Best-selling snowmobiles

by Kyle Born

The Ski-Doo Summit is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market.
The Summit is one of the best-selling Ski-Doo snowmobiles on the market. Photo courtesy Ski-Doo

Often referred to as the “Big Four,” Yamaha, Polaris, Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo are today’s main snowmobile manufacturers. Together, they offer more than 150 different models and packages, which fall into various categories—such as trail, utility, 2-up touring, mountain, crossover and youth. Of course, the categories can be broken down even further, but this deep into the web, it can get confusing, even for the manufacturers, so we’ll leave that for another day. Point is, there is a snowmobile for just about every kind of rider out there.

But which brand is best?

A quick Google search will yield plenty of results and mixed opinions. So instead of presenting you with another list of the top snowmobiles, which could be swayed by personal opinions here at SnoRiders, we decided to talk to powersports store owners, sales staff and others within the industry about their brand’s best-selling sled, and here’s a summary of what they said:

Yamaha

Cole Wilker works in sales and financing for Reed Leisure Products in White City, Saskatchewan.

The Yamaha Sidewinder is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market.
The Yamaha Sidewinder is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market. Photo courtesy Yamaha

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

The Yamaha Sidewinder.

Why do you think that is?

The power. Most guys are power hungry when you’re talkin’ snowmobiles. Out of the industry, they make the most power out of any snowmobile. 

Arctic Cat

Stan Langley is owner of Universe Satellite Sales in Rocanville, Saskatchewan, and the recent recipient of the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations’ (CCSO) Excellence Award for the Outstanding Snowmobile Dealer in Canada.

The Arctic Cat Alpha is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market.
The Arctic Cat Alpha is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market. Photo courtesy Arctic Cat

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

The Arctic Cat Alphas are big.

Why do you think that is?

The new Alpha One M sled is a big head turner now. It’s very popular. It’s an outstanding sled on the mountains. I got to ride our demo last year out on the trail. I was pretty darn impressed by it.

The single rail in the suspension is a big part of it. It makes for nicer side-hilling and manoeuvring if the guys are riding within the trees. It’s a much better handling machine. It’s not putting out as much horsepower as some of the other models or makes, but it’s climbing a lot further up because of the geometry and everything in the track.

What current or upcoming product are you excited about?

This year, there is going to be the new Riot, the Riot X and the Alpha One. Those will be our big selling sleds.

Arctic Cat has reduced a lot of production this year. They brought out only the product that was pre-sold during the Cat Cash period, which they call Snowmageddon. A lot of us dealers are going to be running very low on snowmobiles. It’s going to be a lean year.

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Lee Barker is the owner/operator of Fast Trax Mountainsports Ltd. in Fort St. John, B.C.

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

The new Alpha Hardcore.

Why do you think that is?

Manoeuvrability, playability and the fun factor on the new Alpha are amazing. It worked so well last year that we had quite a few SnowChecks. Everybody’s been super happy with the Alpha. 

Polaris

Tate Jeffery is general manager of Cycle Works West in Acheson, Alberta.

The Polaris RMK 850 is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market.
The Polaris RMK 850 is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market. Photo courtesy Polaris

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

By far the Polaris Axys 850.

Why do you think that is?

It’s the best mountain sled out there. It’s the lightest and easiest to manoeuvre. It’s got the power—it’s got everything. The last couple of years I wouldn’t be able to say that but the new 850 certainly has everything everybody’s looking for.

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Greg Symbaluk is a sales associate at Riverside Motorsports in St. Albert, Alberta.

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

Polaris RMK 850.

Why do you think that is?

Polaris has been one of the leaders in snowmobiling for years. The 850 was new for last year. It puts out incredible power. It’s extremely light weight. You can order it in whatever colour scheme you want. You can really personalize the machine. They make an incredible mountain machine. 

Ski-Doo

Tom Reichert is general manager of Reichert Sales & Service in Tulameen, B.C.

