Renegade Enduro 1200 – First impressions

Hi, fellow snowmobilers ! I am very happy today to present my first impressions about the new 2016 Renegade Enduro 1200 !

The Enduro is designed for snowmobilers who love long-distance rides and who appreciate occasional off-trail riding. This hybrid machine of 137 in./348 cm is available in 4 choices of motorization : 600 H.O. E-TEC, 800R E-TEC, 900 ACE and 1200 4-TEC. Our trial machine is equipped with the 4-stroke 1200 4-TEC engine with Air Ride shock.

Even if it is hard to find good riding conditions due to lack of snow, I have still been able to put the Renegade Enduro to the test in many different conditions. About 700 kilometers in two days in the Hautes-Laurentides region !

When we left Saint-Donat, our test began on harden-bottom trail covered with some soft snow. Nice weather around -6 °C, almost perfect !

Wireless throttleThrottle body opening control
                                   Wireless throttle                                                 Throttle body opening control

Personally, it was my first time with the wireless throttle, incredibly smooth for your thumb. It took me a few kilometers to get used to it… The progressiveness of the lever is very different from a traditional throttle with cable; the feel of a quick response appeared only after many kilometers. Once acquainted with its response, it is just wonderful, as precise as a traditional throttle. However, the combination of the smaller throttle body of 46 mm with its electronic control device delivers a better response than the previous 1200 editions. Smaller air inlet with similar engine provides quicker air intake in the intake system. To visualize this, think about your thumb on the water hose. This way, the diameter of the hole is reduced to increase pressure and to project water further. Despite this reduction, Ski-Doo people do not mention any reduction of the optimal performance.

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Ergonomics…

Seat of the Enduro
Seat of the Enduro

The riding position of the XS chassis is very comfortable, the running boards leave plenty of room for your boots and the riding position is forward enough to be comfortable with your feet resting flat. The seat is wide and very comfortable; its material is just enough gripping to keep the pilot at the right position and let him move freely in more aggressive riding. And what about its nice finishing, with the name Enduro embroided on the seat. The only minor inconvenient is that when it is snowing, it is difficult to clear the seat completely and if you do not take time to remove snow completely before leaving, the heat produced by your bottom will melt the snow and create moisture…

 

Deflectors and windshield
Deflectors and windshield 

The handlebar was too low during my first kilometers; after a few clicks to raise it, I was more comfortable. Protection against wind is very good, even better than the protection offered by the 1200 edition in the XM chassis. On our departure on the second day, it was about -25 °C. The small deflectors located under the windshield are very efficient for the middle part of your body and for your hands. The medium windshield provides good protection to your upper body; however, the appropriate helmet and neck warmer are necessary.

 

Controls
Controls

Hand and thumb warmer controls are easy to reach and you can read the heat level on the digital gauge. To adjust the suspension, you need to move your hand to reach the control located on top of the handle that operates the adjustment and then, use the hand warmer control to make the modification. You must be careful if you want to make adjutments while riding.

Mirrors are fine, strongly attached to the lateral deflectors, no vibration, with excellent view on the outside of your arms.

Comfort…

Air Ride shock
Air Ride shock

Personally, I think that this is the most remarkable element of the Enduro 1200 ! The rMotion of 137 in./348 cm combined with the Air Ride shock offers a very high level of comfort. The suspension literally swallows small and medium bumps and if conditions get worse, you increase the resistance of the shock and there you go. I also had the opportunity to push the suspension in bigger bumps, at reduced speed, no trouble, the suspension works well. However, if you go faster, you can notice quickly that the response time of the air shock is a little less efficient. That day, I had the chance to be seated on a X-RS 800, which is much more efficient in this type of riding. But for 95 % of trail snowmobilers, the Enduro is really an excellent choice…

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Performance…

ECO, Standard and Sport mode control
ECO, Standard and Sport mode control

The good old 1200 cc triple engine continues to be outstanding. Reducing the opening of the throttle body from 52 to 46 mm provides a better throttle response. An innovation for 2016, the 1200 is equipped with the iTC (Intelligent Throttle Control) system that offers 3 driving modes. To do so, the throttle body is controlled by an electronic device that receives its data from the wireless throttle. In Sport mode, at full available power, accelerations are very good and pick-ups are without any hesitation. The calibration of the eDrive 2 with the driven clutch is excellent and does justice to the 130 HP. A new muffler is also introduced in 2016 with a volume decrease by 38 % and most of all, with a more aggressive sound, all while complying with actual standards of course.

In Standard mode, you can hardly notice a difference. Pick-ups and accelerations are a little softer, I would bet that it is fuel-efficient but I could not check it out. In ECO mode, a learning setting, accelerations are much slower and top speed is limited to 70 km/h, perfect to teach snowmobiling basics to novices !!!

Steering…

Pilot TS runner in aggressive position
Pilot TS runner in aggressive position

Pilot TS runner in fully-raised position
Pilot TS runner in fully-raised position

As I had the chance to pilot a Renegade X many times in 2015, I was eager to see how the Pilot TS skis would affect the steering for 2016. Even if a 1200 cc is heavier at front and if the steering is a little different, the new skis improved an element that needed it in 2015, I mean more grip in slightly snowy conditions. Last year, we noticed important understeering in soft snow conditions and if we increased pressure on skis steering was becoming much tougher on shoulders and arms. By increasing the runner depth on the TS skis, it is now possible to increase bite in turns without too important impact on steering effort. Also, when in their more aggressive position, the runners offer better stability in a straight line.

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It gets touchy when surface becomes harder or icy. If we keep a very aggressive runner, in its deepest position, the front end becomes very aggressive and we get irregular darting and steering effort is significantly increased. We must reduce depth to diminish these effects. After raising the runners, darting was decreased but was still noticeable. The effort required to turn the handlebar is also reduced but it still needs to be improved, mostly with a 1200 motorization.

Conclusion…  

The Enduro 1200 and its test pilot Stéphane Miville
The Enduro 1200 and its test pilot Stéphane Miville

  • The Enduro 1200 is an excellent touring snowmobile. 
  • Its great comfort is easy to adjust, when original preload of the suspension is correctly settled according to the weight, only few modifications of the air shock are required to adjust to changing trail conditions.  
  • The riding position is excellent with great ergonomics.
  • The performances of the 1200 are interesting and quite enough for most snowmobilers.  
  • Less steering effort would be a nice improvement…  

Keep on reading Motoneiges.ca, other pilots will share their impressions with you !!!

Special thanks to BRP, our partner in this trial !!