12 of the Best Snowmobiles for Big Riders [+ Buying Guide]

Based on our research, 12 of the best snowmobiles for big riders are as follows:

  1. Arctic Cat M8
  2. Arctic Cat M1000
  3. Arctic Cat F1000
  4. Arctic Cat CrossFire 7
  5. Ski-Doo Rev 800
  6. Ski-Doo XP 800
  7. Polaris IQ 800
  8. Polaris Fusion 600/800/900
  9. Polaris FST IQ LX
  10. Polaris CFI LX 600
  11. Yamaha SC APEX
  12. Yamaha RS Venture

If you want to find out more about these models and the factors you should consider before purchasing a “big guy snowmobile,” this post is for you.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

Which are the Best Snowmobiles for Big Riders?

There are many factors to consider before purchasing a snowmobile, especially if you are a big guy. In a nutshell, the key factors you should pay attention to are as follows:

  1. Chassis size and durability
  2. Seat height
  3. Handlebar height
  4. Suspension stiffness
  5. Engine power
  6. Track dimensions
  7. Weight

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about these in detail!

1. Chassis

There’s no question that the most important consideration is the size and quality of the chassis.

Since it has to carry more weight, a “big guy snowmobile” should be built on a decent, high-quality chassis. There are many stories about overloaded chassis that get bent, so it’s not worth gambling on a cheap platform.

Besides its durability and strength, the size of the chassis is no less important. As you can guess, big snowmobile riders prefer the largest types of chassis available like the Ski-Doo REV and REV XP.

These platforms are not only bigger than most competitor platforms, but they also offer a more “rider forward” position.

This design moves the rider towards the front, which translates to a dirt-bike-like experience. Also, it provides plenty of space for large riders who can ride comfortably in a standing position.

You can also find some competitor models that were also engineered with this in mind.

These include the chassis of Polaris MXZs or IQ, however, the engine in the latter model is still nestled in a conventional way. Therefore, it doesn’t do as good job as Ski-Doo’s REV chassis.

Yamaha snowmobiles are also known for their heavy-duty chassis and high-quality build. On the other hand, these sleds are primarily recommended for trail riding due to their heavy weight.

If you want to stick with a Yamaha, make sure to invest in a turbocharged model for some extra power.

As far as vintage snowmobiles go, they are not recommended for bigger riders since they feature very small chassis and low-positioned, bench-like seats.

2. Seat

Bigger riders also need higher seats for more comfort. A low seat can not only cause massive knee pain, but it may provide poor handling as well.

Many large guys complain that their knees are always hitingt the handlebars and the lack of space makes aggressive rides hard to impossible.

But if you can’t find a sled that provides adequate seat height for you, don’t worry.

There are many tricks to raising a snowmobile seat, or you can even install a large aftermarket seat. Many riders prefer hi-rise Boss seats, which are filled with dense high-quality foam.

3. Handlebars

If you are a taller snowmobile rider, you will probably need higher handlebars as well. Unfortunately, stock handlebars tend to be too low for tall guys.

This is where snowmobile handlebar risers come into play.

These aftermarket units are designed to raise the handlebars by about 2-9 inches depending on the make and model. They come in fixed and adjustable configurations.

4. Suspensions

Besides the chassis and the seat, another key component you should pay attention to is the suspension system.

The majority of stock snowmobile suspensions run out of their adjustment range at about 250-300 pounds. But it’s a lesser-known fact that overloading these stock setups can lead to many malfunctions and damage.

For example, the heavy weight can fail or even break the suspensions, which can cause a bent tunnel. But even if they don’t fail, weaker suspensions are prone to frequently bottoming out, resulting in bumpy rides.

Due to these risks, big guys need a snowmobile that features heavy-duty shocks and springs.

If you are looking for something off the shelf, you should take a look at 2-up snowmobiles. These machines are designed for two riders, so they can handle a heavier rider with ease, as they come with stiffer and more durable suspensions as standard.

