Maine Snowmobiler: Top 3 New Sleds for 2017

maine snowmobiler.jpeg

Dear Santa,

I would like a new snowmobile to ride on Maine’s enormous trail system. I’ve listed my top three choices below, in order of preference.

Thank you,

Every Maine Snowmobiler ever


Why do I need a new snowmobile?

Simply put, snowmobiling is more than recreation in Maine. It’s part of the culture. The network of public and private trails is more extensive than some states’ highway systems. I need a new sled with which to tackle those thousands of miles of Maine snowmobile trails.

My top 3 picks for a Maine snowmobiler’s wish list to Santa:


1. Yamaha Sidewinder R-TX LE

Why?  Yamaha knows how to make things go fast! Yamaha has been making snowmobiles for just shy of half a century. This sled is proof that they know what they’re doing.  In full disclosure, I’m also an ATV rider and subsequently carry some affinity for the brand.

This Sidewinder is a performance sled for performance riders. Its 998cc four stroke turbo cranks out at least 180 horses. Yamaha claims 180 in its specs, but dynos say that’s underselling it.

Delivering that new engine’s power to the Camso 129 inch Ripsaw track with a 1.25 inch lug pattern is Yamaha’s specifically-tuned YSRC clutch. This all comes on that beloved Cat chassis complete with three stage Fox QS3 shocks over the skis and in the dual shock rear suspension.

On those varied Maine trails, the handling of this sled is superb. But what’s seriously impressive about this sled is how smooth the power delivery is at all speeds. It hums along all silky and quiet when you’re cruising along watching the scenery. When it comes time to flex some muscle, the head-snapping acceleration is accompanied by a satisfying growl as it reaches speeds in the three digits. Quickly.

By the way, this sled did get an Editor’s Choice Award for Best of the Best of 2017 by American Snowmobiler Magazine.

But I understand that this kind of performance comes at a serious price. Top end R-TX LE models will set you back a shy seventeen grand. So…

My second choice for a Maine snowmobile is:

Ski-Doo Gen4 MXZ X 850.png

2. Ski-Doo Gen4 MXZ X 850

Why? One word: Balance.

Three years in the making, engineers at Ski-Doo took care to get the balance perfectly centered left to right, even after narrowing the side panels a bit. The front to back balance is maintained in this fourth generation of the REV chassis with the ride forward positioning. However, this reimagined construction adds serious improvements to handling and cornering.

The MXZ also keeps the Forward Adjustable Riser so you can customize your steering settings to the riding conditions. A new, tapered “Trail seat” gives riders a narrow front for attacking corners and a wide back for laid-back cruising. This sled comes with a brand new, cleaner burning, oil sipping second generation Rotax E-TEC direct injection engine that delivers 165 zippy horses.

This sled is’s pick for Best Sled of 2017. In case that helps my case. And yes, I am willing to wait until spring, the only time it will be available.

My third pick for a Maine snowmobile is:

polaris 800 rush xcr.jpg

3. Polaris 800 Rush XCR

Any idea how many miles of snowmobile trails there are in Maine?  Over 14,000!

So obviously I need a sled that is cross country race ready. Like this one.

The AXYS chassis and seat design focuses on rider balance and control. The 800 Cleanfire H.O. engine was developed right along with the AXYS chassis. Basically, this sled mixes race technology with its tight cornering and mogul-eating capabilities with rider comfort and control for the long rides.

Add in improved, more responsive brakes with a bigger rotor and better pads and this sled will snap you forward with the brake handle as hard as it snaps you back with the accelerator. Even the mid-height windshield was designed to improve the rider experience.

So that’s my wish list for this year. It’s okay if the one you choose doesn’t fit down the chimney. You can just leave it in the garage.

See you on the trails.

And of course…Merry Christmas!

Just for fun, we asked a Registered Maine Guide how they prepare for snowmobile trips.  We put it together in this free e-book.  Click the image below to learn more:



Denney Lodge at Camp Katahdin is a new, luxury Hunting Lodge in Northern Maine that sits right on Maine’s ITS Connector 112.  It sleeps 15 and comes with a brand new Chef’s kitchen.  Step out your door and jump on your sleds to connector 112 for an amazing day trip.  Read more about our lodge here: 


wendell farm snow collage.jpg

Wendell Farm is our smaller property that also sits right on Connector 112.  It’s an updated 1800’s Farmhouse with sled in-sled out snowmobile lodging.  It sleeps 8, has a beautiful insulated porch with a spectacular view, and a barn with our friendly draft horses.  Read more about Wendell Farm here: