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Part I: Snowmobiles Are Too Expensive!


Arctic Cat snowmobile clearance sale

This past week, Arctic Cat unveiled an added Black Friday sales bonus on top of what was already some of the most incredible snowmobile sale prices that I’ve seen during the decades I’ve been in this sport. New non-current snowmobiles might be priced lower than at any other time in history. But before I talk about that, I’d like to share with you a couple quotes.

“Snowmobiles are way too expensive these days.”

 “I haven’t bought a snowmobile for (fill in the blank) years because they’re so much more expensive than they used to be.”

I’ve heard these two statements enough times over the past decade that they’ve become cliche. People utter them, post them on Facebag and believe them without actually thinking about them. When I ask HOW much more today’s sleds cost compared to 20 years ago, the answer is always “Thousands.”

Which is complete bullshit. I know this because I just did the math.


1994 Arctic Cat ZR 580

To illustrate, I chose a 1994 ZR 580 (above), which was the second most ass-kickingest Arctic Cat trail sled that season (behind the ZR 700). It’s what most of the hardcore riders bought that season, and it was an awesome machine: FOX shocks, Wilwood hydraulic brake, a suspension package honed in competition that delivered legendary cornering and handling. Its 580cc Suzuki twin engine was carbureted; the 15 x 121 track boasted 0.75-in. lugs.

It’s MSRP was $5,999 U.S.

I input that $5,999 to the Consumer Price Index calculator on the U.S. Bureau of Labor website, and it spit out what that price is in today’s dollars: $10,121


2018 Arctic Cat ZR 6000

Now let’s look at a 2018 ZR 6000 ES (above), a machine that is today’s second most ass-kickingest Arctic Cat trail sled (behind big-brother ZR 8000 models). It too is an awesome, well-equipped machine: IFP gas shocks that are equivalent to FOX; a sweet hydraulic brake built by Hayes; 10-/13.5-inches of front/rear suspension. An Arctic Cat-produced 599cc engine, plus a 15-in. wide track is available in either 129- or 137-in. lengths, both with 1.25-in. lugs.

It’s MSRP is $11,649 (it’s actually listed for $11,249 plus a $400 “destination charge”).

So yes, comparing these two sleds, snowmobile prices have increased by $1,528 compared to 1994. But that’s not the end of the story. It’s the beginning.

That extra $1,500 bucks does actually buy you some features on the 2018 model that the 1994 ZR didn’t have. For instance:

* EFI, electronic exhaust valves, pipe sensor and electronic oil pump, which together deliver a level of refinement that far surpasses its 1994 predecessor

* About 15-20 more horsepower

* Electric start

* Push-button Reverse

* Plastic skis

* 12v outlet

* An electronic gauge with far more information and usefulness

* The auto-adjusting TEAM Rapid Response II and Rapid Reaction drive system

* A track (and its resultant traction for both acceleration, cornering and braking) that is remarkably better

* Plus a rider position, seat and suspension package that makes the ’94 feel positively vintage. Seriously, the difference in how your body would feel after 150 Saturday afternoon miles on a ’18 (compared to a ’94) is easily worth $1500.

* Plus three hard years on a ’94 anything would leave you with a very loose chassis (pop rivets then, self-piercing rivets now) and a similarly loose front suspension/spindle/steering. Not so with today’s machines.


I put a ton of miles on 1993-2002 ZRs, including a ’94 ZR 580. Really, it’s completely unfair to compare that machine to a 2018 ZR 6000 because the ’18 is so utterly and completely better in every way.

Personally, I think all these things add up to far more than $1,500 in added value, but I respect that YMMV. You would still be correct if you said today’s snowmobiles are more expensive than 24 years ago.

(I wish I knew what the actual “street” price was for new ZR 580s in 1994, because I’m pretty certain that the spread between that and the street price of a 2018 ZR 6000 is far less than $1,500.) 

Arctic Cat snowmobile clearance sale

Now is the time for me to circle back to the Arctic Cat sales bonanza I mentioned at the start of this story. Right this very moment Arctic Cat is offering rebates from $300 to $4000 on a whole bunch of 2015-2017 models, with most models getting rebates around $2000 (including the ZR 6000)!

