View Full Version : LUKESTER'S FST
10-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Lukester I thought we better start a new thread cause I have a few questions.. I have a buddy that has an FST and I was really impressed. Great power through mid-range kinda died at the top but who really cares after 85 mph. Lots of torque and didn't seem heavy when negotiating corners. But sled for sled it didn't compare to anything 700cc or larger. Two stroke. So tell me about properly? Also, what makes a four stroke better in the woods? What are the extras that come with owning a two stroke, other then oil? I know you or anyone else where not bashing on two strokes..I was reading your conversation with Jeff and I thought it was kinda funny. So why not get it out on the table. I'm just curious to see what everyone has to say..
10-24-2009, 12:19 AM
The only time I've had any top end problems is in fresh snow. I don't know if it's the extra weight or what, but anything over a couple of inches of fresh snow does hurt my top end. Now hardpack, that's another story. All I can say is hang on. Last year I was riding from trail 13 down East Shore Road on Lake Gogebic to our rental place. The road was fully covered with snow but hardpacked due to vehicle traffic. I was going 100 and hit the throttle and the track spun on me like crazy. It scared me and there was tons of power left yet. I haven't had the courage to see what top end is on hardpack.
As far as the benefits of a 4 stroke, you have longer engine life, use no oil, thus no lingering 2 stroke smell (I know, many of you like that smell!?), you get better gas mileage, in most cases, and the engine is much more quiet. You hear things you never have before.
10-24-2009, 02:37 AM
mspease I'm happy to hear you love your 4 stroke that's all that matters. I doubt that you have tons of power after 100mph. Is this GPS? I love the 2 stroke smell the day/night of. But the next morning it kinda hurts. Or maybe thats something else. But besides the point, engine life okay I think that is rider specific. They all last if you take care of your machine. Maybe a 4 stroke will last so long your grand kids could ride some out dated sled.. If you want to talk gas/oil mileage go with the etech. And hear things you have never heard? Like What? What are you listening for? Bears? I actually was thinking about going with the 1200 skidoo for 2010.. Thats why I was trying to pry some four stroke guys out of the wood work. But I'm just not there yet. Mspease I've been on all the trails around lake gogebic and I can't say enough about the area. That lake has blown alot of motors for our group. But best of all we have celebrated new years twice in one night on that lake. Think snow!!
10-24-2009, 08:55 AM
I own two of these FST switchers and they are fun machines. Complicated...(but then what isn't these days) and the highlight of these sleds is the torque. Hands down the blower pulls ponies out of there much quicker and at a much lower rpm than a two stroke. It is just all about the torque these monsters pull so quickly. Now I know there are a bunch of guys who say...but but but...my two will...and these same guys have NOT been on a blower so they can't compare. Like Mark, I like not smelling myself at the end of the day, and NOT stinking out the guys behind me.
I have one sled completely stock...well sort of, with powder pro skis...(the stock polaris skis suck), and I put the holtz spindles on which Polaris stole from holtz and is now outfitting 2009 and on sleds with, so you don't have to get carpul tunnel in the elbows steering it.
The other sled is for real boondocking and it has the 2 inch lug track, which really pulls better in the fluff and I geared it down 2:1 so that it didn't eat belts. I put the kevlar belt on and I carry a homemade sled jack which I haven't had to use much but helps cause you can't pull much on the front bumper without tearing it off if you do get stuck. BTW the speedo is not a dream meter as some of the other 4 stroke sleds have...the thing is darn accurate...gps shows this. I like the gauge cluster which I leave on the temp most the time, but have yet to over heat the thing as it runs very cool. Off trail it is not the lightest sled out there, but once you learn to use momentum to full advantage, and the flipper to power out of the bind your about to get into the sled is a bulldozer.
Mileage is good if you stay out of the blower as much as possible, but it is hard to do that with all that power sitting there just waiting to put that smile on your face.
The sleds are complicated and you do have to keep them set up correctly....and there are lots of hoses that need to be shielded from the muffler and heat under the hood but if you pay attention to details, this sled is a definite sleeper and is fairly cheap to own and ride.
If you hear somebody say "at high end it is a dog" then the sled is NOT setup correctly or they have an issue going on....I have none of that on mine...pulls like a monkey in front of a lion, all the way up til I don't want to go any faster.
Find out all you want to know about them over on the sled specific forum of polarisfiles.com and take the plunge and find out where sledding is headed in the next 10 years...right now. Or not...and stick with your stinker.<font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font>'s all up to you...some folks sort of like the smell and horse and buggy era...and that's just fine with me.
