Ski-Doo: How Is It Better Than Last Year?

Published in the September 2013 Issue
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The XM version of the Rev platform helped catapult Ski-Doo to the top of the mountains in the West last year. That is evidenced by the fact that Ski- Doo has the best-selling 800 sleds in the deep powder segment for MY13.

While the Rev XM platform and tMotion rear suspension were on enough sleds (notably the Summit X and Summit SP 800R) to help Ski-Doo claim King of the Mountain in the deep powder segment last season, those game-changing features weren’t spread across the entire mountain lineup. Or on Ski- Doo’s Freeride line, for that matter.

Problem fixed.

For model year 2014 the Rev XM will be available in more models, including one sled we’ve been highly anticipating, the Summit SP 600. A variation of the Rev XM platform goes on the 2014 Freeride sleds (137-, 146- and 154-inch tracks).

That means some pretty good sleds just go that much better.

To be clear, the trickle down doesn’t flow to all Ski-Doo mountain sleds. The Summit Sport 600 and Sport PowerT.E.K. 800R are still using the Rev XP platform, but they do get the tMotion rear suspension.

If the Rev XM and tMotion are good enough to help Ski-Doo claim the bragging rights to western riding, then perhaps a refresher course on the major features is due.

The XM platform includes a more forward foot riding position, meaning your feet are eight inches farther for­ward on the running boards compared to the XP chassis. That allows for better sidehilling and maneuvering the sled because you can move more forward on the machine, improving the center of gravity. The rider will now be almost parallel with the steering post.

Other features of the XM include more open running boards to allow for better snow evacuation; the XM seat, which is shorter (by six inches length-wise) and easier to move around com­pared to the XP seat; a rigid mountain strap; and XM handlebars and handlebar controls. Some of the features seem minor and maybe almost insignificant, but all add up to better boondocking ability.

A key companion to the XM plat­form is the tMotion rear suspension with its three key components: a split front arm, ball joint at the hinge between the rear arm and drop link and FlexEdge track. The front arm has a small split that allows a certain amount of flex when the sled is rocked up on its side. As for the ball joint, that little techno marvel allows for four degrees of rota­tion, allowing the ball joint to “flex” two degrees in each direction when you pull the machine up on its side. As for the track, which is still 16 inches wide, the outside two inches on each side of the track flex, reducing the effort to pull the machine up on its side.

Additionally, one other change which improves other models in Ski-Doo’s 2014 mountain lineup is expand­ing the use of the Pilot DS2 Skis and spindle. You’ll now find those skis on the Summit Sport models. These skis have a single-keel design for a better bite while sidehilling and are shorter behind the spindle for easier counter-steering. The spindle is 7mm (.281 inches) farther forward (the caster is the same), which moves the ski back so there is more tail behind the spindle. The keel is also 10mm (.39 inches) deeper vs. the Pilot DS skis.

For the Freeride sleds, the XM variation we mentioned earlier is a mountain-specific Rev XM RS chassis, which is the same one that is used on the MX Zx 600RS race sled, including most reinforcements and wide, strong running boards with an extruded edge.

The tMotion rear suspension is on the 146- and 154-inch models while the shorter 137-inch Freeride gets the rMotion rear suspension. The 146 and 154 also get the PowderMax II track with FlexEdge and 2.4-inch lugs while the 137 gets the PowderMax with 2.25-inch deep lugs.

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