Crossover Mayhem & Mtn. Madness!
The phrase, ‘Don’t hate the player; hate the game’ comes to mind as Ski-Doo once again showed the amount of innovation and just plain ‘wow factor’ it takes to lead the industry.
Headlining MY2015’s class of sleds is the new Ski-Doo Summit X 174. Now we don’t usually cover the mountain market with quite the scrutiny as the trail market, but this is an industry-first. 174 inches of mountain carving track is sure to turn more than a few heads! And what isn’t new for 2015 in the Renegade line? This crossover group sees the addition of the ultimate X-RS race package (excuse us while we wipe the drool from our chin!) along with further refinements to meet the demands of nearly every riding style.
Ski-Doo has expanded the ACE 900 engine to the utility sled category too. The ecofriendly engine that’s both hardworking and easy on the gas pump is a welcome sight for those dependent on sleds for transportation.
Item 1A in the innovation category is the new RAS 2 (Response Angle Suspension) front suspension for improved big bump handling and flatter cornering. Following closely is 1B, an industry-first finger throttle courtesy of a rotating throttle block on the ACE family of engines. A newly designed DESS Key for easier operation will be welcomed by all and iTC (Intelligent Throttle Control) technology expands to all the 600 ACE engines, giving more riders more driving options.
A new swatch of eye-popping color schemes and accessories for many sleds will ensure these rides don’t go unnoticed!
Momentum is what any mountain rider needs to succeed, and Ski-Doo has certainly gained momentum in the mountain segment with their Summit the past two seasons. It really shouldn’t surprise us that they used that momentum as a spring-board to introduce something entirely new to the industry – the 2015 Summit X 174.
A first of its kind 174-inch track, the folks at Ski-Doo believe this will bring a new level of traction and flotation to mountain riders and boondockers alike. This thing looks like you could land an airplane on it! With the 3-inch lug, you might be able to ride through the ozone on a cloudy day.
As if the gargantuan track length wasn’t enough, the BRP crew developed the optional T3 package for the ultimate mountain monster. (Summit X with T3 package is available as a Spring Buy.) Built on the same REV-XM base as the Summit X, the T3 package adds an updated tMotion rear suspension with a swiveling rear arm and split front arm for more lateral flex in the skidframe and easier carving. It also has a lighter rear arm, axles and wheels, and an updated PowderMax 3 track with FlexEdge technology. This 174x3-inch track employs several modifications to drop nearly 2.5 lbs!
New Pilot DS 3 skis have a 12mm deeper keel than the previous DS 2 version and a new chaincase, heat exchangers and lightweight muffler dropped a combined 9.5 lbs. Add in the 1.76 lbs. savings from the RAS 2 front suspension and you’ve got a 174x3-inch sled that weighs the same as a 163x2.5-inch sled! All that powered by the 800R E-TEC at 163 horses with the linear powerband so many mountain riders appreciate with precise throttle response. Both the X and the X with T3 package feature HPG rebuildable shocks from KYB.
Even without the T3 package, the Summit X is a formidable Spring Buy mountain sled. It still comes with 800R E-TEC and a ‘less-blingy’ version of the tMotion rear suspension in a 146, 154 or 163 length. The Summit X features a new Sea Level Calibration in the electric start sleds for the increasing number of riders seeking deep powder below 4,000 ft. elevation. In season, Ski-Doo offers the 2015 Summit Sport and Summit SP for the more value-focused consumer. Rounding out the mountain sled segment for Ski-Doo is the Freeride with a wild new manta green/magenta coloring. New for 2015, the 137 Freeride gets the same FlexEdge track and two rear wheels that have worked so well for the two longer track Freerides. The 137 also gets electric start standard.
Finally, a true Race Renegade
It’s no secret that Ski-Doo’s MX Z X-RS has been an AmSnow favorite for years. After all, it was named American Snowmobiler’s “Sled of the Year” in MY2014. So you can imagine our excitement when the black cover was removed from a 2015 137-inch Renegade with the letters ‘X-RS’ emblazoned on the side panel.
With ever-growing numbers of consumers moving into the “crossover” market, it was a no-brainer for the folks in Valcourt to bring more rider-specific, longer-tracked packages to this market segment. Not only have they brought the race-oriented X-RS package (Spring Buy only) to this category, but they’ve added new features on several models including handguards, handlebar controls, iTC and new colors.
The X-RS package is designed for the hardcore enthusiast searching for the features and feel of Ski-Doo’s RS snocross machine. Built on the familiar REV-XS RS chassis with r-Motion suspension and the Rotax 800R E-TEC engine, the new Renegade X-RS package also features the new RAS 2 front suspension, adding stability and control in the big bumps, combined with KYB Pro 40 piggyback racing shocks.
New transparent handguards (ready for an industry-first LED accent light option) and a Sunburst Yellow/Fusion Red color scheme will snap a few necks as it goes down the trail in 2015.
We’ve been longing, asking, and lobbying for a 1.5-inch track on crossovers for a while now, and the X-RS delivers! It brings a 15x137x1.5 RipSaw track standard. An optional 1.25-inch Ice Ripper XT track is available for those riding primarily on hard pack or ice.
The 15-inch-wide track is new to the Renegades for 2015. As the more trail-oriented of the Renegade models, it comes standard on the X-RS, X package, Adrenaline and Sport models. We think it will suit those riders who are aggressive on-trail just fine with improved cornering and quicker acceleration to top speed. We think other OEMs missed the boat by not offering the 1.5 lug track, instead opting for longer lugs that don’t as easily allow consumers to stud tracks, and diminish top speed and maneuverability.
