You can make your snowmobile go faster by reducing its weight and properly setting its key features (clutches, carbs, track). Aside from these simple tricks, you can consider installing aftermarket performance parts for higher performance. If you want to learn more about these basic settings as well as the best performance modifications for snowmobiles, you are at the right place!
How Can I Make My Snowmobile Go Faster?
How can I make my snowmobile go faster? – This question is commonly asked by many performance-minded owners.
It’s safe to say that the cheapest way to make a snowmobile go faster is to make sure it’s clean from any buildup of snow and that its systems are working properly. Therefore, if you want to get the most out of your sled it’s recommended that you carefully inspect and adjust/fix its key components.
Are you wondering which parts require extra attention? Keep reading!
If you want to make your snowmobile go faster, the very first step is to clean its carburetors. If you notice that its internals are not in a good shape, best practice is to rebuild them.
After the cleaning/rebuilding, you also have to properly set the carbs. This means the carbs should be perfectly tuned and jetted.
If your sled features a fuel injection system (EFI), make sure that it’s correctly mapped to get the best available fuel/air ratio.
It’s also good to know that an improper clutch setting or a buildup on the sheaves can often lead to decreased performance.
That’s why you have to inspect and clean the clutches, or even rebuild them if necessary. This is to make sure they are working smoothly!
If not, adjust the springs and weights to get a steady full-throttle RPM. Beware that properly setting the clutch may require many adjustments and test rides!
Besides the clutches you may also want to check the drive belt. Clean or replace it if needed, and make sure that its tension is adequate.
Final Drive Gearing (Chaincase)
When it comes to making a sled go faster, the final drive gears are often overlooked.
However, the sprockets in the chaincase can be replaced, which can lead to a higher top speed/better acceleration, depending on the size of the new gears.
This is because these gears do the same job as the gears on a bicycle. Simply put, different sprocket sizes always mean different performances. Don’t forget that if you change these gears you have to adjust the clutches as well.
Track, Skis, and Suspension
You may want to keep your eyes on the track. Check its tension and alignment, as a too tight or misaligned track can reduce the top speed and can lead to severe track damage.
Also, make sure that the sliders (hyfax) are in perfect condition, and don’t overlook the bearings of the idler wheels. Replacing the wheels with a “big wheel kit” can also help reduce the drag and the resistance of the track.
Additionally, it’s a lesser-known fact that you can make a snowmobile go faster by changing the size of the track drivers!
For the best performance available, don’t forget to align the skis and sharpen the carbides. If your sled has darting issues, you may want to eliminate that as well.
And finally, it’s recommended that you check the suspensions. You can adjust the weight on the skis by the strap limiter.
Other Important Factors to Consider
It’s also wise to shave some weight off your sled. Sledders are prone to carry a lot of gear on their sled, and let’s face it, some of it is probably unnecessary.
Increased weight always means a worse power-to-weight ratio, which results in lower performance.
It’s also important to use good quality oil and fresh fuel. This not only makes your engine last longer, but also ensures the highest performance.
7 Best Snowmobile Modifications
You’ve got all of the above right, but still want to make your sled faster?
This is when performance modifications come in handy.
Adding extra power to the engine can significantly boost engine performance. But on the other hand, you have to be able to handle this increased power, so mods/adjustments on the track and the steering system are usually unavoidable.
Are you wondering what the best performance modifications are on a snowmobile? Here are some common mods to make your sled go faster:
- Big bore kits
- Exhaust system
- Running board
Let’s take a closer look at each!
The Best Snowmobile Performance Modifications
Big Bore Kit
The safest and most effective way to increase the performance of your engine is to add displacement.
This means installing a “big bore kit” on the engine or even replacing it with a bigger one. As an engine replacement is a pretty costly modification, using a big bore kit is much more common.
What is a snowmobile big bore kit? Simply put, a big bore kit means new “bolt-on” cylinders with bigger displacement, or sometimes boring out the original cylinders. The kit typically contains new pistons, rings, gaskets, and many other components that you need for this upgrade.
If you install a big bore kit you will also have to adjust the carburetor/fuel injection system. This way you can be sure that every system will work together.
Unfortunately, the price of snowmobile big bore kits ranges from $1,000 up to several thousand dollars. And don’t forget that this is just the cost of the parts and doesn’t include the labor!
Are you wondering what exactly is in a big bore kit? Don’t skip this unboxing video!
