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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently had a chance to visit a large dealer who stocks all four brands a do a little show room comparison. Had my two boys with me. Now from a show room perspective, sit on and look at, touch and feel Ski Doo is hands down above the competition. And I'm not being biased here. For real. The only thing close in fit and finish is Polaris and Polaris seats are stiff and feel terrible. Didn't like the Polaris handle bars or grips. Arctic Cats and Yamahas were decent to sit on. Nice controls. But cheap looking. Yamaha better than Cat(yes I know they're the same sled) but still not as good of fit and finish as Doo. If I were a person buying a sled with no more input than how it presented itself on the showroom floor I would buy the Ski Doo no questions asked. My boys both agree. Various models were compared including but not limited to: Ski Doo XS Renegades, XS MXZs, XP MXZ Sport, XR GSX(2015). Polaris Axys in short track and Switchback, Indy. Yamaha SR Viper, Arctic Cat ZR, ElTigre.

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Were you doubting yourself?
He heard Polaris was all changed for this year same as it was all changed for last and the year before and the year before and so on but according to Supertrax Polaris is best.
 

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A ride tells a different story...coming from someone that has owned them all in the last 18 mo. I will agree, Doo has the best fit and finish on the surface, but when you start digging into them all, they are probably in last place for structural integrity.
 

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A ride tells a different story...coming from someone that has owned them all in the last 18 mo. I will agree, Doo has the best fit and finish on the surface, but when you start digging into them all, they are probably in last place for structural integrity.
Structural integrity means nothing to me. I don't plan on hitting anything and if I do then I know it will need to be repaired and I carry insurance with 250 deductible. I have been riding Doo's since the original Rev and have never had structural issues. The only sled I have ever owned that I would consider fragile is my 2008 Nytro. The A arms on that thing bend when you hit a mogul. A piece of wood will fix it until you hit the next mogul.
 

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I have two ski doos that I snow checked last year. They are awesome sleds!

I do not think Ski Doo is absolute king. In fact they need to start paying more attention to the competition.

I think they all have plus's and minus's.

My wife sat on the Poo and liked the positioning and feel better than her Doo.
 

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I have two ski doos that I snow checked last year. They are awesome sleds!

I do not think Ski Doo is absolute king. In fact they need to start paying more attention to the competition.

I think they all have plus's and minus's.

My wife sat on the Poo and liked the positioning and feel better than her Doo.
You also own a Polaris.
 

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My buddy has a cat snopro 800. He has had no issues with it last year (1800 miles) only one ride this year so far. I see no issues with fit and finish. I may like the seating position better than mine. It came with a 2 ply track. The skis look better than doo's. The running boards are tied into the rear of the tunnel, not cut off and cheap looking like the Doo. It has lightweight fox shocks. It's a strong runner. I am biased towards Doo, maybe I shouldn't be.
 

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I just replaced my 2012 MXZ Sport with a 2016 Switchback 600. Obvisously the Sport vs a Switchback Axys with Walker Evans is not a fair comparison, but the minute I squeezed the throttle on my local Poo dealers Switchback demo, I had an ear to ear grin.... I was between a Blizzard 600 and the Switchback, main reason I got on the Seitchback was they had one for me to demo and I loved it. Still consider myself a Doo guy, but the Switchback is a blast to ride so I'll give it a chance for the next 3-4 years...
 

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I just replaced my 2012 MXZ Sport with a 2016 Switchback 600. Obvisously the Sport vs a Switchback Axys with Walker Evans is not a fair comparison, but the minute I squeezed the throttle on my local Poo dealers Switchback demo, I had an ear to ear grin.... I was between a Blizzard 600 and the Switchback, main reason I got on the Seitchback was they had one for me to demo and I loved it. Still consider myself a Doo guy, but the Switchback is a blast to ride so I'll give it a chance for the next 3-4 years...
To replace the wife's 2015 MXZ Sport, I was between the 16 Renegade Adrenaline 600 and the 16 Switchback Pro S 600. I liked the ripsaw 2, Digital Gauge and the Walker Evans Shocks, and my wife liked how the seating position was narrower. Figured we would give it try and see how it is. We'll get it out on Saturday. I love my ski doo's but the SB was too good of a deal to pass up.
 