Another Spring Buy is the Renegade X, available in the REV-XS or REV-XR platforms. New in 2015 is the RAS 2 front suspension for both. The XS is available with the 600 H.O. E-TEC or the 800R E-TEC and comes with the option of a 1.25-inch RipSaw or Ice Ripper XT. The XR is equipped with a 1200 4-TEC 4-stroke delivering up to 18 mpg and the RipSaw 1.25-inch track. Optional for both is the rMotion Quick Adjust system.
In 2015, the Renegade Adrenaline uses the RAS2 front suspension, a 15x137x1.25-inch RipSaw track, new Catalyst Grey/Race Orange coloring and four engine options including the 800R E-Tec, 600 H.O. E-TEC, 1200 4-TEC and now the 900 ACE. The 900 ACE engine has 90 hp and fantastic fuel economy (up to 23.3 mpg), but also adds the rotating throttle control we mentioned earlier that can be positioned as preferred, including as a finger throttle.
The Sport rounds out the more trail-oriented Renegades. The 600 ACE engine and its industry-leading 27.7 mpg combines with the REV-XS platform in 2015 and gets the iTC which can rotate to a finger throttle. A Carbureted 600 engine makes its debut on this sled in 2015 in the REV-XP version of the Renegade Sport.
No need to worry my boondocking friends, the Ski-Doo minds behind the Renegades haven’t forgotten you! In 2015 the Backcountry and Backcountry X (Spring Buy only) keep their 16-inch-wide tracks, but are updated with FlexEdge technology. Both sport a 137-inch rMotion rear suspension with two rear wheels in 2015. They also get the new RAS 2 front suspension. The added 20mm of ground clearance will be very popular with these sleds! Both versions are also equipped with the Summit’s REV-XM running boards with aggressive boot grips and better snow evacuation for romps in the deep powder.
The Backcountry is powered by your choice of the 800R E-TEC or the 600 H.O. E-TEC 2-strokes. The Backcountry X features the 800R E-TEC and HPG Plus R shocks with rebound adjustment up front and KYB Pro 36 rear shock with Easy Adjust high-low-speed single knob compression adjustments. The X adds race-style brake pads, a multi-function gauge cluster, a race-look mid-windshield and new transparent handguards.
Trail and utility = bread and butter
What more could you want? I’ll tell you! The MX Z has been one of the most popular consumer buys for years, a bread and butter sled for Ski-Doo, and for good reason. It too gets the RAS 2 front suspension on select REV-XS packages like the TNT, and Spring Buy X-RS and X models. Both Spring Buys come with 800R or 600 H.O. E-TEC engine option. The X adds the 1200 4-TEC choice with new primo handle bar control in the REV-XR chassis with HPG Plus R front shocks and KYB Pro 36 shocks rear. The X-RS moves to the REV-XS RS racing platform adding KYB Pro 40 piggyback rae shocks. Both add transparent handguards and splashy new colors.
The ’15 MX Z TNT comes in four engines: 800R or 600 E-TECs, 1200 4-TEC or 900 ACE with iTC and rotating throttle. It has the RAS 2 front suspension and new color combos. New to the Sport is a REV-XS chassis option and the ACE 600 engine with iTC and rotating throttle.
The GSX remains the premium trail duster it’s known as. The LE version adds the rotating throttle in its 900 ACE package, while the SE brings an 800R E-TEC option, new premium handle bar control and platinum/satin coloration. The GSX is the only trail model without a RAS 2 front suspension option.
2-up Grand Touring models all receive SilentDrive Systems and new handle bar controls. The Sport version is newly offered in a REV-XS for 2015.
The Ski-Doo Expedition adds a 900 ACE engine choice and Pilot DS 2 skis in the SE and LE for 2015. The Spring buy SE includes a high capacity battery, 1,500 lbs. WARN Winch, cargo box and more. The Expedition Sport adds a 600 ACE option for 2015.
The utility segment, another Ski-Doo bread and butter area, especially in Canada, the Tundra and the Skandic add new features and engine choices. The Skandic adds the 900 and 600 ACE while the Tundra brings a 600 ACE to the Sport and LT models. Skandics add Pilot DS 2 skis. Tundras feature new colors in all models. Tundra Extreme is the ritziest of the group with four LinQ cargo system cleats, LED tail light, REV-XM running boards and forward steering post.
Lead Dog Innovations for 2015
The late Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Team BRP certainly takes that to heart, but, being first doesn’t always make it the best. Sometimes you take what’s good and do it better.
Ski-Doo has done that with the RAS 2 front suspension. The newest evolution in an already strong front setup gives riders improved straightline precision in big bumps and less roll in corners. Oh, and it’s lighter weight, too!
Adding 12mm on the forged spindles raises the upper ball joint changing the camber throughout travel minimizing bump steer. The skis toe out slightly when the suspension is fully compressed for more precise big bump handling.
The taller spindle creates a new angle for the upper A-arm bringing the sled’s roll center closer to the center of gravity for very flat cornering and minimal inside ski lift. It’s also offered as an accessory kit too!
Ski-Doo introduces the industry’s first finger throttleon 600 and 900 ACE engines in 2015. The throttle control fully rotates around the handlebar. It’s called a finger throttle, but it really gives riders a customizable throttle position. No tools required!
2015 brings improvement to the DESS key. We all know the ‘beep, beep’ chirp of a Ski-Doo when the key is not properly in place on its post. A new ball-in-socket design creates a ‘no-doubt’ connection. As one Ski-Doo engineer put it, “No more beeping!” On behalf of sledders everywhere, we say, “Thank you!”