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Old 12-30-2018, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Want to buy snowmobiles

So our family has had a cabin in upper Wisconsin for many years. We love going up in the winter and my wife and I finally may want to buy three snowmobiles, ATVís or a combination of the two.

We would like to ask all of you who are way more knowledgeable in such fields. What are your doís and do notís for buying used snowmobiles and ATVís? Only buy and stay away from certain brands? With all the trails in Wisconsin. Would it be more versatile to buy ATVís and use them throughout the year? Can ATVís be used on snowmobile trails in the winter?

Any licenseís needed? Do they get stickered like a boats, registration and such?

Any trailer info you may have would be great too.

Please. By all means add more info if you noticed I left something out. We would be extremely new to this.

Thanks for your time fellas. I really appreciate it.

Customary picture. So beautiful up North.

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Old 12-30-2018, 11:31 AM   #2
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Yamaha has the best fit/finish/durability. They are usually a little more money, but seem to hold up really well over time. Fair pier and good suspensions.

My friends and I had decent luck with Ski-doo. Hold up well, make decent power, and if you get the right ones have awesome suspensions.

Artic Cats make the some of the best power stock, but don’t seem to hold up over time.

95% of Polaris sleds are boring. They have some that scoot, but they are only a few models. That being said, they are everywhere and there is a ton of parts that interchange so parts are easy to come by.

As far as sled vs quad. To me there is no comarision. Sled wins in the snow all day when you’ve got access to legit trails and off trail riding areas. Quads can’t touch them. Quads aren’t barb for swinging a few donuts and plowing snow, but if you want to actually get out and ride, a quad doesn’t even come close.

As far a registering it, check with local laws. You don’t wanna get hit by DNR without a sticke r
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:33 AM   #3
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As with buying anything used, look for something that’s been taken care of. Not something that’s been left out uncovered all year and ridden on since the first inch of snow falls and isn’t put up until May.

Quads will be more useful when there isn’t snow on the ground, but sleds are more fun in the snow.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:38 PM   #4
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Where's the cabin?
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:39 PM   #5
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No atv's can't be used on snowmobile trails. You'll get a ticket and some pissed off snowmobiler's wanting to kick your ass...
Quad's ruin the trails with rut's which make sleds go all over the place and is dangerous when at high speeds for novice riders.
Yes it needs to be registered to be on a trail, the side of road or on a Lake. You can register them online on the WI DNR website or at a local DNR office.

Make sure the sled you buy has a registration card that the vin/serial# which is on the tunnel matches the card as that is essentially the title.

Make sure it doesn't have any bent suspension up front or a bent tunnel from rolling or hitting something. Look it over well comparing both sides to one another. Go over it thoroughly and check the track for excessive wear or pulled picks as well as the bogie wheels condition making sure they all move easily, check the ski's, brake pads, check hood and belly pan for cracks and test the shock's. And always do a compression test on one before you buy it. Remember that every little thing you can nitpick the seller down is to your advantage within reason. Being able to ride the one you are buying in the snow is a huge help in deciding on a used sled.

All brands are good though I prefer Skidoo then Yamaha, Acrtic Cat/Polaris. I've been riding my whole life and have owned them all easily over a dozen sleds. Have a Skidoo Rev X 800h.o currently and a Polaris 550f fan cooled for a ice fishing sled. If you are not a speed junky looking to go real fast on the trail you'll be fine on any brand 600cc sled, when you go with bigger cc motor's you lose fuel economy.

Figure out a budget on what you are willing to spend and we can point you in the right direction. Oh and reverse is always a nice option to have...
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:39 PM   #6
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Where's the cabin?


Itís in Park Falls about 1.5 hours south of Lake Superior.



Itís right on the water. It used to be a water plane hanger converted into a cabin.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info fellas. I really appreciate it all. I feel like I have a starting point now.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:38 PM   #8
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Nice. We have a place up in Mercer. It’s weird how many people from the western suburbs have places in that general area. Half our lake is from Aurora.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:02 AM   #9
 
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I don't think you will find a unbias response to what snowmobile you should buy. Goto dealers or shows and sit on sleds. Rent or ride friends sleds. Also depends on your budget and what kinda riding you do. Used or new etc. Different manufactures have different strengths and weaknesses and different models do some things better or worse. This question is like asking what car you should buy.

ATV's are the same way. I am not to fimular with the Park Falls area and ATV/snowmobile trails near there. Some places have poor ATV networks and great snowmobile networks. Some trails are mixed use all season depending on where you are. If you feel you would get more use out of an ATV I'd put more money into those.

