Now that the 2016 snowmobiles have been released by Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha (as well as the Scandinavian Lynx), it’s a good time to flashback 20 years to the 1996 models. The Snow Goer Snowmobile Of The Year that year was the Ski-Doo MX Z 583 — click here to read that article. Below are some of the Snow Goer Top 10 sleds from 1996. Which did you own or ride?
Click here to read Part 1 of the 1996 Top Sleds feature
Ski-Doo Formula SLS
Some sleds were an easy pick for our Top I 0, and that would include the Formula SLS from Ski-Doo.
Because of its strong engine, light weight, really good long travel rear suspension and inexpensive pricetag, we couldn’t have kept this machine off our list had we tried. Well we didn’t. Instead, we’re singing the praises of this powerful little trail sled.
The motor is the 499cc, liquid-cooled Rotax twin that everybody has been raving about. It is powerful enough to lift the skis on demand and cause drag racers to line it up against machines with 100 more ccs of displacement – and win!
But the Formula SLS also has trail manners, as it guides you along with the SC-10 long travel rear suspension in the Sport mode. It features 10 inches of real travel that is set up to handle moderately aggressive or easy-going trail riding. The machine also features the S-2000 chassis, meaning it is much more aerodynamic and lightweight than the Ski-Doos of the past.
Add it all up and you’ve got a tremendous trail machine with enough power and enough travel to keep almost any snowmobiler happy. And all for less than $5,000!
Polaris Indy XLT Touring
Behind every faceshield there will be a smile this winter from the people who are lucky and smart enough to be on the Polris XLT Touring. This thing is a major luxury cruiser that sets a new standard for 2-up machines, thanks to the XTRA-12 suspension and many bells and whistles that are custom-made for rider comfort.
The XTRA-12 long travel rear features easy riding Ryde AFX shocks, giving it 11.6 inches of travel, with the IFS XTRA-12 front having 9.8 inches of travel.
The extra travel is nice, but the factors that pushed this machine into an easy Top 10 slot are all in the touring package that is unique to Polaris. An adjustable, spring-loaded backrest is extremely comfortable and easy to position.
The sled also has adjustable passenger handgrips that are protected from the wind by small shields.The seat is super comfortable for both riders, and the easy-to-use backrest makes this a 2-up machine that is also easy to fall in love with when you’re riding alone.
Combine these great features with that smooth 597cc liquid cooled triple and you have an award winner, more than worthy of Top 10 status.