What is the difference between a 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine?
There are a lot of technical differences between 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. We won’t discuss them all, but for a snowmobiler the biggest differences will be weight, throttle response and longevity. 2-stroke engines are lighter and more responsive. They also burn their lubricating oil. 4-stroke engines are heavier because of their many moving parts and oil lubricating system but are very durable over longer time periods. Because 4-strokes don’t burn their lubricating fuel like a 2-stroke, they also require periodic oil and filter changes just like a car. 2-stroke (sometimes called two-cycle) engines fire, or have a power-stroke, every revolution of the crankshaft and the piston acts as the valve controlling intake and exhaust. 4-stroke engines fire every other revolution of the crankshaft and use valves in the cylinder head to control intake and exhaust.
How fast can a snowmobile go?
Top speed varies on many factors such as engine type and displacement, snow conditions, air temperature and more. Most stock snowmobiles will top out around 90-110mph (145-177km/h). Ski-Doo snowmobiles deliver thrilling acceleration and an incredible fun factor. Make sure to always ride safely within your abilities and within the posted speed limit where it applies.
What to wear when snowmobiling?
You’ll want to dress in layers for snowmobiling. Start with a “base layer” that is made of a moisture wicking material (i.e. Merino wool or polyester) and fits tight to the skin to keep you dry. Depending on the type of riding and conditions, you’ll probably want to add an insulating “mid-layer” – this is typically a polyester or micro fleece garment worn over the base layer. Finally, you’ll want to wear a waterproof, windproof “shell” as an outer layer designed to keep the elements out. Each of these layers is available in a variety of thicknesses with varying levels of insulating properties. You’ll also want boots, gloves or mittens, and a balaclava to wear under your helmet. What works best for you will depend on personal preference, riding style and weather.
How to drive a snowmobile?
Driving a snowmobile down a hard-packed trail can be like riding a motorcycle, but without the need to balance. You use a thumb lever throttle instead of a twist grip to control your speed and there's no clutch lever or need to shift because a snowmobile operates with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
You sit or stand on the machine and press the thumb lever on the right side of the handle bar to move forward and pull the left-hand brake lever to slow down or stop. Steering is through the handlebars where you naturally move them in a in a turning motion either left or right, and it's suggested the rider move their weight or lean the direction they want to go for better stability.
Off-trail riding in unpacked, typically deeper snow requires more physical effort and steering is done as much by moving body weight around as it by using the handlebars. Often in very deep snow turning is accomplished by using a combination of throttle, rider weight and turning the handlebars in the opposite direction (often referred to as counter steering) to initiate a turn.
How much does a snowmobile cost?
Used snowmobiles can start as cheaply as $1,000 where new ones start at $7,700 and go up to $17,000 depending on the make, model, engine size and type, and other personal preference features.
How to choose the right snowmobile?
It's best to consult a dealer or experienced snowmobiler and describe the type of riding you want to do. Be honest about your riding experience and where you frequently ride. Dealers will have access to a wide range of snowmobiles to fit your needs and the ability to show you the differences easily.