2018 Ski-Doo: Taking The Freeride Experience to the Next Level

February 2017 Feature Viewed 85673 time(s) Web Exclusive

Ski-Doo pretty much broke the internet with the release of their Gen 4 Rev chassis and 850 motor last spring. While the entire sled community was raving about this new setup, one demographic was left wondering why they got left out, the Freeride crowd.

Well Freeriders, all that praying has paid off for you guys. For 2018 Ski-Doo is bringing out the artillery with their most expansive Freeride line up ever. From the super nimble and trail happy 137” Freeride to the newcomer to the group, the 165” Freeride. There are some differences between all the models so lets dive in to what makes these unique.

2018 Freeride with Ski-Doo Accessories wrap by SCS.

Freeride 137 & 146” 

The 137” and 146” models are a breed of their own. They excel on trails as a cross over sled, or out west as the ultimate play sled that feels more like a dirtbike than a sled.

Both of these sleds got some serious attention from the engineers at Ski-Doo. The chassis got some substantial reinforcements for the aggressive riders out there. The running boards have been beefed up with 3mm thick aluminum plating, as well as front and rear supports for the tunnel.

What does this mean? It means this thing will withstand some serious abuse, and rider inputs will be transferred much faster due to a more rigid chassis. In addition, the rails also received Ski-Doo’s own rail brace which looks to be pretty stout.

The running boards on these shorter models are also unique. They come with the RS race style running boards which are wider and flatter towards the back for those aggressive riding styles. 

Front ends on these shorty’s are 38” wide, and adjustable to 40”. They come standard with the premium KYB Pro 36 R piggy back shocks with 22 clicks of compression adjustment. DS2 skis keep the front end planted on the snow.

The 137” Freeride comes with R-Motion rear suspension, the 146” has the mountain friendly T-Motion. 

Here's what one of our Test Riders had to say about these sleds after getting to spend some time on them recently:

"Want a play sled that gets around in the hills pretty good, but is a riot on pillows and booters? Get a 2018 Gen4 Freeride 137. Or even a 146. These are mountain machines you can manual over moguls and logs like a dirt bike. These sleds are extremely flickable and playful, with 38-inch front ends for stability and premium shock packages for top-notch ride quality. Getting these shocks in the Gen4 platform with the snappy response of the 850 ETec is a great combination."

- Ryan Harris, SnoWest Test Rider 

154” S-38 Freeride 

Also new to the Freeride lineup is the 154” S-38. This mid-length free ride features a 38” front end that is adjustable to 40” It differs from the shorter track free rides by having the narrower running boards and DS3 skis as compared to the DS2 skis on the 137” and 146” sleds.

The 154” S-38 comes standard with rail braces.

154" & 165” Freerides 

We consider these two models (with the 36-inch front suspensions) to be a premium Summit model. Yes, they're Freerides, but the differences in 2018 are more marginal than in years past.

You get the narrow 36-inch stance, the same track as the Summit, all the Gen4 features and mountain-specific designs, but with a stronger rail, reinforced running board and higher-end shocks.

The longer Freeride models ride a little stiffer in the mountains, so sidehills and quick line changes are a little tougher because you're not overcoming the uphill shock as easily as the Summits, but if that's a compromise you're willing to make for better bump absorption, this is your sled.

 All Freerides will come Ski-Doo's innovative new "Shot"starter system. For more information on that click here.

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