The Freestyle Explosion
Last year Ski-Doo introduced their simpler, lighter, smaller and less expensive Freestyle. Powered by a single-cylinder 300cc, it demonstrated the basic elements of a less complex snowmobile that could be loads of fun without such a high price. Attracting younger riders was the main idea. It was perfectly suited for â€œtweenerâ€ riders – between the pint-sized Mini Z and full-sized fan-cooled sled. Strong sales (many areas were sold out early in the season) confirmed that the market for a lightweight, easy-to ride, radical-looking sled is strong.
While the concept was valid, the narrow ski stance and small engine narrowed the appeal of the machine greatly. Now for 2007 witness the Freestyle explosion. Ski-Doo has broadened its appeal with a more powerful engine and two new packages for more experienced riders. Once there was one, now there are four. All of the three additional models are powered by a revised version of the twin-cylinder Rotax 550cc fan-cooled two-stroke.
The Rotax 550 fan has been in production for a number of years, and gets revised port timing for the Freestyle models to give it even more bottom end and midrange, a re-shape of the powerband (if you will) to best match the application.
The narrow stance 300 is now called the â€œFreestyle Session 300Fâ€. Also offered is the Freestyle Session 550F, the Freestyle Back Country 550F, and the rad-looking bad-boy Freestyle Park 550F. Where the original Freestyle was intended and equipped mainly for play in meadows and approved areas, with light trail riding, the Park targets more experienced riders who want top performance. The Back Country will especially appeal to riders wanting to head into deeper snow for freeriding, or snowboarding.
All of the Freestyle models remain true to the vision; smaller, simpler less complex sleds that are less expensive and within the reach of more buyers, especially younger ones.
Here is the extreme Freestyle sled, ready to take on trails and stunt parks. The orange and black Freestyle Park is a tricked-out model with upgraded shocks, more powerful engine and race-style handlebars. Eating up bumps – in the trail or snow park – are standard HPG shocks in the front and rear, as well as the snocross-proven SC-4 rear suspension. For stable cornering, the ski stance is widened to 39â€ and a sway bar is added. A 121â€ x 15â€ x 1.25â€ lug track boosts traction.
With the added power of a standard 550cc fan-cooled engine combined with the ultra lightweight and nimble RF platform, trail riding and playing in snow is really fun. The official dry weight spec is 410 pounds! Trail ride it, play with it, it’s all good. For ultimate maneuverability, Rotax Electronic Reverse is standard.
Of course, Ski-Doo designers had to match these upgrades in substance with upgrades in style, too. The Freestyle Park looks trick with an extra-low windshield, riser block, J-hooks and Acerbis handguards. The body reflects a radical attitude with new grey body panels with spicy orange hood and graffiti-style graphics.
The 2007 Ski-Doo Freestyle Park sells for $5,849.
Freestyle Back Country
The new long-track Back Country package improves your capability for heading into deep snow and freeriding. The more powerful 550 Fan engine does a surprising job at spinning the 136â€ x 16â€ x 1.25â€ PowderMax track, and with an official dry weight spec of 415 pounds (four hundred fifteen – no, that was not a typo) the Back County floats where others sink. Pulling this one out of the rhubarb is equally as fun; it’s really much less of an issue.
You can bang on this one as well, as it too is fitted with the capable SC-136 rear suspension and HPG shocks, front and rear. The wider 39-inch ski stance and sway bar makes it very trail capable as well, giving the Back Country a wide swath of conditions that it works well in. A speedometer, cargo rack and center grab strap are all standard issue as well.
The 2007 Ski-Doo Freestyle Back Country sells for $5,849.
For 2007, Ski-Doo is expanding the base Freestyle’s capability on trails, with the added power of the RotaxÂ® 550F engine and a 39-inch ski stance standard. Now riders won’t have to pedal as hard when trail riding, trying to keep up with the rest of the pack. A 300cc/32-inch ski-stance configuration is also still available with the Session package. 550 models also come with a speedometer, standard.
Keeping the Freestyle accessible to its young target, it still starts at an aggressive price point. The 2007 Ski-Doo Freestyle Session 550F retails for $5,399 and the 300F a mere $4,099!
Last year we liked the idea of smaller, lighter and less expensive, but felt the single-popper 300 was just not enough. Even for a novice, but maybe a youngster. Getting three new models with a 550 fan is just what the dealers and consumers wanted, and the results are a bullseye. The added torque of the 550 makes for fun ski popping and brisk acceleration, fun but not obnoxious. They remain more of a play sled than an MX Z, but open up the realm of possibilities for younger riders and how they want to use their equipment. Image is everything to them, and these sleds are cool, especially the Park.
We were able to trail ride them extensively, where they performed with ease. The Park was more agile through the trees where the Back Country floated better. Their super light weight makes them a joy to do tricks with where other sleds would land with a â€œthudâ€. That’s the idea. Not everyone needs to go at warp 9 to have fun. A new age sled for new age riders.