Best Snowmobile Ice Scratchers That Also Work in Reverse

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There are so many ice scratchers out there, but finding the right scratcher for your sled is very difficult. We all have faced the common problems of cheap scratchers like they break when you need them the most. When your engine starts overheating, then you realize that your scratchers are broken. Another common problem I have faced is that my scratchers often drop when I reverse. These are common problems, so when we were testing different ice scratchers for our snowmobile, we were looking to find a good pair of scratchers that would work on every sled. But, that’s not the case. It’s quite a common problem that you purchase a pair of scratchers and they don’t fit your sled because bolts are too large or for any other reason.

So, we tested quite a few ice scratchers and found that Duraflex Ice Scratchers performed really well. It was able to cool down an overheated sled by throwing snow on it. It also worked well with our reverse-powered sled. We went on a ride in the early morning and the surface of the trails was frozen, it looked like we were the first one to ride on that trail, so the scratchers worked well.

The SPI Rail Mount Ice Scratchers were the easiest to install scratchers that also work on snowmobiles with the reverse gear. As I told earlier, we went on a ride in the early morning when the trails were frozen, we used these scratchers to cool down our sled. It also has brackets to hold the scratchers, and we used this feature in the afternoon when the snow became loose, and we didn’t need the scratchers.

The RSI Racing Ice Scratchers also worked well, and they come at a reasonable price, less than $50. Just like every other scratcher, it’s possible that you have to drill holes to install these scratchers because of the different designs. While, in some snowmobiles, there will be no need to drill holes.

So, you can choose any scratchers you want, but be aware that any scratcher you choose, they’re not universal, you may or may not have to drill holes.

You’ll need to drill holes, no ice scratchers are perfect.

Best Ice Scratchers for Snowmobiles

Duraflex Ice Scratchers

The Duraflex Ice Scratchers stand out for a number of reasons. They come standard with carbide tips which enhance their longevity and performance. The design ensures ultimate engine cooling and slider lubrication for your snowmobile. We found it quite impressive that they work efficiently with all reverse and non-reverse gear-equipped snowmobiles. This versatility is something that not many ice scratchers offer. Moreover, these scratchers are pre-assembled for one-bolt mounting, which makes the installation process relatively straightforward.

The durability of these scratchers is another positive aspect, thanks to the virtually indestructible zinc-plated wire rope. However, it’s worth noting that some might have faced durability issues which could be attributed to individual use or other external factors. Furthermore, these scratchers have improved crimps for greater hold and a knurled mounting surface to eliminate spinning and loosening on the slide rail, which we found to be practical features.

On the flip side, the Duraflex Ice Scratchers are priced on the higher end at over $80, which may be a deterrent for some, especially when compared to the price of other ice scratchers on the market. However, given their performance and the benefits they offer, we do think they provide value for money. You can check my review of Duraflex Ice Scratchers, and read all the details.

Pros

  1. Enhanced longevity and performance due to carbide tips
  2. High versatility as they work efficiently with all reverse and non-reverse gear-equipped snowmobiles
  3. Easy installation process with pre-assembled one-bolt mounting
  4. Durability courtesy of the virtually indestructible zinc-plated wire rope
  5. Practical features such as improved crimps for greater hold and a knurled mounting surface to eliminate spinning and loosening on the slide rail

Cons

  1. Some users might have faced durability issues, which could affect the product’s reliability
  2. Higher price point at over $80, which could be a deterrent for some buyers compared to other ice scratchers on the market

RSI Racing Ice Scratchers

The RSI Racing Ice Scratchers mark a fine addition to any snowmobile setup. They are crafted to efficiently keep your sled cool on icy trails, thus enhancing your riding experience. However, during our use, we noticed a few areas that might serve well with improvements. For instance, the mounting method could be better. While these scratchers are designed for universal application, they may not fit all models with ease. We also observed that the scratchers have a tendency to bend when put under pressure, potentially affecting their longevity. While they still performed as promised, a more robust build could further increase durability.

