting along its great other then the heavier steering. But when I get back out on the trails were the track has been pounded out by other sleds with lots of bumps, I'd take one of my other sleds any day. I know the Skandic WT was never meant to be a trail sled, but as I said, didn't quite expect it to be this rough riding, Again we'll reserve final judgement until after we do some suspension tweaking, but I really gotta commend guys who ride these things endless miles across drifted lakes, if they got any pending kidney stones there sure to be joggeled loose 8^)

I have a bad back(crushed L5 disc) so need all the plush I can get while still allowing some utility.

I'm starting to wonder if the Expedition WT might have been a better all around compromise, still get the wide track but far superior front suspension, all be it at a much higher cost.

Appreciate all comments on this subject, this forum is great!
 

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Yeah, I'd crank up that center spring as much as you can. I though I had read you already had that turned up.

I have the Skandic SWT set up with the Revel shocks and springs, worth every penny.

I also have an Expy SE 1200, you are right, it is a lot more fun on the trails. The rear skid and guts of the machine are the same though, the front end is the only difference. The stock shocks on those are garbage too though, I put KYB Pro 40s on the front of mine, made a huge improvement. I'm not a suspension expert by any means, I'm just starting to learn the value of good shocks. But if I had a bad back, I'd definitely look at getting high end shocks. Revel makes a custom mid and rear shock for the SC5-U skid as well. I haven't gotten to try those out yet, the front end was a much higher priority. Unfortunately it all takes too many $$...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, just checked out the Revel web site, $804 USD($1150 CDN) for the shock/spring kits, OUCH!

This just might be a sled better suited to a full time trapper pulling a heavy sled through the bush no faster then 20km ...... Gee, maybe that's what BRP designed it for. LOL .....Maybe I bought a one ton dually when all I needed was a good Sport Ultility.....my bad?
 

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Yes, pricey. They do make a big difference though.

That's always been a gripe I've had with BRP. Unless you get the very top of the line Summit X or Freeride, shocks are always throw-away junk. Versus a Cat or something their mid-range models have half-way decent rebuildable gas shocks.
 

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I got my 2013 with 200 miles. Minty mint cond. It's my first sled.

You need not buy the front shocks. Start with the springs. Thats what I did. Now I have the full Revel set up, front shocks/springs, center shock/spring (what you refer to as front skid shock), and rear shock, and so far I am quite pleased. Plus it's covert, a 60 hp utility sled with a full aftermarket high performance suspension.

I tend to take the bumps standing so my body doesnt absorb the punishment; faster speed seems to make it less bouncy. The heft of the skandic keeps it more composed, I think. I know the front springs are a big assist. I assume the rest of the setup helps also.

Of course sitting one must go slow through the whoops. Can't see how going over bumps wouldn't be bumpy.

I think of it as the 4runner of sleds. I have a '99 4runner. Very capable offroad, on road, good utility, comfortable, solid engine, plenty fast for highway travel. Not a Prius, not a Porsche, not a massive diesel dually. Just a solid, reliable, good looking piece of equipment.

Play with suspension settings, install front springs, let us know if it gets better.

May not be the sled for your needs, but give it a chance. Should be an easy sled to sell if you decide it's not for you.

This is only my second year of snow machining, so take whatever I say as the advice of well intentioned novice. :smile_old:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice guys, I'll start by tweeking the skid adjustments and see if I can improve things, if it get close to easing up on my back I'll go for the front spring up-grade, if not I guess we'll be on the hunt for a Expidition WT, but not before I try one first. If I'm forced that way I don't want to make the same mistake twice, ride before you buy.

I'll get at it this next weekend and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
AvalancheAK

I noted your comments about your Expedition WT with 1200ACE being much better on the trails then the Skandic WT.

I also see you have an Expedition Sport which I also have although with a 550F. I love the ride of my Expedition Sport

but do find it rather tippy. For sure its a great compromise sled between all out mountain sled, decent in deep powder and on the packed trails yet

some utility to it.

What I was hoping to get out of the Skandic was probably not a good expectation, that was a plush ride and less tippy but also good

deep snow performance. Its for sure less tippy, and it blows through snow pretty good, and its better then I expected in the bush

dodging trees, just the plush ride and heavy steering has been disappointing.

This brings me to the question with all the sleds and experience you have, just how good is your Expedition WT in comparison to your

other sleds especially your Skandic. Do you see any advantage to the Skandic over the Expedition WT?

If you had to run in a wide range of conditions from deep powder to hard bumpy trail, hilly mountain terrain and navigating through the bush dodging trees,

which of your sleds would you take?
 

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Loaded question.. haha

In theory, I think I could have a new 900 SWT with Revel springs and shocks all the way around, and be happy with that for all my purposes. The good shocks make such a huge difference to ride and stability, my 600 SWT really doesn't feel like the normal bouncy tippy pogo anymore. But my 600 SWT is a 600, no way it's going to keep up with faster sleds on good trails. So I have the 1200 as well. Note that I don't have a Skandic WT.

