During the 2021 Snow Shoot, I had the chance to try out several Ski-Doo models. Of all the tests, two really caught my attention, the MXZ X 129 850 E-TEC and the Freeride 154 850 Turbo.
The MXZ X is a trail machine with the new rMotion X rear suspension. The rear suspension has two longer arms and an extended shock absorber. On the trails, the rear suspension seeks to propel the snowmobile forward. It’s remarkably soft, and the absorption of bumps is barely noticeable. As for the front of the snowmobile, the new RAS X front suspension is a great complement to the rear suspension. The front literally clings to the trails. Helped by the new Ski Pilot X, it’s smooth and aggressive at the same time. It’s an easy to drive snowmobile.
The engine won’t leave you wanting. The 850 E-TEC delivers linear power even at high RPM. The driving position is ergonomic; the controls are easy and intuitive. It’s really easy to take bends at high speed without fear of losing control. The lifting of the skis in detours is practically impossible. The MXZ X is equipped with the new command gauge with a wide range of possibilities, including a connection with your phone and the new BRP.GO! app that will allow you to see the position of your friends. The fiery-red colour of the snowmobile will not go unnoticed.
So, I would describe the MXZ X as a trail beast for those looking for performance and smoothness.
My second favourite of the Snow Shoot is the Freeride 154 850 Turbo. During the week, I tested the Summit X Expert 165 850 Turbo, Summit X Expert 154 850, Freeride 154 850 and finally, the Freeride 154 850 Turbo and here’s what I justify my choice on. First of all, the stiffer suspension of the Freeride gave me a better driving feeling. It was easier to control on slopes and climbs. The reaction of the snowmobile is more pleasant and easier to control. The reinforced running boards do not give the impression of flexing under our feet during maneuvers, and the grip is exceptional.
Now let’s talk about engines. As the tests were at an altitude of between 6000-8500 feet, it’s evident that the turbo allows us to have the full power of the 850, which is a real 165 HP. However, I must confess that before buying a turbo, I advise you to evaluate where you make your outings because if there is no altitude, the turbo won’t bring you anything more.
Aesthetically speaking, the Freeride is magnificent. It will not leave you indifferent with a classic grey colour with a punch of red and a seat with an engraving and diamond pattern. The new 6 lbs lighter hood is also very nice. The model I tried was equipped with the Ultimate graphics set. The sticker on the side is thick and completely protects the panels. It’s a great idea, but they’re optional.
Also, for mountain snowmobiles, new technology is available to protect the belt better. It’s a sensor that measures the temperature of the air around the belt, and if the temperature exceeds a certain level, an audible alarm will be emitted to warn you. This way, you avoid breaking your belt. Don’t worry, during the tests, we pushed it to the limit, and we never had an alarm.
So, my BRP crush swings between the MXZ X and the FreeRide 154 850 Turbo. Since I’m the type who likes to play in the snow, my first choice would for sure be the Freeride, but rest assured that if I return to the trails one day, I’ll remember my trials.
If you have any questions or comments, it will be my pleasure to answer them.
Be safe and have a good winter!