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With snow checks underway, I've been talking to my dealer and other dealers along with many various riders throughout the year. I'm trying to get a handle on the pros/cons/good/bad/value/cost etc. of keeping (with 4 year warranty) versus trading. A LOT of people trade annually (taking out the anomaly of this season) I've really considered it but the annual cost disparity of jumping sleds every year has me discouraged. I'm just going to use average #'s. You buy a sled for $13k with accessories etc. ride it a year put 3000 miles on it and sell it for $9k. In the hole $4k. Turn around and buy a new sled for another $13k and plop down another $4k to cover the difference... so on and so on. Only gets worse it you step up the sled to pricier models.

I gotta know, how does it all shake out or do those that trade every year take the hit and justify it for having the latest and greatest? After the initial investment are you just willing to drop another $4-$5k per year on a new sled? It just seems so cost prohibitive versus value. Am I missing something? And I'm only talking about the machines not the collateral expenses (travel, oil, hotels, trailers, etc)

Aren't you better off owning a sled for 4 years, taking care of it, racking 12,000 miles under the 4-year warranty and selling it for $5k (assuming you get that much with 12k miles) At the end of the 4 years you buy a new one for $14k (inflation), that puts you $9k out of pocket, or $2,250 per year (barring any major mechanical that should be covered under warranty) versus $4k per year buying new?

I know there are arguments for both, I'm just trying to see the actual cost versus benefit.

What are the major factors to either scenario? We ride about 3-4k miles per year. Will they make 12k miles?

Has anyone done a cost/benefit analysis for either of these scenarios?
 

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I keep a sled on average, for 10 years. The last one 15. My season usually consisits of 1000 miles. Work and life take precedence. I take very good care of my stuff so reliability usually doesn't come into play. I figure by the time I do trade up, my machine has made me money. No way I would trade every year. Even if I was a high milage rider. Probably doesn't help you, but my 2 cents.
 

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If you are trying to justify sled purchases on logic and good sense, financial or otherwise, You have no grasp of snowmobiling! Nobody would buy a snowmobile for anything other than work if they had to base it on sense. Snowmobiles are passion purchases. Once you accept that and get the needs to be justified or make sense "monkey off your back" it is so much easier. lol :happy_old:

Season can be super short, or sometime non existent and sleds are expensive toys for a painfully short time. A 4 wheeler, PWC , Motorcycle all are far more "justifiable" when you consider length of season and ROI.

Snowmobiling is so awesome to me, that I justify it on the fact I can afford it, and the stress relief and excitement it gives me justifies spending the $$$. :shrug :rockindude:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not about justifying it, otherwise I never would got into the sport. I'm just seeing what others do and why and how they reason to trade every year or ride them out. Money, economic, newness etc.
 

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Sleding is a losing battle always gonna be upside down unless u buy used at the end of season. Rite now u can get 15k dollar sled with warranty for 10500. Its an addiction, a drug addict snorts smokes bangs dope and got nothing after his or her high. We still got 10k sitting in the garage. My name is ghost im cross addicted lol....
 

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Its a reasonable question. Cash vs financing makes a difference. Sledding is certainly not inexpensive , but unless you are really flush, hard to be too upside down for too long . Fortunately have been able to finance myself, paid cash and transfer back toward a separate account weekly at a rate to maintain a balance below resale. I love new stuff every year but they don't change that much that often. One of things I like about seasonal stuff is its like getting a new one every year when the season starts. At the mileage you are talking about and warranties where they are got figure 3 years would balance the money vs new toy value.
 

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MXZ-man has done the math and makes the numbers work for trading every other year I believe.. I'm putting about $1,500 into my 2013' sled this summer. It currently has 8,600mi. Most of the money spent is not necessary but more of a (I want that) thing.. For instance I'm replacing my track, they could easily go another year or two but I want more traction and deeper snow capability.. My steel bodied throw away center shock still works o.k. but I think I'll get a better ride and more adjustability with a better shock. That's half of the $1,500 right there.. I'm going with DuPont sliders which cost $135. An upgrade I probably don't need but want. Mainway solutions bushing kits for the skid. Skid bushings aren't loose but sooner or later they will be and I'd like them to be easily serviceable.. Clutch parts are consumables. I think I will be able to ride at least another 8,600mi. after these upgrades so the cost over 8 years is easy to amortize. $200 a year.. There are other things I didn't include like oil and filter chaincase oil etc. The biggest problem I see is resisting the urge to buy a new sled to have the latest and greatest after sinking a bunch of money into the current sled. The other unforeseen thing is the possibility of an expensive major breakdown.
 

