Stock snowmobiles are great. Modifying your snowmobile is even better. In this guide, we’re going to break down some of the top possible snowmobile mods you can do to your sled to max out it’s performance for years to come.
We’ll keep this guide updated as we unpack new sled modifications along the way, so check back for more!
The Complete Guide To Modifying Your Snowmobile
The list of snowmobile mods is almost endless.
Add Upgraded Running Boards
When you think of snowmobile modifications your mind probably does not jump to upgrading your snowmobile’s running boards. With that said it is a very popular part on the snowmobile to upgrade amongst mountain riders in the snowmobiling community.
Many riders find that by changing their stock running boards they can gain traction, lose bulkiness and reduce weight off their snowmobile. A lot of the weight savings comes from the aftermarket running boards shedding off the snow and ice that tends to build up on stock running boards.
They are designed to let the snow and ice fall through them more easily. Weight is also cut on aftermarket running boards simply by reducing the size of them as compared to the stock running boards.
Increased traction is another huge benefit to upgrading your running boards. Many aftermarket running boards offer traction that can not be beat by the stock running boards.
This is great, but does have one downfall which is the damage it can have on your boots as well as your shins in the event of falling off your snowmobile and scraping your shins on the running boards. We all know this hurts regardless of what running boards your snowmobile is equipped with though.
Upgrade Your Snowmobiles Suspension System
Tired of being sore after a day of riding? Maybe it is time for you to upgrade your suspension system on your snowmobile. This is not a cheap snowmobile modification, but one we find to be well worth the money and you will too. Suspension systems are key to a smooth ride. Whether you are pounding the trails or hitting booters, having a high quality suspension system is your body’s best friend.
Suspension systems vary from brand to brand like everything else does, but maybe a tad more than most other parts. Some systems are adjustable on the fly meaning you can actually adjust the firmness or stiffness of the shocks with a simple twist of a knob while out riding.
This is super convenient for the days you plan on doing different types of riding or for times when the snow pack varies. A suspension system modification is a good investment as it has the ability to keep you on the snow longer.
Install Aftermarket Cans
Arguably one of the best snowmobile modifications that will reduce your snowmobile’s weight is the use of an aftermarket can. Lets face the facts here, stock cans not only sound boring, they also add a ton of weight to your snowmobile. By taking that stock can off your snowmobile and adding an aftermarket can you can reduce the weight of your snowmobile by 10 pounds or even more in some cases.
Another reason people like modifying the can on their snowmobile is for the sound it produces. We like a good braap to our snowmobiles. Having a snowmobile that sounds good makes you feel some type of way. With this said it is important to know the noise laws in the areas you plan on riding before purchasing an aftermarket can.
Some cans are so loud they are not allowed in residential or populated areas. The use of loud cans can also lead to a loss of hearing. The use of loud cans should be done at your own risk.
Turbos and Big Bores
Looking for more power? Adding a turbo or big bore kit to your snowmobile might just help you make the next seasons high mark on your favorite mountain. Although not a cheap or easy modification, many experienced riders such as Chris Burandt almost always equip their snowmobiles with a turbo or big bore kit.
These guys go places with their snowmobiles that most others dream of going. We cannot help but think that the added power the turbo or bog bore kit provides helps them get to these such places.
We suggest having a professional mechanic or your local dealer do the install of either the turbo or the big bore kit as they are very labor intensive and there is a lot that goes into the process of doing these modifications. Keep in mind that by doing either of these yourself you will also void any warranty that is currently on your snowmobile. These modifications should be done by professionals and used by riders who are very experienced.
Making sure your snowmobile gets the air it needs to stay cool and operate as it should is a modification we highly recommend. It is also necessary if you choose to add a turbo kit to you snowmobile. Adding venting is a much easier modification to do yourself than some of the others listed in this article. We suggest following the instructions that come with your vent kit when it comes to installing the vents. This is an upgrade that can be done without spending a ton of money.
Look good, feel good, ride good. Putting a wrap on your snowmobile gives you the opportunity to truly make your snowmobile unique. It also provides you the opportunity to represent your favorite brands or sponsors. While very time consuming to install, wraps are well worth the time. It is always fun to see the different wraps riders choose for their snowmobiles every year.
Looking good is not the only benefit to having a wrap on your snowmobile. Wraps protect the snowmobile be taking the cosmetic damages such as scratches and scuffs from trees. You would be surprised how much of a beating your wrap can take and still protect the parts underneath them. It is much easier and cheaper to replace a wrap or pieces of a wrap than the plastics on your sled.
Powder Coating parts on your snowmobile is a great way to customize your snowmobile. It also adds a protective layer onto your snowmobile’s parts making them stand up to dings and scratches. The addition of powder coating adds very little weight to your snowmobile. It is so little it is almost nothing.
For those that do not know what powder coating is, it is the application of colored powder that sticks to the part it is being applied to by using positive and negative electrical charges. It produces a more a finish that is more resistant to cracking, chipping and scratches than other finishes.
Powder coated parts make snowmobiles from the factory more expensive as it is highly desired and considered an upgrade. Powder coating is done at many metal shops all over. It is an easy upgrade that you can have done at any time without spending a a bunch of money on it.
Another cool thing about powder coating is that you can change it up whenever you want. If you do decide to change colors sandblasting will be required before the new powder coated color can be applied.
Add Handlebar Risers
Adding snowmobile handlebar risers is one of the easiest snowmobile modifications you can do. A lot of times the stock handlebars on your snowmobile are too low which cause you to become fatigued faster while out riding and being forced to be hunched over your bars.
By raising the height of your handlebars you can create a more comfortable standing riding position and also gain more leverage over your snowmobile. This makes it a lot easier to throw your snowmobile from side to side while carving through the deep powder.
If you are a trail rider a handlebar riser modification may not be necessary. Handlebar risers are most beneficial for the riders who stand most of the time and ride off trail typically in deeper snow. Offered in a variety of different height setting and some that are even adjustable, you are sure to find one that fits your body size.
It is important you do not get one that is too high or short for you as it will have an impact on the posture you have while riding. Comfortability and control while on your snowmobile is what we are after when we add handlebar risers.
When choosing a handlebar riser it is suggested that you take into consideration the length of the cables on your snowmobile’s current handlebars. Depending on the handlebar riser selected you may need to get cable extensions. Cables that are too short will keep your snowmobile from operating the way it is supposed to.
Another item to keep in mind is the style steering post your snowmobile has as certain handlebar risers are not compatible with all steering post styles. With that said, most that are not compatible have an adapter that can be purchased to make them work with the steering post your snowmobile has.
Upgrade Your Snowmobiles Tracks
Just like changing the tires on your truck, upgrading the track on your snowmobile can make a world of difference when it comes to traction and getting through the snow. Different lug patterns and heights offer different benefits when it comes to snowmobiling. If you are planning on doing a lot of off trail, deep snow riding we suggest getting a track that has taller and wider lugs.
This will help move the snow under you propelling you forward much better than a track with short lugs. On the other hand, if you will be spending most of your time on the trail you may want to look into a short lug, ripsaw style track. These tracks are meant to give you traction on a harder packed snow and are also built to take higher speeds for longer periods of time.
Upgrading your track may not be something you need to do unless you plan on doing one style of riding over the other or your current track is showing too much wear. Broken lugs and cracks in your track are good indicators that it may be time to switch it up and get yourself a new track. Keeping a good track on your sled is a key piece to keeping you on the snow and having a blast in the winter.