“Way” back when the 700cc class was the biggest on snow, we dubbed that mountain segment as the Mountain Muscle class.
Then along came the 800s around the turn of the century and we named that class the Monster Mountain Muscle…never really thinking stock sleds would get bigger. (Okay, so we were a little naïve.)
Enter the 900cc class. We probably never named it because we were running out of superlatives. How about the Mega Monster Mountain Muscle class?
So where do we go with the 1000cc class? The Kick Butt Mega Monster Mountain Muscle class? Or the Monstrous Mega Monster Mountain Muscle class?
Oh heck, just name it the Ski-Doo Summit Highmark 1000 class.
Afterall, it is in a class of its own.
Not only has Ski-Doo been on a quest to become the No. 1 snowmobile seller on the planet, but also to have the most powerful stock sled on earth. Well, mark ‘em down as two for two.
No Real Surprise
Some sled watchers might have been a little surprised that Ski-Doo released the Summit 1000 just one season after unleashing the Summit Revs on the West. They shouldn’t be. The Summit 1000 is really just a natural extension of the re-released Mach Z, a trail monster that will be burning up groomed paths all over flat land country. With the Mach Z, Ski-Doo had the motor—a 996cc liquid-cooled twin—it just had to rework the Rev chassis to get it to fit. And Ski-Doo definitely had to stretch out the chassis to accommodate the 16x162x2.3-inch PowderMax track, which covers an area about the size of Rhode Island (okay, not quite, but close).
The home for the Mach Z and Summit 1000 is the RT chassis, which is based on the Rev chassis, but built to hold the bigger engine. It’s tough not to compare the RT to the Rev, especially when you realize that only 20 percent of the Rev parts are on the RT chassis. Ski-Doo said when designing the RT it wanted a pyramidal chassis with advanced ergonomics while still maintaining a very Rev-like mass centralization. The result was some new thinking and some new hardware. Much of what makes the RT chassis work is stuff you most likely won’t ever see, unless you tear the machine down to the frame. However, if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands and want to perform surgery on the RT, this is what you’ll find: a chassis bolted together for easy maintenance; a structural heat exchanger, which reduces weight while providing rigidity; reinforcement boxes to also increase rigidity; a cast, one-piece engine mount/countershaft support helping ensure precise and fixed engine/clutch alignment; and frame castings that altogether increase the RT’s structural rigidity by more than 20 percent.
Ski-Doo is pretty proud of the fact that with all it had to do to build a home for the 2-Tec 1000 engine the RT chassis is only 4.5 lbs. heavier than a Rev chassis.
If you’ve paid attention so far, you’ve read a lot of talk about chassis rigidity. A 165 hp torque monster—oh sorry, Monstrous Mega Monster Mountain Muscle torque monster—like the Summit 1000 can really work over a chassis, what with all the flexing and strain put on it. So Ski-Doo did things like install dual engine stoppers (also help keep engine and clutches aligned)—one in the front and one in the back of the engine—and two counter balancing gears to help control (but not eliminate) engine vibration.
One of the most completely new components—and one of the most noticeable and impressive—is the 2 Tec 1000cc semi-direct injection engine. We’ve had the chance to ride trail and mountain sleds with this motor and we can safely say, yes, it definitely has power, and then some. That the 2 Tec 1000cc has awesome power was a consensus among the SnoWest SnowTest staff. And now that 2006 is staring us in the face, we should point out that the 2 Tec 1000—Ski-Doo’s first snowmobile engine that is mono block—is 2006 EPA compliant.
The 2 Tec 1000, which pumps out between 20-25 percent more power than the Rotax 800 H.O., features a double V reed design and four injectors. The inside injectors kick in at about 20 percent throttle opening. The four, instead of two, injectors are one reason the second generation Tec engine is more efficient, which makes it cleaner. The Rotax exclusive Rave is now electronically controlled on the 2 Tec (hence the name eRave) and controls the main exhaust and side exhaust ports to optimize performance and fuel economy.
The parts of the 2 Tec include racing type, individually machined combustion chambers, Molykoted dual semi-trapeze ringed pistons and mono block Nikasil coated cylinders. Ski-Doo has also engineered a decompression hole into the cylinder wall to make starting this big ol’ sled easier. To better muffle the noise, the 1000cc sled has a five-chambered after muffler and double-walled manifold.
The size, and probably to a small degree, all the technology, of the 2 Tec 1000 came at a price—weight. The new engine weighs 101 lbs., which is 20 lbs. more than a Series 3 motor.
We can’t mention the engine, as one of the heaviest parts of the snowmobile, without explaining that Ski-Doo mounted the engine as low as possible in the RT to keep a low center of gravity. Not only is it mounted low, but the engine is also tilted 10 degrees back to optimize the mass centralization. With that 10-degree tilt, it is 16 degrees back from how a Rev motor is mounted.
Ski-Doo had to also develop a new clutch to handle the impressive power coming from the engine so the TRA V was created. And improving efficiency in the drivetrain by reducing rolling resistance is a new internal/external drive with 10-tooth drivers. The internal/external drive also allows the track to run a little looser while preventing ratcheting.
The PowderMax track is simply huge. At 16x162x2.3 inches, this track provides the footprint for the power being delivered. The 162x16 offers 1,296 square inches of powder flotation, compared to say a 166x15, which has 1,245-square-inches. Anytime you can stay on top of the snow, the ride is usually better.
The Summit 1000 has many more features, like the RER, new seat and the like, but now that we’ve outlined the techno features of the biggest stock sled on the mountain, how does all that expensive machinery work on the snow?
We were actually a little relieved to hear one Ski-Doo official say at the snowmobile media intro earlier this year that the Summit 1000 will appeal most to the point and shoot crowd. Quite frankly, we were wondering how a 1000cc sled was going to work in the trees and/or boondocking—that is, a 1000cc sled with a 162-inch track. We found out firsthand that the Summit 1000 is a climber, first, because it has the track to make tracks up the mountain and second, it’s got the power to get it there. We’re talking pure grunt work here and the Summit 1000 can get the job done.
When we took the Summit 1000 through its paces, we were in 2-4 feet of fresh powder and we, true to our form, headed right for the trees. In the SnoWest SnowTest staff’s highly scientific (okay, not highly) scoring system, the 1000 scored right in the middle, meaning it’s not a dog in the trees but you did have to work fairly hard. Most of that was due to the nose weight of the sled. When you had to finesse through the trees, well, it just wasn’t that easy.
However, get the 1000 in some open meadows in the powder, squeeze the throttle, hang on and have fun. In the mid range and top end, this sled rocks the white stuff. It’s fun to lay down in the powder, it’s fun to jump (can we say that?) and of course it can dust the competition across a lake or meadow, even in deep powder.
Another area the Summit 1000 scored well in was stability, on and off the trail. Part of that is because it gobbles up small bumps (deep moguls are another story—meaning weight on the nose), but it’s also because the front suspension is silky smooth. And, as much as we hate to admit it, the weight on the nose of the machine helps keep the sled flatter on the ground. Of course, that’s a personal preference for some and not for others.
But then, that’s what the features and attributes of any sled boil down to—personal preference. Big (size wise) riders probably won’t have many problems handling a Summit 1000 while mid size to small riders will wish they could turn into the Incredible Hulk to handle all that power.