Our list of the top 5 fastest snowmobiles available is the Ski-Doo MXZ X 850 E-TEC, Yamaha Sidewinder SRX, Polaris Switchback Assault 850, Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat, Polaris Switchback Pro-S 850. This list covers stock models, but modifications and conditions can have an effect on the actual speeds of these snowmobiles.
In 2020, the global snowmobile market reached a value of $1.59 billion. Over the years, the quality and performance of snowmobiles have grown massively.
If you’re in the market for a snowmobile, there are a number of factors to look at. Among thrill-seekers, speed is one of the most important aspects.
If you want to know about how fast do snowmobiles go, and what some of the most powerful options available are, keep reading.
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How Fast Do Snowmobiles Go?
As technology for snowmobiles improves, so does the maximum possible speed. Anyone new to snowmobiling may be better off going for something in a range of 80-100 mph. More advanced riders can look into a number of stock models on the market right now that can reach over 100 mph (160 km/h).
Specifically designed racing snowmobiles can go even faster, and modifications are available which can improve performance in terms of speed and other areas, such as handling and comfort.
The main driving force behind speed is a combination of power and weight. Manufacturers are always looking for ways to generate more power from engines while maintaining a light overall weight.
There are a number of other factors that can have an effect on snowmobiling speed:
- Snow density (deep snow or ice)
- Rider skill
It is worth keeping in mind that legal speed limits for snowmobiles vary from state to state. Regardless of what your snowmobile may be capable of, it is important to remain below legal limits for wherever you are.
1. Ski-Doo MXZ X 850 E-TEC – 128 mph (206 km/h)
The Ski-Doo MXZ X 850 E-TEC is a machine built for speed. The stock speed is 128 mph, putting it at the top of our list.
The Rotax 850 E-TEC engine is the most responsive 2-stroke engine in the industry and is capable of putting out 165 BHP.
Ski-Doo has designed this model not just to be one of the fastest available, but also one of the smoothest. The KYP PRO Easy-Adjust shocks and motocross-like handling help maintain control even on tough terrain.
The Pilot X skis match flawlessly with the RAS X front suspension, providing excellent ski traction and reduced darting. Front suspension travel of 10.4 in (265mm) and rear suspension travel of 11.5 in (292mm) make navigating uneven ground no trouble at all.
The Brembo racing brake has a stainless-steel braided brake line, providing effective braking to match the high speeds this snowmobile can hit.
The starting price for the Ski-Doo MXZ X 850 E-TEC is $13,699 MSRP.
2. Yamaha Sidewinder SRX – 120 mph (193 km/h)
The Yamaha Sidewinder SRX is one of the newest snowmobiles on the market, released in October 2021.
It has YSRC primary and secondary clutches. These are able to harness the torque produced by the Genesis Turbo and efficiently transfer it to the track. The clutches are very durable and minimize drive belt wear.
On top of this, it is also one of the most powerful, featuring a 4-Stroke 998cc engine with turbo designed for pure performance.
There are several modern features that help maximize the performance of the Sidewinder SRX. The turbo has a nickel alloy turbine body, making it very strong, precise, and capable of handling extreme temperatures.
The engine has three individual throttle bodies. These are strategically positioned to make the engine respond as fast as possible. There is no other turbo on the planet like this.
The Yamaha-developed Mitsubishi ECU is able to gather data in order to adjust fuel delivery, ignition timing, turbo boost pressure, and manifold air pressure.
The Sidewinder SRX features a low-profile Ripsaw Track, minimizing the overall drag. The skis are also of a new Yamaha design, made to balance lightweight steering effort with precision handling.
There are a number of inclusions to help improve the control. Geometry work is optimized, the upper A-arms are lightweight, and the ARCS from suspension has long forged spindles. Improved handling is essential at high speeds.
All these features make give this model incredible control and handling, and it is capable of reaching speeds of up to 120 mph.
This is the most expensive model on our list, starting at $18,099 MSRP. This is no surprise as Yamaha has always produced very high-quality motorized vehicles for thrill-seekers. It is one of the best, if not the best manufacturer of such vehicles.
