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    2019 Ski-Doo Sneak Peek

    Posted by Tyler Nelson
    on Thursday, February 15, 2018

    This article was written by Mark Boncher and appears in the Spring 2018 issue.

    Seriously, what do you people want?

    I can absolutely see the folks in Ski-Doo’s marketing department gathered around a focus group of us snowmobilers asking us this question. We are fickle folks, most likely because we want it all, and like most consumers, we really don’t want to pay for it!

    Well Ski-Doo is doing their best this year to round out their line even more to satisfy die-hard 2-stroke lovers, hard-core 4-stroke fans, quench the crossover thirst, quell the demanders in the mountains, and smooth it out for the touring folks.

    More than just surviving with 4-strokes

    Ski-Doo is investing even more in their ACE line of 4-stroke motors for 2019. At a time when other OEMs really do not have tit-for-tat competing 4-stroke models with Ski-Doo, the Canadian company is growing their 4-stroke piece of the market pie. The 900ACE was the #1 selling 4-stroke motor in 2017! This year they do that with a revamped 900 ACE motor that adds another 5 hp in its naturally aspirated version (was 90hp, now 95 hp). This standard 900 ACE gets a new air intake and new exhaust for advanced flow and a new pDrive clutch with slider shoes and a whole new calibration. 

     Yes, as you’ve probably guessed, or seen by now, there is also a new Turbo version of the 900 ACE. Ski-Doo IS listening to what so many sledders ask for! This turbo system is entirely engineered and built by Rotax in-house and is the first turbo in a snowmobile from Ski-Doo. The single throttle body system is said to have zero lag and if you take a look at the engineering photos, this 3-1 exhaust and turbo I has a very short path to take the exhaust energy and start spinning the turbine. The diminutive in size new turbo spins at 200,000rpm, but the system is not as loud as many turbos on the market. It is oil lubricated and water cooled and up to 12 psi is pumping here. There is a new piston, stronger connecting rod and crankshaft, larger water pump, new fuel injector, new cylinder head, new oil pump and scavenging pump, new exhaust valve and an oil cooling nozzle pointed at the bottom of the piston. All these changes keep this motor cool and are designed to take the abuse of the added power. The overall engine has 25% better power to weight ratio than the older 1200 4-TEC in the REV-XS chassis that it replaces. The claim is up to 19.4mpg too!

    That brings us to the next important improvement in 4-strokes for Ski-Doo; ALL the 4-stroke models from Ski-Doo will be in a new slightly wider modified Gen4 chassis platform. This is a necessity to nicely compartment things like the intercooler. Ski-Doo knows consumers want 4-strokes that handle like 2-strokes, and that’s on display with the introduction of the new Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo. This sled attempts more than any other 4-stroke before to bridge the gap between 2-stroke and 4-stroke. There is a trail seat with 1.85 gallons of storage and the sled is ¾ of an inch narrower than the Rev-XS 1200 4-TEC. It also has a little more wind protection! Finally!

    The new Turbo motor and the wider Gen4 body panels will be available in the Renegade (only X-RS), Enduro and Grand Touring lines while the Expedition line gets the standard 900 ACE motor with the wider style. But all these sleds still come available with 2-stroke motor options… just not the narrow bodywork. There won’t be any MXZ sleds or 2-strokes with the wide design.

    600R is a Rebel!

    AmSnow broke the news about the new 600R E-TEC motor in our February issue and we have since been continuing to appreciate this hot little number. We are not going to re-hash everything that we already told you about last month, but after having a chance to ride sleds with this motor in it, our initial impressions are extremely positive. Numerous test riders said it was like riding a lightweight machine with 700cc 2-stroke power… more on the mountain ride impressions in the box out below.

    Things like a new lightweight integrated electric starter, best in class oil economy, and a more linear power curve have people pretty excited to plunk down cash for this sled. Will it be the 800cc killer some are thinking? Well, with better exhaust flow through the triple stage eRave and a sled that theoretically should be easier to clutch, it just might be!

    You will be able to get the new 600R motor across Ski-Doo’s lineup from the MXZ to the Summit. We feel this motor will really make the trail folks that think they need an 800cc sled think twice about what to buy. That will be especially true in places like northern Wisconsin or New York where some of the trails can get pretty twisty and you need to be able to snake your way through all day and not wear yourself out.

     MXZ, Renegade, Backcountry ... all in

    You can get 3 engine packages in the MXZ now which include the old 600 carb motor (500ss), the new 600R E-TEC, and the new 850 E-TEC. You can choose from the top spring order-only rough trail X-RS and the top trail X model, as well as the more standard in-season Blizzard package and TNT models. The value-conscious Sport model is also available in the Rev-XP chassis with the SC-5 rear suspension.

    The X-RS and X and Blizzard are all in the 129-inch rMotion rear suspension, and like previous years the major difference is the shock packages and options. The X-RS has the big KYB Pro 40 easy adjust piggyback racing shocks in back and Pro 36R shocks up front.  You can get all the adjustability you want on this sled, but not much changed from last year. Same thing goes for all the MXZ sleds, they get the same shocks as last year. The X-RS, X, and Blizzard all get new color option and  you can now get each with the 600R motor and each comes standard with the updated pDrive primary clutch. The drive clutch has dual rollers instead of the sliding buttons. This is a ‘maintenance-free’ clutch and the fixed sheave is finned and there is a new clutch cover. This should help keep things cool and enhance airflow.