Wondering what the actual street price is on new non-current models, the 5 minutes I spent Googling Arctic Cat dealers in my area indicated deals that are nothing short of amazing. Just a few of the highlights:

2016 ZR 4000 LXR for $5,999

2017 ZR 8000 LXR ES for $8,799

2017 M 8000 Sno Pro 162-in. for $8,999

2017 ZR 6000 LXR ES for $7,999

These machines are brand new and come with a 2-year warranty. If you’re financing, you enjoy 0% interest for 60 months.

Now let’s consider the ’17 6000 for a moment. It’s priced $2,122 BELOW the inflation-adjusted price of our 1994 ZR 580! Heck, eliminate the inflation adjustment altogether and the 2016 ZR 4000 LXR is exactly the same price as the ’94 ZR.

Plus right now there’s the just-announced Black Friday Sales Bonus from Arctic Cat, which includes a FREE cover, belt and oil on top of the already incredible prices. The bonus itself is worth $500. And it also applies to 2018 models (which also feature a 3-year warranty).


I have a lot more to say about this whole matter, and I’ll get to that in Part II of this short series. For now, I’m leaving you with my two conclusions:

1. Prices on new 2018 snowmobiles are not “thousands” of dollars more than machines from 20-plus years ago. Using the one example I researched, it’s actually $1,500 more.

2. Prices on new non-current snowmobiles ARE thousands of dollars less than those fond machines from yesteryear.

Thanks for reading.


Note: I’m neither a statistician nor an economics-type guy. Far from it. If you see a fundamental flaw with either my math or my reasoning, please indicate in the comments and I’ll address it.

Likewise, I should note that I chose to focus on the ’94 ZR 580 purely out of chance. I don’t know what kind of numbers we’d see if I chose a ’97 ZR 580 or a ’95 ZL 440 or any other year/model. With Google it’s pretty easy to figure this stuff out, so go for it if you’re curious about different examples.

Snowmobiles are too expensive? Arctic Cat comparison by

Snowmobiles are too expensive? Arctic Cat comparison by

Comments (39):

XF High Country says:
11/22/2017 10:14:00 PM

Great Analysis! I laugh at these same people, cause they got out of the sport cause it was "too expensive", so they bought a $15,000 fish house. Typical American consumer, that doesn't understand money or affords it cause its just a monthly payment. If that is the basis, it would be cheaper to buy 2 sleds and go pay market price for fish! That route would be more FUN anyways. Now those same people that own the fish house are buying $15,000 side by sides. So it wasn't a money issue....

And based on the ice conditions lately, they are using their fish house as often as we are using our sleds! The only argument I understand is a fish house can also be used as a camper.
Kevin Hooper says:
11/23/2017 5:45:00 AM

I bought a brand new F7 for less ($ adjusted) than the 600 class ZR6000 LXR costs today. It's a fact that sled prices have exceeded inflation. While it's true they have improved, it's also true in every segment of products and manufacturing.

Overall sled sales are telling a story -- our sport is in decline. We can debate the reasons, but sales continue to fall. I'm sure brown winters; changing interests; and the cost of the sport are all factors. We have sleds with lots of bells and whistles that now have to be deeply discounted in order to sell them. Many who buy, buy one sled -- not lending itself well as a 'family activity'. It seems to me the focus has been on offering the product and packaging that offers the highest profit margins and while that's great in the short term, is it a good long term strategy?

Ken says:
11/23/2017 6:23:00 AM

So true John. All I hear is snowmobiles are way too expensive these days. Especially when we have low snow conditions. It's hard to justify, for some people, spending those thousands on snowmobiling when you don't know if you will even be able to ride. And if you can it usually is maybe two or three months out of the year, in Minnesota, if you're lucky. For me it is totally worth it!

The technology and ride ability in sleds and PG&A today far out weigh the small increase seen in prices today compared to the older prices. Riding an older sled no way compares to riding the newer ones. The newer ones are just incredible! That's not even including how many miles you could put on a new one compared to the older ones before you would have to spend more money fixing and working on the older ones. A newer sled today with, let's say, 4000 miles on it is still considered somewhat new. You would be very lucky to put 4000 miles on the older ones without having had to rebuild the engine, replace other expensive components or just replace the older one.