10-24-2009, 11:38 AM
You can believe it or not, I don't make up stories that's for sure! It was not GPS, just my speedo. Polaris' speedo's are very accurate, which was proven in one of the snowmobile rags a little over a year ago. They tested all 4 manufacturer's, and Polaris and Cat were withing 3-5 mph of actual while the Ski-Doo and Yamaha were 10-20 mph off, and guess which way they were off? When the track spun at 100 mph I checked my speedo when I got back to the rental place as the speedo will log your fastest speed for the day and your highest RPM. I checked and my highest speed for the day was 113 mph, which happened when the track broke free at 100. Keep in mind this was on hard pack. I'm lucky to get 95 mph out of it in fresh snow. 4 strokes are much quieter and you hear things like the track and suspension working, things you can't hear on a 2 stroke. If I were listening for bears, all I would hear is them snoring! I'm not saying I would never buy a 2 stroke again, cause you just never know. I will be due for a new sled next year, so we'll see what's out there. I'm not even ruling out a Yamaha or the Ski Doo 4 stroke. I don't like the look of the new Ski Doo, but the changes they made to the sled to accommodate the bigger 4 stroke engine makes it a much nicer looking machine. I'm sure you would be very happy with the Ski Doo 1200. They may even turbo that some day.
Lake Gogebic is a great place to ride from. I've been going UP there 3-5 times a year since 1993 and I still get just as excited to go up there now as I did in the 90's. Needless to say, I know nearly every turn and hill in that whole area as I lead 95% of the time. No trail maps needed for me.
I know what you mean by the heavy steering. They did correct that by 2008 I believe. What year are your FST's? I've been thinking about switching spindles, but I'm only keeping the sled one more year as I have 9,000 miles on it. Did the spindles make a big difference for you?
I really like the gauge cluster too, all the info you need, even a turbo boost gauge! You can even choose the color, either red (too bright for me) or light blue. Have you put the vents on your sled to help belt life? I used to only get 1,000 miles out of even the Kevlar belt. I put the vents on before last season and have 2,000 miles on the belt with no problems so far. Let's hope for a great winter this year!
10-24-2009, 12:34 PM
I think I smell a barbeque here... but Ill give err a whirl anyway.
To start with you ask "properly"? Ill start there.
As many on this site know every sled/rider combination is different. You simply have to ride and tweak, ride and tweak again until its as close to perfect (for you) as you can get it. simple.
A good example for me is my 2 07 FSTs
Same power plant but different riders, different suspension. That = different setup. simple enough?
One sled (the FSTIQLX0) is set up perfect for my wife. Not for me. Yes I can ride it but its not (tweaked) for me.
If SHE rides that sled she will have far better results then I will on that sled.
Simple..no big secret.
This leads to
"But sled for sled it didn't compare to anything 700cc or larger"
I have fidgeted with my 07 FST Switchback and (tweaked it) perfectly to MY liking,
Its Ok -maybe pretty good in the woods but by all means not perfect. Its a 144 uncoupled track so its never going to handle tight turns as well as lets say a 121. I knew that going in. I did the research.
Now, exit the trails and get it out on a lake and there is nothing >STOCK< that stays with it from 0 to 116.. NOTHING!
There is no big secrete to as to why.I expected it to perform well when I was researching it.
The foremost and most obvious thing was the long track. The hole shot this thing has is downright comical! It digs in and dam near tears your arms off!
Line up 10 sleds 800-1000+ and the results are the same 10 out of 10 times.They sit and spin and the Switchback hooks up and is gone!.. BIG-TIME GONE
Another large factor is the uncoupled suspension. It simply take a lot less HP to spin then a coupled rear skid and that plays a big factor after 70 MPH
I can line up with .. well lets pick a Apex (very nice machine) at 50-60-70-80 MPH and if we hit the flipper I will still walk away.
Part of that is due to another factor .. The 5-8 second turbo boost.
Add these up and you come up with a pretty good explanation.
Its simple and it works well..VERY WELL !
When I researched the FST Switchback before buying I had a 06 FST IQLX in my barn.
It was fast but no matter how I tweaked it I could never make it hook up as well as I wanted. Also No matter how I adjusted it that same Apex would ALWAYS walk away from it both off the line as well as 60-100
Id like to add this.
While researching I was hoping the Switchback would lets say (ever the odds) a little.
I will admit I never, not once thought it would do what it does!!
It has surprised the H out of me and my friends!
That in a nutshell is the simple explanation of ..as you call it... "lukesters FST"
I did my homework before I purchased one, tweaked it, and it all worked. SIMPLE.
Oh to comment on the 2 stroke thing. Hey I rode 2 strokes for years and loved them! That why I'm still here.
They, along with ALL machines have there good and bad points. Its a machine its going to break, period.
That being said. It sometimes erks ya a little when comments like 'I don't have that problem with my 2 stroke" pop up.
