The Oct/Nov 2012 issue is in the mail and features 26 pages of 2013 New Model reviews on the following sleds: Arctic Cat F1100 LXR, Ski-Doo Expedition Sport, Yamaha Venture MP, Polaris Indy 600 RMK, Arctic Cat Sno Pro RR, Yamaha RS Vector, Arctic Cat F 800 Sno Pro RR, Ski-Doo GSX SE, Polaris Rush Pro-R, and Yamaha Apex. Also in the Oct/Nov issue was the following new model review of the 2013 Ski-Doo Freeride. Subscribe today to see the other new model reviews and get the December issue of SnowTech delivered to your door! Or if you would like to immediately see the Oct/Nov issue, you can buy a single digital edition from Zinio here.
2013 Ski-Doo Freeride – Specialized Deep Snow Shredder
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all snowmobiles. Nobody knows this fact better than Ski-Doo. Not everyone wants to be riding the exact same Summit 800 out on the mountain. This is why we not only have different track lengths and different suspension packages, but we now also have a host of custom graphics packages to choose from as well. I mean, how boring would it be if we all drove the same colored pick-up truck, same model, same brand, same option package?
This is one of the ways Ski-Doo is taking us to the next level. Case in point, the Freeride. Used to be called a Summit Freeride, but now it is under its own badge and its own name, and its own identity. With the Freeride, Ski-Doo is taking segment and model specialization to the next level. By coming with such a specialized snowmobile they are able to raise the riding experience for those specific riders who wanted more, who wanted something very specific that the manufacturers were not providing. The Freeride fills a gap that had only been fulfilled by specialized mod sleds, ones that improved upon the stock Summit and made it capable of doing more.
Somewhere along the line a number of mountain riders got bored with just climbing chutes and carving through the meadows. Typically younger riders, they had grown up on snowmobiles are were capable of doing more with their machines than what their dad or uncles did. They started to jumps things the size of a small house, or drop off of cornices, or just plain liked to fly through the air (with controlled landings, of course) and liked to show off. Problem was, the stock sleds of the time were not capable of withstanding such “abuse”. So they started seeing how nobody wanted the year-old race sleds, the short track snowcrossers, and they knew the race chassis would be better suited to their antics. The race sleds had more reinforcements, more bracing, stiffer suspensions, strong springs, firm shocks, all kinds of beefed-up components that were better suited to their crazy style of riding.
Ski-Doo saw this coming as well. So when they decided to make their first Freeride models, they quite simply started with the short track race sled chassis (the MX Z-X RS) and morphed it with a long track Summit and worked towards what we now know as the Freeride. First introduced as a 2011 model, the Freeride was different from a Summit not only in chassis reinforcements and suspension capability, but also in appearance – it had to look different – very different. Like crazy graphics – and lots of crazy graphics to choose from. And it was an instant hit.
Now for 2013 the Freeride comes straight from the factory with a new color: Squadron Green, with day-glow orange accents. Yep, it’s different by design. Even the rising-rate progressive rear suspension is different, with incredible capability for pounding through the moguls or sucking up big landings (the 137” Freeride stays with an SC-5 rear with reduced coupling for better deep snow agility). All Freeride models are powered by the world-class 800R E-TEC for the best in power and efficiency, along with quick-disconnect sway bar and optional wrap kits to make it yours. If extreme is your middle name, look no further as you can get about as sick as you dare on the new Freeride
The 2013 Ski-Doo Freeride 137 & 146 retail for $13,449; the 154 goes for $13,799, now available all-year long instead of only in the spring.