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  1. #1
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    Question Advice on 2002 Polaris RMK 800

    those of you with no experience with them: i dont wanna hear it.
    For those of you with experience:

    Good buy? reliable? fast? worth the money?(being only 15 i got to make the right choice now)

    any problems you guys had with them?

    Thanks in advance BlackVXL
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  2. #2
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    for being a 15 year old, 800 is too big a engine.

    I'm 14 and I use my 1994 Yami Phazer 500 and that has too much power.
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  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Are you riding in the mountains. The '02 RMKs are very well thought of for deep snow and mountain riding but if your planning on riding trails, the mountain skidframe is terrible. In 2002 the 800 polaris domestic built liberty motors were considered very good in terms of both power and reliability. What length is the track? What size paddle?

    It all boils down to price of course. If your paying too much, its not worth it. If your getting a killer deal and do ride in the deep... its a great sled.

  4. #4
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    800cc is huge. Even if this not your first quad, at 15 I seriously don't think you'll be able to handle it. I'm 16 and my dad's 450R would be too much for me to race now. No offense, but these things will kill if your not careful. I have a Honda 250EX, and it has good power. I have heard of guys who buy a sport 450cc quad, thinking they're not very fast, and two weeks later they sale it and downsize because they can't handle it. I'm posting this because I don't want to see somebody get killed, as I've heard a lot of stories of that happening. I say get something like a 250, maybe a 400EX or something, but 800 is massive. Another thing, as pave said, is an 800 will cost much more than a 300 or 400. But, I don't think that's all this boils down to. What kind of riding are you planning on doing? Or, are you planning on racing? Please don't think I'm trying to boss you or anything, but again I don't want you to get killed... Please take all this in a good way.
    Last edited by Super Z; 01-02-2011 at 06:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    Super Z, an RMK is a snowmachine, not a fourwheeler.

    An 800 is very, very, fast, but not necessarily to big for a 15 year old. Just take it easy and spend some time getting used to the power before you take the sled all out.

    I agree with pave. These RMK's are terrible for trail riding. They were never really meant to be on a trail. Not only is the suspension set up for the mountain, but the cooling system is set up for deep snow. The sleds can easily overheat on hardpack.
    Last edited by AK SNO RIDER; 01-02-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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  6. #6
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    2002 RMK 800 156" its got 2" paddles, mileage is unlisted but im gonna call the guy tomorrow, i ride a 96 phazer 485, right now but ive riden some mtn. max 700s and i felt in control. i dont ride on trails ever, what fun is that? when you can make your own?
    the guy wants 3295 OBO, so its a good deal unless its got a ton of miles. as for me ive never gone to the mountains, ive never had a "BIG" enough sled but i could get out there with a bunch of people if i wanted, being 650 miles and all, but i dont want to upgrade to soon in the future. as for me im 5'11" 180lbs. if tha means anything. lol.
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  7. #7
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    Not only is the suspension set up for the mountain, but the cooling system is set up for deep snow.[/QUOTE]


    they make any kits for that?
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  8. #8
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    Oooh, I'll just shut up, then.

  9. #9
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    I would look for something using a more modern front suspension. A 2002 RMK uses a older setup that is more suited to straight lines. There are many snowmobiles for that price out there so look around before deciding. And if you are just riding around your area and not in the mountains or on a proper snowmobile trail I would go with a smaller track and smaller paddles. Those large paddles will suck in anything other than a few feet of snow. You best bet is 1 1/4" paddles or studs. And what experience do you have with snowmobiles?
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  10. #10
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    ridden the last 4 years on 500+ and we got an old 250 thats fun to screw around on, but i want at least a 144 so i can go to the mountains. you know if thats a decent price? and here in iowa we can go from 2ft. of powder to the next year being less than 3 in of hardpack so, its a tough choice
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackVXL View Post
    they make any kits for that?
    I run RSI Ice Scratchers on my 2004 600. My friend also runs scratchers on his 2005 700, but a different brand. His have rubber arms with metal tips, mine are all spring steel. They do help to keep the temps down in poor snow conditions, but they are not foolproof. The sleds can still overheat in poor snow conditions.

