Touring snowmobiles, as the name suggests, are designed for long-distance touring. They are typically equipped with a passenger seat and many convenient features. For maximum comfort, their suspensions are tuned for plush rides rather than high speeds and aggressive cornering. Touring sleds are typically powered by 400-600cc 2-stroke or 600-1050cc 4-stroke engines rated at 60-200+ HP.
If you want to find out more about touring snowmobiles, you’ve come to the right place. We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this post!
What Is a Touring Snowmobile?
Touring snowmobiles are built for comfort over performance, this is why they are often considered to be the SUVs of snowmobiles. They are designed to carry two riders and a lot of gear, which is needed for greater distances. To this end, touring snowmobiles are built with durable, heavy-duty chassis and unique suspension systems.
Because of this, touring snowmobiles are closely related to utility snowmobiles. These models typically share the same chassis, suspensions, and many other features, which is why they are often classed together.
What’s more, certain manufacturers offer “hybrid snowmobiles,” which can be used for both touring and utility purposes.
Also, you can find some touring models in the marketplace that are virtually modified trail sleds with longer tracks and advanced suspension systems.
As a rule of thumb, touring snowmobiles are powered by 400-600cc 2-stroke or 600-1050cc 4-stroke engines. Entry-level models typically have 400-550cc fan-cooled power sources that deliver about 50-60 HP. At the other end of the spectrum, you can find the most powerful touring sleds with turbocharged 900-1000cc, 4-stroke engines rated at 170-200+ HP.
Regarding track dimensions, touring snowmobile tracks measure about 137”-155” in length and 15” in width. To cover these longer tracks, the chassis on these machines feature a longer tunnel.
This extended tunnel offers plenty of space for a passenger seat and a rear rack for luggage. The raised 2-up seat ensures excellent vision for the passenger who doesn’t have to fear falling off the back thanks to the backrest.
Some manufacturers offer enclosed rear storage as an option installed on the rear rack. Besides these rear boxes, you can also increase storage space with side suitcases of bags, which come in handy on longer tours.
On top of that, these sleds feature many convenient features like larger, more comfortable seats with backrests, large windshields, handguards, audio and communication systems, and so on.
Besides their advantages, it’s good to know that touring snowmobiles are always significantly heavier than other sleds.
Therefore, they are only recommended for groomed trails. In deep snow, these heavy machines can sink very easily, and digging them out always results in a lot of hassle and massive frustration.
But besides these minor drawbacks, touring snowmobiles can be a good choice for many buyers. It’s safe to say that many trail riders would be happier with a touring sled rather than a high-performance trail-specific machine.
Therefore, if you want to ride with a friend or family member aboard and are looking for comfort over performance, you can’t go wrong with a touring snowmobile!
If you are in the market for a sled, it’s recommended that you rent one first to try it out. You will be surprised at how comfortable it is!
Touring Snowmobile Accessories
Touring snowmobiles come with many convenient features, but the most important ones are as follows:
- Heated comfort seat
- Heated passenger seat with backrest
- Heated grips/thumb throttle
- Rear rack
- Storage boxes/saddlebags/side suitcases
- Electric start
- 12V sockets
- Audio and communication system
- GPS system
- Visor heating outlet
- Side-mounted mirrors
- Auxiliary lights
- Signature LED lights
- Extra fuel cans
Ski-Doo touring sleds are equipped with the revolutionary LinQ attachment system, which allows you to easily attach a wide variety of LinQ accessories to the sled.
Which Was the First Touring Snowmobile?
The idea of purpose-built dual-passenger snowmobiles was born in the early ’90s.
As reported by SnowTraxMag, the first touring snowmobiles were the Arctic Cat Pantera and the Ski-Doo Grand Touring. The latter was built on the recognizable PRS chassis.
Besides the special chassis, these snowmobiles came with many touring specific features like a passenger seat with a backrest and handrails.
After the golden years of touring sleds, manufacturers started keeping fewer and fewer touring-specific models in their fleet.