The Ski-Doo Summit is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market.
The Ski-Doo Summit is one of the best-selling snowmobiles on the market. Photo courtesy Ski-Doo

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

Ski-Doo Summit.

Why do you think that is?

The performance of the machine. The light weight. The big paddle track we have on there. The suspension. Suspension makes it easier to ride for the guys.

Everybody that tries them out comments on them. They’re our biggest seller by far. They’re absolutely loving them.

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Chrissie Davis is service manager of Thomas Homes & RV Center in Peace River, Alberta.

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

The Ski-Doo Summit with 154-inch track is definitely our best-selling snowmobile right now.

Why do you think that is?

We’re really big into the mountain sleds. We’ve had huge response from that 850 E-TEC motor.

Summits have always been our number one sleds. When they came out with the 850 E-TEC motor, it just solidified it for us.

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Ryder Grenier is parts and sales associate for Riderz in Edson, Alberta.

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

For SnowCheck season, it would be the Ski-Doo Summit X package.

Why do you think that is?

It comes with upgraded shocks compared to the base model. The price point is fairly reasonable. Whereas if you go up to the Freeride, it’s a little more expensive but it does have better shocks and is a bit stronger of a sled. The X is a good price point for what you get.

What current or upcoming product are you excited about?

The new Ski-Doo Summit Expert. It’s new for 2020. It’ll be sweet to see on the snow this year. There were quite a few SnowChecks for them. I’m pretty excited for them.

The new short tunnel. On a 154-skid, the tunnel is only the length of a 146-skid. So it allows you to flip it over easier and boondock in the trees a lot better.

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Rylan Plante-Crough is sales associate of Basecamp Motorsports Inc. in Calgary, Alberta.

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

Ski-Doo Summit X 165.

Why do you think that is?

The new 850 motor and the new gen-4 chassis. The 850 motor has been unreal for the past two years.

It’s the number one sled in the backcountry for having Revy and Golden at our back door. From here, it’s really the only sled you can go with, with how deep the snow is. It’s the best mountain sled.

What current or upcoming product are you excited about?

Summit Expert was a SpringCheck this spring. They’ll be coming in October. It comes with a completely different tunnel—it’s a little bit shorter. It comes with a whole bunch of accessories that people usually add and it comes all ready—the limiter strap, hammer guard protectors, limited edition colours on them. I can’t wait to see one in person.

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Travais Johnson is sales manager of Grassland Trailer Sales Ltd. Grassland, Alberta.

What is your most popular/best-selling snowmobile?

The whole Summit lineup. We sell Summits the most by far. Hands down. Most of our clientele are mountain riders. That’s right from the 146 to the 175s.

Why do you think that is?

I think it’s purely on reputation. Once you ride one . . .

The technology that Bombardier has been putting into these machines for the last 50-some years is unbelievable. I remember when they first came out with the DPM adjustable back in 1999 with their Summit ZX chassis, when they came out with the compensating carburetor, the DPM, you got to play with jets and stuff like that.

I remember going to the mountains, sitting on my sled drinking soda pop and tea and waiting for the other guys to adjust their Polaris’s and change jets and do all that other stuff, and I just pulled the rope and went on my Summit. It’s that kind of technology that’s moved forward.

From the XM to the new G4s, they’re totally balanced machines. The proof is in the pudding when you ride them.

What current or upcoming product are you excited about?

I’m looking forward to what they’re going to do with their four-strokes. We have our new Aces, the 900 Ace and the 600 Ace, and they brought out a turbo version of that. We’re waiting to see if they’re going to put that in a Summit four-stroke in a mountain sled. Right now it’s more in our utility lineups and our trail machines but we haven’t seen one in a Summit chassis. I think it would be cool to put a four-stroke in one of those Ace engines. Anyone who’s driven an Ace engine in the Tundras and Expeditions love them.

With these E-TECs, the power that we’re getting out of them in the E-TEC engines from the Evinrude side, I think there’s lots of untapped horsepower in our 850 E-TEC that we’re not even touching into and it could just be programming. 

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