One thing I would like to see and compare is what was the average buyers income back in 1994 to now in 2018. Is the buying power comparable or increased at the same rate as the prices of new sleds? Does it really matter to me. No! Just may be interesting.

The main point people should know is you can't put a price on the smile under the helmet that snowmobiling does whether it is on a new or old sled. That's me.
Mike says:
11/23/2017 7:46:00 AM

I agree with you John.
You don't buy a snowmobile to get rich, thats for sure.
However with prices so low on new sleds, it's really hard to sell a used one.
Oldcrow says:
11/23/2017 9:06:00 AM

It's not a cheap hobby but it's the one I choose to love.
Can't wait to get my 2018 ZR 8000 RR 137 out on the trail.

FYI, I paid $4808.00 for my 1995 ZR 580
krom says:
11/23/2017 10:56:00 AM

Trying to think back, but my 03 F7 sno pro was under 7 grand, as was my 06 crossfire 6 sno pro.

Taking Oldcrow's $4808, (in 1994 since the sled was a 95 model) and using shows a present day of $7961. That's almost enough to buy a ZR3000 as long as tax wasn't included (selling price of the 3000 should be 8100-8200 including freight and prep).

Using the same website, running the opposite way: This spring my dealer was snowchecking the ZR6000 sno pro for $10,799 that would be $6,521.48 in 1994. (that's if you equate a 580 to today's 600 IMHO its more likely to be equated to an 800)

Now technology has increased significantly, but we are talking almost a 50% increase in price, even factoring in inflation. The sleds have gotten more expensive.
Dave Guenther says:
11/23/2017 11:03:00 AM

isnt that the truth, when you compare what you are getting compared to back then, and Im sorry I see what people spend money on ( granted it is their money) , just glad I never had a kid that wanted to play a hockey...this is a life time sport and pastime that you will hopefully be doing years down the road with your kids and hopefully your grand kids and doing something outdoors enjoying our seasons and not inside a house watching TV or what ever they do.. yes it does cost money and we work damn hard for it but I look at it as investment in getting kids outside and doing more hands on activities...I have snowmobile safety next week with the local kids and am so looking forward to spending time with them and their parents introducing them to this sport.. have a good Turkey Day!
Russ says:
11/23/2017 9:58:00 PM

Krom has nailed it.

People spending their $$ wisely on guns for self defense in this country has put sled purchases on the back burner.

Not too mention having to remove a hood while "trail side", lol. Today's sleds are a step backwards IMO. Piss poor leaking chaincases, primary clutches blowing weights out, belt issues stemming from crappy calibrations, chattering brake rotors mounted loosely on splines, the 7000 series engines PTO stubs inner splines horribly rattling/knocking at idle beginning around 1000-1500 miles, you name it. JUNK!

Bobby Flame says:
11/24/2017 9:39:00 AM

If someone sold a freestyle edition without skis, graphics, seat, snow flap, windshield or handlebars that would help some of us out a lot. Most of us throw that stuff out.
Megatron says:
11/24/2017 11:38:00 PM

I think a lot are missing the point of the machine/cost.

fact sales are down
fact sleds cost more money. whether or not you say old money is worth the same, they cost more.
fact you get more for your money today with the inflation cost method

It really has nothing to do with just the sled cost. It is the cost of overall life.

id like to buy a Mercedes sls or GT, or a vette z06. I never will. they are impractical and I have more fun looking than buying. some say 250k for a SLS is nuts. hell I think its cheap. world class car with state of the art performance and craftsmanship. Can I afford a 250k car. yes I can.

can I afford a 250k house? yes I can. Can the average home afford a 300k house mortgage, 2 kids, 2 regular vehicles, insurance, health care, and all the other so called "needs?" to that I will say no. That is why sleds are considered expensive. It is one of the first things to go when the budget runs out. a trip to Wisconsin dells isn't that expensive. However it is easy to say it expensive when you don't have anymore money to pay for it. a dollar item can be expensive.

simple comparison for an average 18 year old

I bought a 01 mxz 700 adrenaline for 6400 after tax at 18 making 6.44 at Walmart.

today the same sled in season new is gonna push you easy over 11k after tax. same kid in my town is making like 8-9 bucks at Walmart now. Now yes, the sled just became more expensive.

and no, i'm not spending my money on guns and ammo to lock down my house.
Tom White says:
11/25/2017 3:17:00 AM

Great piece John, in my opinion Megatron hit the nail on the head. There are many sectors where wages have not kept up with inflation largely due to so many manufacturing jobs leaving this country.