    You could potentially look at a crossover type sled. These are part trail/flatland, part off trail sleds. Sticking with what you are currently looking at, (Polaris Edge Chassis), there is the Polaris SKS.
    Last edited by AK SNO RIDER; 01-02-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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  12. #12
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    The problem with a mountain sled is they don't work well anywhere else. Arctic Cat makes a crossover called the crossfire that is the best of both worlds. Still its a big sled so if someone your size gets it stuck chances are your not getting it out. And with your experience, age, and size I would stay around the 600cc range. They are fast, agile, usually cheap to repair, and if you get one stuck you not sitting on you sled waiting for someone to help. I have been riding for 19 years and my favorite snowmobile to ride is a 1989 Yamaha Exciter. My 2008 Yamaha Nytro is absolute beast and my 1998 Ski-Doo Mach Z 800 is incredibly fast but the old exciter never gives me any issues and works in all conditions. You really need to find a sled that is suited to you. And if something goes wrong fits your budget. As for being a good price it depends on miles, extras, distance to get it, and its history. If it has ever been in a wreck I would not touch it.
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  13. #13
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    I ride a 600, and let me tell you, I am always wanting more power. I would LOVE to have an 800. The 600 just doesn't quite have the punch I would like it to have. I am 17, and a lot smaller than the O.P. As such, I always ride with a buddy in case I get stuck or something else goes wrong. He may be 15, but he is bigger than I am, and if he plans on keeping the sled for any time, I don't think an 800 is too big.
    Last edited by AK SNO RIDER; 01-02-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    An 800 isnt too much once you get above 6000 feet. Altitude and thin air mean less horsepower. With that said a 156 with a 2inch paddle will be terrible on the hardpack. Keep in mind guys, an RMK doesnt have a different cooling system than a short track... it just doesnt get as much snow on the heat exchangers. Ice scratchers help, but arent a solution to riding a sled with tall lugs in low snow conditions.

    Also, an edge chassis RMK is an absolutely excellent deep snow sled. The front suspension is a non issue. Infact, id go so far as to say that I prefer an edge chassis RMK to a ski-doo rev XP chassis Summit... not to an IQ or Pro Ride chassis polaris mind you. But in this price range your not going to get a new chassis anyway. Its also unlikely hes going to get a "real" capable crossover sled. Any 141 or 144 inch crossover is going to be too new to fit into that price range. I do think the money being asked for this sled, unless it has incredibly low "real" miles, is too much. But you could make an offer.

    Ideally, if I were you, id look for a 144 with a 2" paddle. 6,7 or 800 would be fine if you do plan to run mostly in the power or mountains. if you think youll spend most of your time flat land boondocking you can definitely get away with a 600... but for altitude the bigger displacement will be a big benefit. I like a 144, even in the deep stuff because its much easier to hook and lay on its side. A 156 will certainly climb better, but to carve a nice turn or try and manoeuvre through the trees, the shorter track is actually a big plus.

    Reaper, you really prefer a 21 year old sled with about 6 inches of rear travel, narrow ski stance and strut suspension also with about 6 inchs of travel to a new technology sled with long travel, and rider forward ergonomics like a Nytro. I admit, the Nytro aint perfect... far from it compared to what else is availiable... but an '89 Exciter?
    Last edited by pavmentsurfer; 01-02-2011 at 10:03 PM.

  15. #15
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    I am also 15 and ride a Ski-Doo formula 500 and it has plenty of power for the trails and somewhat deep snow. An 800 is NOT to much power as in terms of speed. but TO much power in terms of acceleration and tourque. I see a lot of guys with 800s and up or even as low as 600 and it is hard not to get knocked around all the time. A mountain sled is going to suck on trails though because it was simply not meant to drive on trails and will be rough. I was thinking about getting a new track for my Formula 500 because the 500 has good power, it rides nice, but being a short track with 3/4" lugs it lacks in deep snow, with a ripsaw 1 1/2" track I think it would be a fun but still comftorable sled, not for mountains but just to be able to ride the ditches more often and not get stuck as much.

    It all depends on what you want to do. If you ride the ditches or deep snow an 800 I guess is alright. but if you drive on trails more often DONT waste your money on an 800. it will be fun and cool for a while but a smaller engine is just more enjoyable and nicer to ride. And a 500 or even a smaller motor as long as it is LIQUID cooled will be plenty fast, and if you are not satisfied upgrades are available. And a smaller engine trail sled is cheaper so you could take the money you would spend on a RMK and get a pretty nice 400-600cc machine with low miles, electric start, reverse. I drove my neighbors 800 Artic Cat and it was to jumpy and although it was fun it was just to aggressive and heavy.

    Just don't buy a Artic Cat.... Not trying to hate on them but they always seem to be braking down! my uncle has 2 artic cats and they brake every year. My dad and others have talked to mechanics and people that drag broken sleds off the trials and say like 90% of the time its an artic cat all broken down... I think Polaris is pretty good. And Ski-Doo of course!

