As snowmobile manufacturers try to understand the desires of their customers, they further slice and dice the market segments – including the popular crossover segment. The new 2016 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro is for snowmobilers who are looking for versatility to go on and off the beaten path.
These long-distance adventurers like active riding and protection from elements, Ski-Doo believes, and they’re craving the latest technology while making no compromise on ride quality or performance. After spending some quality time on board the 2016 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro 800R E-TEC last month at our annual Rode Reports test event, here are four cool features and one complaint about it.
rMotion With Air Ride Shock – With four years under its belt, rMotion remains the benchmark for snowmobile rear suspension performance. And now with the Air Ride rear shock it’s even more well-equipped for long-distance adventure riding – especially for “big guys.” The shock with an inflatable air spring – powered by an on-board air compressor – makes the Renegade Enduro feel especially substantial and heavy duty so it provides a comfortable ride and isolates riders from nasty bumps. Its versatility and easy adjustability mean it can be dialed in for all rider weights and driving styles.
IceRipper XT Track – Without a doubt, Snow Goer staffers want traction accessories on the snowmobiles they ride. Studs and carbides provide sure-footed handling for more safety and more fun while snowmobiling. As track and traction technology has progressed, Camoplast has been producing tracks with studs embedded in the lugs, including the IceRipper XT that wraps around the 2016 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro 800R E-TEC’s rMotion skidframe. Those studs don’t provide significant grip for aggressive acceleration and braking traction on hard-packed trails or ice with a skim-covering of snow, but they do significantly limit slip through unexpectedly icy corners so it’s easier for drivers to maintain control. They also shorten the distance required to bring a sled to a stop on groomed trails.
Pilot TS Ski – When we first saw the photos and learned about Ski-Doo’s unique Pilot TS skis, we thought, “Is the handing benefit worth having all of that extra ‘stuff’ on top of the ski?” But then after riding snowmobiles equipped with the technology for extended periods and through varying conditions, we realized there is a real appeal of the Pilot TS adjustable ski. The Tunable Ski (TS) system allows riders to tune the wear bar depth so the skis deliver sharp handling and easy steering through a broad range of trail conditions – loose, hard-pack, slushy, icy, perfectly groomed, etc. Hash marks and an arrow help make sure tuners tune each of the Tuner skis to the same setting. As the IceRipper XT is for the Renegade Enduro, the Pilot TS also is an excellent feature for riders who will encounter a wide variety of trail conditions during multi-day rides.
Rugged Personna – Styling and colors play a major role in the appeal of a snowmobile. A soft and muted color scheme is calming and mature – perfect for a solo-touring cruiser – while bright and flashy colors and race sponsor stickers inspire thoughts of fun, speed and excitement. The 2016 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro 800R E-TEC combines both of those themes with its colored body panels a la Desert Storm (officially called Northern Lichen by Ski-Doo) pared with a black bellypan, seat and tunnel. The multi-tube front bumper looks tough and should make easy work of brush and twigs for riders who bash through the backcountry, and little stickers on the hood give it the go-fast feel of MX Z X-RS models.
No Storage Accessory – When Ski-Doo officials unveiled the Renegade Enduro to the snowmobile media in January, they said the new snowmobile is a “full-featured model inspired by the Adventure motorcycle class,” which is a segment of rugged, on- and off-road motorcycles that has seen its popularity soar recently. Perform a Google Image search for “adventure motorcycle” and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bike that isn’t shown with cargo boxes, pouches or containers, but the 2016 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro gets only the same storage features as other Renegade models: one cavity within the rear of the seat and another over the gauge package. Ski-Doo officials said the reason a storage bag isn’t standard is because they want to let buyers select which storage options they want. That seems like reasonable justification, but nine out of 10 buyers will likely opt for the ultra-popular medium size LinQ Premium Tunnel Bag, so it makes sense to make it a standard feature on this feature-heavy trail and woods ripper/cruiser/tourer.