Testing SnowTracker on 2016 Pilot TS skis


by : Daniel Sasseville
Read all articles from Daniel Sasseville
Publish on : 2016-03-21
 

I rode over 2 300 km with the new 2016 Pilot TS skis and I have been asked to test the new SnowTracker for BRP Pilot TS skis.

SnowTracker on BRP Pilot TS skis
SnowTracker on BRP Pilot TS skis

Pilot TS skis perform well on trail if they are properly adjusted. On packed trails, they require more physical effort because they bite hard and if you have not yet managed their adjustment, you could experience some darting and tired arms at the end of your ride.

If you want to ride without worrying about the adjustments, SCM-GL inc. has manufactured the SnowTracker to install on BRP Pilot TS skis. They are rather easy to install but you must carefully follow the instructions to make the most out of them. Once the SnowTracker installed, the adjustment lever of the Pilot TS skis is not functional anymore.

Bolts holding the SnowTracker to the skis
Bolts holding the SnowTracker to the skis

So, I rode another 2 600 km with the Aggressive SnowTracker kit. Please note that there is also the Semi-Aggressive kit. Here are the differences.

Aggressive SnowTracker

Includes 7 ½ in./19 cm self-sharpening carbide runners. Runners and stabilizers offer 1 in./2,5 cm of penetration into snow. Take note that the height of stabilizers is shorter than the runners. So, stabilizers will not come into contact with paved road or road with blocks. Only the runner carbide will support you or will wear out during your passage.

Semi-Aggressive SnowTracker

Includes 6 in./15 cm self-sharpening carbide runners. Runners and stabilizers offer ¾ in./1,9 cm of penetration into snow. Like the Aggressive kit, the stabilizers height is shorter than the runners. So, stabilizers will not come into contact with paved road or road with blocks. Only the runner carbide will support you or will wear out during your passage.

SnowTracker under BRP Pilot TS skisSnowTracker under BRP Pilot TS skis
SnowTracker under BRP Pilot TS skis

Here are my observations

  • I had set the transfer block of the rMotion suspension at 2 and adjusted the pressure of front shock on skis at 2.
  • I tested the SnowTracker in all types of trails : from very icy to very soft or covered with lots of snow.
  • I did not experience any darting on trail.
  • They really bite the trail and I almost did not need to bend in turns. I was controlling my snowmobile.
  • My riding companions saw that I was riding in a very straight position and without effort, which made them jealous.
  • You enter curves with confidence.
  • You feel on the handlebar that the SnowTracker penetrate into the ground, they create resistance and when you let go the throttle, you quickly slow down.

Depht of penetration of SnowTracker into trailAperçu de la profondeur à laquelle peuvent pénétrer les SnowTracker dans un sentier
Depht of penetration of SnowTracker into trail

Fuel consumption was a little higher (around 5 % to 8 %). You could reduce the resistance by increasing pressure on the front shock located under the track and by reducing pressure of skis shocks. I had them calibrated in accordance with my favorite type of riding. Otherwise, it is most likely that the Semi-Aggressive model would also reduce this resistance.

 

Front shock on skis
Front shock on skis

Front shock under the track
Front shock under the track

I set the transfer block on the rMotion suspension at 1 to see how the SnowTracker would react. I noticed some reduction of fuel consumption and of resistance on trail, still without any darting, and I experienced some skidding in curves, but nothing significant.

 

Transfer block (red)
Transfer block (red)

On some occasions, when the trail was running on a gravel road or when we were crossing one, I had to stop once arrived on snow to remove rocks stuck in the SnowTracker.

On very hard surface (with blocks, cement, etc.), it will be difficult to turn, but this also happens with the Pilot TS skis. To solve this problem, a wheel system is appreciated.

I had never piloted before with the SnowTracker and I have been surprised by their performance. If you carefully follow the installation instructions and the recommendations on suspension adjustments right from the start, you should not have to make adjustments later, except for your preferences in terms of suspension.

I hope my report will answer some of your questions about the SnowTracker.

To conclude, I would like to thank Mr Ghislain Lachance, from SCM-GL inc., manufacturer of SnowTracker, who offered them for this test.




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