    If I got another snowmobile it would be something with a 500 or 600cc liquid cooled motor, polaris or ski-doo, be more of a trail machine, and have 1" or maybe more lugs. But no studs because a lot of trails won't allow you to have them.
    So I taped my hamster to the Pede..

  16. #16
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    if the snowmobile is on Craigslist or something attach a link so we can see it.
    Maybe look into a polaris edge 600 if you like polaris??? or Ski-Doo formula 500, Rev if possible?
    So I taped my hamster to the Pede..

  17. #17
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    I bet at the end of the day my back will feel 10 times better after riding the exciter than the Nytro. With my 89 Exciter I can put it anywhere on the trail. Go through any snow found here in Michigan. And on the tight trails it can out run most of the newer sleds. It is very dependable and has had everything possible beat out of it and it keeps going. I have ridden many different makes and models and none offer such a complete package.

    Also the Nytro is the best sled available for rough trails and is better than all its competition. Its just a shame there are no other sleds like it out there so the competition is pretty small.
    Last edited by ReaperGN; 01-02-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Based on my experience:



    Ill have to respectfully disagree... and im the resident Nytro fan in our business... but I cant honestly say its the best...

    As always though, to each his own.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackVXL View Post
    but ive riden some mtn. max 700s and i felt in control. i dont ride on trails ever, what fun is that? when you can make your own?
    A 700 triple Mountain max makes less horsepower and torque than a 600cc ski doo etec. As for power to age, I wouldn't say an 800 is to much. It all comes down to how you use the power. The RMK will be plenty fast, the liberty motor is reliable, but is it worth the money. Probably not. I have found most want way to much for a well maintained sled, and the rest are still asking to much and never maintained them.


    As for the Nytro, I was able to put on 3400 miles in 4 months and it was pure riding bliss. This year I will be back to my old 1998 Vmax xt w/ M10
    I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it.

  20. #20
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    I have been looking through the Iowa craigslist and there are a fair amount of decent sleds listed. Here is one that would be worth the extra money over the Polaris.

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/rvs/2114301851.html
    Oderint Dum Metuant

  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    I would never suggest an RX1 for what the OP wants to do. Heavy pig with a short track, short lug and terrible off trail handling. Good price, but one of my least favorite sleds of all time. (has nothing to do with the brand)

  22. #22
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    With a 600+ mile drive to the mountains I think the RX1 would be fine if he does not mind the heavy sled. It is not the best sled for him but its a good price for a sled that is far superior to that 800 Polaris.

    Hey BlackVXL, give this a look before you call that guy about the Polaris.

    http://www.kbb.com/snowmobile/retail...-rmk-151/77390
    Last edited by ReaperGN; 01-03-2011 at 12:41 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperGN View Post
    With a 600+ mile drive to the mountains I think the RX1 would be fine if he does not mind the heavy sled. It is not the best sled for him but its a good price for a sled that is far superior to that 800 Polaris.
    He has already said he wants at least a 144 so he can go to the mountains. I remain in agreement with pave. That sled is too heavy, with too short a track for what the O.P. wants to do. I would also say stick with 2 stroke for the mountains, as the older 4 strokes were even heavier than the new ones, which are still heavy, and if he wants the ability to go to the mountains, I would look for a longer track, lighter 2 stroke sled.
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  24. #24
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    I understand its a heavy sled but its a option. I found a fair amount of sleds in Iowa for 3000-4000 that are newer machines. Because he does not live near or in the mountains its good to look at all options. And for the money the RX1 is a much better deal. The best thing he could do is find a all around sled for now and when he gets older he could think about a purpose built sled.
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  25. #25
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    i have a buddy how just bought an 2011 RMK 600 144 X 2" and its a good its faster them my M8 i can out climb in banks but my track is 153" X 2.25" only thing is his sled is very bad on fuel imy sled is about 1/4 tank better then his and mine is a 800 and for those how say an 800 is to big im 17 and have an 800 and have no problem controling it (i find it easyer to control then my old ZR600) i have also been sleding since i was 5 but if you dont have much snowmobile exprence i can see what your talking about you may find it a hand full and mountian sleds are as bad on flat land as you many think the only down fall i have for my area is on hard pack i have traction issues because my track is so long is spins easy and i dont have any problems with over heating i dont not recomend a mountian sled though if you are going to do alot of trail riding but if your like me i rip across feilds and climb banks and stuff like that and i love my M8 for it
    sorry for such a long post hope it helps
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  26. #26
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    http://stcloud.craigslist.org/rvs/2113330106.html

    i dont want more than an 800 or the extra weight, or less than a 144.

