Freeridin’ With A Turbo

February 2020 Feature

Go big. Don’t look back. Go bigger. Repeat. Such is the way the mind of a Freeride rider works. They are wired to push beyond boundaries, driven to go one bigger or better than the last time. The 2021 Ski-Doo Freeride embodies that same bold mindset.

Some look at intimidating terrain features and think to themselves, “Not today.” This rider looks at that same terrain and sees thrilling opportunity that they know will blow minds and open their own eyes to even greater possibilities. Just like these riders, others might label as “crazy” or “over the top,” the Freeride is ready to astonish and turn heads.

In order to be that sled for these riders, the Freeride must deliver unmatched power—everywhere. The renowned Rotax 850 E-Tec does just that, but now there’s an option to go further. Enter the new Rotax 850 E-Tec Turbo. It delivers the full 165 hp of the Rotax 850 E-Tec up to 8,000 feet and continues to add a massive 40 hp advantage above that mark over the normally aspirated 850 E-Tec—and does so with about half the weight penalty of a typical aftermarket turbo kit. Add in zero lag in throttle response, integrated design to maintain chassis balance and backed by an OEM warranty, there’s no excuse for a rider to hold back.

Freerides are bred to shred in the strong and responsive Rev Gen4 platform featuring limit-pushing KYB Pro series shocks the Freeride riders revere, but with some noticeable changes or 2021. Riders will immediately see the abbreviated tunnel giving the Freeride a new level of deep-snow maneuverability and reduced weight.

More weight savings can be found in features like new lightweight shock springs, a new compact weather-resistant seat, large opening running boards that promote better snow evacuation and new one-piece lightweight hood.

More rider-inspired features like small-diameter handlebars, new 4.5-inch backlit digital display and the Ski-Doo exclusive battery-less push-button SHOT starter system make the 2021 Freeride a premium extreme rider experience on snow.

What’s New For 2021

  • Rotax 850 E-Tec Turbo engine (154/165 only)
  • Short tunnel design
  • One-piece lightweight hood
  • Low mountain strap
  • Small diameter handlebars
  • Lightweight shock springs
  • QRS Vent Plus
  • New color scheme
  • Updates specific to 146-inch model

Lightweight ski spindle

6.5-inch (165 mm) fixed riser

Pilot DS3 Ski

35.7-37.4-inch adjustable ski stance

Profile running boards

Rail-mounted ice scratchers


Rev Gen4 platform: The open design of the Rev Gen4 mountain platform allows riders to ride freely with their own style, attacking terrain as it suits them instead of the sled. Designed to be the most agile, responsive sled in the mountains, the side-to-side centralized mass creates a sled that’s ultra-responsive to rider input, making it easy to initiate sidehill and carving maneuvers even in the most technical terrain.


tMotion rear suspension: The tMotion is both extremely agile and ultra-responsive to rider input. A simple shift in rider weight is all it takes for the sled move in the desired direction. A swiveling rear arm and split front arm allow the skid frame to flex laterally for easier roll up into a sidehill or carve. Rising-rate motion ratio adds capacity to handle big drops and comfort when riding the trail to get to the mountain. Optional adjustable limiter strap gives riders quick, easy choices in ride dynamics.

Rear suspension rail stiffener: Reinforcement ensures strength on hard landings.

KYB Pro 40 EA piggyback rear shocks: Extreme capacity, extreme durability shocks for control in the toughest conditions. Easy Adjust compression damping adjustment knob does not require tools.

RAS 3 front suspension: Precise, predictable handling and outstanding bump absorption, even in harsh conditions, with state-of-the-art unequal length A-arm front suspension.

KYB Pro 36 R EA piggyback front shocks: Extreme capability, extreme durability shocks for control in the toughest conditions. New design is more efficient for higher performance; compression and rebound calibration ranges are optimized. Easy Adjust knobs for compression and rebound adjustments.

Sway bar quick-disconnect: Disengages and engages the sway bar in just seconds, without tools. Keep it on while riding trails, disengage it for the powder.

Key Features

Narrower, adjustable ski stances: A 35.7 inch (90.7 cm) ski stance makes the front of the sled as easy to roll-up as the rear. Stance can also be widened 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) to add more stability for riding style and conditions.

Tunnel design: More freedom for the rider to move thanks to the beveled shape allowing for narrow tank and seat. Open rear cap design eliminates drag in deep snow. Heat exchanger is integrated using cutting-edge friction stir welding manufacturing process for greater heat transfer, added strength and less weight.

