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2024 Backcountry X-RS: Preseason Analysis

backcountry x-rs 2024

As I write these opening lines, the snow is still late in several regions of Quebec. I was recently informed that I would be conducting a long-term test of a Ski-Doo 2024 Backcountry X-RS. This snowmobile has undergone a major redesign, and it has captured my attention. Throughout these next lines, you will be able to observe these changes and my apprehensions regarding this new snowmobile.

REV Gen5 Chassis

The 2024 Backcountry X-RS also benefits from the REV Gen5 platform. First, I note that they use the trail-oriented chassis, the same as the Renegade and the MXZ. However, there are several specific innovations to this fifth generation. In summary, Ski-Doo has reduced the panels at the front and added an additional engine support to reduce vibrations, as well as insulation panels to reduce noise.

backcountry x-rs 2024

Engine and CVT cooling are also improved. Additionally, there is the addition of a 10.25-inch touchscreen (optional) with the new BRP Connect technology. Lastly, LED lights and new handlebar controls have been added. Having tested an MXZ REV Gen5 last year, I expect a snowmobile with a high degree of refinement and impeccable finish.

Specific to the Backcountry

For the engine options on the 2024 Backcountry X-RS, it’s fairly straightforward. You have a choice of three two-stroke engines. The 600 EFI engine is for the sports model. It will be the 600R in certain variations. The 850 E-TEC will be the only engine available in the X and X-RS versions. It’s worth noting that all these engines have been available for several years. The 850 E-TEC engine is installed in my test snowmobile. I am familiar with this engine and have appreciated its smoothness and performance for many years.

As for the CVT transmission, the concept remains the same. The well-known and tested p-Drive pulley is still used. This means it provides almost instantaneous acceleration and excellent responsiveness.

New Features for the 2024 Backcountry X-RS

The Backcountry was part of the Renegade lineup before acquiring its own identity in 2019. However, it has been present at Ski-Doo since 2010, which is now fifteen years ago. For 2024, there is a significant revision of the rear suspension called cMotion “X.” Ski-Doo has improved the suspension geometry, the travel, and reinforced the rail using over 80% of new parts. Additionally, the steering system is changed to a rack system, aimed at improving handling. I anticipate that we should have less handlebar vibration, as well as better control in bumps compared to the previous generation.

“Additionally, the steering system is changed to a rack system, aimed at improving handling.”

We’re also considering adding reversible ice scratchers and new footrests as standard. Specifically for the 2024 Backcountry X-RS, the central and rear shocks are now KYB Pro 40 EA-3, instead of KYB Pro 36 EA-3. The term EA-3 stands for “easy adjustment 3,” which means a three-level adjustment. These shocks are usually among my industry favourites for their simplicity. Now, it remains to be seen if these new shocks will bring significant improvement when riding in bumps.

Still specific to the X-RS version of the 2024 Backcountry, a new 154-inch-long and 16-inch-wide PowderMax track with 2.5-inch lugs is available. For my test this year, I will be testing the version that I consider to be more trail-oriented. The test snowmobile will therefore be equipped with a 146-inch-long and 15-inch-wide ICE Cobra track with 1.6-inch lugs. The track is pre-studded, which usually provides good acceleration and braking when the trails are icy.

My apprehensions.

In the past, I found the Backcountry, under the REV Gen4 platform and earlier, to have the attitude and vocation of a snowmobile better suited for off-trail riding. I personally categorized it as a 60-40 snowmobile, rather than a 50-50. In this sense, it performed slightly less well than other hybrids on the market. Additionally, although it was less noticeable on the X-RS model, the handling seemed less good on trails due to swaying. With the new steering column and the revision of the cMotion X suspension, I anticipate that the handling of the 2024 Backcountry X-RS will be better suited for trails, without abandoning its off-trail character.

backcountry x-rs 2024

As I am writing this, I have just received my snowmobile. You can’t imagine how excited I am to test the 2024 Backcountry X-RS. Firstly, because it’s a next-generation snowmobile (REV Gen5). It’s fascinating to test and appreciate all the engineering behind the machine. Over the years, I’ve developed an attachment to the Backcountry. In my opinion, the X-RS version is definitely at the top, being the best equipped and featuring the latest technological advancements.

In conclusion, as you may have gathered, I have high expectations for this snowmobile. I hope we’ll be lucky and have plenty of snow by the end of the season. I’m eager to test this snowmobile for as long as possible, both on and off the trails. Keep reading, as I can’t wait to share my first impressions with you. Many thanks you to our partner, Roger A. Pelletier Inc. from Cabano, and to Sledmagazine.com for allowing me to test this snowmobile.

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