That being said I think another thing to consider is the overall cost of snowmobiling. I live on the border of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and when I began to ride I could open my garage door and theoretically ride my 1972 Panther all the way to Canada on club maintained trails. Due to progress and a lot of times mother nature I now have to load my sleds on a trailer and drive two to six hours to be able to ride. Now that I'm between 100 and 400 miles from home I get a hotel room and stay a two or three nights to justify driving that far to ride. So I've gone from putting 5 gallons of gas in my sled, opening the garage and going for a days ride with my friends to loading my sleds on a $5,000 trailer and spending $400 to $500 on gas, oil, food and lodging to ride. Much more of a commitment in time and money.

To me it's still worth it but it could be a tough sell to the next generation.

Nik Ryan says:
11/25/2017 6:28:00 AM

There are a lot of great points here, and a few really bad ones too. Like how the heck to you bring guns into this conversation (#crazy)?!
Here's a point to ponder, back in '94, if you didn't order a ZR 580, you probably had a hard time finding one at the dealer in January.

Now fast forward 23 years and there are left overs that go back 3-4 years!

I used to know lots of guys that got a brand new sled every 2-3 years, none of them were rich either. I guess that was just a golden era in snowmobile history that will likely never return. This sport we all love dearly is a niche that seems to be constantly shrinking. The average age of a snowmobiler is 44. I know a lot of people are hoping the new ZR 200 will get kids into it and I sure hope it does. When my kids are old enough I will probably put em on a 1978 Jag 340 for $500 rather than a 200 cc 4 stroke for $2800. Maybe too many snowmobilers are just too cheap (like me) to spend 10 -15% of their income on a new sled when they can just re-build the shocks on their 05 Firecat that they MIGHT get to put 500 miles on IF mother nature cooperates. Think Snow everbody!
Jamie Schry3r says:
11/25/2017 9:15:00 AM

Come to Canada if you want to see expensive, my 2016 M6000 Ltd (spring ordered)was $17,000 out the door 2 years ago!

But we have free health care (that I haven't needed since I was 14)
Ton says:
11/25/2017 11:06:00 AM

I agree and I'm about the cheapest person in the world. Inflation is real. In 1996 I paid 5300 for a low mileage XLT Xtra12. That's about $8400 in today's dollars. An okay deal on a new XLT at the time would be close 10 10k in today's dollars.

Cars and trucks are generally cheaper adjusted for inflation. But there are more expensive options. In 1996 you couldn't get a 400HP quad cab with touchscreens and 20" pump wheels. Nor could you get a 154" 3 cylinder 4 stroke turbo with 200hp stock.

You can find a better sled than the XLT ever was for 7k brand new. Don't look at the most expensive option and judge the whole.
Megatron says:
11/25/2017 12:43:00 PM

so I see there must be a part 2 coming. maybe 3 or 4. so we will see what that has to say when it comes out.

however, whomever is the person writing this article has one of the biggest problems glaring them right in the face.

year-end. no it isn't year-end. it is years end. as in multiple. what company would still have 13's sitting out there on the floor, and continue to keep pumping out new stuff. what is the production numbers please. This is on the manufacture 100%. They hire so called professional to do the job to forecast it. I wanna know who is blowing who in theif river falls to actually still have a job?

I really do like cats offerings in sleds. i'm not brand loyal. so I must say CAT, I don't feel sorry that you almost sunk the business. I know you have your arctic cat "legends" that you love to chat about. however, Textron has to make some of those heads roll. those "legends" were right there burning the 100 mil over the years. some rejoice to see their faces. I rather puke. Its nothing personal, its just business!
Megatron says:
11/25/2017 2:16:00 PM

I just wanted to follow up quick before someone takes it the wrong way. I understand a lot of these employees take great pride in their work. I personally do too. However sometimes it doesn't work out right for various reasons. that said, we know AC needs a complete reevaluation about how it is done, and i'm sure it has started already. Hoping nothing but the best for the company, the dealers, and most of all, the consumers.
Matt says:
11/25/2017 3:50:00 PM