    We already broke the news on the Renegade packages being available with the new 900ACE 4-stroke Turbo motor, but the Renegade 4-stroke sleds get a new trail seat too with storage.  Also all of them get the updated pDrive primary clutch. Plus, there is an updated mechanical reverse for the 4-stroke Renegade that is location near the right hand side panel. You can only get the Renegade X-RS in the 850 E-TEC or 900ACE Turbo options. The X model on down you can get the 600R motor option.

    The Enduro gets updated to the Gen4 platform with the RAS 3 front suspension, a new heated trail seat with storage, a new glove box, and more. The Enduro and Adrenaline versions of the Renegade are available with 4 motor options including the 850 E-TEC, 600R E-TEC, 900 ACE Turbo, and 900 ACE. Finally, the Renegade Sport stays in the XS chassis and come with the 600 ACE or carbed motors.

    The Backcountry this year is no longer a ‘Renegade,’ but is its own line of sleds. There is an X-RS, X and standard Backcountry package. The basic difference, again like the Renegade and MXZ lines are shocks and the X-RS and X are Spring Order only versions. They all have the updated pDrive primary and you can get the standard Backcountry with an optional 600R in addition to the 850. The X-RS and X models have a new premium handlebar control with the warmers, reverse, and mode settings on it. The X-RS has KYB Pro 36R shocks on the front and Pro 40s in the rear. All the Backcountry sleds have the new-last-year cMotion rear suspension.

    Grand, Grand Touring

    There are a ton of upgrades to the Grand Touring 2-up line. It comes now in the Wide Gen4 chassis with the new pDrive primary, RAS 3 front suspension, Pilot 5.7 SL skis, with a new 2-up heated seat and more! This is the Goldwing/Bentley of the trail! It gets lots of new creature comforts including a new glove box, adjustable riser, fixed backrest and adjustable passenger hand drips with deflectors and easy to use heat controls, plus a new LinQ storage box standard, new big 24-inch windshield, retractable folding mirrors and more.

    The Grand Touring can be powered by either the Turbo or non-Turbo 900 ACE motors or the new 600R E-TEC. The options for going on long touring rides with this sled are endless! The GT Sport also comes in the new Gen4 chassis with a little less bling, but all of the most impressive features. Unfortunately you can only get this one with the standard 900ACE motor. You can also get the 600ACE GT Sport in the XS chassis still.

    On the Utility side the Expedition is still available in the Xtreme, new SWT, SE, LE new Sport and Sport packages. We talked about the new SWT in the February issue and that is really the big news in this segment for Ski-Doo so we won’t re-hash it here, but the 24-inch wide track on this 154-inch long machine is simply awesome! If you need to tow, you need to get this! Also, the Expedition Sport with 900ACE comes in the new Gen4 chassis as well with the RAS 3 suspension. There are no changes to the Tundra or Skandic lines other than some BNG (bold new graphics).

     Summit gets new 600R E-TEC, and more!

    In January I rode with BRP in Island Park, Idaho testing the new Ski-Doo Summit SP 600R E-Tec.

    Before I get into ride impressions, here’s the details. This little brother of the 850 comes in a 146-inch length with a 2.5-inch lug, a 154 with a 2.5-inch lug, or 3-inch optional lug. BRP’s previous 600 was 120 HP. H.O. E-TEC proved to be reliable, fuel and oil efficient, and that same efficiency is found in the new Gen4, 600R E-TEC. But this 2nd generation 600 has a 30% quicker response and it shares a lot of the same DNA as the Gen4 850. It has plasma coated mono-block cylinders, is more durable than the previous 600 H.O. and the crankshaft is indexed for the pDrive. It is also 37mm narrower on the magneto side than the 600 H.O. E-Tec. (this is so it would fit in the new Gen4 chassis) Fuel economy is claimed to be up to 21 mpg.

    The RPM’s on this sled do not peak and dip anywhere in between bottom- and top-end. The new 600R also has a straight and short intake tract, so response is very quick. The new triple stage eRAVE is three times faster and makes for a very smooth exhaust transition. Performance is improved also because it now has a 15% lower inertia on the crank train thanks to the way the magneto, crankshaft and pDrive all work together. The mono-block cylinder was designed to carefully match the crankcase with its 599.4cc square-design with a bore of 72.3 mm and stroke of 73 mm. All of this translates into the new 600R being more powerful, efficient and much more responsive.

    Accessories available for the new Summit 600R (including new adjustable ski stance) include the fact that the new 600R comes SHOT ready. You can also get it with a new waterproof tunnel bag and a goggle de-icing bag. But probably the coolest new feature is the new Rapid Adjust Ski Stance! Why didn’t I think of that? You can quickly adjust the ski stance by two inches without any tools. Another option/feature for those who transport their sleds on an open trailer or sled deck is the new Ride-on-Covers that allow you to move the sled with the cover on thanks to the open handle bars feature in the cover.

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