I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the SnowShoot 2022 for the launch of the new GEN5 platform. Hence my eager anticipation towards trying the new Summit X 154 2023 GEN5 at the end of the season. I had the chance to receive this snowmobile from our collaborator Mathieu Lavoie for a month-long test. Mathieu has already produced several detailed articles on this same snowmobile. I invite you to read them for more relevant information about this model from Ski-Doo.
Spring Snow in New Brunswick: The Summit X 850 Triumphs in Moose Valley Powder.
The off-trail conditions were excellent at the end of the season. So, I was able to test the machine in the mountains of Moose Valley in New Brunswick. I must admit that this snowmobile ranks at the top of my list of 100% off-trail models. I particularly appreciate its smooth handling and ergonomics. During my test, we enjoyed a beautiful day of spring powder. At this time of the year, the snow provides excellent support for accessing any location.
First Impression of the GEN5
At first glance, this machine reveals significant modifications that have a direct impact on its off-trail performance. The GEN5 features a narrower design, facilitating the tilting of the snowmobile from side to side, reinforced by a ski stance of 34 inches. These characteristics provide remarkable handling in steep terrains or during tight turns. The GEN5 seems destined for enthusiasts seeking a challenge. In off-trail riding, ergonomics take precedence over comfort, given that we are standing most of the time.
The ergonomics are put to the test especially during “hop overs,” which are 180-degree turns in steep terrains. While “sidehilling,” it is essential to be able to quickly switch sides to perform the “hop over” while maintaining the machine’s dynamics. This technique requires practice but is valuable in the mountains. With the GEN5, the sled’s finesse and the flap-less short tunnel, facilitating the removal of snow, are significant advantages. If you’re looking for an agile machine to start or improve your off-trail skills, the Summit X 850 2023 is an excellent option, especially considering its reliability from the Ski-Doo brand.
Mountain Test of the Summit X 850
During my tests, I always strive to perform specific maneuvers and push my limits. Many find that the previous version of the tMotion made slaloming in powder easier, greatly assisting in tilting the machine for “sidehilling,” for example. However, more experienced users feel that once the maneuver was initiated, the machine tended to deviate from its trajectory. The rear of the snowmobile would rise, compromising stability while “sidehilling.” This was a point of concern for me. The tMotion X suspension pleasantly surprised me. While “sidehilling,” the sled maintained the trajectory I would give it.
Being narrower than before and with a reinvented tMotion X, this machine tends to experience less “washout” than the old one. However, compared to the tMotion XT (Expert Package), which offers 100% increased stiffness and does not have a “flex edge” unlike the X version of the tMotion. I agree that the tMotion X is an improved version designed to counter the minor flaws of the old tMotion. It provides increased stability, especially during spring rides in streams, where precision is crucial.
Concerning the engine, during tests at low altitude, I am confident that the Summit X 850 2023 has enough power to conquer our mountains in the East. I have not observed any lack of strength. This machine has nothing to envy the 850 Turbo; it remains equally powerful and enjoyable to ride.
The Cherry on Top of My Season
I couldn’t have dreamt of a better end to my season! Overall, this sled has greatly impressed me. We can be excited about the fact that the Summit X 850 GEN5 will continue to improve in the years to come. Whether you are an intermediate or advanced rider, the Summit X remains a top contender year after year in mountain snowmobiles. As for the upgrades, I noted that the back-seat support for the belt can come off easily, making it a loss risk. At times, during side changes, my foot would hit this compartment, forcing me to put it back in place.
I also noticed the fragility and lack of practicality of the glove compartment. Snow easily penetrates, thus wetting the accessories. The compartment also detaches just as easily. Being the only storage on the machine, it must be reliable. Fortunately, these are only minor details compared to the overall performance of the machine.
A big thank you to Motoneiges.ca for allowing me to try the Summit X 850 GEN5 at the end of the season! I wish our readers an excellent season!
Keep on reading
- End-of-Season Review of the Ski-Doo Summit X 154 2023
- Ski-Doo 2023 Renegade 850 X-RS: 5th Generation of the Revolutionary Rev Gen5 Platform
- The Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 2024: A Test That Fulfilled My Riding Experience!