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MXZ X-RS 850 E-TEC — Power, Comfort and Agility… I Couldn’t Resist

mxz x-rs

Once again this year, Ski-Doo took us by surprise. Indeed, by introducing the new RAS RX front suspension, it has tackled one of the few weaknesses of its trail snowmobile lineup: understeer. “We didn’t see it coming,” as they say. Having ridden an MXZ X-RS 850 E-TEC in 2024, I was very curious to see how the same snowmobile behaves with the RAS RX equipped.

RAS RX Suspension — The Big News for 2025

As I just mentioned, the REV Gen5 platform has had a problem so far. It was the tendency to understeer in unravelled snow. Yes, it was possible to get around the problem with more aggressive carbide beams, but this could have an impact on other aspects of the ride.

So Ski-Doo tackled the root cause, which is the snowmobile’s tendency to roll. To achieve this, the manufacturer brought the roll centre 25 mm higher while reducing the distance between it and the vehicle’s centre of gravity. This keeps the front of the snowmobile more stable, making the outside ski more in contact with the trail.

In addition, the manufacturer has also equipped some of its 2025 models with the Pilot RX ski, which offers 60% more lateral surface area than its predecessor. In the turns, the skis therefore have more downforce on the snow. This will make it easier for the snowmobile to follow the desired trajectory.

For those who would like to know more about the RAS RX suspension and the Pilot RX ski, I invite you to read the following article.

suspension ras rx

My Review of the 2025 MXZ X-RS 850 E-TEC

This year, my test drive of the 2024 MXZ X-RS gave me a good basis for comparison. Indeed, although the snowmobile season was not very long, I still managed to spend quite a bit of time behind the handlebars.

The 2024 version I drove was also equipped with the Smart-Shox semi-active suspension. Thus, when turning, the shock absorbers of the skis corrected much of the roll effect. However, the lack of traction on the side of the skis made it more difficult to negotiate more winding trails. I was observing this tendency to understeer, which forced me to reduce speed in order to maintain my “line” throughout the curve.

During the Snow Shoot, I could immediately see the difference. I believe the reason is the new Pilot RX ski’s profile, not the suspension. However, for a snowmobile that isn’t equipped with Smart-Shox, the improvement that the RAS RX offers during turns is more obvious.

On rougher and bumpier trails, the RAS RX suspension allows for greater stability and, most importantly, it becomes more predictable. You can therefore increase the pace on this type of trail while remaining in full control of the snowmobile at all times.

mxz x-rs

Special Mention—Backcountry X-RS With RAS RX

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to ride Backcountry bikes many times. I always felt very comfortable on my off-trail excursions. Things were quite different on the surfaced trails, however. This was because the narrower spacing of the skis at the front made the snowmobile less stable in the turns. I felt less confident and had to stay much more alert.

Equipped with RAS RX suspension, the Backcountry’s ski stance increases from 39 to 43 inches. This greatly improves the stability of the front of the snowmobile in curves. I could see that immediately from the first turn. Even with a longer track, it’s much easier to negotiate the winding segments. I have to say that the Pilot RX skis help a lot too.

So, if you’re a snowmobiler who splits their time behind the handlebars between on and off the trails, I invite you to seriously consider the Backcountry X-RS with RAS RX.

My Favourite

You guessed it, my 2025 Ski-Doo favourite is the MXZ X-RS 850 E-TEC. Some might ask me why I didn’t choose the competition version with the turbo engine. Yes, it’s powerful, yes, it’s impressive, and yes, it’s beautiful. But is it the best for me? No, I don’t think so.

When choosing a favourite, we ponder a crucial question. “Which model would I like to be able to drive next year that will best meet my needs and expectations?”

mxz x-rs

So, after careful consideration, I believe the Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS 850 E-TEC with Smart-Shox semi-active suspension is the one that is best suited for me. It’s the model I’ll have the chance to ride all winter long next year. I’m already starting to count the days!

Have a great summer everyone!

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