Is A Snowmobile Worth It? Pros & Cons of Snowmobile Ownership


Snowmobiles can provide you with tons of fun. But the expenses of buying a snowmobile (especially when new) and additional gear has made the sport less attractive to some people. If you want to know if buying a snowmobile is worth it, you’ve come to the right place.

A snowmobile is worth it if you live in an area with more than 6 inches of snow for more than 3 months a year. Having a trailer or truck that allows you to take the snowmobile to snowy areas more often can also increase the value of owning a snowmobile.

Like most winter sports, snowmobiling requires you to spend money. Apart from the cost of buying snowmobiles themselves, you need to get extra gear and equipment. These will ensure your safety and bring about an enjoyable snowmobiling experience. As snowmobiles are machines, you’ll have to maintain it for smooth operation.

Pros and Cons of Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is a feeling. If you’ve never tried it out, you are missing out on one of the great pleasures of this life. There are tons of reasons for you to go snowmobiling and we’ll be discussing some of them below.

Learning is easy and straightforward

It’s easy for one to think learning how to ride a snowmobile is a difficult task. It’s not really. A couple of practices and instructions and you’ll be comfortable riding a snowmobile. Snowmobiling is a sport for everybody and that’s why you’ll see both children and adults on snowmobiling trails.

Check out our Are Snowmobiles Hard To Drive? article for more info.

Provides access to inaccessible locations/terrain

There are areas you can’t navigate with other vehicles, especially in winter. But a snowmobile will grant you access to such terrains. Exploration on a snowmobile is an interesting and fun adventure.

Social activity

Snowmobiling is a sport you can engage in with others. And this makes it a wonderful sport for friends and families to bond and have fun together. It’s common to see families going on a snowmobiling vacation.

Affordable

Yes, a new snowmobile isn’t exactly cheap. But this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun if you can’t afford a snowmobile. There are several snowmobiling trails across the country where you can rent snowmobiles at an affordable price.

Physical and mental health benefit

Snowmobiling is a good and fun way to exercise and burn calories. The sport also does wonders for your mental health as it helps to relieve stress.

Cons

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of snowmobiling, let’s take a look at the cons of the popular winter sport.

  • The most obvious con of snowmobiling is the cost and this is especially high when you are buying a new snowmobile.
  • You could rent a snowmobile as we said above to cut down your expenses.
  • Another con of snowmobiling is the risk of accidents.
  • Excessive speed and alcohol are usually the leading causes of snowmobile accidents.
  • So you should be fine as long as you take the necessary precautions.
  • Also, you should make sure you are really comfortable riding a snowmobile before venturing far in the trails.
  • And always ride on well-groomed trails.
  • Check out our Are Snowmobiles Safe? article for more info.

Average Snowmobile Cost New and Used

If you’ve ever searched for the price of a snowmobile online, you’d know that they don’t come cheap. However, if you are a snowmobiling enthusiast and can afford to buy a new snowmobile, then go for it.

You can expect to spend between $9,000 to $16,000 for a new snowmobile depending on the brand and model you choose. The average price paid for a new snowmobile is $12,600 but that number varies year after year.

The main advantage of buying a new snowmobile is longevity and low maintenance. Also, several new snowmobiles come with a warranty and this will help with replacing faulty parts.

If you aren’t willing to spend on a new snowmobile, you can look to buy a used one. Talk to a mechanic or someone knowledgeable about snowmobiles and possibly have them inspect the machine before you purchase it. This way, the snowmobile can be properly inspected to ensure it’s in good condition.

On average, the cost of a used snowmobile is between $2,000 to $8,000 depending on where you go, the make, and the model. Mileage and repairs that may be needed will also affect the price of a used snowmobile.

The price of a snowmobile is also influenced by important parts like:

  • Handlebars
  • Throttle
  • Headlights
  • Windshield
  • Engine Size
  • Hood

Here’s a helpful video explaining some additional info about used vs new sleds:

Amount of Use A Snowmobile Will Get

The question on everyone’s mind after buying a new mobile is about how long the snowmobile will last. One thing is certain, with proper maintenance, you’ll be using your snowmobile for a very long time. There are users who have been using their snowmobiles for more than a decade.

You can easily get about 1000 miles from your snowmobile every year. Properly maintain your snowmobile and you can comfortably get 15,000 miles. So, your snowmobile can easily last up to 20 years.

Having a maintenance schedule is crucial to prolonging the life expectancy of a snowmobile.

Also, always use covers to protect your machine from sunlight, dust, scratches. It is also important to make sure that your sled is stored properly. In fact, the whole snowmobile must be stored properly when not in use. Regular washing will also help as well as using high-quality oil.

Of course, owning a snowmobile in areas with long winters will allow you to use the snowmobile a lot more often.

How To Get The Most Out of A Snowmobile

The first thing you should do after getting a new snowmobile is to break-in the sled. And you have to do this gently. If you bought a two-stroke engine, you can’t just use any type of fuel when filling the engine for the first time. You have to use pre-mixed fuel, the ratio can vary among manufacturers.

Fogging is a simple, yet effective means of prolonging the longevity of snowmobiles. And it involves applying a small amount of oil to the pins, cylinder walls, rods and crankshaft bearings after the snowmobiling season.

To get the most out of a snowmobile, you could buy a trailer to take it up north, essentially extending your riding season. Most people that live in cold weather areas will still take their sleds even further north to more trails and riding for more of the year.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Snowmobile

There are dozens of snowmobiles available on the market. And choosing one can turn out to be overwhelming. However, there are a number of factors you must put into consideration before buying a snowmobile. And this will help make the selection process easier and you’ll eventually get yourself a snowmobile that meets your needs.

Your snowmobiling experience

You must consider how good you are at riding a snowmobile before buying one. If you are totally new to the snowmobiling space, you may not want to go for a model that’s too fast.

The terrain you’ll be riding on

Both groomed and ungroomed trails have models of snowmobiles that are well-suited to them. If you’ll be riding on ungroomed trails, then you may need to go for more powerful and durable machines.

2-stroke engine or 4

Snowmobiles either have 2-stroke engines or 4. And there are things you should consider before settling for one. In terms of performance, 2-stroke engines are more powerful. The 4-stroke engines have a better build and they last longer than 2-stroke engines. They are also more expensive.

Check out our 2-Stroke Vs 4-Stroke Snowmobile article for more info on each.

Track Length

Snowmobile tracks come in different lengths with some of the most popular being:

  • 121″
  • 136″
  • 145″
  • 153″
  • 154″

Longer snowmobiles are typically more powerful and will glide over ice and snow more comfortably. However, there is the drawback of them being slightly more difficult to maneuver.

Shorter snowmobiles are easier to maneuver and may be more suitable for beginners.

Insurance

Snowmobiles are required by law to be insured in some areas. And by doing that, you’ll get coverage against accidents or damage.

Your dealer is your friend

Certified snowmobile dealers have extensive knowledge about their products. Ask them for recommendations and advice.

Type of cooling

Your snowmobile engine needs to be cooled during operation to avoid overheating. And snowmobiles can either be cooled by liquid or air.

Air used to be the preferred method of cooling snowmobiles. However, newer models now use liquid as coolant and you won’t be seeing a lot of air-cooled snowmobiles today. It must be mentioned that air-cooled snowmobiles are lighter and cheaper. And this makes them ideal for children.

Whichever type you decide to go for, you’ll have tons of fun with it.

Rob

That's me sinking another ATV. I love to ride no matter what it is, snowmobiles, four wheelers, dirt bikes, and anything else off-roading. I've experienced my fair share of machines, and like to share that experience here.

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