Performance snowmobiles, as the name suggests, are designed to provide the highest possible performance. These race-inspired sleds are powered by 600-850cc 2-stroke, or 900-1000cc 4-stroke engines that deliver up to 200+ HP. Besides these amazing power sources, performance snowmobiles feature short tracks and the best suspension systems available. They are built for performance-minded riders who want to be the fastest on the trails!
If you want to find out more about performance snowmobiles, you’ve come to the right place. We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know about these unique machines into this post!
What is a Performance Snowmobile?
Performance snowmobiles are often considered to be the superbikes of snowmobiles, and with good reason. These high-performance machines are a special type of trail snowmobile that comes with the most advanced features. What’s more, many of them are replicas of race-winning models!
For the best available performance, these snowmobiles utilize the most powerful engines in the industry. The majority of these units deliver 120-200 HP and are tuned for the fastest acceleration and top speed.
As a result, the most powerful performance snowmobiles can reach speeds up to a whopping 120 mph!
They also utilize high-quality suspensions, which provide excellent handling and cornering abilities. Keeping safety in mind, they are also equipped with the most advanced hydraulic brake systems and safety features.
Since many of them are powered by 4-stroke engines, performance snowmobiles are significantly heavier compared to other types of sleds.
This means that riding them requires a lot more muscle work, and throwing them around by hand is not easy either. Because of their heavy weight and incredible engine power, performance snowmobiles are only recommended for experienced riders.
Their seating position and suspensions are also tuned for performance over comfort, so they are less comfortable than regular trail or touring sleds.
Just like any other trail snowmobile, performance sleds are also propelled by short (129”-137”) tracks that don’t deliver sufficient floatation in powder.
Therefore, riding them off-trail is definitely not recommended, as they can easily end massively stuck. And digging out a 4-stroke trail sled from deep snow is not one of the easiest tasks!
Finally, as you might assume, these machines are among the most expensive sleds in the marketplace.
They not only come with the highest price tags but are also known for their high maintenance costs.
On top of that, high performance results in lower reliability as the added power eats up the sled’s parts much faster. And fixing or replacing them may cost more than you think.
Therefore, if you are on a budget, you should consider a lower-powered sled over a performance model!
Which is the Best Performance Snowmobile?
There are many great performance snowmobiles in the marketplace, but some of the best ones are arguable as follows:
- Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE
- Yamaha Sidewinder L-TX LE
- Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat
- Arctic Cat ZR RR
- Polaris Indy VR1
- Polaris Indy XCR
- Polaris Indy 850 XC
- Ski-Doo MXZ X series
Performance Snowmobile Specification Chart
For your convenience, we’ve listed the average specifications of performance snowmobiles in this chart:
|Engine type||600 – 850cc 2-stroke or 900-1000cc 4-stroke|
|Top speed (mph)||100-120|
|Ski stance (in.)||42-44|
|Track length (in.)||129-137|
|Track width (in.)||15|
|Lug height (in.)||1.25-1.75|
|Front suspension travel (in.)||9-10|
|Rear suspension travel (in.)||13-16|
|Fuel cap. (gal)||9-12|
|Dry Weight (lbs.)||450-650|
Performance Snowmobile Comparison Chart
Let’s compare performance sleds to other types of snowmobiles by the numbers!
|Category||Youth (120)||Youth (200)||Mid-Sized||Trail||Performance||Crossover||Mountain||Touring||Utility|
|Engine type||120cc, 4-stroke single||200cc, 4-stroke single||300 -550cc 2-stroke||550 – 850cc 2-stroke or 600-1050cc 4-stroke||600 – 850cc 2-stroke or 900-1000cc 4-stroke||600 – 850cc 2-stroke or 900 -1000cc 4-stroke||650 – 850cc 2 stroke||400 -600cc 2 – stroke or 600 -1050cc 4 -stroke||540 – 850cc 2-stroke, or 600 -1050cc 4 -stroke|
|Top speed (mph)||8 (limited)||30 (limited)||50-65||65-110||100-120||90-110||80-90||60-110||50-70|
|Ski stance (in.)||27-31||31||32-39||38-43||42-44||40-44||36-38||39-43||35-38|
|Track length (in.)||67-69||93||121-146||121-137||129-137||141-153||153-175||137-155||135-154|
|Track width (in.)||10||10||15||14-15||15||15||15-16||15||20|
|Lug height (in.)||0.60-0.80||1.0||1.0-2.0||1-1.25||1.25-1.75||1.25-2.6||2.5-3||1.25-1.75||1.25-2.25|
|Front suspension travel (in.)||3-5||4-5||6-8||4-10||9-10||9-10||7-9||6-9||6-7|
|Rear suspension travel (in.)||5-7||8-9||11-15||9-16||13-16||13-14||9-15||10-15||9-11|
|Fuel cap. (gal)||0.45-0.5||2||9-12||10-12||9-12||9-16||9-12||9-13||11-15|
|Dry Weight (lbs.)||150-170||200||370-430||450-550||450-650||450-600||450-500||470-650||500-700|
Takeaways – FAQs About Performance Snowmobiles
As a takeaway, we’ve listed the most common questions about these extreme snowmobiles.
How fast can a performance snowmobile go?
The top speed of performance snowmobiles can reach the amazing 100-120 mph range, making them the fastest sleds on the planet.
What kind of engine do performance snowmobiles have?
Performance snowmobile engines are usually 600-850cc 2-stroke or 900-1000cc 4-stroke units. To get the most out of these engines, many of them are boosted with a turbocharger.
How much horsepower does a performance snowmobile have?
As a rule of thumb, average performance snowmobiles have about 120-200 HP. As an example, the Ski-Doo MXZ X 600R E-TEC delivers 125 HP, while the engine of the high-end Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE cranks out more than 200 HP!
How much does a performance snowmobile weigh?
Depending on their engine and features, the weight of performance sleds varies widely. The lightest performance snowmobiles are the 2-stroke models with 600-650cc engines, weighing about 450-500 pounds. On the other end of the spectrum, you can find the heaviest 4-stroke models with a dry weight of 500-650 pounds.
What size is a performance snowmobile?
Performance snowmobiles are typically 114-125 inches long, 47-50 inches wide, and 46-52 inches high.
What is the track size of a performance snowmobile?
For the best traction, performance snowmobile tracks are usually 15 inches wide, and 129-137 inches long and feature 1-1.25-inch lugs.