Long-term trial of the 2016 Ski-Doo MXZ Blizzard 1200 – First impressions

Last fall, during our discussions with Groupe Contant to choose a snowmobile for our long-term trial, the 2016 MXZ Blizzard 1200 has been quickly considered. Beyond the specifications and different standard innovations included, I was very curious to see if the overall performance of this snowmobile would live up to the reputation of this Ski-Doo racing legend. After many hundreds of kilometers on trails since the beginning of the season, I can tell you that this snowmobile is definitely fulfilling the expectations of the most demanding snowmobilers.

 

The MXZ Blizzard 1200 is a very sporty snowmobile that lives up to the reputation of its legendary name in the racing world.
The MXZ Blizzard 1200 is a very sporty snowmobile that lives up to the reputation of its legendary name in the racing world. 

Motorization

For 2016, the 1200 4-TEC engine is now equipped with iTC, the intelligent throttle control system. It offers three engine modes, Sport, Standard and ECO. It seems like you have 3 engines in 1. I rode over 22 000 km on Ski-Doo snowmobiles equipped with 1200 engine since the 2008-2009 season, so you can believe me when I say that the 1200 4-TEC engine with iTC is much more supple, softer and offers better response at low throttle. Despite the outstanding performance provided by the Sport mode, the Standard mode is my favorite on wooded sinuous trails. This mode makes snowmobiling safer in this type of trail; acceleration is much softer and progressive. Standard mode also brings more safety when you get the snowmobile up into the trailer at the end of a ride. 

 

Pilot TS skis

Personally, I think that the Pilot TS skis are quite an innovation that will certainly shake up the snowmobile industry during the coming years. Right on my first ride, I saw the advantages of this ski with adjustable runner. With a knob located on the ski leg, you can adjust the height of the carbide runner to get the best bite in turns. This is very useful when conditions change during the day. It takes only a few seconds to make the adjustments and you can go back riding right away with a snowmobile that works perfectly in accordance with current trail conditions. The Pilot TS ski makes snowmobiling even safer by allowing you to adjust the front end of the snowmobile to its optimal performance no matter the trail conditions.

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The revolutionary Pilot TS skis are among the standard equipements of the MXZ Blizzard
The revolutionary Pilot TS skis are among the standard equipements of the MXZ Blizzard

Suspension

The 2016 MXZ Blizzard 1200 is equipped with the RAS 2 front suspension with HPG Plus shocks. These ones are easily adjustable with the same threaded ring found on the X models. It lets you make micro-adjustments for a much wider range of settings to calibrate the suspension to your preferences. The rear suspension is the 129 in./327,6 cm rMotion with HPG Plus shocks. Front and rear suspensions of the MXZ Blizzard provide a very sporty type of riding, and also a very comfortable one.

Track

The standard track of all 2016 MXZ Blizzard lineup is the Ice Ripper XT of 129 x 15 x 1.25 in./327,6 x 38,1 x 3,18 cm with carbide studs embedded in track lugs. Before the beginning of the season, in our different reports and presentations, we said that a 129 in./327,6 cm track was an excellent compromise between the agility of a 120 in./304,8 cm short model and the comfort of a 137 in./348 cm long models. The 129 in./327,6 cm edition gives definitely a more sporty look than the 137 in./348 cm edition, but it offers a similar traction. In matter of comfort, the combination of the 129 in./327,6 cm track with the rMotion suspension makes the MXZ Blizzard very comfortable, even on bumpy trail. During many seasons, I piloted models equipped with tracks of 120 and 137 in./304,8 and 348 cm; I assure you that the 129 in./327,6 cm edition is the best choice for snowmobilers who want the maximal performance and agility on trail. The studs embedded in track lugs offer a better traction on icy surfaces, and a better control during cornering or braking. In very icy conditions, as we have met since the beginning of the season, the studs on the Ice Ripper XT are necessary to get safe rides. 

 

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The MXZ Blizzard 1200 is equipped with a track of 129 in./327,6 cm and the rMotion suspension
The MXZ Blizzard 1200 is equipped with a track of 129 in./327,6 cm and the rMotion suspension 

Chassis

All 2016 Ski-Doo trail snowmobiles equipped with the 1200 4-TEC engine are from now on assembled on the REV-XS chassis. One of the features we really liked about the REV-XR chassis in the past, was the protection against wind. In this matter, the REV-XS is a success as it offers the same level of protection. One of the main advantages of the REV-XS chassis is the impressive number of accessories available, unlike its predecessor.

Riding experience

Each snowmobile model offered by a manufacturer like Ski-Doo aims a precise segment of the market and calls upon your emotions in order to make your riding experience the best possible. When a Ski-Doo snowmobile is called by the legendary name Blizzard, expectations are very high. Personally, I just savor each kilometer piloting the MXZ Blizzard since the beginning of the season. I was used to the GSX model since many seasons and now, I discover all the excitement of the sport riding offered by the MXZ lineup. The combination of the suspension with the track of 129 in./327,6 cm and the Pilot TS skis allows the snowmobile to have a very sporty performance while offering an excellent comfort. I found the suspension with HPG Plus shocks to be very well balanced and very efficient. Along with the iTC system, the 1200 4-TEC engine is really softer. In matter of looks, the MXZ Blizzard is a very attractive snowmobile that makes heads turn. BRP can definitely say that the riding experience of the 2016 MXZ Blizzard 1200 is a success.

Jean-François Leclerc, test pilot of the 2016 Ski-Doo MXZ Blizzard 1200
Jean-François Leclerc, test pilot of the 2016 Ski-Doo MXZ Blizzard 1200

Continuing the tests

Even if Mother Nature has not been very cooperative with snowfalls since the beginning of this winter, we still have within our long-term trial program, many wonderful rides to enjoy and thousands of kilometers to ride before the season ends. Even if my first impressions on the 2016 Ski-Doo MXZ Blizzard 1200 are very positive, I want to continue my tests on the overall performance of the snowmobile during multi-day rides, and the fuel consumption. I also want to check out the general reliability of the snowmobile components. So, what happens next should be very interesting and above all, it should be very pleasant to pilot this 2016 MXZ Blizzard 1200.

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We invite you to watch a video prepared by columnists of SledMagazine.com related to their first impressions on the MXZ Blizzard.

You are also invited to watch a video of comparative test between two wonderful Ski-Doo innovations, the Renegade Enduro and the MXZ Blizzard 1200.

 

Thanks to our partner Groupe Contant for the achievement of this long-term trial

 

Thanks to our partner Groupe Contant for the achievement of this long-term trial