Before the hoopla, the pages of detailed product information and the data overload that comes from riding all the new 2004 models, the SnoWest test riders took the time to write down their initial impressions of each of the new models as they rode them.
With the 800 class mountain sleds based on first impressions in relationship to performance expectations, the Ski-Doo Summit Rev stood out from the competition as the most exciting new model. All four of our riders found that not only did the Summit Rev make a great first impression, but after spending some quality seat time on it, its second impression was as high as its first.
When it came to the suspension, it was virtually a dead heat with the 800 mountain sleds. One interesting note though was that the models with the 151-inch tracks scored just a little higher than both the 159- and 144-inch tracks. In fact, when it came to track preference, the 151s seemed to always get the marks for "just right" while the 144s were rated "too short" and the 159s "too long." But the 159s scored better for "aggressive mountain riding."
As for power, again all the 8s had impressive marks. The general comment was that the 800 engines were all very responsive with plenty of power to turn the track.
Finally, we asked our riders what sleds would lead, compete, or follow. No sled in this class was expected to "get used to following" the others. The Summit Rev again scored high as being a leader. But it was noted that with this very competitive class, all three brands would likely "hold their own" on the mountain.