Turbochargers and Superchargers
Another common way to increase a snowmobile’s performance is to install a supercharger or turbocharger.
Both of these units do the same job, they force compressed air into the engine, which results in higher performance. The main difference between them is that the turbo is driven by exhaust gases, while the supercharger is connected directly to the crankshaft.
This makes the supercharger more responsive, which means it doesn’t have any “turbo lag.”
As a rule of thumb, superchargers are much easier to install and adjust while turbochargers offer much better performance.
The biggest cons against these units are the increased fuel consumption and the decreased reliability.
You can learn more about snowmobile turbochargers and superchargers here!
A freer-flowing snowmobile exhaust can lead to higher performance as well. Thus, this is a popular aftermarket performance part! Drawback?
The main con of these exhaust systems is probably their significantly higher level of sound. That’s why exhaust modifications on snowmobiles are prohibited in many areas!
But if you are looking for a “quiet” aftermarket exhaust, the good news is that many newer models produce very moderate noise while still increasing engine performance. However, to stay legal and not disturb others always check and obey the applicable laws in your area!
When it comes to aftermarket snowmobile exhaust prices, you can see price tags from $250 up to $1,000+.
A high temperature under the hood not only robs power from the engine but can also shorten the life of the clutches and the belt.
You can keep this key area cooler by simply installing an aftermarket vent kit.
These parts typically are mounted on the front of the hood, and the sides of the side panels. They make the body of the sled more “open,” and this way feed the engine and the clutches with cool air.
An additional benefit of these vents is that they make your sled more personal.
Here is a good tutorial on how to install aftermarket snowmobile vents:
Although stock snowmobile tracks usually do a very good job, in some cases it makes sense to replace the track. If you are looking for more traction or flotation, a new track with different dimensions could be a solution.
If you are considering replacing your track, you may find our track selection guide useful.
Another common modification of snowmobile tracks is studding. The small metal studs do a really good job on ice and hard-packed snow, as they ensure much better traction.
To handle the increased performance, you will probably need longer carbides. Sharp and correctly sized carbides are a must if you ride on the trails.
However, carbides can also come in handy in powder as well, as you never know when you may hit an icy spot under the snow!
If you are an off-trail rider looking for better flotation, you should take a look at aftermarket skis. They come in many sizes but are lighter compared to their stock counterparts.
Thus, contrary to popular belief, aftermarket snowmobile skis are not just for a customized look!
If you are a hardcore rider, you will probably have to modify the suspensions as well for perfect handling.
When it comes to modifying a snowmobile, it’s safe to say that replacing the running boards is one of the most common mods, especially on off-trail sleds.
This is because on the aftermarket running boards you can expect much less snow buildup. This not only means less weight but more safety as well. Why?
Simply put, snow under the feet always means less traction, which may result in handling issues and ultimately dangerous situations!
What’s more, nice aftermarket running boards can give a custom look to your sled.
But be careful, and mount them properly to the tunnel, as improper installation can lead to loose boards!
If you want to make your snowmobile go faster first make sure that all of the key components (engine, carbs, clutches, track) work properly. If not, clean/adjust/ or even fix them if necessary!
If you are still not happy with the available top speed, your other option is to modify your sled. This process typically means installing aftermarket parts like big bore kits, turbochargers/superchargers, aftermarket exhaust systems, vents, and so on.
You can also consider replacing the entire engine, but let’s face it, this is not a Sunday project!
For better handling, you may want to install longer carbides/aftermarket skis, studs, custom running boards, or suspension upgrades.
For your convenience, all these parts are usually available in kits as well. These kits are typically labeled “stage 1-5” depending on the number/quality of the parts they contain.
The rule of thumb is the higher the number, the more parts and higher performance (and price) you can expect.
Keep in mind that if you start to modify your sled, it can easily become a never-ending story, as you may need new parts again and again. What’s more, it usually ends in many issues as these modifications can foul the sensors and decrease the lifespan of the engine as well.
That’s why many experts say that if you want a faster snowmobile, the easiest, and sometimes the cheapest way to go is to purchase another, more powerful sled.
Even if the prices of new snowmobiles may be shocking at first glance, it’s definitely worth doing the math upfront.
You can easily spend thousands of dollars for modifications, and the result may still be a sled that lags behind the top speed of many stock performance sleds.
Consequently, in many cases, it makes more sense to put this money into another snowmobile. You can get a much faster sled this way, without any hassle!