Snowmobiling use to be a family sport I remember when we had 3 sleds in the house now unless you’re a six figure income it’s tough to enjoy the sport. True you can buy used and have fun if you find one that’s not beat up. I realize r&d plus the cost of living drives up the cost of this sport. I use to trade up every year for $1,200.00. Lots of people will say it’s all relative and that’s bs my income has not gone up enough to keep up with the cost of living. I’ve ridden sleds for 40 years and love the sport but honestly not sure how much longer I can stay in it with the increasing cost of sleds. I truly believe if one of the manufacturers could keep prices down to a more affordable level we might be able to get people back in the sport that’s loosing riders. Out of 20 people I rode with were down to 3 reason being winters aren’t what they use to be and cost of buying a new sled. I rode cats for years and had a issue with my sled. My dealer and cat didn’t want to help me out so I jumped ship to doo for 8 years. Unfortunately we lost 3 doo dealers due to no snow and amount of sleds they wanted them to take for stock so I went back to cat. I believe cat has a good product and maybe with textron they can have a great product and possibly compete with doo and maybe become number 1 in snowmobiles. Trouble is cat lost a lot of people with cheap parts and poor quality and not taken care of the customers. They brought so much technology to this sport over the years it was a shame to see them get bought out. I hope there is a bright future for them and for us the consumer.
Gordy says:
11/26/2017 7:01:00 PM

I have rode sleds since I was 13, 1977. My first sled was a a 1972 arctic cat 399 panther used 600 bucks. First new sled an 79 Kawasaki 340 drifter 1500 bucks.

I got out of it for reasons mentioned. Brown winters, being able to ride out your back door. Etc.

Problem I see with sled costs today is to much technology in a sled driving up the costs. Is there even a free air, or fan cooled sled anymore? Mix your own gas? They are no longer simple. To much upfront costs. Hell when I rode there wasn't a drift untouched anywhere. Today when there is snow I see trails with drifts along the fence lines untouched. Fields plentiful with drifts untouched.......

Seems the nice modern sleds with high tracks, long tracks independent front suspension may be to delicate for some good drift pounding??, or maybe they are just to damn expensive to risk the ridem, and fixem ritual which was the most fun in my opinion.

I had a blast when I had sleds however it's to expensive for the duration of usability in the Midwest anymore.
FeelTheThunder says:
11/26/2017 8:10:00 PM

In Canada I paid pre-tax $6,200 for a 1987 Tiger 6000, in 1988 I paid $7,800 for a Wildcat. Those were top sleds in the day. My 2000 T-Cat LE green $13,300 all taxed in. All taxed in T-Cat now will be $22,033 in Canada.
Lee says:
11/27/2017 9:28:00 AM

Been snowmobiling since 1972.. think Ive owned 30 some sleds over that time.Have 5 modern sleds in the trailer an a Manta vintage sled in the shop. We are trail riders an take @ least 2 trips a year. Also have a Cabin in Northern Mn in a area (Mississippi Headwaters) that used to be guarenteed snow back in the day..No more..Used to ride 2000 miles a year EZ around here (Southern Mn). 80s ..90"S.. No more. Gotta chase snow now..Lucky to get a thousand miles a year . No snow is a big issue.When you spend over 10 g for a sled and can't use it locally anymore ,or for maybe a month if your lucky it's not good.. Plus these new sleds are so good there is no reason to trade up if you take care of em .. I live by a Major Yellow Dealer n his market is about all long track Mountain sleds. Very rare to see a short track sled on the floor..And the FARM economy is absolutely sh*t . Going on 5 years now. I think thats a huge part of slow sled sales. There is no extra toy $$ in anybodys pocket in farm country ! ...11/27 n gonna hit 60 degrees today...
Derek says:
11/27/2017 12:51:00 PM

You gotta remember that these days sleds r getting more complicated due to engine technology. Back in the day, it was cheap and easy to built a carb engine. Now a days, all engines are computerized which is expensive for R&D.The suspensions, chassis and wind tunnel time also add up including different use of materials. Back in 1996 when I bought my ZRT 600, it cost me about $9,300.00 CDN I think? But in general, I do agree sleds are expensive.
Catman says:
11/27/2017 2:11:00 PM

