Pre-ride analysis: Ski-Doo Summit X 154 2023

With great enthusiasm, I start my test of the Ski-Doo Summit X 154 2023 equipped with the Rotax 850 E-TEC engine. As you probably know, 2023 is a model year full of new features in the Ski-Doo Mountain snowmobile segment, and I’m really looking forward to testing it!

Gen5

Indeed, Ski-Doo is revamping its mountain snowmobile lineup with the new iteration of the Gen platform: the Gen5. Naturally, many new features are introduced. Personally, my favorite is without a doubt the slimming treatment provided by the new platform. Indeed, the Summit 2023 is 3″ narrower in the footwells than its predecessor.

Just get on the snowmobile and you can tell the difference immediately. Coupled with the 34″ ski spread (the same as 2022), maneuvering in the powder should be a lot of fun!

Summit X 154 2023 New Features 

The two new features we won’t be able to cover in this test are the 10.25″ digital display (available in very limited quantities for 2023) and the Pilot DS 4 skis (only available on X models with Expert Package).

Still, on the topic of new features, our test model will be equipped with the PowderMax X-Light 3″ track with FlexEdge, which contributes to a 4lbs weight reduction compared to its predecessor. This is a lug profile I’m not used to, so it will be very interesting to see how much of a difference a track with larger lugs makes, especially in very deep snow situations.

The new PowderMax X-Light 3″ track is truly intimidating!

The Gen5 platform offers several improvements with its mountain version, both mechanically and ergonomically. First of all, the new four-point engine mount promises a reduction in vibration compared to the Gen4 chassis. This new feature comes in conjunction with several improvements to the engine compartment air intake/exhaust flow. This should, among other things, extend the life of the belts.

Storage 

Ergonomically speaking, several new features seem trivial, but they improve the user experience before and after a ride; let me explain. A new panel provides quick access to the oil tank, allowing you to open it without having to open the entire side of the snowmobile. Similarly, a new cover behind the seat allows you to store a spare belt in a much more subtle location. This also allows Ski-Doo engineers to cut even more out of the chassis footprint.

Finally, the new platform features a new storage box above the steering wheel. This one offers the same storage capacity (3.5L) as the Gen4 chassis but has a different profile. I will have a chance to compare it to the one on my snowmobile (Backcountry Gen4) to see if the new profile is an improvement. 

The new oil tank access panel
The dashboard of our test sled 
The dashboard of our test sled
The new belt storage behind the seat

tMotion X rear suspension 

Another feature I am very excited to test is the new tMotion X rear suspension. I can’t wait to see how the increased travel and weight reduction will translate to off-trail riding. When you think of the weight transfer of the rear suspension, you immediately think of wheelies, but this behavior is also very important in almost every aspect of off-trail snowmobiling: jumps, side-hill, and very technical maneuvers. 

The tMotion X rear suspension is another great new feature for 2023.

Conclusion 

I feel very fortunate to be able to test the Summit X 154 in collaboration with Ski-Doo this season. Writing this pre-ride review makes me even more eager to put my first miles behind the wheel. We are heading into a late season at the time of writing, but that will only make me appreciate my first ride even more!

I’ll see you at my mid-season review later in the season. Until then, don’t forget to follow our social networks so you don’t miss anything about this trial! 

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