To say we were surprised is an understatement. More like, our jaws about hit the ground. As we watched the 2022 Ski-Doo global product reveal on-line, we didn’t know what was about to happen. But when BRP’s Sandy Scullion and José Boisjoli took the stage and started talking about making history, we actually thought they were going to introduce an electric-powered snowmobile. Gulp.
Instead, José announced to the world that BRP would be importing and selling their Lynx snowmobiles, its built-in-Finland European snowmobile brand, to North America. The move marks the first time in decades that a new sled brand has been introduced, and it brings with it an entirely new riding style – something that many advanced riders have been craving for years.
“For the past decade, I have dreamed of bringing Lynx to the North American market not only to expand riders’ snowmobile options, but also to give them the opportunity to enjoy a very different riding experience,” said Boisjoli, BRP President and CEO. “This is an exciting new chapter in snowmobiling history: we’re not just introducing a new model; we’re introducing a whole new brand to North America, which is something that hasn’t happened for several decades,” he added.
Initially, BRP is offering three high-end Lynx snowmobile models to North America, the 137” Lynx RAVE RE, built to enhance the thrill of rough trail riding, and the Lynx Boondocker DS in two track lengths, a low-elevation 154” (DS 3900) and a high-elevation 165” (DS 4100), both made to conquer the deep snow. Each of the models is aimed at the more experienced and passionate riders looking for a totally new and exhilarating on-snow experience.
We’ve been to Finland, toured the Lynx factory and went on a multi-day safari riding Lynx sleds across Lapland. Snowmobiling in Finland is more demanding than it is here in the States, more like what we find in remote areas like Alaska or Canada where trails are not groomed and greater big bump capability and machine durability is required. As such, the Lynx models are aimed more toward hardcore enthusiasts. Nordic snowmobiling on rough “tracks”, as they call them, is a more active riding style without a lot of sitting down, cruising or riding relaxed. The Lynx RAVE RE and Boondocker DS models match that style with unique, high-end features that provide excellent handling characteristics to match the conditions of the ride.
“Lynx riders live to take on the unknown, striving to be the first on and the last off the snow every year,” said Janne Tapio, former Scandinavian Snocross World Champion and Lynx Snowmobile Project Leader. “They believe that the best trails are made by nature, and they’re ready to take on the toughest challenges with a modern, active riding experience. That’s what the Lynx brand delivers.”
The Lynx mystique is born from its deep Nordic heritage, that of a community with “Sisu” – a rugged and tough grit to persevere and conquer. The demanding conditions of riding in or near the Arctic Circle shaped the design and engineering to withstand punishment where few (if any) trail groomers exist and to allow for Lynx snowmobiles to thrive in all snow conditions. Riders that try one will quickly realize the difference is real.
While the Lynx models share a variation of Ski-Doo’s REV Gen4 chassis and front suspension geometry along with the potent Rotax 850 E-TEC, the Lynx models feature a totally unique PPS rear suspension along with a taller seat and specific ergonomics. They ride and act very differently from their Ski-Doo cousins, designed for more of a dirt-bike experience where the rider is doing much of the riding on the rear suspension while standing up and carrying the front end up over the bumps. This is clearly evident when you consider the massive shock absorber diameters with 46mm shock bodies being the standard issue, giving us a far greater oil volume and thus bump capacity.
Lynx RAVE RE
The RAVE RE would line up closest to the Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS with its 137” track length, but again offering a suspension calibration that would more closely resemble something like the Ski-Doo Iron Dog models of past. The RAVE RE is clearly designed for even bigger bumps and more aggressive conditions than the Renegade X-RS.
The key difference is in the shocks, their massive size and their calibration, and of course the third-generation PPS3 rear suspension – named after legendary Scandinavian racer and designer Pauli Piippola. The PPS3 is an uncoupled design (no communication between front and rear arms) with a horizontal, coil-over rear shock on the rear arm. This arrangement gives it the ability to handle unusually large moguls at higher speeds with less chassis disruption while also allowing the rider to carry the front end up and over the moguls.
The chassis is Lynx’s version of the Ski-Doo REV Gen4 platform that Lynx calls their Radien platform. Like a race sled chassis, the Radien platform features additional reinforcements and is going to be more rigid (and heavier) than the Ski-Doo version. Again, the rider cockpit and the ergonomics of the machine are designed to accommodate a more active stand-up riding style and position.
Lynx calls their version of the front suspension LFS+, but we were told it is basically the same as our RAS X front suspension from Ski-Doo but with the huge capacity shock absorbers. Lynx’s front and rear suspensions both feature the large capacity KYB 46 shocks with Kashima coating and external adjustment for high- and low-speed compression damping as well as rebound. If you turn up the clickers on your Renegade X-RS to full firm, then you’re the target rider.
Lynx BoonDocker DS
BRP will also be offering for Spring-order two of the Lynx long track BoonDocker models designed for deep-snow riding; the low-elevation calibration BoonDocker DS 3900 (154” x 2.5”) and a high-altitude calibrated BoonDocker DS 4100 (165” x 3”).
Both deep snow offerings feature an adjustable 35.7-37.4” wide ski stance along with a short tunnel and a axle-mounted snow guard up above the end of the track that directs snow spray to the heat exchanger. This gives the sled a truly bad-ass open appearance, well-suited for a machine that screams radical, rebellious, exclusive and premium. You know at first glance this isn’t your dad’s Ski-Doo!
Both of these BoonDocker models also are being offered with the Rotax 850 E-TEC. A PPS2 DS+ rear suspension features a clean design that is said to allow for efficient clean out and less snow retention for less running weight, not allowing much snow to accumulate inside the skid frame.
The Lynx RAVE RE and Lynx Boondocker DS models are now available for spring-order through March 31, with a retail program that requires a deposit at select BRP dealers in North America. This is a couple weeks shorter than normal, as Ski-Doo and Lynx needs the extra time to get all of the components and sleds built, and then delivered from Finland. The Lynx models will be premium machines at a premium price, as the shocks alone are worth at least $1,000 more. One thing is for sure; those who get one will not only own the very best of the best, they will be the envy of all who understand what a machine like this is truly capable of. These are hard-core sleds for hard-core riders.
For more information on availability, as well as in-depth product information and technical specifications,