My Views on Sled Size
Do, you believe the Mfgs. are looking at the sled market and simply responding only to demand for larger ( physical size & c.c.'s ) sleds ? While the need for physically smaller, lighterweight, cleaner, and greater economy sleds are put on the back burner. With the suspension revolution the sleds have gotten wider, taller, longer, and therefore heavier . It is now virtually impossible to make them much lighter without adding thousands of dollars to the sticker price ( as you noted ). Look at the cost of specialty sleds such as Redline, goat, and others . Today’s mammoth sleds also, take larger trailers along with larger pulling vehicles, wider trails ect... . I believe by downsizing today’s 600 - 800 c.c. single passenger 121" sleds to a maximum of 40" ski centers, 8 - 10" of Quality Fr/Rr travel, 10 gal. tank ( enough with improved m.p.g. ), single exhaust ( let the aftermarket provide twin & triples with the cost/weight being passed only to those who desire them ) then add a batteryless direct F.I., Smart carbs or similar devices to a refined 2/4 stroke this along with today's aluminum frames, lightweight hoods, plastic skis ect... would allow for a package around 400-420 lbs. Or less and possibly gas mileage in the low twenty's ! Downsizing could result in lower material/production costs so, the difference could be put towards refining engines with little or no added costs to the consumer !
Take a look at two of the early modern sleds the 83 V-max 540 Twin cyl. 452 lbs. ( Brochure ) and the 83 Indy 600 Triple 487 lbs. ( Brochure ). Add 2 - 3" travel to them then, widen only the ski stance to 40" ( not the body ) for stability. Then add today’s lightweight parts including engines, ( with single exhaust ) aluminum bulkheads, composite skis, bellypans, hoods, seats, brake rotors, Tracks, idlers, ect... you then would have 400 lb. +/- sleds ! Trust me, I have a 96 V-max XT, 97 Venture, 98 V-max and two V-max 540s the ( 540s ) have many of the above mod's and believe me I know which ones I'd rather dig out of a snow drift !
Just Thinking !