I don't think it helps out the sport to argue that sleds are not expensive, when they are to most people-even for those of us who ride.. If they were not expensive, you wouldn't have Polaris creating an inexpensive version of the Indy to get people in to it (before that the Shift). I for one would never try to make the argument with someone who does or does't ride that sleds have not gotten more expensive. Now I could argue that with leftovers, sleds are reasonable but still not cheap. Sorry, but if we want people to join the sport, we can't be arguing that sleds are not expensive. I'll tell you something that has gotten cheaper since 1995 though - TV's, TV's have gotten cheap. Now that's an argument people can agree with.
Mike B says:
11/27/2017 3:45:00 PM

One factor that has not been addressed yet:

How many sled owners, or former sled owners take home pay has increased at the rate of what the are buying in the last 25 years?
Nik R says:
11/27/2017 9:45:00 PM

Anyone notice how totally awesome that 94 ZR 580 looks?

Maybe I'll try to find one of those for a grand and fix it up....

Maybe we'll get 4 weeks in a row of riding this year without it being 50 and raining!
Paul Hein says:
11/28/2017 9:41:00 AM

I've wasted a lot of money over the years, the rest I spent on snowmobiling!
Tom Steiner says:
11/28/2017 7:46:00 PM

One other thing to consider is I'm reading this on my iPad which weren't invented in 1995. Also everyone in the family has an iPhone along with a data plan. Also watching TV with my subscription to the DISH network. The point is we have lots of additional expenses we didn't have back in 1995. As mentioned several times the weather is also a huge factor . Having said that I still have 6 snowmobiles in the garage and a 200 on the way for the grandkids
gbarchives67-72 says:
11/28/2017 8:10:00 PM

When we only get snow for at best two months a year, make less than 60,000 a year, spending over 10 grand for 8 weekends of riding seems a hard sell to non riding spouses, coworkers and family.That's the cold hard truth. Wages have not kept up with costs and in the Twin Tiers PA/NY Ma nature has been shafting us every year for quite a while.

Heck I only paid 21 grand for my barely used SUV. Something I need 12 months a year. No one can doubt my love for this hobby. I grew up in it. Ate lived and breathed it for decades. Went head over heels into vintage for almost 20 years too. But that was once in a time when we had snow from before deer season to mid March. This past year I swapped off the last of my unfinished vintage projects for one special machine from the old days. Everything else was sold off to the bare garage walls over the past two years. You want to know how that felt? It hurt, a lot. Some of the parts that took me years to find were gone at scrap prices. No demand here.
Bring back the snow, we'll talk sleds again. Get wages up where people can afford it more easily at the same time. I think it's as simple as that. There's so much carryover now that finding good deals on newer models is not too hard. But I can't see a time in this area where I'd ever buy brand new again, unless I win the Powerball.

Snopro says:
11/28/2017 8:11:00 PM

I'm sorry, but after owning a 2012 procross I will not buy another in that chassis, it doesn't matter how low the "no brainer sales event gets." All procross are too expensive to me. Build a awesome sled and you won't be able to make enough of them.
John Sandberg says:
11/29/2017 7:36:00 AM

Great conversation here, I appreciate all of the responses. A couple of points that I need to make:

1. I am in NO WAY arguing or suggesting that anyone should buy a snowmobile, or that snowmobiles are inexpensive. Buying anything is a personal decision. I don't want you to tell me what I should buy, and I certainly won't tell you the same.

I am confronting the cliche that today's snowmobiles are "thousands" more than snowmobiles of an earlier time. The math proves otherwise.

2. One thing I keep thinking about this past week is that some local dealers are selling 2016 and 2015 ZR 4000 LXRs for $6,000. That's the same dollar amount as a 1994 ZR 580. NOT inflation adjusted, which is the correct way to compare, but the same amount.

I own a 2015 ZR 4000. It's an incredible snowmobile. WAY, way better snowmobile than a ZR 580. Horsepower is the only thing it has less of compared to the '94. The 4000 would kick the crap out of the 580 in every single comparison except top speed.

