One of the more interesting new models for 2016 is the Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro. Following the emerging Adventure sled theme, the new Enduro adds some unique features to the popular Renegade 137” platform to broaden its capabilities and appeal.
For 2016 Ski-Doo has dropped their GSX series of sleds, including the GSX SE models that were fitted with the Air Ride version of the rMotion rear suspension. With the GSX no longer being offered, the Air Ride technology was too good to just let go by the wayside, so Ski-Doo decided to enhance it and move it over to the new Enduro model. The GSX SE was already a 137” solo-rider machine, so the transformation into a Renegade Enduro was actually not that difficult. The Air Ride rear shock features an air spring with an on-board compressor so the rider can increase or decrease the preload to one of five settings, on the fly, with a left thumb rocker switch. This is in addition to the traditional torsion springs of the rMotion suspension, so the Enduro has incredible adjustability and range, giving it the utmost in capability.
What’s missing is adjustable shock damping, something that riders of X-package sleds might miss. Where the Air Ride was calibrated pretty plush on the GSX SE, the shock has been re-calibrated for the Enduro with an estimated 50% increase in shock damping, giving it incredible bump capacity when combined with the Air Ride and its inherent resistance to bottoming. That is the beauty of an air shock – an exponential rise in spring rate at the end of the travel which makes it extremely difficult to bottom the suspension. But unlike other air shocks, this one retains the supple ride quality through the stutter bumps as the rMotion also has the traditional torsion springs, so the shock action is minimal at the beginning of the travel for outstanding ride quality as well. No other rear suspension has this broad of a sweet spot, none.
SnowTech test riders have been running a pre-production 2016 Renegade Enduro 800R E-TEC for 1,200 miles, performing direct side-by-side comparisons to a 2015 Renegade X-RS 800R E-TEC. What you first notice is the difference in handling afforded by the new adjustable Pilot TS skis. Not only the ability to quickly adjust the amount of carbide blade extending from the ski bottom, but also the difference in ski bottom profile for more predictable handling with reduced steering effort yet again. This really surprised us in that the handling was more predictable, and in how we could dial in the handling response to exactly what we liked for changing conditions or rider preference. The difference was amazing, and actually surprised us that is was far more than a gimmick – it was a significant improvement to the handling and cornering capability.
Past the Air Ride rMotion and the Pilot TS skis, the Enduro adds an XC front bumper, and Ice Ripper (pre-studded 1.25” Ripsaw) track and 12V accessory and visor outlets to the Renegade platform. All Renegades already have the industry-standard in cargo capability with the LinQ attachment system on the rear of the tunnel, but the Enduro does not come with any cargo bags as standard issue. This way the owner can choose the bag(s) that best suit their application – we mounted the fuel caddy and medium sized cargo bag, just like we do on all of our Renegade sleds.
The rear shock valving of our (pre-production) Enduro is noticeably firmer than what the GSX SE was fitted with, and while it worked extremely well for all of our 200+ pound riders, those under 200 pounds commented on how it was firmer than what they could set the X-RS to with its adjustable damping. On the flip side, our larger riders really liked the ability to tweak the preload on the fly, but even they never used a setting above #3, demonstrating the wide range of capability and load capacity that the Enduro brings to the party.
As much as we love our 2015 Renegade X-RS 800, all of our riders were in complete agreement that the 2016 Renegade Enduro was in fact a better sled, despite having no shock damping adjustability. It ran better, even smoother and more linear. It rode better, able to take on whatever we threw at it. It handled better, more predictable with less pushing. It was easier to ride, and it just plain worked. Our only reservation would be if you are looking for a plush GSX SE type of ride quality the Enduro is not that sled, especially if you are under 200 pounds. But if you are an aggressive rider or one that weighs over 200 pounds, the Enduro performs admirably. We might have a hard time justifying the added cost for the Air Ride over say a Renegde X or X-RS, as we really like the adjustable shock damping on those models, which will also have the Pilot TS skis for 2016. It all comes down to the ability to adjust the Air Ride preload on the fly and the resistance to bottoming, which are undeniable advantages, that come at a cost.
The 2016 Renegade Enduro is for riders who ride on bumpy trails, smooth trails or through the wilderness. It can be used for a multi-day long distance run, or for an adventure traversing meadows and woods of untracked snow. The Renegade Enduro is ready for any adventure you are. After 1,200 miles of spring testing, we can tell you it is so impressive that we will be riding one next year.
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