Now I think of the pogo front end as narrow, as it is much narrower that the Expy. The Expy (sport, LE, & SE) all have the same intermediate width front end, wider than summits but narrower than MXZs. With a 900 or 1200 up there, they really handle well and glue themselves to the trail quite nicely (aside from the crappy DS2 ski issue), particularly if you put some decent shocks on them. The Expy is great for trail riding, whether it be towing big loads or ripping around. I've done a lot of backwoods brush and black spruce bashing too, as well as deep snow. It does OK at that, but in those instances I always wished I had rode my SWT. It does it fine, but not as easily and as surefooted as a SWT. So if I had to take one, it would have to be the SWT, as a high percentage of my riding is off trail abuse even though there are a lot of trails too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
AvalancheAK

Well that's not really the response I expected, I thought you would say the Expedition WT would be the best all around compromise.

What type area and terrain are you generally riding in?

I'm in the mountains of British Columbia, from valley basins creeks and lakes up to high alpine and heavy bush in between. The range of riding I do is probably the broadest type you can do, from slow technical stuff through the bush, up and down creek banks to smooth groomed trails to rough trails full of bumps and everything in between. The snow conditions are the same, from up to your arm pits granular/sticky/crusty to stretches of nothing or bare ground and ice. Normally I'm not pulling a sled but at times I do, although not generally loaded to extremes. For sure I'm not prairie riding endless miles down a ditch chasing cars. I do carry a lot on the sled itself.

With my bad back I like plush, stability and smooth comfortable ride. I really like the Expedition Sport with 154" X 16" track, it's soft seat and plush suspension is great. It does like to dart around a bit but manageable. It's biggest down side is its tippy. It doesn't take much to end up on your side expecially when in the technical stuff moving slow through the bush or up and down creek banks and hills dodging trees. With the Expedition you really need to use a lot of body language to keep it pointing were you want to go. The first mile I made on the Skandic WT I found myself wondering off the main trail into the trees off trail in deep powder easily moving around at a slow pace with little body language to manage it. Even plowing over small trees and going over logs was much easier. What would have been a balancing act on the Expedition Sport was a cake walk for the Skandic WT. The stability of the WT was impressive, and for its size and weight its ability to wonder through dense bush dodging trees and driving over logs was truly impressive.

The killer for me was the ride quality and heavy steering. This weekend I will make the skid adjustments and report back, I remain hopeful I can tweak out an improved ride quality justifying spending the cash on the Revel up-grades.

I guess I'm a Swiss Army knife kinda guy, want my cake and to eat it too LOL....
 

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Make no mistake, the Expy can do it all too. But the SWT is better at a lot of the things you list. Less wrestling around in the woods is because of the narrower front end, easier to hold a line and put on a sidehill.

One thing I noticed my Expy 1200 does a lot better than my 600 ACE SWT is mow over brush and black spruce. That extra 60 pounds in the nose really makes a difference in the size of tree/bush you can tackle, ones that I would have gotten halfway over with my SWT then got catapulted I was able to mow right over. :smile_old: :smile_old:

The two biggest negatives to the expy off trail in the tighter stuff is the gearing and the fragile front end. I plan to put a 7 tooth driver in mine, since I don't need to go 100. That will fix the gearing, but out of the box it's just a bit too high to really crash around in the woods and deep snow going slow and towing big loads. I haven't blown a belt, but my clutches get mighty hot. The front end is a better ride, but more fragile. I've taken UHMW to mine and reinforced the a-arms making arm guards underneath it. But you still need to use a little care when crashing over stuff.

In the most perfect world, I'd like a SWT (24" track) 900 ACE with the A-arms in front, not available in North America.

To save myself some typing, I'm going to copy and past cause it's identical to what I would type..

I'm in the mountains of Interior Alaska, from valley basins creeks and lakes up to high alpine and heavy bush in between. The range of riding I do is probably the broadest type you can do, from slow technical stuff through the bush, up and down creek banks to smooth groomed trails to rough trails full of bumps and everything in between. The snow conditions are the same, from up to your arm pits granular/sticky/crusty to stretches of nothing or bare ground and ice. Normally I'm not pulling a sled but at times I don't, sometimes loaded to extremes and other times empty sled for hunting or whatever. I do carry a lot on the sled itself, at any moment I have probably 100 pounds of gear on the back (chainsaw, winch, clothes, tools, rescue gear, day gear, etc).

Keep in mind I'm on the 24" with my SWT, you are 20" with the WT. I do think the SWT is more stable and capable than the WT, and really doesn't do anything any worse than the WT. In fact one of my personal thoughts is that I'd never buy a Skandic WT (except for a deal), I'd either go for SWT or the Expy WT.

Ultimately, there's a reason why I own "several" sleds... On the down side though, you can't ride them all at once. So often what's ideal one moment is not ideal in 10 miles, so you end up "compromising" anyway. Tis a rough life...
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So other then it having a 800 two stroke, would the Expidition Extreeme WT with a 900 ACE engine instead be the ultimate sled(if you could buy it that way)?

