This season, thanks to the collaboration of the BRP dealer Les Motoneiges Géro de St-Jean-de-Matha, I have the chance to test the Ski-Doo Renegade X 900 ACE Turbo 2021. This is a high performance hybrid model that was specially designed to offer a superior driving experience, especially in terms of suspension.
As a regular rider with fairly equipped snowmobiles, our partner added several options that make it even more enjoyable to ride.
In my report on my first observations, I shared with you my surprise about the performance of this snowmobile and after a full winter I haven't changed my mind.
So let's start with the Rotax 900 Ace Turbo engine. This engine is smooth and powerful under acceleration. The torque is excellent at all rpm and the power range is constant. This engine offers 150 HP, a level of power that is highly appreciated by riders who are both performance and touring enthusiasts. It is also economical in terms of fuel consumption. A very important feature to note is the quick throttle response. In this third year of testing with this engine, I can mention that the ride is different between standard and sport mode. The reason is quite simple, in standard mode, the calibration offers a performance that is optimized for trail driving, i.e. quick accelerations, but with a level of response that is predictable. In sport mode, acceleration is much more lively. This is ideal for an adrenaline rush. You have to really manage the pressure you put on the throttle, because the power you get can take you by surprise. Personally, I rode in standard mode and in a trail with tight turns you will appreciate this mode.
Another feature of the engine that I liked is the fact that there is a strong compression of the engine during deceleration and when you get used to it, you use the brakes much less.
The ECO mode is also available and offers enough power to keep up with your friends while saving a little on fuel consumption.
RAS X front suspension and Pilot X skis
Let's move on to the suspension aspect.
One of the main reasons why snowmobilers buy the X version of the Renegade is because of the performance features in the suspension. In addition, for 2021, BRP has installed the new RASX front suspension, rMotion X rear suspension and new Pilot X skis.
The RAS X suspension with HPG PLUS shocks offers almost 1 inch more travel than the RAS 3 and allows you to change the distance between the skis by offering 3 possibilities: 42.1 – 43.0 – 43.9 inches. Normally, most of the other BRP snowmobiles have a 42.4 inches spacing. I chose to install the skis at 43.9 inches.
The snowmobile is much more stable. You can feel that the sled is well grounded in the trails and the skis don't try to lift in the turns.
rMotion x Suspension
At the back, we have an rMotion X suspension coupled with an HPG PLUS shock at the front and an adjusted KYB PRO 36 Easy shock at the back. The rear shock can be adjusted to 22 positions for rebound with a knob on the shock. I rode mostly at position 2 and I liked the comfort this adjustment gave me.
At the front we find a new ski that completes the marriage with the X suspension.
You can install 2 carbide rails on each ski.
For my test, we installed one runner per ski. The skis were very aggressive and required a lot of effort to turn. I managed to correct the situation by modifying my front and rear suspension adjustments.
In my case, I was mainly riding with the rear preload at minimum for my weight, the center shock adjusted to the middle of its range and the front shocks adjusted to level 1.
My snowmobile absorbed bumps very well, the skis did not try to lift in the curves and it was very stable and comfortable.
The skis stay on the ground
You can order the Renegade X with the option of TX skis, which would allow you to more easily control the performance of the skis on the trails according to the surface, without having to adjust the suspensions.
On the gauges section, the snowmobile is equipped with a new 7.2-inch digital display that offers excellent visibility of operating parameters. Its evening display is also excellent, allowing you to see the essential information while riding. Among other things, it includes a speedometer, rpm, engine temperature, distance traveled, a clock, fuel quantity, handlebar temperature and heated thumb.
I like to ride standing up sometimes and I noticed that I could easily read the information on the dial.
The handlebars are also adjustable, which is very useful when I ride standing up.
The seat is also comfortable and supports us well.
Our partner, Gero Snowmobiles, installed several optional features to make the ride more enjoyable.
Track ice ripper
Let's start with the ICE RIPPER XT track. It is 137 inches long and has 1.25 inch studs that are pre-molded into the track. I felt safer and more confident knowing that ice patches would no longer be a problem for me. The track provides good traction and braking.
Windshield at the low and high position
We also installed a medium to high adjustable windshield from 19" to 23" compared to the standard 17" windshield. This allows a good adjustment according to the outside temperature, which is very appreciable. The difference is noticeable.
Rear visibility with the mirrors
I also like to have a good visibility at the back and the mirrors that were installed for me were very helpful. You don't have to try very hard to see who is behind you. At slow speed, the mirrors would vibrate, but as soon as I hit the throttle, everything became stable.
Since one of the weaknesses of Ski-Doo snowmobiles is lighting, we installed LED auxiliary lights and long-range LED auxiliary headlights.
Left – Renegade X with LED lighting
These lights do a great job, we can see the trail very well both from near and far and moreover, during the day I could see very well at the back of the group despite the snow that was raised.
Finally, we also installed snow scrapers that allow us to ride even if the trails are hard or icy.
Points to improve: the additional equipment installed by our sponsor such as: the ice ripper track, additional lighting, adjustable windshield and mirrors have all resolved the negative points.
We could add a more constant throttle when driving the sport version. The response is too abrupt.
Personally, I really enjoyed my riding experience with the Renegade X 900 ACE Turbo. It is a performance snowmobile that pleasantly surprised me. I can easily rack up the miles and don't get tired at the end of my rides, regardless of the trail conditions. The more I ride it, the more mileage I want to get.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Les Motoneiges Géro, BRP dealer in St-Jean-de-Matha, for the loan of this snowmobile for this long-term test. I invite you to go and meet the Géro team in store to see the new Ski-Doo and Can-Am off-road machines. Follow us also on motoneiges.ca to know all the tests we did this winter.