NEW Short Tunnel: Shorter tunnel length allows for optimal maneuverability in deep snow. Standard rear lightweight snowflap with LinQ-ready attachment points.

pDrive primary clutch with clicker adjustment: Fast and friction-free dual rollers transfer torque in place of traditional sliding buttons. Oversize rollers with needle bearings, wide-based flyweights and a shaft on shaft design emphasize smooth operation and long life. Clicker ramps allow easy adjustment for top rpm. Ultra-responsive shifting, impressive rpm consistency, lightweight and maintenance-free. Fixed sheave is finned to circulate more air and is paired with the new CVT cover delivering better air flow and cooling.

Drive belt: PBO material and design enhanced drive belt durability in deep snow.

NEW QRS Vent Plus driven clutch: Finned fixed and moving sheaves maximize airflow of the CVT system to decrease overall operating temperature and offer consistent performance.

NEW Drive Belt Monitoring System: Alerts riders in two different ways, duty cycle and temperature, if drive belt issues are impending before failure. Allows rider to be proactive to prevent belt failure.

Brembo disc brake: Hydraulic system from the world leader in brakes and racing-style pads provide powerful, fade-resistant stopping power. Steel-braided line.

Ergo-Step side panels: More comfort thanks to the ergonomic design of the rear section of the panels shaped to support the rider’s shins on downhills. Narrow profile and shape at bottom minimizes “paneling out” in sidehilling. Bottom pan is shaped for flotation in carving and sidehilling.

Open toe-hold: True freedom to choose. Enables rider to naturally and freely adjust footing on the running board. Optional toe-hold accessories available to customize the fit for all styles.

NEW Compact lightweight seat: Lower, shorter, narrower, lightweight design allows for easier rider movement on the sled. Developed with backcountry expert Carl Kuster. Improved weather resistance to preserve its lightweight characteristic.

NEW 4.5-inch digital display: All-digital LCD gauge with flatter viewing angle for an easy-to-read info center while standing.

Mountain Light handlebar controls: Even more compact design for no interference with the rider. Warmer switches on console. RER reverse button further shielded.

NEW Small diameter handlebar and grips: Tapered bar ends for improved rider comfort.

NEW One-piece Lightweight Hood: One-piece Polypropylene construction reduces weight by 6 lbs. Optimized for heat management and noise reduction.

Glove box: 1 gallon (4 L) storage box under windshield is ideal for storing a spare pair of goggles or gloves. Improved seal to keep moisture out. Wiring and marked cut-out for USB and 12V accessory outlets.

Rotax Electronic Reverse (RER): A simple push of a button reverses the sled by reversing the direction of the engine. Adds nearly zero weight.

RF DESS Key: Ball-and-socket design with embedded radio frequency microchip ensures solid connection.

Sea Level Calibration: Many riders at lower altitude are adopting the Freeride model for deep snow use onlower elevation slopes. In order to meet those needs BRP is offering two calibrations of the drive train; One for high altitude, above 4,000 feet (1,220 m), and a sea level calibration for those who ride below 4,000 feet (1,220 m).

Accessory-ready: Designed from the factory for easy installation of more than 150 Ski-Doo accessories for the Rev Gen4 platform, including LinQ cargo system, skid plates, side panel vents, auxiliary LED light, GPS receiver, 1+1 seating system, alternative windshields and more.

Rotax Engine

NEW Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo engine: The first-ever factory-built 2-stroke turbocharged engine in any industry. The Rotax designed and built turbo provides full 165 hp from the industry’s strongest 850 twin up to 8,000 feet of elevation and remains a constant 40 hp more above that mark compared with normally aspirated 850s. Sophisticated design integrates flawlessly with the Rev Gen4 platform for ideal balance at minimal weight. Ultra-impressive power, instant response with no lag, and factory reliability from a turbocharged 2-stroke—only the industry’s leading manufacturer could develop and stand behind it.

Rotax 850 E-TEC engine: The next generation of the most advanced direct-injection two-stroke engine technology. This powerful twin delivers an exhilarating experience with 165 hp and 30 percent quicker response. The power comes instantly and forcefully. Fuel and oil economy remain impressive. Designed for reliability and durability with proven 4-stroke and long-lasting automotive engine technologies.


NEW Catalyst Grey

Spring Options:

  • SHOT engine starting technology: Push-button starting with nearly no added weight. After an initial pull-start, the engine charges an ultracapacitor. Pushing the handlebar SHOT button for subsequent starts uses that stored energy to turn the magneto into an electric motor that turns the crank. E-Tec technology then fires the engine to start. Eliminates nearly 20 lbs. (9 kg) compared to conventional electric start.
  • 3-inch (7.62 cm) track lug height (154 and 165 sea level, standard on 165 high altitude)
  • Sea Level Calibration: Powertrain is calibrated for riding below 4,000 feet (1,220 m).

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