While Ski-Doo and Yamaha still offer many different sleds in this segment, other OEMs significantly reduced their supply. What’s more, Arctic Cat currently doesn’t offer any touring-specific snowmobiles at all!
Who Makes the Best Touring Sled?
It’s safe to say that the best touring snowmobiles are made by Ski-Doo, Polaris, and Yamaha. Let’s take a closer look at their models!
Which Touring Snowmobile is the Best?
There are many great models out there, but the best touring snowmobiles are as follows:
- Ski-Doo Grand Touring
- Ski-Doo Expedition
- Polaris INDY Adventure
- Polaris INDY LXT
- Polaris TITAN Adventure
- Yamaha RS Venture TF
- Yamaha Transporter Lite 2-UP
- Yamaha Sidewinder S-TX GT
If you can’t find a touring sled that meets your requirements, you can also turn a regular trail sled into a 2-up snowmobile.
A lot of great trail and crossover machines are being offered with longer tracks, and many of them can act as a great touring sled! Don’t forget that the Polaris Indy Adventure and the Yamaha Sidewinder S-TX are actually modified trail sleds rather than purpose-built touring models.
Touring Snowmobile Specification Chart
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the average specifications of touring snowmobiles into one chart:
|Engine type||400 -600cc 2 – stroke or 600 -1050cc 4 -stroke|
|Top speed (mph)||60-110|
|Ski stance (in.)||39-43|
|Track length (in.)||137-155|
|Track width (in.)||15|
|Lug height (in.)||1.25-1.75|
|Front suspension travel (in.)||6-9|
|Rear suspension travel (in.)||10-15|
|Fuel cap. (gal)||9-13|
|Dry Weight (lbs.)||470-650|
Touring Snowmobile Comparison Chart
Let’s compare touring snowmobiles to another type of sled 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||14-15||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|
Which is the Smoothest Riding Snowmobile?
There’s no question that the smoothest riding snowmobiles are the touring models. Their long-travel suspensions are tuned for plush rides rather than performance. These advanced suspension systems can handle the weight of two riders and the extra gear without any issues.
Therefore, they offer the smoothest riding experience in the snowmobiling world!
Takeaways – FAQs About Touring Snowmobiles
As a takeaway, we’ve listed the most common questions about touring snowmobiles.
How fast can a touring snowmobile go?
The top speed of touring snowmobiles ranges from 60 up to 110 mph on hard-packed surfaces. But because of their heavier chassis, soft suspensions, and different gearing, they offer significantly slower acceleration than their trail and performance counterparts.
How much does a touring snowmobile weigh?
The dry weight of touring snowmobiles ranges from 470 pounds and goes up to 650 pounds. The lightest touring sleds are the fan-cooled 2-strokes, while the heaviest ones are 4-stroke Yamaha and Ski-Doo touring machines. Since the average snowmobile weighs about 450-550 pounds, this means touring sleds are significantly heavier.
How long is a touring snowmobile?
Regarding dimensions, touring snowmobiles are about 120”-132” in length.
How long is a Ski-Doo Grand Touring?
According to the manufacturer’s official website, the Ski-Doo Grand Touring is 123.1” in length.
How wide is a touring snowmobile?
Touring snowmobiles are about 48” wide, while their ski stance ranges from 39” up to 43”.
Which track length is best for a touring snowmobile?
The best track length for a touring snowmobile is 137”-155”. To be more specific, the most common touring snowmobile tracks are 137”, 144”, 146”, 151”, 154”, and 155” long.
What kind of engine does a touring snowmobile have?
Touring snowmobiles are powered by 400-600cc 2-stroke or 600-1050cc 4-stroke engines, but the high-end models have turbocharged 900-1000cc engines.
How much horsepower does a touring snowmobile have?
Depending on their displacement and cooling systems, the horsepower ratings of touring sleds vary widely, but most of them deliver 60-200+ horsepower.
Does Arctic Cat make a touring sled?
To the greatest regret of fans, Arctic Cat currently doesn’t make touring snowmobiles. The latest touring model in their fleet was the 2-stroke Arctic Cat Lynx 2000, but it was discontinued after the 2020 model year.