Especially when it has nothing to do with helping the poster, along with the rest of us who are looking for and sharing good advise , Not sarcasm.
After all we are all human. Enough said?
When they make a perfect sled that never breaks Ill be first in line. Until then, hey
RIDE WHAT YOU LIKE ...LIKE WHAT YOU RIDE!
OK boys the jugular is exposed. Be nice I'm a old man! LOL
10-24-2009, 03:59 PM
Great explanation lukester I have a renegade myself and I like the way those longer tracks hook up, and ride. I can't imagine a 144. Although I don't like the way it handles. I'm still used to the ease of riding a zx chassis 121. This new sled of mine must not be set up for me. I love it going straight but put a turn in front of me and look out. I tried the things necessary to get more weight on the skis and not much luck there either. Last tuesday I just got my new set of bergstrom triple point skegs and shims in the mail so kinda hoping that will help getting that thing to turn. So back to the fst stuff I guess my buddy just has a piece of crap fst. We have more then one person saying they are insane fast so I better get out there and ride another one. I'm sure some time in the near future I'll own a 4 stroke sled. I'm prolly just waiting for skidoo to add a blower to theirs. Anywho lukester about your fst's I thought you were going to tell me something technical about how you set them up. Dunno thought you had some kind of secret. MSPEASE I was kidding you about listening for bears! LOL, I knew what you were getting at just thought I would be that guy (notice the time I replied).
10-24-2009, 05:18 PM
Your buddy does not necessarily have a piece of crap.
A FST might be viewed as very complicated by some partly because it requires that every aspect of engine performance has to be perfect.
To accomplish this requires that all systems are monitored pretty much constantly.
If its not running perfect he would have a service light.
Don't blame the engine! Its not his issue!
Instead show him how to tweak it.
There is no secret to that.
Just trial and error.
Followed by trial and smile! .... Yuk yuk
10-24-2009, 05:18 PM
I'd like to hear more, I have "looked", but that's pretty much all I am at this point in time, a looker. I WILL be buying a newer sled in the next 1-3 years, and I like the idea of the Four Stroke Turbo for sure. I'd have no problem getting an e-mail if that's what it takes!
10-24-2009, 05:46 PM
The skis make a huge difference in turning, and tho there is no doubt that the triples will improve that process, the sled simply has to be set up correctly to turn a longer tracked sled. If the triples don't do the job, junk the skis and get better skis on that pusher.
Yes the holtz spindles make a huge difference and the stock polaris skis are junk...just throw them out. Get some good powder pros or Simmons on there and find out why they are so popular. The arm strong steering is gone, and even if you get rid of the sled, the next guy will thank you for doing it. Meanwhile it is humorous to think that you are now going to drift over to something different because there is nothing better out there that I know of...same stuff different colors along with associated problems. Do yourself a favor and keep the sled so that when you get another sled you can always get back on the FST and remember what a thrill it is. 9,000 miles isn't going to be much on these sleds, and I expect as in nearly any 4 stroke sled she will be around blowing past the smokers..who need to measure compression and clean power valves, and be thinking.<font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font><font color="ff0000"></font> this the last year for this sled before the big tear down..." Course some live for that...I like to ride.
Parts will wear out but the technology on these are pretty darn good and it will be awhile before the sled makers venture into unknown territory with the economy sucking off R & D like rain going in a gutter. So I am happy with where I will be for a long time. If they ever put a 500 cc four stroker with a good turbo into a 300 lb. sled, I might be tempted to move over, but I also like no payment too...so it better be a real departure from what I have.
For anyone else who has only thought about looking at a turbo, I encourage you to check them out...they are lots of fun. For everyone else....hang in there with the smokers, and remember to shower each night...cause you stink!
not trying to bash the poo but how about a 177hp 144 kitty.I have not had a 4 stroke sense I bought the first year Yellowstone spec 660. POS dog top heavy turd but it was quiet and did get good millage the 2 or 300 MI the wife put on it before I sold it for a 4k loss the next yr.so I guess I was turned off of 4s for a bit. but the z1turbo 144 would be one at the top of my list of 4s sleds.the first call would be to D&D to order the hyjacker box to get that kitty to 260hp for race day.
I really would like to ride with you guys and see how the fst's stand up to my IQ 800. Im courious to see how bad I get burned thru the woods and out in the straights. We need to get together this winter.
10-25-2009, 02:30 AM
Jeff I'm sure you'll get your race some time. I wouldn't be to worried though lukester admitted he was an ole guy so don't be hard on emhttp://www.johndee.com/discuss/clipart/happy.gif Gotta love these posts. Anywho can someone tell me if poo has changed their clutch since 1980? Every poo that I ride with even the new IQ sleds the clutch will bang in and out with RPM around idle on start up. You have to love a sled that sounds like a garbage disposal. Not a joke really why does polaris have the loud IST clutch? GO HAWKS 8-0! And ofcourse Think Snow!
