Building Find: Three 2006 Ski-Doo Mini Zs!

Discovered left behind in a recently purchased building and looking like true time capsules is this stash of Mini Z snowmobiles.  Located in northern New Jersey and appearing to “have never been used” these sleds are offered for sale here on Craigslist for the package price of $5,000 or to be sold individually for an agreed upon “deal.”  Despite this week’s “warm” temps here in the Northeast, there’s still snow on the ground and plenty of time for a youngster to be able to enjoy riding this winter.  But if your little one isn’t quite ready to handle a sled then perhaps this is the perfect chance to do some early Christmas shopping – as long as you can find a place to hide it until December!

For those unfamiliar with the world of snowmobiling, these are not full-sized sleds.  The Mini Z weighs just 154 pounds and is about 6 feet in length.  It’s the perfect size for mom or dad to easily hoist it out of the snow and maneuver each time junior manages to get it stuck.  Youth-sized sleds have been around a long time and most snowmobiling aficionados will remember the Arctic Cat Kitty Cat (thanks to snowgoer.com for a fascinating history on the Kitty Cat!).  Introduced in the early 1970s, the Kitty Cat wasn’t the first mini sled but it came with a governor that kept its maximum speed under 12 mph.  It was a great sled for beginning riders learning how to handle a machine while doing loops around mom and dad’s house.  I’m amazed at how many Kitty Cats are still around.  I know guys who’ve used the same Kitty Cat sled they rode back in the ’70s to teach their kids to ride today!

The base MSRP for a Mini Z was $2,149 back in 2006.  Values haven’t declined too much in the past thirteen years as used mini sleds in running condition regularly command $1,200 or more on Craigslist.  Considering the mint condition of these Zs and the likelihood they’ve never been ridden, $1,667 each sounds like a decent price to me.  Most people that own a youth-sized sled typically only use them for a few years while their children learn to ride.  Often they manage to sell the sled at or near the price they paid so purchasing one can be a pretty safe investment.  That’s especially true for someone who’s good with a wrench and capable of fixing any mechanical issues that may arise along the way.  Snowmobile engines are historically finicky but the technology in newer sleds (like these) has greatly improved in terms of reliability over those that were produced in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Mini Z is powered by a 118cc single cylinder 4 stroke engine manufactured by BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products).  You probably know BRP makes all sorts of stuff from Sea-Doo watercraft to Can-Am motorcycles and ATVs.  Unfortunately, the seller fails to provide us with engine photos nor does he mention whether or not he’s attempted to start any of the sleds.  Unlike full-sized snowmobiles, the Mini Z is chain driven as opposed to belt.  Nevertheless, a close inspection of the chain and chain guard for grease splatter may reveal whether any of these sleds have actually been ridden.  There are many collectors in the snowmobile world and I would think someone interested in adding one or more Mini Zs to their collection would be hard pressed to pass up this opportunity.  Maybe I should buy all three?  I could give one to each of my kids and keep one as a collector’s piece and hang it in the garage.  Or better yet – the living room!  What a conversation piece!

 

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Lucky was the kid that got one of these. The youth market was largely overlooked for years, with only a hand full of sleds made, the most popular was the Arctic Cat Kitty Cat, which by most standards, is pretty lame.( John Deere and Mercury also made youth sleds, but I never saw them). This, at least, is a real sled. SkiDoo is one of the best, 2nd only to Arctic Cat, I feel.
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9d/03/6e/9d036ed6b324927ee606ef2f585bbdb6.jpg

    • Andre

      Youth market on recreational products is interesting. The turn over/re-sale is almost perennial keeping the values up since kids, well, grow.

      I’m a diehard Polaris guy, but would respectfully disagree that the Kitty Kat is lame – out of recent model youth machines it’s the only one that’s a 2-stroke (whereas the other brands are all ~120cc 4Ts), including the Polaris XC 120.

      My daughters are 3 and 5 and haven’t shown much interest in snowmobiling yet but it’ll come I’m sure.

      In the same youth market vein I have a pair of Yamaha PW50 motocross bikes with training wheels that they love. Same thing applies they hold their values incredibly well if maintained.

      Keep the gearheading alive for the next generation 🤟🏼

    • Jerry Brentnell

      you want something better go beat the bushes for a snow pony about the same size but twice as fast! me better deal find a rupp snomobile! or a harley-davidson,

  2. Bodyman68

    There was alot of mini sleds back in the day , a few had B&S 5hp engines with chain drive . There was one from Montgomery Wards a snocub thats 2 stroke ,aluminum skis and all rubber track . They were fun but not fast at all . These machines are nicer and probably easier to run and for a kid im sure excitement will be off the charts ! The machines are made to run not hang in a garage !

  3. CaCarDude

    There was an old saying back when I spent time riding snowmobiles, if you want to spend your day wrenching buy an Artic Cat or Polaris, if you like to ride without issues buy a Ski-Doo. Had some beauties back in the day Formula Mach 1 and the Plus was a great sled. Had an old Rupp that was a decent sled for a classic. Hard to beat the Bombardier power plant, great products IMO.

  4. Sandy Claws

    Interesting for sure, but I am not sure snowmobiles are viable in many parts of the country these days. In the 60s when I was young, we seemed to have more reliable snow and these sleds were everywhere. Now, unless you get lake effect snow around the great lakes, I am not so sure. We had almost a yard of snow here in Western Wisconsin last week and the sledders are giddy with delight, but before that the trails were closed all winter, an inch or two of snow. Heck, I drove my little Kawasaki Mule on them! Last winter, hardly any snow at all, only a few days total that the trails were open. ATV and UTV sales are way up, and for good reason.

    • Andre

      Up here in Canada they get us from igloo to igloo.

  5. Ken

    I would like to buy one for 1500.00

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