You have the better shocks all around, better A-Arm front end, better deeper lug track, what am I missing?
 

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Make no mistake, the Expy can do it all too. But the SWT is better at a lot of the things you list. Less wrestling around in the woods is because of the narrower front end, easier to hold a line and put on a sidehill.

One thing I noticed my Expy 1200 does a lot better than my 600 ACE SWT is mow over brush and black spruce. That extra 60 pounds in the nose really makes a difference in the size of tree/bush you can tackle, ones that I would have gotten halfway over with my SWT then got catapulted I was able to mow right over. :smile_old: :smile_old:

The two biggest negatives to the expy off trail in the tighter stuff is the gearing and the fragile front end. I plan to put a 7 tooth driver in mine, since I don't need to go 100. That will fix the gearing, but out of the box it's just a bit too high to really crash around in the woods and deep snow going slow and towing big loads. I haven't blown a belt, but my clutches get mighty hot. The front end is a better ride, but more fragile. I've taken UHMW to mine and reinforced the a-arms making arm guards underneath it. But you still need to use a little care when crashing over stuff.

In the most perfect world, I'd like a SWT (24" track) 900 ACE with the A-arms in front, not available in North America.

To save myself some typing, I'm going to copy and past cause it's identical to what I would type..

I'm in the mountains of Interior Alaska, from valley basins creeks and lakes up to high alpine and heavy bush in between. The range of riding I do is probably the broadest type you can do, from slow technical stuff through the bush, up and down creek banks to smooth groomed trails to rough trails full of bumps and everything in between. The snow conditions are the same, from up to your arm pits granular/sticky/crusty to stretches of nothing or bare ground and ice. Normally I'm not pulling a sled but at times I don't, sometimes loaded to extremes and other times empty sled for hunting or whatever. I do carry a lot on the sled itself, at any moment I have probably 100 pounds of gear on the back (chainsaw, winch, clothes, tools, rescue gear, day gear, etc).

Keep in mind I'm on the 24" with my SWT, you are 20" with the WT. I do think the SWT is more stable and capable than the WT, and really doesn't do anything any worse than the WT. In fact one of my personal thoughts is that I'd never buy a Skandic WT (except for a deal), I'd either go for SWT or the Expy WT.

Ultimately, there's a reason why I own "several" sleds... On the down side though, you can't ride them all at once. So often what's ideal one moment is not ideal in 10 miles, so you end up "compromising" anyway. Tis a rough life...
Even though I feel like I've lost a friend now because of the trash talk posted here, "In fact one of my personal thoughts is that I'd never buy a Skandic WT (except for a deal), there is allot of truth in AvAK description between the WT v.s. SWT. I currently own the Skandic WT 600 Ace and agree that " the SWT is more stable and capable than the WT, and really doesn't do anything any worse than the WT". With that being said I love my WT it's a very capable machine for my needs, but my next machine will be a SWT for the reasons stated above.
 

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Already mentioned here are plenty of tips.

Even with the Revel Shock upgrade (I have it and ordered a 2nd kit for another SWT I just bought) you can't (easily) adjust the preload on the front shocks without taking thing apart. Although you can at least adjust it. The shocks are light years better than stock also as far as dampening.

At least get the springs (Were on sale for $80 each) - Without the springs you'll bottom on any sort of hard pack, rough trail.

You'll find by torquing up the front spring and possibly torquing down rear one a bit you can get quite a bit of pressure off of the front ski's.

One thing to note. If you get the front end too light it'll get noticeably tippier as it's kind of 'rocking' on the front of the track if it's high.

Tweak it enough and you'll find a good spot somewhere. The pogo's don't handle like trailing arm or A-Arms but can be decent all around performers.

Start by tweaking the center spring 1 or two positions then test ride it, tweak it if necessary, then repeat. You should check the track tension each time but I'd wait till you are done 'tweaking' then check it again.

With the stock ski's and liners, Revel springs, and Woody Dually carbides I find I can drop to about the middle (I like to steer :) ). If you need your back on a higher setting due to loads you'll need to up the front as upping the rear will put more pressure on the ski's also.
 

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Even though I feel like I've lost a friend now because of the trash talk posted here, "In fact one of my personal thoughts is that I'd never buy a Skandic WT (except for a deal), there is allot of truth in AvAK description between the WT v.s. SWT. I currently own the Skandic WT 600 Ace and agree that " the SWT is more stable and capable than the WT, and really doesn't do anything any worse than the WT". With that being said I love my WT it's a very capable machine for my needs, but my next machine will be a SWT for the reasons stated above.
LOL! I forgot you might see that!

The WT is of course a great machine too, I just figure if I'm spending $12K+ on a new machine, I'm either going to go for the uber off trail capability or the trail manners. But you never know, maybe there will be too good a deal on a WT....

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