Certain manufacturers also offer heavy-duty suspensions for their models like Yamaha’s Big Boy Spring and Arctic Cat’s M8 Sno Pro suspension.

Besides factory options, many sleds can be modified with aftermarket parts to handle a heavier rider. These modifications typically include upgrading the rear suspension with stiffer springs and more durable shocks.

Some of the most popular “big guy snowmobile suspensions” are arguably the Teamfast M10 Air suspension system and Fox Float shocks combined with stiffer rear springs.

Riders agree that air shocks not only work better for bigger guys but they can also be more easily adjusted to match the pressure to the weight.

These advanced air shocks can absorb the extra weight and offer safer and more predictable rides even on rough terrain.

What’s more, these heavy-duty snowmobile suspensions can be installed on many modern and older sleds. This allows you to choose from a larger selection of machines.

Best practice is to do extensive research or consult with a dealer/local shop to figure out which sled has the best sled-suspension combo for you.

5. Engine Performance

Another important consideration is engine performance. Being a large guy, you will need a more powerful engine to keep up with your riding buddies.

General wisdom says that the bare minimum engine size for heavier riders is 600cc, but a bigger one never hurts. If you are looking for some serious power, you should take a look at the 700-1000+cc categories instead.

There is nothing worse than lagging behind the crowd due to poor engine performance!

As far as the cooling system goes, you should stick to liquid-cooled sleds and stay away from fan-cooled models, which provide less power and are prone to overheating.

6. Track

To get a decent grip you need your sled will require a longer track.

As reported by Snow Tech Magazine, the heavier and taller the rider the longer the track required for the sled. It’s also wise to select a track with deeper lugs for the best traction.

Besides your weight and body size, optimal track size depends on many factors like the features of the sled, snow conditions, and your riding style (trail/off-trail/mountain, etc.).

If you want to drill into this topic in even more detail, don’t miss our detailed post on how to select a snowmobile track.

7. Weight

Last but not least don’t overlook the weight of the sled.

You may want to look for lighter snowmobiles with the best available power-to-weight ratio. The general rule is that 2-stroke snowmobiles are lighter than their 4-stroke counterparts.

For example, Ski-Doo is known for its lightweight sleds, which come with high-performance engines.

The combined weight is particularly important if you want to mainly ride off-trail since heavier sleds sink into deep snow more easily.

Takeaways – FAQs About “Big Guy Snowmobiles”

As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common question about “big guy snowmobiles.”

What characterizes a good “big-guy snowmobile”?

  • Large durable chassis with a “forward riding” position
  • High riding position
  • Adequate space for the legs
  • Raised handlebars
  • Heavy-duty suspensions with air shocks and stiff springs
  • Engine: liquid-cooled, 600cc and above
  • Longer track with deeper lugs
  • Lightweight

Which are the best snowmobiles for big riders?

Based on our research, some of the best snowmobiles for big guys are as follows:

  • Arctic Cat M8
  • Arctic Cat M1000
  • Arctic Cat F1000
  • Arctic Cat CrossFire 7
  • Ski-Doo Rev 800
  • Ski-Doo XP 800
  • Polaris IQ 800
  • Polaris Fusion 600/800/900
  • Polaris FST IQ LX
  • Polaris CFI LX 600
  • Yamaha SC APEX
  • Yamaha RS Venture

How to Buy a Snowmobile that Fits a Big Guy

Before you make your final decision it’s highly recommended that you try out a lot of sleds. You can borrow some from your riding buddies, but dealers also have many different models in stock to try.

Is there a weight limit for snowmobiles?

Yes, most snowmobiles come with a specific weight limit that falls into the range of 350-500 pounds. However, keep in mind that the stock snowmobile suspensions can typically only safely handle 250-300 pounds comfortably.

A higher weight capacity can be achieved with modifications like installing a heavy-duty suspension system.




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