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97 Polaris Indy XLT Are the Triples as Bad as I’ve Heard?

  • mahtofire14
    Participant
    Mahtomedi, MN
    Posts: 7174
    #2026830

    Looking at getting a newer (I have an 88 Indy 440) sled for ice fishing next season. I’m looking at an Indy XLT 600 on craiglist right now for $950. Really nice shape, 5700K miles on it. Electric start/reverse. Track is in satisfactory condition.

    I have a buddy who told me to stay away from triples. Also read that they had some issues seizing up do to insufficient lubrication. Any opinions on this? I won’t be doing any hard riding, just pulling a two man portable around a lake and the occasional buzz around.

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 2424
    #2026845

    If I remember correctly the rear carb would run lean and cause issues. Hopefully someone with some knowledge about it can help you out better mahtofire.

    Zach Peterson
    Participant
    Austin, Mn
    Posts: 275
    #2026851

    My dad had a 600 triple for a short time. When it ran it was a fun sled but definitely sat more than it ran. Wouldn’t be my first choice but also not my money. Good luck with your search!

    bzzsaw
    Participant
    Hudson, Wi
    Posts: 3156
    #2026857

    I bought a brand new 1997 Indy XC 600. I rode quite a bit for the first 10 years I had it and then not so much the last several years. I ended up giving it away to my cousin last summer. It also had a triple on it. I never had any issues with the motor. Carbs got dirty and had to be cleaned several times. Blew the track once. Other than that, no issues at all. Guessing I had somewhere around 5K miles on it.

    rjthehunter
    Participant
    Brainerd
    Posts: 1103
    #2026866

    I’d keep looking… 5700k miles is kind of a lot lol

    gimp
    Participant
    Posts: 181
    #2026868

    I would look for another newer 2 cylinder fan cool for ice fishing. they are out there with electric start and reverse.

    dbright
    Participant
    Cambridge
    Posts: 1604
    #2026871

    I had a 97 XLT special when I was younger. Rode the heck out of that sled. I had good luck but everyone I knew had a crank go around 5k miles. They were not very good in deeper snow.

    blackbay
    Participant
    mn
    Posts: 640
    #2026906

    I had 3 Polaris triples. One 580 and two 600’s. I wasn’t kind to them. They were all modded to an extent,trail ridden and raced. From grass drags, speed runs, to cross country. None ever had an issue. My buddy did the same with his but he modded his a bit more. His only issue was when he spun them to 10,000 RPM. Other than the chassis being ancient by today’s standards, these were awesome sleds.

    Gino
    Participant
    Grand rapids mn
    Posts: 1164
    #2026912

    I have that sled now . They have poor lubrication to the crank . They fixed this problem on 98 and up by adding a fourth oil line . Actually some of the late 97s had the modification that fixed it . I would find out if it has three or four oil lines . Three I’d stay away, four I would consider. On mine I have the three and I’m waiting for it to blow! I only use it for fishing so I’m hoping it lasts. This is the year that most die hard Polaris guys will tell you too stay away from . I wish I would have done more investigating before I bought mine.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 10303
    #2027058

    I wouldn’t touch that sled for 500 bucks. Issue after issue is what you will have

    suzuki
    Participant
    Woodbury, Mn
    Posts: 16544
    #2027090

    24 year old sled. Not a great idea.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2027091

    The triples with a single pipe were prone to issues with mainly the middle cylinder running lean. They “fixed” this by increasing oil intake via lines like suggested above, but that was really not curing the problem, but it worked.
    A buddy had one of those machines up to just a few years ago. ALways ran well for him until he let a buddy ride it who didnt have much experience on snowmobiles and grabbed BOTH handles and rode off. Yes, throttle AND brake at the same time and smoked his brakes and almost started the sled on fire.
    THe funny thing is those Polaris sleds back then had a huge red light on the dash telling you the brake was on LOL

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2877
    #2027409

    i had a 94 xlt with the mono block and the sled had over 5k on it when i sold it. my buddy owns it now and has over 6k on it and it has ran great with no problems.

    i also owned a 97 storm 800 triple which is not the mono block and never had issues either.

    in 97 the they had xlt’s that were the “wedge” chasis which has the square headlight and the “evolved” chasis which had the wide headlight with 3 different bulbs. im assuming the one your looking at is the evolved chasis if it has factory reverse. if its a sled for just ice fishing i wouldnt be scared to buy it. i rode polaris sleds for 25 years and had alot of them over the years.

    mahtofire14
    Participant
    Mahtomedi, MN
    Posts: 7174
    #2027442

    I appreciate the info and advice guys. I’m not a sled head so this is helpful. I am currently looking at a 2000 Indy XC 500 with only 1100 miles on it and in great condition. A little more cash but I offered the guy $1600 instead of the $1800 he was asking for. He’s mulling it over.

    blackbay
    Participant
    mn
    Posts: 640
    #2027448

    The 500’s have been around forever and is a good motor. My main concern on this sled would be has it been run enough to keep the crank bearings oiled. If they summerized it correctly you should have a nice sled.

    mahtofire14
    Participant
    Mahtomedi, MN
    Posts: 7174
    #2027456

    The 500’s have been around forever and is a good motor. My main concern on this sled would be has it been run enough to keep the crank bearings oiled. If they summerized it correctly you should have a nice sled.

    Thanks for the tip. I was thinking the same thing (if it’s been run enough). I’ll ask and take a look. I have a buddy who knows sleds coming with me to take a look at it and should be able to give it a solid once over.

    koldfront kraig
    Participant
    Coon Rapids mn
    Posts: 1760
    #2031261

    I appreciate the info and advice guys. I’m not a sled head so this is helpful. I am currently looking at a 2000 Indy XC 500 with only 1100 miles on it and in great condition. A little more cash but I offered the guy $1600 instead of the $1800 he was asking for. He’s mulling it over.

    If I remember, the XC’s are more of a performance sled.

    A smaller gas tank, big carbs, geared and clutched for performance. Not the best fuel economy. Again, if I remember right they were rather thirsty sleds.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2877
    #2031553

    XC 500, 600, 700 and 800’s all came with 10+ gallon tanks unless you Had a race tank which most didn’t come with. Even a xc700 will get at least 100 miles on a tank of gas trail riding.

    Most of the 2000 xc 500 and 700’s had a red and black hood for the 45th anniversary edition

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