As far as number of machines go rent a sled or ATV and ride for an entire day. You wife, kids, or even yourself might hate it. I know many people that own sleds for the entire family but the wife and kids don't ride so they just sit. Some people hate getting dirty on ATV's. Some people hate the cold on sleds. My best advise is go and try things and put your money on whatever you would get the most use out of.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:19 AM   #10
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Nice. We have a place up in Mercer. Itís weird how many people from the western suburbs have places in that general area. Half our lake is from Aurora.
Yup! Me and @Outlaw have places that are miles from each other in the way NW corner... Vacation land
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:20 AM   #11
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Fits in with tcg privledge though so not surprised one bit lol
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:22 AM   #12
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Solid advice. Also see if side by sides are allowed on the trails by your place. My Dad and I used to go for day long ATV trail rides to various places up there, but as he gets older (and my uncle rolled and died on an ATV) he’s looking SxS now for the comfort factor.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:23 AM   #13
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Fits in with tcg privledge though so not surprised one bit lol
TCG: We all have northern Wisconsin vacation homes.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:23 AM   #14
 
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Ski doo turbo ace, great 4 stroke turbo sled.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:29 AM   #15
 
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I'd say figure out what you want to spend first and what kind of riding you are actually going to do. You also need the proper gear as getting cold on the trail will ruin the day. You don't need a long track mountain sled to go trail riding with the occasional off trail excursion. A brand new minty sled is very appealing,but if you have never really been on one get an older used sled. They are fun as hell but it's very easy to fuck yourself up on one. Unfortunately prices are going to go up as there is snow coming down. Definitely learn to work in it yourself as they take a beating and have a lot of consumable parts, hyfax, bogey wheels, top end on 2 strokes, suspension rebuilds, the track, not to mention anything that you might damage. I just picked up an 2002 Polaris 700 edge X with 5xxx miles for $1100. Everything was in great shape, Compression was 130psi(Mandatory to check if your buying a 2 stroke) the only thing it needed was a cleaning, front shock rebuild and a set of carbides to get me through the season.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:43 AM   #16
 
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Just cleaned it, gonna pull the shocks and grease it. First planned trip is the 10th
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:49 PM   #17
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Just cleaned it, gonna pull the shocks and grease it. First planned trip is the 10th
Fixed

Looks clean, nice pick up for the money.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:12 PM   #18
 
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Nice. We have a place up in Mercer. It’s weird how many people from the western suburbs have places in that general area. Half our lake is from Aurora.
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Yup! Me and @Outlaw have places that are miles from each other in the way NW corner... Vacation land
There’s actually a reason for this. In the early 20th century there were many Chicago based ethnic “clubs” for immigrants. The Northern Wis area was popular among the Swedish clubs as it reminded them of their homeland. Word spread and more and more people from the clubs purchased vacation/retirement properties in the same area. Same concept with the Polish around the Necedah/Castle Rock/ Petenwell Lake area.

When my great great grandparents purchased the property it was because of this. Between property staying in families as well as current generations introducing their friends to the area is why it is how it is. Hayward is like a NW Chicago Suburns reunion.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:55 PM   #19
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Hayward is like a NW Chicago Suburns reunion.
We went to Hayward a few days ago. Stopped in the winery there. New owner is super cool and great to talk to. I think I had the best bloodymary while there. He mixed what ever nice spicy bloodymary mix with Merlot and no vodka. OMG it was so tasty. I had two of those and a few wine tastings. Good stuff and great convos.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:47 PM   #20
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Thereís actually a reason for this. In the early 20th century there were many Chicago based ethnic ďclubsĒ for immigrants. The Northern Wis area was popular among the Swedish clubs as it reminded them of their homeland. Word spread and more and more people from the clubs purchased vacation/retirement properties in the same area. Same concept with the Polish around the Necedah/Castle Rock/ Petenwell Lake area.

When my great great grandparents purchased the property it was because of this. Between property staying in families as well as current generations introducing their friends to the area is why it is how it is. Hayward is like a NW Chicago Suburns reunion.
Never knew that. My great grandfather came over to the UP from England to mine iron ore so thatís how we ended up with a place in Iron County.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:04 PM   #21
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Just cleaned it, gonna pull the shocks and grease it. First planned trip is the 10th
fuckin send it
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:06 AM   #22
 
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Never knew that. My great grandfather came over to the UP from England to mine iron ore so thatís how we ended up with a place in Iron County.
Thatís awesome. My moms great grandparents bought 80 acres and retired there through the Swedish club, they had friends from the club that bought 80 acres next to them. When the friends died, they purchased the land from the friends kids and itís still in our family today.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:38 AM   #23
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two things i wanted to drop quick in here... 1... some trails are legally open to sxs/atvs & snowmobiles at the same time... that's for sure a thing.

2. panda dropped some fat knowledge in here.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:01 AM   #24
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two things i wanted to drop quick in here... 1... some trails are legally open to sxs/atvs & snowmobiles at the same time... that's for sure a thing.

2. panda dropped some fat knowledge in here.
Came in to say the same thing. There is a lot of ATV trails that allow ATV's and snowmobiles. For all the snowmobole blowhards, the weather has to be under 28 degrees for ATV's so they don't rut out the soil. Snowmobilers love to bitch about ATV's ripping up their trails but they'll ride when it's 40 degrees and dick up ATV trails till May.

Anyways, my suggestion is to buy a SxS if you and your wife want to ride. You'll get a lot use out of it and more and more snowmobile trails are being opened up to multi-use. Since the midwest winters keep getting shorter and shorter, a lot of the businesses are pushing for more ATV access year round. In fact most of the time there are more miles of open ATV trails in the winter than summer.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:37 AM   #25
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Can you ride ATV on snowmobile trails in Wisconsin?

ATV Trails vs. Snowmobile Trails. During the winter in Wisconsin, you cannot ride an ATV on a snowmobile trail unless it is a joint-use trail, which is rare. In many cases, riding an ATV on a snowmobile-only trail is illegal.
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@Yaj Yak and @Lead Pipe
Post up the trails where you can, I'd really like to see where and how many since you say that there is a lot of them...
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