Yes, I had the chance to test several Ski-Doo 2024 models. In this article, I will give you my very first impressions! If you want more details on the various new models, I invite you to read the other articles that our team has prepared for you… Here, I want to focus on my impressions…
Renegade 900 ACE Turbo on Gen 5
First of all, the folks at Ski-Doo have reclassified several models for 2024. Thus, the Renegade family is now powered by 4-stroke engines only, except for the version with the Enduro package which will also be offered with the 850 E-TEC engine. The MX Z is offered in two lengths (129″ and 137″) and only with two-stroke engines.
As expected, Ski-Doo is extending the use of its Gen5 platform to several 4-stroke models. I tried 3 models, the Renegade X-RS 900 TurboR, the Renegade X 900 Turbo and the Renegade Adrenaline with the Enduro package.
Aesthetically, the people at Ski-Doo have done a great job of migrating these 4-stroke models from Gen4 to Gen5. This success is not limited to the look but also affects the machine’s behavior on the trails.
The Renegade’s ride is smooth and you don’t feel any weight on the skis. You can therefore negotiate turns with great ease. The suspension real-time is very good. I noticed a nice balance between the front and rear suspension allowing both to limit the transfer during acceleration which maximizes the traction of the skis in curves.
By limiting the transfer, the rMotion X suspension also allows for better traction during acceleration. This allows for a greater appreciation of the power offered by the 900 ACE Turbo and TurboR engines.
The X-RS model was equipped with the Smart-Shox semi-active suspension. I could also see that I could push the machine more in the corners without the outside ski trying to dive. This greatly reduces understeer, if not completely eliminates it. The Smart-Shox system also increases comfort when the trail is bumpy since the shocks are readjusted in real-time. In short, the riding experience of the X-RS package is enhanced compared to the other 2 Renegades we tested.
The Renegade Adrenaline with Enduro Package was equipped with an adjustable air suspension. This model is also very pleasant to ride and is in my opinion a snowmobile designed to devour the miles in comfort. I consider it the perfect model for people who have adopted a less aggressive riding style. The fact that you can change the adjustment while riding is an advantage mainly if you frequently alternate between solo riding and riding with a passenger. You can then have optimal comfort at all times without having to leave the seat.
MX Z 850 Turbo 137″
I must say that I did not see the fact that an MX Z would be offered with a 137-inch track. It’s a matter of semantics, you might say. Until 2023, MX Zs were known for their short axles. Starting in 2024, we’ll have to adjust our perception, it seems.
Like most people, I expected that sooner or later, Ski-Doo would offer us an 850 turbocharged engine in its trail models. It’s now a done deal! I’m very happy tan that they opted to offer it “sooner” rather than “later”.
As you will read in another article, this engine does not have an intercooler as such. Ski-Doo’s goal is to have the turbo be used mainly for short periods instead of being active all the time. For those who wish to use the turbo for longer periods, such as on long lakes, a water/methanol injection system (XPS Ice) is provided. See our other article for more details… For normal use, the injection of this liquid will not be necessary.
In terms of power, this engine develops 180 HP, which is 15 HP more than the naturally aspirated 850 E-TEC.
Another interesting feature is that the MX Z 850 Turbo 137 weighs the same as its counterpart with the 850 E-TEC engines with an electric starter. How did they achieve this? By using the Shot system! This eliminates the weight of the electric starter, battery and a few other components. By keeping the same weight, the weight/power ratio is improved, hence the performance!
On the trails, I was very surprised by the behavior of this engine. Wow! Power at will and no delay. The acceleration is impressive. All this without the extra weight that you could have with a 4-stroke engine. The turbo adds punch to the 850 at key moments.
Combining the powerplant with the Gen5 chassis and rMotionX/RAS-X suspension while keeping the same weight, the riding experience is very sporty and above all very enjoyable. It’s what you’d expect from an MX Z, and the folks at Ski-Doo nailed it. Great job!
Backcountry with cMotion X suspension
The Backcountry has also been migrated to the Gen5 chassis for 2024. Several other improvements have been made to this family. The goal is to make trail riding more stable and predictable without affecting off-trail performance.
The most important innovation is in the rear suspension. Ski-Doo introduces the cMotion X, which has been revised to reduce transfer. Like the rMotion X suspension, the front suspension arm has been lengthened and positioned higher.
In terms of handling, Ski-Doo has equipped the Backcountry with a rack and pinion system. This system keeps the skis parallel in curves and bumps. This gives us a more predictable behavior.
Over the years, I have tested the Backcountry several times and I considered this snowmobile as a 70/30 and not a 50/50. In my opinion, it was much more adapted to off-trail riding than to trail riding. Indeed, I found it quite unpredictable, especially in turns.
When I tested the Gen5 version with cMotion X, I was pleasantly surprised. Indeed, I noticed a great improvement mainly in the negotiation of turns. The snowmobile remains more stable. It is impressive.
Unfortunately, I was not able to test it off-trail, but the Motoneiges.ca team will have the opportunity to test it off-trail during the Snowshoot next week.
In short, if Ski-Doo’s advance is true and the off-road riding is as effective as ever, I think the Backcountry is now a true 50/50!
I invite you to read the rest of this article where I will present my first impressions on my tests of the 100% electric Grand Touring, the famous Launch Control and the new braking system offered on some models.
Once again, Ski-Doo is showing us what it’s all about in 2024. I invite you to consult our other articles on the Ski-Doo 2024 lineup on SledMagazine.com.
Also, visit your local Ski-Doo dealer and the manufacturer’s website for more details and promotions during the Spring sale.