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By Wayne Gilroy
I currently have a 2015 Polaris 570SP that I bought new and have been riding for for over 20 years.
I don't do much trail riding or mudding like I used to when I was younger. I mostly use it around my 25 acres in the country as a utility vehicle (moving trailers, working on hunting stands and gathering firewood in the woods). The work in the woods sometimes tests the stock tires, but most the time I'm on high and dry ground. And every once in a while the wife and I will get together with some other atv friends and go for a day of trail riding. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year give or take.
I use the ATV year round, but here in Northwest Wisconsin, the snow depth makes it prohibitive to getting out in the woods or out on the frozen lake.
I don't want a snowmobile (they are such a bitch to get un-stuck in deep snow - I know because I have a friends 500lb sled stuck in 3 feet of snow and slush on the lake right now).
So I'm thinking about getting a tracked machine. I've never driven one, but have watched several youtube videos that are quite impressive. Especially for snow.
I have seen some systems are geared for snow only, and some that are all terrain. I would prefer to use a track system year round unless someone can convince me it's better to have tracks just for snow and wheels the rest of the year.
My questions are:
1. Between a Can Am 1000 and a Polaris 1000 - which one is better for tracks? I'm familiar with the Polaris AWD system and like it. I've "heard" that Can Am's 4wd isn't quite as good, but maybe that's not true. I'm open to other machines but these two are just my preference.
2. Tracks - all season vs winter.
How much of a pain in the ass is it to change from tracks to wheels to tracks each year? Are the snow only tracks worth it vs year round tracks? Can you comfortably trail ride (non winter) with tracks? I'm talking long, boring, well groomed, straight, flat dirt trails. At the end of 50 miles am I going to wish I had put the wheels on? How long are tracks good for? My machine will be garage stored and my annual mileage/hours will be minimal. Are there any things to be aware of in terms of warranty violation if I were to buy a new machine and put tracks on it myself vs the dealer? Any issues with stock axles, clutch or other components? Thanks in advance!
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