Ski-Doo 2017: Everything You Need to Know About the Gen4 850 E-Tec Summits

Ski-Doo Ryan Harris
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Although they've been floating around on social media for a few days, not much has been known about the 2017 Ski-Doos.

First, there's the looks. Obvioiusly, there's the new platform––REV Gen4––which is lighter (the 2017 Summit X is 25 pounds lighter than a 2016 XM Summit X), narrower, improves rider positioning and features some cool new technology like vertical spine running boards and cooler-less tunnel cooling design. A big focus was placed on mass centralization. 

And then there's the new engine. All-new from the ground up. This 850cc twin boasts 10 percent more power than the previous 800 eTec. The new engine incorporates a lot of cool features from the world of Diesel engines and state-of-the-art 4-strokes. 

The new 850 E-Tec is centered in the Gen4 chassis, where the 800 E-Tec is off-center (left). This allows the overall width of the vehicle to become more narrow.

  • Noticeable reduction in effort to roll the sled.

  • Simple math –– reduction in width of mass central circle nets big results.

  • 850 E-Tec Engine is 1.6 inches narrower than 800 E-Tec

  • The 850 is positioned 2.2 inches more towared center of chassis.

  • Nearly a 50/50 even distribution in side-to-side weight.

SnoWest test rider Steve Janes rode the 2017 Summit 850 in January in Canada. He had this to say of the tapered tunnel and rider ergos: 

"Upon mounting the sled, we could tell the ergonomics of rider position was greatly improved. There was more room forward, less girth between your legs and a very natural feel in both sitting and standing positions. A beveled tunnel and seat design allowed free movement from side-to-side of the sled. You weren’t crawling over your seat. You were shifting and sliding. And an open foot stirrup allowed you to get even with your steering when you moved forward on either side."

If you want to see the rest of his comments, check out the upcoming March issue of SnoWest Magazine

Here's a run-down of all the new stuff on the 2017 Summits:

  • New REV Gen4 Platform.

  • New Internal-tunnel cavity cooling exchanger.

  • New Rotax 850 E-Tec engine (30 percent quicker response, 40 percent more oil range than 800R E-Tec, direct-bearing oiling system).

  • New muffler design.

  • New RAS 3 front suspension.

  • New PowderMax Light track with FlexEdge (3.5-inch pitch, 2.5-in or 3.0-in lugs, overall weight reduction of 13 pounds).

  • New tapered tunnel design.

  • Updated tMotion rear suspension (2.6 pounds lighter).

  • New pDrive primary clutch with clicker adjustment (100% new clutch, oversized rollers, needle bearings, wide flyweights, shaft-on-shaft design).

  • New easier clutch flyweight clicker adjustments.

  • New Mountain toe hold (attaches to chain case).

  • New Ergo-Step side panels (shaped to support rider's shins on downhills, narrower profile, minimizes paneling out, bottom pan shaped for floatation and carving).

  • New profile running boards (Vertical ridges for strength, allows snow to pass through, cuts through snow rather than pack down snow, flatter foot position, .75-inch higher than REV-XM running boards –– X Package only)

  • New Mountain Light seat.

  • New Compact digital gauge (flat, highly visible from standing position)

  • New Mountain Light handlebar controls.

  • New Mountain rear bumper.

  • New Summit chaincase is made from magnesium (saving 3.3 lbs).

  • New 9.5-gallon compact fuel tank (Here's a secret you were kept in the dark about for the last few years: the 10.6-gallon tank on your XM could never use the last gallon and a half, no matter what angle you moved to. So with the new 9.5-gallon tank, range isn't any less than with the 800 E-Tec).

  • Updated Tapered aluminum handlebar with rigid grab strap.

  • Updated glove box (1 gallon capacity, under windshield).

  • Updated accessory-ready.

  • New colors: Orange Crush/White or Black.

Other features:
  • Ski stance is 36 inches (adjustable from 35.7 to 37.4 inches).
  • Pilot DS3 skis.
  • Brembo disc brake.
  • HPG shocks by KYB on SP models.
  • HPG Plus shocks by KYB on X Package models.
  • Ice scratchers on X Package.
  • RER returns on 850 E-Tec.
  • RF DESS Key returns.
  • Electric start (spring order option).

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