In addition to testing the RSI Racing Ice Scratchers on snowmobiles, we also fitted them onto a snow bike. The results were equally satisfying. The scratchers threw ice and snow everywhere, keeping the snow bike running smooth and cool. However, similar to our experience with the snowmobile, we noticed that they also bent slightly under pressure while using the snowbike. We believe addressing this might improve their robustness and longevity, further enhancing their performance on both snowmobiles and snow bikes.

Pros

  1. Designed to efficiently cool snowmobiles on icy trails, enhancing the riding experience.
  2. Can also be used on snow bikes with equally satisfying results.
  3. Universal application and comes with mounting hardware for easy installation.
  4. Made of durable materials – billet aluminum and spring steel – for maximum performance and longevity.

Cons

  1. Some users may experience difficulty with the mounting method.
  2. The scratchers have a tendency to bend under pressure, potentially affecting their durability.

SPI Rail Mount Ice Scratchers

The SPI Rail Mount Ice Scratchers come with a unique design that is a step up from conventional scratchers. Features like the rail-mounted installation and the feature to reverse without damage are certainly commendable. I found them effective in keeping the snowmobile at optimum temperatures, ensuring a smooth ride. However, noting that they are a direct bolt-up install, I must admit that the installation was straightforward, but not without some minor hiccups.

Despite the impressive cooling performance, I noticed a design flaw that might concern some riders; it’s in the plastic holder that secures the scratcher when not in use. On my very first ride, both sides broke. It seemed like they couldn’t stand the cold, froze up, and simply cracked. This left the holder loose and practically useless.

With a price tag of over $60, I expected the SPI Rail Mount Ice Scratchers to be built with top-notch quality. But, after examining the product and its performance, it seems that the cost doesn’t align with the value offered. The durability, particularly of the plastic holder, needs significant improvement. I believe that for the price, riders deserve a product that can withstand the rigors of extreme winter conditions without breaking on the first ride.

The SPI Rail Mount Ice Scratchers impressed me with their cooling efficiency and the ability to work in reverse, they fell short in terms of durability and value for money. For the price, I feel there are better options available in the market, like the Duraflex Ice Scratchers, that offer comparable functionality but with better robustness and cost-effectiveness.

Pros

  • Effective in keeping snowmobile temperatures at optimum levels
  • Easy installation with direct bolt-up feature
  • Can be used in reverse without damage

Cons

  • Plastic holder for scratcher prone to breaking or cracking in extreme cold conditions
  • The price does not match the overall quality and durability of the product.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there known issues with cable-type scratchers damaging the track or rails of a snowmobile?

The conversation didn’t explicitly mention issues with cable-type scratchers damaging the track or rails. However, it’s generally advised to ensure that scratchers are properly installed and maintained to minimize any potential damage.

Are there any specific considerations for choosing ice scratchers for a 129-inch sled?

Rail-mounted scratchers, such as those from BRP Ski-Doo, are recommended for a 129-inch sled. They may require drilling holes, but they are considered effective in preventing overheating and are reverse-safe.

Can I use reverse with rail-mounted scratchers, and are there any potential issues with this feature?

The conversation did not provide explicit information about using reverse with rail-mounted scratchers. However, some scratchers, like the Ski-Doo rail-mounted ones, are designed to be reverse-safe. It’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for each specific model.

How far forward on the rails should cable-type scratchers be mounted, and should they be stowed when not in use?

Cable-type scratchers, like the Trail Blizzer, are recommended to be mounted right behind the small idler wheels. Users typically leave them down all the time unless loading the sled on a trailer or truck, at which point they are stowed on the rail. A hook is also available for securing them when not in use.

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Author

Thomas Miller
My name is Thomas Miller. I have been riding snowmobiles for the past 10 years and I'm completely in love with snowmobiling because it's fun, relaxing, and a great workout.