    nice reaper, never new kbb did powersports. and plus now that i have a job, i dont ride so much unless theres decent snow and freetime. and i got tons of family if something ever did happen such as it blows up or anything else needed. but im gonna call the guy, and my uncle (kinda the snowmobile guy around here, also gonna talk to him about getting a S10 off of the Iowa DOT Auction, but that's beside the point.
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  27. #27
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    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/rvs/2103693644.html
    here's another choice, but a little on the highside of my price range
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperGN View Post
    With a 600+ mile drive to the mountains I think the RX1 would be fine if he does not mind the heavy sled. It is not the best sled for him but its a good price for a sled that is far superior to that 800 Polaris.

    Hey BlackVXL, give this a look before you call that guy about the Polaris.

    http://www.kbb.com/snowmobile/retail...-rmk-151/77390
    Not sure what RX-1 you rode, but the 2003 RX-1 I owned, and bought new, was terrible. There was a reason yamaha only offered carbs on the RX-1 for 1 year. Not only was it hard to start and keep running, it handled like a tank. I didn't take a 60% loss on the sled 1 year after I bought it because they were great machines. They were junk. The polaris may not be as fast in on the trails in a straight line, but if you are not trail riding, its no comparison. I would rather walk than ride an RX-1 off trail.


    I personally do not like the arctic cat fuel injection. It is very primitive and unreliable.
    I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it.

  29. #29
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    That F7 is iffy due to the mods and recent rebuild.... That worries me. But if it was a solid sled in good shape the F7's were crazy over achievers and were very good mountain sleds. They are the basis for the M series mountain sleds arctic is selling today. If you can even find an F series cat here in Ontario, it's worth really really good money. They are actually appreciating in value right now. If it's beat up or in rou shape, id pass it by. Get a sled in good shape before you get one with some modifications.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda_tmaxx View Post
    Not sure what RX-1 you rode, but the 2003 RX-1 I owned, and bought new, was terrible. There was a reason yamaha only offered carbs on the RX-1 for 1 year. Not only was it hard to start and keep running, it handled like a tank. I didn't take a 60% loss on the sled 1 year after I bought it because they were great machines. They were junk. The polaris may not be as fast in on the trails in a straight line, but if you are not trail riding, its no comparison. I would rather walk than ride an RX-1 off trail.


    I personally do not like the arctic cat fuel injection. It is very primitive and unreliable.

    I am a pretty big guy so tossing almost all snowmobiles around is not to hard. Tossing an elite around would be a trick. From the sounds of things you got a bad RX1. The engine had many years of trial before it even touched a snowmobile and they did a fair amount of testing to get it ready for colder temps. Its not something to go playing in powder with but it has more than enough grunt to work off the trail. You just have to be large enough to handle it. For the money its a good buy. As for the Arctic cat that comes down to the person buying it and if its history bothers them. Tons of people ride Arctic Cat with out problems but because there are so many of them, problems will seem larger than they really are.
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  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    The first year RX1's were notorious for poor cold starting. They are also known as one of the worst handling and riding snowmobiles produced in the past 7 years. Even the marketing guys at Yamaha admit it. The motor improved in leaps and bounds once they installed EFI and the switch to the Apex chassis made a huge difference...

    I remember being at a press introduction for the first year RX1 and literally walking over to an engineer on site and asking him to set the sled up so it would bottom out. I wanted to see if it was possible to make the suspension soft enough so that it could actually move through its travel... It wasn't possible and he couldnt figure out why anyone would ever want a sled to be able to bottom. Anyone who rides off road knows the answer to that... But apparently he didn't.
    Last edited by pavmentsurfer; 01-03-2011 at 10:35 PM.

  32. #32
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    Both my brother in laws have 2002 (maybe 2003....can't remember for sure) RMK Vertical Edge 800 w/155 tracks and they have had nothing but great things to say about them and have had zero mechanical issues with either sled. Handling is night and day better than my 98 RMK 700 with a noticable power increase. They have both now upgraded to a 2010 RMK 800 and 2010 RMK 800 Dragon (that is one heck of a nice mountain sled) and I am throwing around the idea of buying one of the 2003s for myself and giving my 700 to my wife. Yes, the RMKs are not a great trail sled but for deep snow they are a blast and are hard to beat for the price...IMO.
    Last edited by ajb1205; 01-03-2011 at 11:34 PM.
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  33. #33
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    haha thanks everyone but the parents dissed the sled idea until a later time. so much for that...lol
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