Part II of this series is coming soon.
Voice of Reason says:
11/29/2017 7:38:00 PM

Inflation adjusted I agree that sleds aren't over priced, because everything is overpriced. How much was a nicely optioned 1/2 ton pickup in 1994? How much was 600cc sport bike? Jet ski? Television? The list goes on, and on. Today it's $50K for a nicely optioned 1/2 ton truck with 2018 horsepower, safety and reliability. A 1994 truck today by comparison is total a piece of crap. The demise of the snowmobile industry in my opinion is attributed far more to the fact that winters haven't been actual winters like we had in the 70's - 90's. Do people really want brand new 1994 snowmobiles in 2018 to go back to 1994 prices? Folks, please let me introduce you to Craigslist.

I bought a literally new 2010 sled last spring for less than $4K even though I could want into any dealer out there and buy any new sled I chose. To me it's a matter of smart personal economics. I spent $4K knowing it might sit on the trailer all year and don't care.

If we ever start getting winter again, snowmobile sales will boom and like in the heyday of snowmobiling people that love riding will find the money to do it.

11/29/2017 8:17:00 PM

Here's one thing I believe we all can agree on...most of us have an enclosed trailer to haul and even store our precious sleds in compared to the open place trailers from years ago. Another added expense but it sure is nice to have your gear, sleds and security not to mention, NO SALT !

Wade Schroeder says:
11/29/2017 11:01:00 PM

I just want to point out. The picture of the 94 ZR 580 is not a production sled. Looking at the picture. It has 93 hood. How can I tell. The windshield is screwed on not held on with tabs. BUT!! Decals are 94 the purple around the out side of the decal. That is 94. 93 had green bordered in black. The belly pan is a 93 the deep louvers into the side of the plastic. Dead give away 93. 94 the belly pan was a single piece with 3 gills I would call them towards the back. The seat is a 94. 93 the seat came two ways. just Arctic cat or it had Arctic Cat above a red ZR. No checked flags. The gas tank is not shaped as a 94. It is shaped like a 93. Which 93 the tank and the seat were not hooked together. 94 and up the gas tank and seat plastic are as one. The rear idler wheels are 93 zr. There aluminum which most 93's got there wheels switched to solid black plastic due to the fact the rubber would come off the aluminum. The true give away is the front end of the sled sits at a 45 degree angle. 94 the bulk head was more flat. 94 EXT had a 45 degree bulk had. 94 zr 440 580 and 700 were flatter IF I could see the brake side of the handle bars. The brake handle on a 93 is long and aluminum not short and plastic. You could order a short cut off aluminum brake handle. It was a race option. So what you got there is not a 94 zr but a 93 1/2 more likely the demo sled.
Kevin says:
11/30/2017 2:38:00 AM

I ran some numbers on new sleds I bought back in the day:
1990 Ski Doo formula MX: msrp $4599 ($9080 today); bought it for $2810 in 1992 ($4908 today).

1997 Arctic Cat Cougar: msrp 5099 (7975 today); bought it for 3199 in fall 1998 (4826 today)

2002 Arctic ZR 600 carb: msrp 6849 (9481 today); bought it for 4999 in fall, 2002 (6816 today)

2003 Arctic F7 std: msrp 7799 (10635 today); bought for 5699 in fall 2003 (7595 today)

2006 Arctic Crossfire 700: msrp 9199 (11,421 today); bought for 6581 in fall, 2006 (8006 today)

2007 Arctic Cat F8: msrp 9499 (11,555 today; bought for $5600 in spring, 2009 ($6,482 today).

So... I think in all cases, sleds are more expensive today (after $ adjusted) than in any of these examples, and in some cases by a lot. Thousands? no. Have prices exceeded inflation? yes. I think the deals being offered, while very good, are not unprecedented either. It' s a tough sport to make money in and most powersport companies want nothing to do with it - so you gotta give a lot of credit to the big 4 (or 3) today for staying with it and offering a good product.
Paul Hein says:
11/30/2017 8:27:00 AM

Snopro, if the only Procross sled you've ridden is a 2012 do yourself a favor and ride a 2015 or newer, day and night difference. I've had a 2012, 2013 and currently a 2015 and I can tell the improvements each year.
Gunner says:
11/30/2017 7:41:00 PM

This topic and the responses posted here are clear examples of why we all love this sport. Great points, sincere passion and genuine respect for each other.

