Some years, you really do not know what is coming. When you ride a MX Z, you know its purposes and in what conditions it will perform. Same thing for a Summit or even a Skandic! However, when you talk about the crossover category, each machine rises many questions year after year. It is easy to understand why : all the manufacturers know that right at the beginning, the crossover category exists to offer a trail to powder snowmobile. The answer to this challenge is often what brought the problem : to offer a snowmobile that does it all while not doing everything right. Good thing for us, the Renegade Backcountry X and its new E-TEC 800R engine modifies the rules of the game.
First, the proven XP chassis offers outstanding lightness and handiness in powder snow as well as on trail, which does not always fit together at first. Even more surprising are the snowmobile easy doings on trail despite all the specific features of this type of machine. All the pilots who tried the Renegade, women and men, have been happily surprised by its performance. With a 137 X 16 X 1,75 in. track, the Backcountry benefits from an adjustable ski stance (38,4 to 40,1 in.); so, in few minutes, the pilot can adjust his snowmobile performance according to his current riding style. The Pilot 6.9 skis surprised us on trail with their good performance while providing the right flotation in powder snow.
Of course, the 163,9 HP of the new Rotax E-TEC 800R combined with the PowderMax track ensures much power and flotation when riding off-trail. Even if we can still feel it, the roar and vibration peculiar to such a track are however acceptable. The introduction of the new E-TEC technology in the 800 cc category was very expected in 2011 and on different aspects, it was worth the waiting. First, we noticed the power delivered at all speeds. Without comparing it with the E-TEC 600 that is now the fuel-efficient benchmark for a 2-stroke engine, the E-TEC 800 had an annual average consumption of 17,45 MPG over 5 665 km, or 16,18 l/100 km. Considering the usable (and often very utilised) power, the track design of our sled and the riding style during our tests, we are very satisfied with the fuel consumption of this Renegade. The oil consumption is a little higher than expected. But then again, we must put this in perspective if we compare with other 2-stroke engines. In the crossover category, the Renegade Backcountry X took us by surprise on hard-packed trail at full speed. However, we must be very careful with the clutch adjustments to make sure the engine does not reach more than 8 100 RPM. Many owners have experienced engine cut offs, as we did, over 8 100 RPM.
The SC-5 rear suspension is now in its 5th year of production and still everybody recognizes unanimously the comfort for solo rider as well as for 2-up snowmobilers; our trial model was equipped with the BRP 1+1 seat. Following the advice of our trial partner TY Moteurs, BRP dealer on the south shore of Québec City, we had the standard rear shocks replaced by more rigid ones. This way, the SC-5 was even more versatile, for less than 90 $. The comfort of our trial machine is also due to the foam used in the X series seat of the Renegade. And the look of this X series is great with its distinctive successful colors. We noticed the quality and durability of the paint used on the tunnel and on the suspension parts; it remained like brand new up to the end of our long season. Our trial model was equipped with the standard features, including the oversized analog/digital gauge, the electric controls on the handlebar, the new turned up windshield, the mountain strap, the electronic reverse and the electric start, another standard feature on the X series. The handlebar with riser block is very convenient in deep snow, but however, it does not please everyone on trail. This is why we would like a quick height adjustable handlebar on this type of snowmobile.
After a long season in various conditions, we can conclude that Ski-Doo reached the goal with the Renegade Backcountry X E-TEC 800R. BRP Team offers to Québec snowmobilers a crossover machine that performs in every aspect required by this segment of the market. Except for a few slight improvements, this model is reconducted in full in 2012 in standard or X edition.