2019 Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo – My Season Review
We’re already at the end of the season. The days are much longer, and the strength of the sun reminds us that the spring is now well settled in. It is also one of the most beautiful periods of the season since weather conditions as well as the state of the trails are often at their best.
It is not without a twinge in my heart that I must come to terms with the obvious. There are only a few rides left for me before I permanently switch over to summer mode! It is also the time for me to give you my season review of the 2019 Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo.
The big novelty at Ski-Doo in 2019 is without a doubt the arrival of the long-awaited first standard turbo engine offered by the manufacturer, the Rotax 900 ACE turbo. By combining this engine with the Gen4 platform in X-RS ensemble, we stand before a snowmobile that can meet the needs of the most demanding snowmobilers.
As you have read in my mid-season review (read article…), I greatly appreciated this engine since it is both soft and powerful and sometimes even makes us say wow! in our headset. In reading these lines, we must always keep in mind that it is a150 hp engine and in this class, it excels!
The three modes are very different from each other. In ECO mode, everything is more progressive… I tried it, of course, but I must admit that this mode on an X-RS turbo engine is really strange… If the manufacturer would take away the ECO mode on the X-RS, I do not believe that the owners would say anything. This mode is there, but is it really used on the Renegade X-RS? I doubt it.
The NORMAL and SPORTS modes are different and, as far as I am concerned, are designed for entirely different needs. In large straight trails, or large flat planes, or on lakes, SPORTS mode is impressive. The engine is quick to respond to the slightest change on the throttle. The response is excessively lively.
In NORMAL mode, the response is also fast but more temperate… Yes, it goes to full speed but with a certain restraint. So, when I drive in the trails, and the path becomes somewhat sinuous, I drive in NORMAL mode. I had to operate this way in this more than 90% of the time throughout the season. The snowmobile remains easier to control this way, mainly in turns and bumps.
The work of the pulleys is remarkably soft. The power of the engine is transmitted very effectively to the track during sudden departures, and we do not feel a “thud” when the primary pulley closes on the belt. It’s done softly which prolongs the life of the belts. This said, apart from occasional adjustments to the height of the belt in the secondary pulley, everything went well, and I drove with the same belt since the very beginning of the season.
I greatly appreciated the qualities of the Gen4 chassis during this test both for its ease of control and for the driving position. The position is comfortable which allows us to travel long distances by minimizing fatigue.
It also installed LinQ accessories on the rear of the tunnel which allowed us to bring a 14L LinQ tank as well as a LinQ bag.
The RAS3 front suspension and rMotion to the rear provide exceptional comfort. The adjustable KYB shocks allow us to always find a position to maximize comfort. The unit that I rode was equipped with adjustments on the steps. This facilitates adjustments when they are needed.
The snowmobile’s driving was fairly accurate which made for pleasant rides. We feel at ease even though we fell more weight to the front since it is a 4-stroke engine. In bumpy trails, the X-RS is very agile, but with a 4-stroke engine, we must work a little harder when negotiating them at high speed. Also, in fresh snow or when there is a good snow accumulation on the trail, turns are a little more difficult because of the front that is a little heavier.
I appreciate the Pilot TS skis very much even if they are not perfect. Indeed, on hardened surfaces, we notice that they tend to wander; however, being able to adjust the height of the runner makes me soon forget about it.
Ski-Doo has really done its homework. The driving position is comfortable and allows you to move freely from left to right in tight turns. The dials are easy to read when driving and being able to change the information from the handlebar is great. We can find on these dials all the information the driver needs including the second trip counter and the clock.
The only thing that surprised me on this snowmobile is the mechanical lever for the reverse. I would have expected to have an electric reverse that can be activated from the handlebar. This is not a real disadvantage, but it is relatively unique on the latest models among Ski-Doo.
If you opt for a renegade X-RS for long trail rides, you will probably need to consider changing the windshield since it is quite minimalist. We must remember though that the X-RS is based on a race model. We opted for a low-level model. The latter offers decent protection against the wind. We can change the windshield without any tools in a matter of seconds depending on the size that you choose.
Look and Finishing
The Renegade X-RS is very attractive with its fluid lines and racy look. Nothing has been left to chance. The choice of materials, colours and the quality of assembly are excellent.
In closing, I must confess that I have greatly enjoyed my season at the helm of the 2019 Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo. It is an excellent snowmobile, and I recommend it to you without hesitation.