I hope everyone is starting to get enough snow to get out on their snowmobiles these days! Let me tell you, the Pemberton backcountry is game on for the season now! Just finished my break in period on the new Ski Doo 850; smiles and giggles non-stop on this sled.
Lets talk about the new Ski Doo 850 and setting it up for your specific needs. First off I would like to say that this sled is probably the best sled I’ve ever owned as is taken out of the crate and ready to ride. No mods necessary. All mods are personal preference from here on in. AND, I’m confident to state that this is the first sled I have ever ridden that won’t need the sway (steering stabilizer) bar taken out! The first thing I usually suggest to most girls for ease of control and getting the sled on its side is to take out the sway bar, not this 850 though, its so easy to get on its side as is!
The first thing I like to suggest for most riders (females especially seeing they are usually smaller than men) is the handlebar height. This is all personal preference, but I can guarantee you will have better ease of control if handlebar height is “correct”. I like to suggest the bars should sit somewhere between the bellybutton and the pelvic bone. Ski Doo summit’s come with an 8” rise which is usually perfect for a 5’10’-6’ person. I am 5’7” and ride with a 6” rise personally. Take into consideration if you are starting to put after market bars and risers on that some bars come already with a 1”-2” rise (unless you get a flat bar). Ski Doo sells an amazing adjustable riser if you are not quite sure what height you like and feel most comfortable with.
Next, I like to suggest dialling in your shocks for your weight. The guy putting your snowmobile together out of the crate in the shop has no idea how much you weigh. If you buy your sled used, the guy or gal before you might have weighed double what you weigh. Think about it, if the shock is set up for a 200lb guy and a 125lb girl tries to get the sled on its side and the shocks are too stiff to compress to get it on the side, you will struggle. If the shocks are set up softer for that lightweight gal, you will have ease to get the sled over on its side. Adjusting them in the field is very easy, I suggest trying a couple different settings to see what feel you like best.
For the front shocks on a ski doo 850 summit all you have to do is twist the metal or plastic (depending if you have an SP or X model) cap on the shock left and right to make it softer or stiffer (pre loading the spring). Get your sled on its side so the ski is off the ground to make your life easier!
For the rear, grab the tool that is in your tool kit (see photo) and place it on the plastic knob and twist on either (softest) 1-2-3-4 or 5 (stiffest). This is your rear torsion spring, if its too soft and you weigh a lot, you may get stuck a lot more (track will trench and you will get stuck). If it’s too stiff and you weigh as much as a peanut, you’ll be bouncing all over the place! Your rear shock can be adjusted the same way as the front shock to pre-load the spring. Play around with both of them, test them all and see what setting you like best!
Those are personally to me the 2 most important adjustments someone should do when getting a new sled. After that, accessories are my personal favorite! A must is a skid plate! Protect that undercarriage from rocks and stumps. The Ski Doo LinQ system it bomb! I carry an extra fuel can and the 3L tunnel bag to bring all my necessary items on adventures. I also got the 12 volt charger installed incase I need to charge my emergency communication devices while I am out an about.
If you have any questions about setting up your sled please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org