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I just came off a Polaris Switchback Assault last year and don't consider myself brand loyal. I switched this year to the 16 800 Etec XRS renegade because Polaris didn't move the SBA to the Axys Chassis. My riding buddy purchased a 16 Axys 800 Switchback (with the crazy-looking rear end). Having ridden my new one and his back-to-back, you can't go wrong with either. Bottom line (and this is coming from someone who's riding a Doo) if BRP isn't paying close attention to what Polaris is doing with the bonded cast bulkheads, the new IDD and LED headlights- they are going to fall behind. Doo's injection technology is still better- although the power difference is no longer there- The midrange pull and clutching of the Polaris is better out of the box- the Etec is much smoother. Oil/fuel consumption is about equal. The RMotion skid is still the benchmark but the Polaris isn't far behind... just as plush, but not as resistant to bottoming. Front suspension is a wash- both are good. The Polaris is MUCH more playful and lighter feeling while riding it, but no longer has the inside ski lift. My sled is awesome, just feels much more planted (like a race car on the trails). Doo has better wind protection. Riding position on the Axys is MUCH more comfortable from an ergonomics standpoint- especially if you are taller (I'm 6'4"). I'm extremely happy with my XRS- but I don't deny there are a lot of things to love about the Polaris as well... Hoping to see some big things from Doo in the future to equal what Poo has been doing. Yamaha and Cat aren't even a consideration for me personally. No interest in four strokes and Cat's build quality is bottom of the pile.
 

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I just came off a Polaris Switchback Assault last year and don't consider myself brand loyal. I switched this year to the 16 800 Etec XRS renegade because Polaris didn't move the SBA to the Axys Chassis. My riding buddy purchased a 16 Axys 800 Switchback (with the crazy-looking rear end). Having ridden my new one and his back-to-back, you can't go wrong with either. Bottom line (and this is coming from someone who's riding a Doo) if BRP isn't paying close attention to what Polaris is doing with the bonded cast bulkheads, the new IDD and LED headlights- they are going to fall behind. Doo's injection technology is still better- although the power difference is no longer there- The midrange pull and clutching of the Polaris is better out of the box- the Etec is much smoother. Oil/fuel consumption is about equal. The RMotion skid is still the benchmark but the Polaris isn't far behind... just as plush, but not as resistant to bottoming. Front suspension is a wash- both are good. The Polaris is MUCH more playful and lighter feeling while riding it, but no longer has the inside ski lift. My sled is awesome, just feels much more planted (like a race car on the trails). Doo has better wind protection. Riding position on the Axys is MUCH more comfortable from an ergonomics standpoint- especially if you are taller (I'm 6'4"). I'm extremely happy with my XRS- but I don't deny there are a lot of things to love about the Polaris as well... Hoping to see some big things from Doo in the future to equal what Poo has been doing. Yamaha and Cat aren't even a consideration for me personally. No interest in four strokes and Cat's build quality is bottom of the pile.
Agree with your assessment 100%. My brother has a RennegadeX 800 and it also also a beautiful ride. As you stated, the Reney has better control (riding on rails) on the trails, but the Polaris has the fun factor and rider ergo's down pat. Still think the fit and finish of a Ski-Doo is light years ahead, they are so refined. My new SB has the IDD gauge with built in GPS and Bluetooth, which is an amazing feature. But bottom line both manufacturers are putting out s great product currently.
 

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I was considering adding a Switchback to the fleet next season but after reading all of the issues people are having over on HCS, I'm starting to second-guess my thoughts. Bushings worn out at 2,000 miles, loose coolant hose clamps, poorly routed wires, oil leaks, shocks rubbing holes through bags, shock springs rubbing, headlights flashing, yada, yada, yada. These are little things, I agree, but these shouldn't happen. Of all my Ski-Doo's that I've owned (with the exception of my '08) I've never had issues like these.

