Ski-Doo sells more snowmobiles than anyone else, and that lead is growing. Over the past year they have increased their market share in all segments, especially in the mountains. Their warranty costs have decreased and customer satisfaction has increased. Where do they go next? How about enhancing the riding experience; making snowmobiling “easier”.
It was just last year that Ski-Doo introduced us to their next generation REV-XS and REV-XM platforms. These new REV variants were only offered on a limited number of sleds, so for 2014 it is logical to see most of the remaining REV-XP models being converted over to their latest designs. That means sleds like the MX Z X-RS and GSX (2-strokes) are now on the REV-XS platform, and the Freeride models are on the REV-XM platform. Four-stroke 1200 models remain in the REV-XR body style, but we get a new ACE 900 engine that does fit into the REV-XS body style.
The Rotax ACE 900 engine with intelligent Throttle Control (iTe) technology is the next member of the Advanced Combustion Efficiency (ACE) family of four-stroke engines. A triple-cylinder variant of the mileage king ACE 600 engine, the new ACE 900 claims up to 23.3 miles per gallon while producing 90 horsepower. It is essentially another piston and cylinder added to the ACE 600, giving us the 900cc displacement.
This new ACE is clean, as it meets the National Park Service Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements. It is operated with the industry’s first electronic throttle-by-wire technology – intelligent Throttle Control (iTC). iTC technology provides three driving modes: Sport (quick acceleration/response), Standard, and ECO (improved fuel economy/more relaxed response). A rocker switch on the left dash lets the driver select the mode, and the electronics do the rest.
iTC also provides the industry’s first Learning Key: an alternate tether cord limits top speed and acceleration. Dad can ride the sled and go have fun, then hand the learning key to a younger rider who is electronically limited to help keep them from going too fast, so it’s like having two, or three sleds, in one. Or four. This one is going to be VERY popular.
The bulk of Ski-Doo riders will be happy to see the expansion of the REV-XS and the world-class rMotion suspension to so many more models. In the Summit series, the REV-XM platform has been expanded to many more models along with the capable tMotion rear suspension and FlexEdge track technology.
We also find a new track drive system (on the Grand Touring LE with the ACE 900) for 2014 in the SilentDrive System, where BRP engineers took a fresh look at the drive system to significantly reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Silent Drive uses advanced 16-tooth internal drivers, longer rails and a unique track design to reduce the drive system noise and vibration, up to 70% versus a regular sled.
When you first hop on a 2014 Ski-Doo, one of the first things you will notice is the new left-hand handlebar control assembly that is simpler and more intuitive to operate. Instead of having the buttons rocker left and right, they now rocker up and down. Each and every new feature is aimed at enhancing the experience to make snowmobiling easier.
Ski-Doo’s flagship MX Z X-RS bump sleds make the conversion over to the REV-XS platform for 2014. Only offered to Spring buyers, this is the same chassis with reinforcements as found on the 600RS race sled for the ultimate in strength. Offered in your choice of E-TEC engines, the 800R or 600 H.O. The steering post comes in the forward position for aggressive riding.
The Spring-only MX Z X-package models remain one of the best sellers because of their capability and adjustability. Fitted with the Quick Adjust option for the rMotion suspension, riders can quickly dial the spring preload or shock valving to exacting settings for the most capable suspension available. Smooth through the chatter and able to take on the big bumps, this is an outstanding suspension package. Also offered in the REV-XR platform with the 1200 4-TEC engine package, a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you prefer a four-stroke. Go for the Quick Adjust option, it’s worth it.
If you haven’t had the chance to ride a sled with the rMotion, you need to try one. Most suspensions can be set to work good in a particular condition, but the beauty of the rMorion is how it works so well across a wider range of conditions. Now instead of being limited to a small number of models, Ski-Doo has expanded it to many more models for 2014. All of the in-season MX Z TNT models get it. All Renegades (except the Sport) get it. And all of the GSX models get it; and if you want the best of the best, the GSX SE has rMotion AND the ACS air control shock. If ride quality is your single most important criteria, here is the best.
Ski-Doo has been making big gains in the mountain segment, and this will continue for 2014 as ALL Summit models, even the Sport, get the pivoting tMotion rear suspension and FlexEdge track technology. These features make mountain riding easier, even for the less experienced, as the sled is more responsive to the rider’s inputs and desires.
Ski-Doo is leading the engine wars as well. They are all at, or near, the top in terms of power, fuel and oil economy, with excellent running quality and lower noise emissions. Short tracks, long tracks, two-strokes, four-strokes, work, play and everything in-between, they’ve got it all.
This article was from the Spring 2013 issue of SnowTech – published in March 2013
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