Part two of our cost of ownership research digs further into the numbers to include service, fuel mileage, oil usage, and a big picture view.
Recommended Service Stay at home wrench spinners may argue this collection of bills, but again we attempted to find methods that would result in the most consistent numbers possible. All service was determined with the understanding that each snowmobile would be taken to an authorized service center/dealership for each particular brand. Using standard shop rates found in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (rates will vary by region) and the manufacture’s retail price for any required parts; we followed each manufacturer’s service and inspection recommendations as outlined in the owners manual for each vehicle.
In instances where the recommended service coincided with summer storage preparation (remember our numbers are based on two season’s of ownership, with 1,500 miles ridden each season) the greater level of service was recorded. Once again these numbers can vary based upon dealership and recommendations from your individual dealer, but these are the factory recommendations.
Fuel and Oil Costs Before you flood our mailbox with your personal experience of 30-miles-to-the-gallon while running wide open on some frozen lake in Ontario cabin country, hear us out. We arrived at our numbers using the data collected during our inaugural OSM ThrowDown (See OSM December Issue – Ed.). During that weeklong test, we recorded every drop of fuel and oil used (two-strokes of course) and then used those findings to determine 3,000-mile results. Yes we ran the sleds hard, very hard in fact during the ThrowDown, and you most definitely could garner better results by being less liberal with the throttle. However all four sleds were driven as a group during the test, on the same trails, same conditions, with a rotating cast of drivers, thus we feel fairly confident in the data acquired in regards to consistency and accuracy for conditions.
As for the four-stroke Yamaha, oil cost is included in both the 500-mile and 2,500-mile service intervals where an oil change with filter is included.
What is the Price? To really appreciate the data, we encourage you digest the numbers deeper than face value. Ask yourself these questions and more. How many miles will do you believe you’ll ride each season? How long will you keep the sled? What are shop rates at your dealer and do they offer service packages as part of a new sled purchase? In addition, the reliability track record of a particular sled or brand should also play an important role in determining your cost of ownership. With a limited number of weeks to enjoy our beloved sport, unplanned down time or trips to your dealership can in many ways make or break your winter season. Finally, look at the used market for various models and brands to help you determine resale value. If you pay $1,000 more for a particular sled when new but can recoup that money when sold, it needs to be part of the equation. Happy number crunching.
Great article guys. Finally some numbers that make sense that aren't coming from one of the OEM's mouth. The only number in there that I saw was off was the Hyfax on the Yamaha. They cost $40.00, not $120? not sure where that number comes from but the sliders that come stock with the machine, and the replacements for them are only $40.00. Making the yamaha way cheaper to operate per year again. If the math is done on this one with the new price of $40.00 for hyfax, the Yamaha is 900 bucks a year cheaper to operate than Polaris and Doo, and $700 cheaper than Cat. it really doesn't take long to pay for that more expensive, more reliable Yamaha. And when you are done with the Yamaha, its resale is asstounding too. Realistically, if all of these sleds are ridden for 2 years, the clear winner here is Yamaha.
THat last line should actually be if all of these sleds are ridden for 2 years or longer, the clear winner is Yamaha.
all my friends that ride yamahas have had to replace lots of bearings hyfax and the exhaust doughnuts a few suspension parts including idler wheels
Thought you would have been a polaris till you died lol
Everyone I know with a Yamaha has a ton of warranty claims. When warranty is over they were wishing they would have bought another brand. They break all the time and they cost so much too fix. 4 stroke not even close to being worth it.
The cost for the Yamaha hyfax was an MSRP number through an authorized Yamaha dealer. As stated in the article, no doubt costs will vary depending upon where you buy and what you buy (OEM vs aftermarket). If you start to look at the numbers beyond 2-years… things do start to tilt in Yamaha’s favor. Unknown service items and repairs for all the brands however, make it difficult to stretch the ownership timeframe to outlying years, but if you look at the data we provided, you can draw some assumptions as to which brand might be right for you. Lastly, resale plays another important role here and something we hope to dig into in a future OSM article. Thanks for reading. – PB
That is the cost of the new dupont "vespel" embedded hyfax. Lasts way longer than regular hyfax so take it for what its worth……
Good article, nice to see some realistic numbers.
When looking at the total cost of ownership I would think one needs to look a the two year value of the sled you have. Now subtract dollar value from your Total Cost of ownership and see how many dollars you have in your pocket. The more the least amount of dollars equal higher cost of ownership. I think your best bet will be on the Yamaha with the higher resale value.
The second to last sentence should have been The least amount of dollars equal higher cost of ownership.
Sorry about that.
The bottom line is that over a period of a couple seasons The Ski-doo will be cheaper to operate. The money saved on fuel will make up for the difference in oil cost. If you add the totals, the cost difference between Polaris and Ski-doo for the first 3000 miles is $8.81 more for the Ski-doo, but that will will change as most of these items will vary, belt life, hyphax, carbides etc. we won't be buying a new tall windshield every 3000 miles, lol! The real costs will be fuel and oil, this is a constant in our world. As for the argument of the $500 difference in MSRP, nobody pays MSRP for snowmobiles, that figure shouldn't be considered in this arguement.
yamaha parts cost alot and you need sliders all the time oil changes are costly and the sleds are heavy. also need to change products are getting old.
so by the time you put all the extra money into parts for a yamaha you pay more dean must be a yamaha dealer so he gets the parts cheap.
I’ve had Yamaha’s for over 40 years now and keep them for about 20 years each. Cost of ownership is very low. I have had everything from a enticer, vmax 600, vmax 4, RX1 and Apex. Still have the 600 2 RX1’s and a Apex. Just sold the Vmax 4 (still running strong). The only cost has been sliders once a year and bearings on suspension every couple of years. I think I know a bit more about these sleds than the crap Anonymous is spouting. I also put on 3-4000 K a season. As far as I am concerned if you like getting home every trip buy a Yamaha.
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