Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo 2019: Pre-ride analysis
If there is one trail machine that keeps people waiting for the 2019 season, it is the Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo. Indeed, of all the snowmobiles in this category from the four manufacturers, it is certainly a strong candidate to win the title of “king of the trails.”
First, let’s talk about the famous Rotax 900 ACE Turbo engine that many of you have been waiting for so eagerly. For many years, fans of Ski-Doo were very insistent and asked the Quebec manufacturer to consider the turbo engine market. This insistence was reinforced when BRP introduced a 154 HP (then 172 HP) 900 ACE Turbo engine into its famous X3 side-by-side. Many snowmobilers were already seeing themselves on a Ski-Doo snowmobile with a four-stroke engine producing more than 170 HP…
The Rotax 900 ACE Turbo engine is the first turbocharged engine offered as standard by Ski-Doo
Last spring, the manufacturer introduced the 900 ACE Turbo. With 150 HP, the engine replaces the aging Rotax 1200 4-TEC by offering a considerable gain in power. The manufacturer also wished to offer an engine that improves the driving experience. If you are wondering why BRP has decided to have 150 HP and no more, I invite you to read this article (Read…).
I already know, following my short test of this engine at the Snowshoot (Read…), that it has an almost instantaneous response and that in sport mode, it releases its power in a very strong way. So, during my season, I know that I will use most of the time the normal mode, especially when the trails are more technical or winding. I will opt for the sport mode on “special occasions,” when I am in front of a straighter, wider or more visible trail. I will discuss the choice of modes in my next articles.
The iTC system button allows the pilot to switch from one mode to another while driving
The other aspects of the engine I will focus on will be the overall riding experience, fuel consumption according to driving mode and the autonomy versus the size of the tank. So, I’m going to look at it from every angle.
Of course, when we talk about performance, we must also focus on the set of pulleys. We will observe the efficiency, more particularly the efficiency of the power transmission to the track in all circumstances. We will also be able to make sure that the belt does not overheat and wear out prematurely.
The Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo is built on the REV Gen4 chassis. This chassis has impressed us a lot since its introduction. In order to fit all the components of the turbo engine, an extended design version of the Gen4 is used on this snowmobile. This larger version gives the Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo a very aggressive and nice look. During the season, I will focus on the chassis/engine pairing to make sure that there has been no compromise to fit a 4-stroke engine and that this snowmobile is as good as you would expect from an X-RS.
As for the suspension, we’re on familiar ground with the RAS 3 at the front, which gives us a lot of comfort and good driving precision. Even if the 900 ACE Turbo engine is about the same weight as the 1200 4-TEC, it will be interesting to see if the RAS 3 does as well.
On the X-RS set, Ski-Doo comes back with the same shock absorbers as last year, the KYB Pro 36 Easy Adjust in the front… Why change a successful formula? We are going to see how the whole thing will behave both on freshly groomed trails and when we come home at the end of the day.
RAS3 suspension with KYB Pro 36 Easy-adjust shock absorbers
At the rear, the rMotion suspension is one of the best currently available on the market. Here again, BRP keeps the same shock absorbers as last year with the KYB Pro 40 Easy Adjust. Of course, I expect nothing less than the very good performance that this suspension offers on the other models.
The X-RS is equipped with the rMotion rear suspension with KYB Pro 40 Easy-Adjust shock absorbers
As we are dealing with an X-RS unit, the suspension adjustments are on the running boards. This allows the suspension to be adjusted quickly depending on the type and condition of the trail.
Adjusting the rear suspension couldn’t be easier and faster
Other features of this snowmobile include the famous Pilot TS skis that allow you to quickly change the height of the carbide runner. This changes the “bite” of the skis. It is easy to adjust the behaviour of the driving according to the type of trail surface.
Pilot TS skis with adjustment handle
Finally, one of the accessories I really like is the adjustable handlebar. The mechanism allows you to quickly move the handlebar position forward or backward according to your preference or the type of riding you want to do. All this requires no tools and can be done in a few seconds.
A little personalization…
As for accessories, the Renegade X-RS we will be driving will be equipped with mirrors, snow scrapers, a mid-high windshield, a stackable tank, and a storage bag. With these little additions, the snowmobile will be all set.
I invite you to follow this great adventure throughout the season.
A big thank you to the manufacturer Ski-Doo for making the Renegade X-RS 900 ACE Turbo 2019 long-term test possible.