When you're No. 1, it seems (and probably feels) like everyone is gunning for you.
Ski-Doo wouldn't have it any other way. Ski-Doo rose to the top of the snowmobile hill with an innovative chassis, clean engines and lightweight sleds.
So what is Ski-Doo doing for 2007 to stay in the much coveted spot? Producing new engines, shaving more weight, expanding lineups, you know, the usual.
You'll have to see our other Ski-Doo feature for the story on the spring-only Summits, including the new X-RS. Here we'll give some of the highlights of what else Ski-Doo is up to.
Let's start with the mountain segment (of course). Aside from the new Summit X-RS, the big news for the mountains is a novel track, which is a big reason all the Summits are big losers-weight that is-for '07.
A Real Challenge
The new track, dubbed the Challenger Lite (Lite stands for Low Inertia Technology), is 6-8 lbs. lighter (final specs weren't done by press time) than the 2006 version thanks to an interesting mix of several different design integrations with the lugs, cleats, windows and holes. A more complete description is found in the Summit X-RS story. This new track will even be found on the Summit Fan, which goes from a 15x136x1.5 (2006) to a 16x136x1.75 for this season.
And you don't have to jump on a spring-only model to get the new 800R Power Tek (described in detail in the Summit X-RS story) engine. It is available, along with the 600 H.O. SDI, in the Adrenaline package. Other engine options on in-season models include the 1000 SDI in the Highmark and the 550 in the Summit Fan.
While the 8-pound weight savings is impressive, you can get even more with the Highmark in-season and spring-only models, from 10-15 lbs., depending on the model you choose. Looking at the Highmark in-season model, the extra weight is shed by using the seat from Ski-Doo's 440 racer, a new X-package tunnel design and a link-type sway bar. Ski-Doo even saved a little weight by using a new riser block that has been drilled out. Every little bit helps.
The Adrenaline in-season gets the racing seat too, as well as the riser block and the track is now 2.25 inches deep compared to 2 inches last year. The elimination of the 2-inch deep lug track means no more two inchers from Ski-Doo-it's either 1.75 or 2.25 inches. Also new on the Adrenaline model (800R Power Tek only) is the TRA III primary and HPV roller secondary combo-last year it was the TRA III and HPV VSA.
While Ski-Doo has done a lot of work on the Summit line, it didn't forget the rest of its sled lineup.
Some of those highlights include another new engine-the 4-Tec V-800-and expansion of the Freestyle line. You can also get the XR-S in a MX Z package. Another MX Z for 2007 is the Blizzard. Here's a quick breakdown.
4-Tec V-800 This engine comes from Bombardier's Outlander ATV (debuted in 2006) and is a four-stroke featuring four valves per cylinder with an electronic fuel injector in each cylinder. It offers up 65 hp and can reach 75-80 mph (we can verify that). The big bonus with this engine is that it's 37 lbs. lighter than the V-1000 and it gets 30 mpg CDN compared to the 26 mpg CDN of the V-1000. This engine is available in the Legend (touring), Expedition and select utility sled models and is aimed at the rental market, those new to the sport, baby boomers and ski hill operators.
MX Z X-RS A spring-only model, this version of the MX Z has many of the same features as its cousin, the Summit, including the MX Z 440 racing seat, racing handlebars, riser block, hooks (plus Acerbis handguards), the racer clear fuel tank and windshield and lightweight polycarbonate hood. The sled also gets C-36 Racing Clicker front and rear shocks, painted A-arms and the RipSaw or Ice Ripper track (1.25-inch lugs). The RS stands for racing special so that's the look you get.
Freestyle Now there are three-the Park, Backcountry and Session. Ski-Doo expanded this entry-level machine to appeal to a wider variety of riders from trails to backyard to backcountry. The Backcountry model (aimed at snowboarders and freeriders) has a 16x136x1.25 PowderMax track, the 550 fan engine, HPG front and rear shocks, a sway bar, mountain strap and rack. You can still get the 300cc engine in the Session model but the other two have the 550. The Park is for the higher performance guy, hence the look and bigger motor.
Blizzard Think of this as kind of a gussied up in-season sled that you normally would have only been able to buy spring-only in the past. It fits between the MX Z Adrenaline and X models. We had a chance to take this for a spin in Michigan in January and it is a great, fun sled. In fact, of the sleds we rode that day-from the Mach Z to the Renegade to the Freestyle to the Legend, the Blizzard was our favorite. The suspension, supported by HPG clickers in the front and center and HPG T/A in the rear, was stellar on the rough trails we rode. Standard on the Blizzard is the 1.25-inch RipSaw track and a link-type sway bar. Although the Blizzard is offered with an 800 H.O. Power Tek or the 600 H.O. SDI, we rode the 800 model and it rips. We were very impressed with this model and think it will be a good seller for Ski-Doo.