Dear Ralph: I’m looking at an article from your Jan/Feb 2012 issue. On page 66, in the Long Term Testing on the 2011 Ski-Doo...

Dear Ralph:

I’m looking at an article from your Jan/Feb 2012 issue. On page 66, in the Long Term Testing on the 2011 Ski-Doo Renegade X 800R E-TEC. You guys put the SLT skis on this and it was a huge difference in ski pressure. I looked them up at SLP, is this a good way to go?

Rob Diehl

Absolutely. The 2011 version of the Renegade X 800 was known for heavy steering, even more so than any of the REV-XP sleds. On that model we tried all of the typical suspension adjustments, but finally gave in and installed a set of the Starting Line Products Straight Line Tracking skis which really took care of the heavy steering.

We have been using these skis ever since they came out, and often sound like a broken record player in that we always talk about how good they work for an all-around ski but it is true. Doesn’t really matter what sled we put them on, it works better. Only the SLP SLT skis have the patented keel, or banana shape, to the bottom so they maintain a light easy steering effort but still hook up and carve. Most of the time skis that carve well have such a high steering effort and are tough to break them loose from going straight ahead. They also have outer ribs on the ski bottom that acts like you have three runners in the snow, so they track extremely well. But the key to the design is the banana keel shape that provides both the bite and the easy steering effort. Think of a long flat carbide runner on the ground. The far ends of the carbide runner act like a lever, in that the further the end of the carbide runner is from the center of rotation, the more effort it is going to take to get it to turn back and forth. With the banana keel shape to the ski bottom, the carbide runner is actually very short so you don’t have to fight the leverage of a long flat carbide runner. It turns easily. The sled’s weight is concentrated on the center section of the curved runner, so it also penetrates well into hard pack and carves through the corners. You can dial in the exact amount of how aggressive you want it to be with different carbide runners, but the length you select will be shorter than on traditional skis due to how this ski works. You don’t need as much carbide to get the same effect.

We like to put the SLT skis on our Polaris and Arctic Cat sleds every year, and put them on our Ski-Doos as needed. They are a very real improvement in tracking and steering effort. I always suggest the #35-126 carbide runners for trail use, good match for the 1.25” tracks these days. But on the 2011 Renegade X it was a remarkable improvement, specifically when we were trying to remedy the heavier than normal steering effort on that sled.

You will need to order a set of ski bottoms, the saddles (mounts), loops, and runners. You will not be disappointed.

Originally published in SnowTech Magazine’s October / November 2012 print version. SnowTech is published 5 times a year and is available as a subscription here, or available on your local newsstand.

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