I’m guessing that when you buy a new sled, you perform a few basic adjustments and make a few custom touches.
Here are some basic adjustments and modifications I make to my sled prior to the start of the riding season.
After you read this, I’d like to know what YOU do.
First thing to do before even THINKING about going for ride — including that tempting lap around the yard — is to remove the spare key from the chain and put it somewhere safe (and that you’ll likely forget about).
If you don’t do this, Mike F. will call you out on it publicly in the comments section of a website (thanks Mike).
Sleds come with the brake levers positioned too far up for my tastes (left), so a few minutes with the tool-kit-supplied Torx wrench and I’m ready for my patented stand-up style of riding.
Repeat a similar procedure for the handlebar riser and bar rotation.
Some people call the piece of hood-mounted plastic that comes stock on Sno Pro, Limited and RR models a “windshield.” I call it a prescription for frostbite, and swap it out with a window featuring adequate wind protection like the LXR one (P/N 6606-377) above.
Note: I normally run the even more protective Mid-heigth 14-in. window. We’ll see if I switch back to it once I get a few decent rides it.
Here’s a nice tip I learned from Team Arctic’s Wes Selby when installing windows that have the cut-out side tab mount. The instructions for mounting this window confuse me a bit and don’t leave me fully confident that the side tab is actually doing anything.
Selby fixes it by simply using a screw to affix the side tab to the plastic cowl. Problem solved!
The various asphalt and concrete pads on my property wear too many scars from gouges caused by the sharp leading (and trailing) edges of brand-new carbides. D’oh!
In an effort to not add to the collection, I’ve been grinding smooth both the leading and trailing edges.
That’s more like it!
Depending upon how your dealer installs the skis on a new sled, your machine could be on either a narrow or wide setting. As a wiley old trail carver who can use the extra 2 in. of ski stance, I prefer my set up on the wide side.
Switching it out is easy. Just remove the ski, flip the plastic spacer on the bottom of the spindle to the desired side (see above).
Then flip the rubber ski/spindle pad 180 degrees (see above) and reinstall the ski.
Repeat the procedure on the other side and you’re set.
Now my sled is at full ski stance width and I’m ready to do my best P.J. Wanderscheid around the corners.
I’m a fan of the handy little goggle bag that’s available for ProCross/ProClimb chassis that attaches between the gauge and handlebar post.
I use the bag for maps and for holding my cell phone/camera.
I’m constantly battling keeping my phone warm enough to stay operational, but a trick I learned last year fixed the problem.
It starts with the accessory Bag Heater Kit from Cat (above), which I place inside of a similarly sized felt bag and put into the goggle bag.
I cut a small hole on the bottom of the bag for the element’s cord…
…then splice the separate cable into the sled’s accessory outlet located next to the chaincase.
The element stays warm for as long as the engine is running, keeping my phone operational and ready to capture pix of my friends doing goofball maneuvers.
The Mid Tunnel Bag is another carryall that I’m particularly fond of, but it too needs a little modification to suit my ditch-banging style.
Specifically, I like to add some additional high-density foam to the bottom of the bag, so the items that I store in it don’t get pounded into oblivion during may stutter bump rage sessions.
I got the foam at a fabric store a few years ago, cutting it out into the same shape as the stock foam.
I put BOTH pieces back into the bag.
Then it’s ready to pack the extra stuff I bring along, such as the tool kit, shock pump, tow strap, spare belt, folding saw and the last remaining piece of my 15-year old wedding cake.
What’s not in this picture (but is also placed in the bag) are a few rags and another tool kit featuring a bunch of seldom used (but thankfully available) items that can be used for everything from a trailside A-arm fix to a complete engine rebuild.
Last but certainly not least, I add my favorite, indispensable soft muffs for those times when my girly-man hands need extra warmth.
So that’s my pre-first-ride to-do list. What’s yours?