Grew up in the late 60’s driving a Johnson Skee-Horse around the farm on the MN/Manitoba border. Not too many people had to drive south to TRF. Some Saturday's dad would fill it with gas three times. We never missed an I500, either on highway 59 or 75. I know no matter what the cost, my parents couldn’t afford that ol Johnson, but then he never complained about it either. Many of you can relate.

Bought 37 sleds since then, mostly black, purple and green or combinations thereof. Even bought a yellow one once. I blamed it on the Crown Royal the next day. Think there’s still 13 or so in the Quonset.

Don’t think I really disagree with any one specific point here. Adjusted for inflation a few hundred bucks either way for a new or near new, nice ride of any flavor doesn’t make that much difference to any of us.

Think what frustrates us all the most is we just simply don’t get the seat time we want and/or remember. Some of the reasons are in our control, many are not. Either way, we miss it. Truth be told if we could ride “at will” the cost wouldn’t matter so much cause the justification in our own two stroke heads would be easier, even if to most “normal people” it still wouldn’t make any sense. But then they always just shake their head anyway.

To John’s point. Bought two carry over 4000LXR’s over thanksgiving for my twin teenage daughters. Couldn’t resist the well advertised and discussed price point plus they’re likely the last chance at a simple, fun old school engine and awesome chassis combination that will never come again.

Living in KS we don’t get back to the farm often, but once again we’ll make the most of it when we do.

Thanks for the topic John. Sorry for the rambling. Keep the faith boys. And happy trails this winter to all.

megatrong says:
12/2/2017 1:38:00 PM

I stated some points in previous posts. The main argument that the author of the article is wrong about, is he/she is assuming everything is the SAME. Its a given every year in sleds, car, trucks, atvs, etc.... something is gonna change usually for the better, and the price is gonna go up. while inflation is a good tool to handle the true cost of money for today versus past/future, it does account for LIFE. The dollar is being pulled by so many different things from now to then. Some people like myself can live pretty simple, and make it work. However most can't get out of the way from their own stupidity.

Can we all agree on one thing? Like a guy posted before about enclosed trailers. Now how many of them have a loan on that too? future money already being spent. Not only is todays pay check gone, or is week 52's. some play the game for your sales end year(years) event to get financing. this problem is just as easy as price of a ride anymore. For most sleds come in at about priority 16 of 20. Now some will argue this. If you read this, your more likely to be a sled enthusiasts versus being a casual, maybe even an arctic die hard. the more I think of this article, the more wrong it becomes. please give us part 2, because i'm not impressed so far. TRF thinking going on here, and that's why they were bought out.
Mike F says:
12/2/2017 9:23:00 PM

@megatrong...WTF are you babbling about? Have another beer.Lol!
Flintstone says:
12/3/2017 5:05:00 PM

The cost of a 2018 cat should extremely low. The pro cross is 8 seasons old now, has a bad reputation for reliability and has a bad reputation for resale and resale is the number I look at. That's cost of ownership. Example, simple math
Average cost of a 2003 f7 sno pro new was $6500, one could put 6500 miles on over 3 seasons and sell it for $3500 any day of the week!! That sled cost $3000 for me to own it. Now sell me a 2018 f800 sno pro for $11000 and let me run that for 3 seasons and put 6500 miles on that and then lets see what I can sell it for? Maybe 5 grand, maybe? So cost of ownership has doubled in the last decade and even more then doubled in some cases. And that's the problem and it's a big one. And it's a cold hard fact. And that's why dealers will not take trades in mn and if you think you have a dealer that will take trades give me there number. I have a 2012 f1100 turbo with 6500 miles on it and I'd love to switch to a 2018 f800 right now!! Let's see what the cost of owner ship of that was.

This is the problem
megatron says:
12/3/2017 9:34:00 PM

sorry mike F. I do have some typo's (even my name!). sorry, but I believe I know more about this subject than the writer of it. Typing it here is a little tough. Some aren't going to grasp the ideas. hell, one can say they are all opinion anyways, or there is more than one way to slice a pizza.

FYI just read part 2. I hope there isn't a part 3. The argument took a turn for the worst. I guess you have to be on the non consumer side of things to understand the business end. Tom Rowland is on here. super nice guy. he has a fatal flaw.... he's too die hard cat. yes I know he sells them. Maybe some of his insight is needed here. I'm just megatron. you know, that evil dude.

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