Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Solon Springs, Wisconsin
Thanked 178 Times in 160 Posts
Sled: '17 ZR 6000 RS
ATV: '14 Can-Am Max 650 XT
Hey Mike- Word of advice: Buyer Beware.
We're 600+ miles in to a 2017 ZR 3000 that I purchased for my wife, and she'll no longer ride it. It is by far the least refined model that I've seen come out of Thief River in quite a while.
The ZR3000 needs some work to really be a decent sled. Cat positioned the sled in the marketplace as being like a fan cooled class sled. Well, that is sort of true if your point of reference is a 340 class fan sled. The ZR3000 is REALLY an entry level sled only and has performance that is actually worse than the existing Suzuki fan. Cat is marketing it as being in the 65 HP class- this is not in any way accurate. Even Kymco who makes the engine doesn't promote it as being in that HP class in their own products.
The sled's drawbacks:
- At idle, the sled is very quiet. However, at trail speeds the drone is pretty bad- and loud.
- Vibration- At idle, they tend to really vibrate especially if they idle a bit low. You'll see the instrument cluster really vibrate at idle. If you put a pair of gloves or glasses on the "dash" by the handlebars, you notice how harsh it really is.
- Fuel economy- Even trail riding with my wife, we noticed that her ZR3000 uses about 25% more fuel that my ZR6000. Because the 3000 is being worked harder, it is using more fuel. Even worse, it has a smaller fuel tank. So, the range is pretty bad in comparison.
- Ride- The ride in general is pretty good. But the front suspension was set way too soft from the factory. Once we've fine tuned it, my wife is satisfied with the ride.
- Balance- There are no heat exchangers for cooling- just a radiator up front. This sled is noticeably nose heavy and unbalanced.
- Handling- No sway bar. So imagine a nose heavy sled with a front suspension that is too soft. And then no sway bar. THEN add significant (HARSH) engine braking with the 1" lug track. While riding and coming in to a corner, when backing off of the throttle, the engine braking causes the 1" lug track to break loose, then in the corner you see unexpected lean. If you are a 300# heavy rider like me, you are able to keep the sled planted, But for someone light like my wife, the handling is poor.
- Reliability- The Kymco 700 engine has an oil pressure sensor that can malfunction. This is a common issue on this sled. If it "thinks" there is low oil pressure, it shuts the engine down; Like it did to my wife while trying to cross a road. You often can restart the sled, but it will continue to malfunction. Once the pressure sensor begins to malfunction, it will get worse and worse until the sled is unridable. The temporary fix is to remove the access panel where the drain plug is located in the belly pan, and unplug the connector located just forward of the drain plug (to unplug the pressure sensor). This can be done on the trail if necessary as I found out.
- Top Speed- On hardpack, on a lake, the best my wife has seen on the speedometer is 57 mph. Me? 54 mph. In sticky snow conditions a couple of weeks ago, 47 mph was the fastest it would go. I went completely through the sled, and checked everything including clutching, and then called some contacts in Thief River. That performance is about as much as I can expect out of this engine. My wife traded in her '10 Ski-Doo MXZ TNT 550f, and the ZR 3000 isn't even close in performance. We rode with a buddy's BearCat (570 fan cooled)- and the ZR 3000 was actually slower. That level of performance is unacceptable at that price.
- Things we liked- The Ride (once adjusted). The new gauge actually works pretty good (It is nothing fancy, but I actually liked it). Warmth- your feet will never be cold. They must have done something with the headlights for 2017, because they actually work really well on this sled.
Unfortunately, I bought the wrong sled for my wife. This is really only her second season or riding, and this sled is not going to meet her needs. For the price, Cat should be embarrassed. I feel taken, and misled. Online reviews from places like Snowmobile.com, and others must have ridden a completely different snowmobile. To be frank, we would have been better off buying a 2017 Lynx 570 fan in the Twinspar chassis for the price.
The good news is that I also bought a 2017 ZR 6000 RS, and my wife has ridden it quite a bit (now that she refuses to ride the 3000). She loves my 6000- so now, all we have to do is take the loss on the 3000, and buy her a 6000. Unfortunately for me, it means that I am stuck with her 3000 for the rest of the season. :-P
Anything to keep her happy......