Every season, the snowmobile manufacturers collectively set up the Snow Goer staffers with a fleet of snowmobiles. We choose and order the machines in the spring, take delivery in the fall, ride them all winter and then return them in April or May after our work is complete. It really is a great program that is vital to producing a fun and informative snowmobile magazine and website.
In addition to the pure enjoyment of driving cool, new snowmobiles that have the latest style and technology, riding them during the course of a full season enables us to experience their features and technology in environments beyond where the manufacturers led us during abbreviated media sneak peek rides or our spring tests of prototypes and pre-production snowmobiles. We take our demos out for quick trail rides from the Snow Goer shop in suburban Minneapolis and for multi-day adventures to rural destinations.
Sometimes a demo sled becomes the patient for a Service & Repair how-to article in Snow Goer magazine, and we always use them to test many aftermarket products for stories that appear in the popular Cold Tested product-testing department as well.
A list of the 2016 Snow Goer demo sleds is below, along with the fuel and oil mileage data for snowmobiles that were based in Minnesota – we did not track data for the Montana-based mountain sleds because snow conditions vary and Western riders might ride all day and burn two tanks of fuel but only put 50 miles on the odometer, for example. All machines will be reviewed in issues of Snow Goer magazine this fall. The write-ups will include machine impressions, a list of products tested on each machine, mileage data and more.
We begin tracking fuel and oil mileage with the first full tank of fuel after the odometer shows 300 miles – by then the machine is broken in and it will yield accurate data. Getting data to track fuel mileage is easier than obtaining data for oil mileage because most gas pumps give a receipt that shows how many gallons the tank took. So we simply write on the receipt the number of miles we traveled before refilling the tank, and then reset the trip meter so we can repeat the process.
Tracking oil economy usually takes some pre-planning so we can drive a machine as far as possible before refilling the oil reservoir. Before we pour the lube in the tank, though, we have to measure it with a marked container so we know how many miles it traveled per ounce of oil.
XF 6000 CrossTrek: 12.27 mpg, 222 miles per qt. of oil
ZR 8000 LXR 137: 10.25 mpg, 106 miles per qt. of oil
M 8000 153 LE
600 Rush Pro-S: 12.46 mpg, 163 miles per qt. of oil
800 Switchback Adventure: 13.81 mpg, 142 miles per qt. of oil
800 Pro-RMK 163
MX Z X 600 H.O. E-TEC: 16.55 mpg, 213 miles per qt. of oil
Renegade Enduro 800R E-TEC: 13.63 mpg, 149 miles per qt. of oil
RS Vector LE: 14.34 mpg
SR Viper M-TX 153 LE