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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone -

I got a 2015 Backcountry 800 last March and with the early spring and late snow, have only managed to get about 1k miles on it - mostly trail miles. But, last weekend was my first "real" trip off trail aside from practicing in our ditches and pasture - we used main trails and rivers/lakes to connect with hiking trails and un-plowed fire roads to just explore. Aside from a few "pucker moments" when the river got slushy, I had a blast but I noticed something that was pretty bothersome.

When I'd leave the race track of packed snow on the river for the deeper snow, of which there was only 18 inches or so, every time I'd get up to 50-55 MPH my handlebars would wobble something fierce - big, strong, quick motions back and forth. I'm 6'3/250 and I can "force" them straight - but when it happened the first time and wasnt expecting it, it could have been bad.

My rear spring is as tight as it goes due to my weight although I did forget to change the coupling blocks after riding trail the day before. I also left the sway bar quick disconnect on because of the poor conditions on the connecting trails. Skis are in the wider stance.

Is this a known issue, a problem with set up or technique? The sled is mostly stock (just the quick disconnect for the sway bar and an adjustable riser added). Obviously, I'm new to this kind of riding but my uncle has the same sled (his is the X package) and had the same issue.

Thanks!
 

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I am having a similar steering twitch with my 16 Freeride... it only happens to me in heavy or crusty untouched snow at about 50 MPH. The first time it happened i was actually thrown from the sled and watched my brand new sled roll across the field i was in. I am thinking it may have something to do with how far forward i have my bars set. When the skis lift out of the snow they are not touching and when set back down in heavy or crusty snow, it grabs the ski. With tall bar risers and having them pushed forward the steering action is much more sensitive. Making it hard to counter act the twitching. None the less it is a very scary and unnerving thing to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It was definitely the same kind of snow for me - it was 38 degrees both weekend days but got below freezing every night. What snow remained was mostly either heavy or crusted depending on where you were,

Mine isnt configured with the post forward right now but I have the riser tilted up a bit more than half way between stock and straight up...it's the BRP adjustable one that's an inch longer than stock in the short position so that definitely adds up based on what you're saying.

Glad you're OK and I'm feeling like I was even luckier now that I know someone else was thrown from the same issue.
 

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That is my take on it anyways.. if anybody else has some input on this i would appreciate it. When my sled rolled it tweaked my left spindle where the lower a arm mounts to it. I would say its bent up an 1/8" inch with the powder coat flaking off... Its a little irritating that it happened because i do not believe there was any negligence involved. If i would have tagged a tree or a rock and bent it i would have no problem saying alright lets order in the new parts and fix it. But that is not the case..
 

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Check your ski alignment. I know the new specs is to have them perfectly aligned straight up, but I've found this causes darting due to the ski flex. That is, the skis can move slightly in or out in reference to each other. As an experiment, I took my out to the 1/8" toe out which is half of the old spec and it cured the issue.
 

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After inspecting my sled last night, the left lower ball joint is completely garbage. The ski can move 2 inches toe in and 2 inches toe out on that side. My sled has 340 miles on it... I would advise everyone to check their ball joints...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After inspecting my sled last night, the left lower ball joint is completely garbage. The ski can move 2 inches toe in and 2 inches toe out on that side. My sled has 340 miles on it... I would advise everyone to check their ball joints...
I'll check mine tonight but are you sure that didnt happen when you rolled? You said the left side is where the a-arm was tweaked a bit too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I believe it is the deep keel that is the problem.In the spring i run just the 4" stock carbide.
Although I do plan to get some shaper bars before my next trip, I am running the stock carbides at the moment. What about the keel do you believe causes this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Check your ski alignment. I know the new specs is to have them perfectly aligned straight up, but I've found this causes darting due to the ski flex. That is, the skis can move slightly in or out in reference to each other. As an experiment, I took my out to the 1/8" toe out which is half of the old spec and it cured the issue.
I'll give that a shot. I'm hoping snow will be better for my next trip and I wont even have a chance to test it.
 

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I am 99.9% positive this is why I was thrown from the sled as i was not doing anything crazy or out of the ordinary. just simply riding across a field and was sent into a "death swap" as i would call it... The skis were maybe 6 inches off the ground and as soon as they planted back on the ground i was sent for a loop. As anyone will tell you that has one of these 800 etec's skis coming off the ground is inevitable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks - I'll have to check mine this weekend, it's on the trailer right now and I'm not dealing with that tonight. Thanks for confirming.

Anyone else have other ideas I should check while I've got it down?
 

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It's known that head-shake can happen with the narrow front suspensions and this did happen with mine as well. I added a couple of clicks of rebound on the front shocks and it went away. I'm still riding with this same aggressive rebound clicker setting even after rebuilding the front shocks. I have not experienced another episode.

If your front shocks don't have clickers, contact a suspension tuner (shock builder) or your dealer. Let them know about this problem... I think it can be resolved with rebuilding your shocks and/or changing the rebound shims internally..
 

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Although I do plan to get some shaper bars before my next trip, I am running the stock carbides at the moment. What about the keel do you believe causes this?
My 2011 with he 6.9 did not do this but they would push in the corners.The ds2 do turn better and i believe it is the deep keel that does this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's known that head-shake can happen with the narrow front suspensions and this did happen with mine as well. I added a couple of clicks of rebound on the front shocks and it went away. I'm still riding with this same aggressive rebound clicker setting even after rebuilding the front shocks. I have not experienced another episode.

If your front shocks don't have clickers, contact a suspension tuner (shock builder) or your dealer. Let them know about this problem... I think it can be resolved with rebuilding your shocks and/or changing the rebound shims internally..
This sounds like the best answer yet. Thanks!
 

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I think it's a ski/geometry issue with Ski-Doo. I just came off a Polaris for four years. With my new Ski-Doo I find almost everything wants to rip the bars out of my hands. Like maybe the saddles are too far back possibly. My RMK also had really wide bars which may have helped compared to these bars.
 
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