I do remember reading that poo has started running a new style clutches on the IQ 600 (i believe ) for this year.
10-25-2009, 11:15 AM
Ezra, I have to of those 660 units and I won't sell them. They are two up versions, which never gets the rider...except once in awhile...and I won't sell them....they get good mileage, I do NOTHING to them, and they start and run each year like they are just off the floor. I don't do anything other than oil change and I have switched out the cheap battery for a gelcell which stays ready when I am. They were the best sleds I have every laid money out for...as family, they go just fine, in deep snow, pull like freight trains, just don't go over 55 miles per hour which is just fine by me.
When I tow things to my cabin the 4 miles over unplowed roads, guess what sled gets the duty?? Guess which sleds have never had to have the belts changed on them? And they always start with one tap of the key....no starting fluid necessary, or needed...no fouled plugs...still using the original plugs....I guess some like playing with the gunk-ed up power valves, and oil pumpers, but I just like to ride.
C-doo, neither of my Polaris sleds clunk or grab, but they are built for 4 stroke technology and not the high wind up stuff that they put on the two smokers. I like hearing the skis whisk thru the crisp snow, and being able to talk over the engine noises. I will take the "garbage disposal" sounds over the blare of noises the two stroke makes...and the stink that I leave behind me for the poor fellow to absorb as he trucks along and tries to breath behind me, or the total smoke-outs in the trailer we USED to endure when we stored my friends skidoodler.
But then I wasn't the one in the sandbox with the tonka truck that made the most noise either. Mine only made noise when I made it myself...and I have never felt the need to do the ear blasting...some feel they need for the "experience".
Best thing I can say is stay on the two winder, and stay happy...let all us guys with turbos and 4 strokes....live in pain and misery! It's better that way...for some.
10-25-2009, 11:20 AM
All I said is that I would not rule out Yamaha and Ski-Doo, but very unlikely to change as I have owned many Polaris' the past 30 years. My 21 year old son wants my FST as he's a turbo nut and wants to make lots of modifications to it.
You make me smile with a lot of your posts! You must bleed green as the only option is CAT. http://www.johndee.com/discuss/clipart/happy.gif
Another post right at 2:30 a.m. I see in your profile you are a farmer, so I don't think you're working the late shift. I'm guessing the bar closes at 2:00 a.m. and you're home by 2:30 a.m. I'm sure Polaris is still using the same clutches they did back in the 70's! LOL I've had 14 new Polaris' since 1983 and never once have I had a clutch problem and I put on 2,500-3,000 miles per year. Pretty good track record I'd say.
you 4 stroke guys keep talking about the stinky smoky 2 strokes. Are the 2 stroke your talking about from this decade? Are they burning the non syth. oil? My 2 stroke only smokes a little on start up. Ive never seen a cloud of smoke anywhere around me. Im gonna catch heck for this (but what the heck its all in good fun). Maybe you 4 strokers wouldnt have to smell the 2 strokers if you could get ahead and stay ahead of the 2 strokers......Ok its out there.... let er roll! LOL!!!!
Mspesy I have owned them all but my first was a kitty cay then lynx then puma then enticer then phaser then then deer liquifire then then formula + then Indy then exciter570 then xcsp then zr700 then mxz800 then more crank bearings for mxz then back to kitty zr zrt zr zrt 660 1m fire cat crossfire.start on a cat die on a cat besides I cant afford a new coat. and I like fast sleds so what else are you going to buy.
10-26-2009, 09:51 PM
mspease I do have a question regarding the time of my posts. For some reason the time on Johndee always says an hour after I actually post them. For instance I'm typing this post at 8:51 P.M and when I click post this message it will say 9:51. Probably an easy answer I just never really looked until you just said something. And yes since you say something farming really has been rough. It doesn't just rain every week it rains all week. You think getting stuck with a sled sucks. Try a combine or auger cart. But oh well winter is coming and I'll drive just about anywhere to ride.. So gotta stay positivehttp://www.johndee.com/discuss/clipart/happy.gif
10-26-2009, 09:57 PM
All times on here are Eastern Time, which is the time zone John is in. The weather has been the same up here too. We went a solid 6 weeks with no rain in the middle of the summer and the crops really were hurt. Now that it's time to get the crops out, it won't quit raining. I do sympathize with you, sometimes you just can't get a break. I hope things dry up for you soon. After you get the crops out, hopefully the wet cycle will continue until spring! http://www.johndee.com/discuss/clipart/happy.gif
10-26-2009, 09:58 PM
Eastern Time zone is one hour a head of Iowa
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