3. Polaris Switchback Assault 850 – 112 mph (180 km/h)
The Switchback Assault has been one of Polaris’ most impressive snowmobiles for years. The 2022 model comes in two versions, with the most powerful being the Polaris Switchback Assault 850.
Designed for speed and versatility, this snowmobile works well on-trail and off.
The 850 Patriot engine is both responsive and durable. At 840cc, this is the most powerful engine Polaris has ever made for a snowmobile. It provides unmatched acceleration and an excellent power-to-weight ratio.
The chassis consists of a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber. This helps keep the weight down without sacrificing any durability. WER Velocity shocks, race-inspired IFS, and IGX 146 rear suspension make for superb handling in any conditions.
There is also focus on the rider, with SmartWarmers (thermostat-controlled hand warmers) and the Ride Command 7S Display.
This 7-inch glove touch display provides onboard diagnostics, trail maps, and points of interest. It also has Group Ride technology, so you can see where the rest of your group are, even with no cell coverage.
The Polaris Switchback Assault 850 has a starting price of $15,899 MSRP.
4. Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat – 110 mph (177 km/h)
This snowmobile has a C-TEC4 four-stroke engine – the biggest that Arctic Cat has to offer. It has three turbocharged cylinders, a liquid coolant system, and an electronic fuel injection system.
The design of the Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat had performance in mind, running at 980cc and putting out a massive 200 BHP. This gives it a top speed of 110 mph
Both the front and rear shocks are Fox IQS shocks from Ridefox, which help maintain control while riding. The ATAC trim comes with adjustable on-the-fly suspension. It can easily be changed between soft, medium, and hard with the push of a button, providing excellent flexibility over varying terrain.
The chassis is lightweight and there is sufficient ground clearance, adding to the speed and capability of this snowmobile. The ZR 9000 also comes with a few features for added comfort, such as goggle holders, heated seats, and hand warmers.
Arctic Cat is well known for producing reliable machines, and this is no different. Reliability is always a bonus when looking at purchasing any kind of vehicle, but especially one that will be used in harsh environments.
As a higher range model, the starting price for the ZR 9000 Thundercat is $18,695 MSRP, or $19,495 MSRP for the ATAC model.
5. Polaris Switchback Pro-S 850 – 105 mph (169 km/h)
The Switchback Pro-S series has been one of the most popular developed by Polaris. With impressive speed and durability, the Pro-S 800 was available for several years. In 2019, it was replaced by the Polaris Switchback Pro-S 850.
Like the Polaris Switchback Assault 850, this includes the incredibly powerful 850 Patriot engine. The chassis is kept lightweight, which allows the engine to generate rapid acceleration, push the Pro-S 850 to higher speeds.
This snowmobile is built around the AXYS platform, designed to keep the rider balanced and in complete control on uneven terrain. Improved control means maintaining high speeds on trails is much easier.
The AXYS front suspension and PRO-XC rear suspension almost completely eliminate stutter bumps. Thanks to that and the WER C/A shocks, riding at high speeds is made incredibly smooth.
Rider control is also integrated into the AXYS platform. The narrow seat allows for excellent maneuverability, which is improved upon but the overall weight of the Pro-S 850 is kept to a minimum.
Left-hand controls are easy to use with gloves on, and the LED headlights are almost 1lb lighter, and 80% brighter (with full beams) than the headlights of other snowmobiles. As they are LEDs they will also last for the entire lifetime of the sled.
The starting price of the Switchback Pro-S 850 is $13,999, making it a bit cheaper than the Assault 850 model.
Honorable Mention – G-Force One Yamaha Model (2008) – 210 mph (340 km/h)
This is not a commercially available snowmobile. This is a custom-made race model designed and built by the G-Force team.
It does however hold the world record for the fastest snowmobile. In 2008, it managed to reach 210 mph (340 km/h), blowing other snowmobile speeds out of the water.
The Right Snowmobile for You
“How fast do snowmobiles go?” might still be the most important question for adrenaline junkies.
With that being said, it is always a good idea to look at other aspects of a snowmobile, such as comfort, reliability, and value for money.
Before you do make a purchase, one thing you should know is that snowmobile, UTV, and ATV dealers are almost always open to negotiating. To find out more on how to save on your purchase, click here.