Again, I'd really like to try a new Switchback (a local dealer sells both Ski-Doo and Polaris) but it looks like they're only built for one season of riding and they're worn out which isn't typical for a Polaris (at least when I was riding them). When they get 11,500 miles of trouble-free riding out of them like my 2010 1200, I'd feel a little better about it.
 

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I agree Doo makes a nicely built sled and others have faded from that title (Yamaha) but still believe that the "weight wars" of the past have really taken some of the structural rigidity out of Doo sleds.
 

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I have to disagree to some extent, Semi. I have 11,500 miles on my 2010 1200 and I'm amazed at how tight everything still is. There's no slop in the handlebars, the steering is still tight and it still has the original bushings in the front and rear. It feels a little "looser" than my '16, but my '16 will loosen up after it gets 1,000 miles or so on it.

But to be fair, I haven't ridden many other new sleds for more than a few miles. The last one I drove was a '15 Switchback 800 last year. Nice sled, felt really solid (as it should've seeing that it was new) but when I got back on my sled I wasn't like, "Holy cow, this thing is ragged out."

Anything feels nice when it's new, when they get 10,000 miles on them is when you can really tell how well they're built.
 

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It is an interesting thing for anyone to do. Go to each dealer, or better yet, a trade show, and just sit on each of the machines. Stand up like you are riding it, etc.

I agree, the Skidoo just feels better. However, I can definitely see where people would not like the rider forward design. They are all doing it, but Skidoo is a bit further forward than everyone else.

That said, when it comes to actual riding and performing, I think that is all a matter of opinions and how biased some of the opinions get. I'll ride a Polaris, but I won't own one. My BIAS comes from years of owning Polaris and having friends that own Polaris's and they seem to have a high failure rate. Know a guy that owns 4 Polaris's, 2 are 2014 or 2015's, 1 is 2010, and the other is an older 98. There has not been a trip where he has not had to take at least one of the machines into the dealer for some issue.

Out of 5 Polaris snowmobiles and 1 ATV, every single one of them has had an issue. I'm now down to just one Polaris and I'm chasing a demon in that one. (old XLT)

I've owned 3 Arctic Cats and currently own two (well, my son owns one). Besides lack-of-oil issues, the only other thing is they seem to just plain wear out. Both the Cats I have are pretty old (99), but they don't have much more than 4000 miles on them. The cylinders are worn to the point that they are out of tolerance, so putting new piston and rings doesn't help much. I understand, things wear out. However, in comparison to my old Touring E's mileage, these Cats would need the cylinders replaced twice as often.

The only thing I've ever had to do with Yamaha is ride them. Never owned. My step-son has a couple of Bravos. They are okay, but given the choice between the (2009) and even the old Tundras, I'd rather be on the Tundra. The only other Yamaha I've ridden was a Viking and it was definitely a nice comfy ride for cruising down the trail. You could definitely feel the weight, but overall, if I was just using it to go back and forth from the cabin, I'd have it on my list.

Style and look is always subjective to the individual, but I do think overall that Polaris is winning the "looks". Not my opinion, but general. I know many people will say just the opposite, but BIAS aside, I believe more people like the looks of Polaris over others. To me, that whole rear end of the Axys has got to be the ugliest thing I've ever seen on a snowmobile. I've never liked the way the front suspension and skis look on the newer Cats either. Square and boxy looking, but the cowling and headlights usually look great. I personally like the looks of Skidoos. I'd have to go back to the 80's to find some real ugly ones. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Structural integrity means nothing to me. I don't plan on hitting anything and if I do then I know it will need to be repaired and I carry insurance with 250 deductible. I have been riding Doo's since the original Rev and have never had structural issues. The only sled I have ever owned that I would consider fragile is my 2008 Nytro. The A arms on that thing bend when you hit a mogul. A piece of wood will fix it until you hit the next mogul.
For what it's worth the same dealer had a couple sleds out back that had a head on collision with each other. One was a GSX 1200 the other was a Yamaha Vector. The GSX had a separated lower ball joint. The Vector had a completely torn off double A arm assembly.

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