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Riding Doo's is lIke Crack for me. I have a wife and 3 kids with one in college and one starting college next year. I would love to trade every other year but reality prevents that especially when I need tires for my truck at $300 a piece. It's all about priorties.
 

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And then there's the fact that many of us have expensive summer hobbies also so our wallets never get a break. For me it's (currently) ATVs... Yup, had to have the Outlander 1000.
Now it's spring order time and I want to order a sled. It's a sickness that I once thought would cure itself with age. Not so much...."life behind bars"
 

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Owning a plane is cheaper but plane chicks are no fun, sled chicks are the bomb.
I highly disagree. :blink_old: :dry_old:
 

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I think what the OP suggests on a cost per year basis makes sense as long as his assumption of losses per year are correct. I don't think you'll get 5k for a 4 year old 2 stroke with 12000 miles. Not sure about a 4 stroke since I've never had one.

In my case, I sold a 10.5 etec 800 for just under 6k with 5300 miles after 5 years of use. Some of the winters were over 1500 miles and some under 500 miles. I can't remember what I paid new for the 10.5 but the 16 was $12,800. So that's a loss of $2560 per year. So in my case I had to come up with another 7k to buy the 16 sled after 5 years. Not too bad if I would assume a 3 or 4k loss after the first year. However, I was riding out of warranty and fortunately the 10.5 ran flawless over this time period.

This was an easy decision for me because the xp/xs remained relatively unchanged over this 5 years. I was not tempted to get a new sled, but now I am with the new 850 in a big way! If the 850 had an XRS, the dealer would probably have my money already. The changes for next year make my 16 seem boring already. I can honestly say there is no earth shattering difference between my 10.5 and 16 sleds. I wish I would have waited one more year. Who knows though? I could have had a major failure if I waited, but unlikely because I had the engine recall done just before I sold it. I think the new owner got a good sled at a fair price.
 

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Being new to the sport I dumped about $7000-$8000 in to two used sleds this year that I am very happy with and enjoy riding . But been looking a new sled for my self been seeing some deals on new 15's and16"s and figured if I kept it 8 or so years I could justify it only being a little over a grand a year to own. I know for my self I cant justify $4-5K a year on a new sled.
 

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anyone that wants to buy a plane, give me a call!!!! www.expressjets.com is where I'm at!

btw, cost is all relative. Hell go buy a $300,000 motorhome, keep it for a year or two and try to sell it, see what the depreciation is...Like I said it's all relative.
 

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I have not had to "walk" yet, but I know the day might be just around the corner if we get snow next year.

Don't forget about service to sleds, 4 year warranty only covers "defects". You still pay all service and wear items!

My sled was low cost per year to 10,000 miles, then the wear items proved end of life but still $ ahead vs new every year. (Used about the same $ as the OP)

As my sled sits ready for next year I think it will make it to 20,000 miles "as long as engine, electrical and track hold out". (I do not see this 2.25 track making 10,000 miles, one lug already got cut-pulled off by something I drove over)

Lot of sleds go high miles, even more will if we get the snow to ride them. (I was held to only 1800 miles on one trip this year.)

Everyone needs to find what works for them, my first goal was to make the Etec last long enough for the gain in oil and gas range just to overcome the extra$ vs Poo. Far far past that number. Now I just love the sled, it fits me for what I do and now what to see how long it will go! (I just hope the "boom" id not the very far side of some mountain pass in the deep, and if it is we are a big group at the time!!!)

More info on what had been put into the sled here. (Tons of other treads with reliability list if you do a search.)

http://www.dootalk.com/forums/topic/1168369-thank-you-for-over-10000-miles/

Good luck to you either way you go, get out, be safe, have fun and post pictures for all to enjoy!
 

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I find having the latest and greatest wares off real fast but sure nice riding new every year....... With my riding partners selling out because of this poor winter and just so hard to find time to ride I won't be upgrading any time soon.

Only 1500km on both 2015 sleds and to trade up I am sure it would cost well Over $10g my passion just isn't there!!
 

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That is what the pictures are for, get you through the times of no snow! :smile_old: (I hear you, after this past season I'm this close to a for sale sign on the sled and then don't have to worry about snow flakes other then to get them off the driveway. . .)
 

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My dad has been trading his 1200's yearly the last 5 years for $2,000 - $2,500. Now with this season being what it was and dealers full of used and new sleds, the dealer wants $3,300 - $4,000. He more than likely will keep it for next season. Really depends on how you feel and how rich you feel at the end of the day to swing the dough. No right or wrong.
 
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