After dominating on snocross courses for the past several years, Ski-Doo is making some notable changes to its MXZx 600RS race sled for the 2023 season to try to stay ahead of its competition.
When unveiling the machine before a throng of fans and racers at the Hay Days Grass Drags on September 10, Ski-Doo officials started describing the alterations to the front suspension, then moved to the rear.
“We went to shorter [front] shocks but kept the same amount of travel,” explained Carey Daku, Ski-Doo’s racing coordinator, noting that designers wanted to lower the center of gravity and accompanied the shock shocks with stiffer springs – jumping from springs rated at 200 pounds to 215 pounds.
“The bigger change is an all-new skid frame,” Daku continued. “We shortened the center arm, raised it on the pivot point, went to a longer shock and went with roughly a ¾-inch longer limiter strap. So the center shock is more planted on the ground and the rear end of the skid frame basically comes up a little bit. We moved the rear arm back, there’s a new holeshot device and a new [rear] spring design. The real thing is, we changed the motion ratio, so on the center and the rear basically it operates different and it operates more balanced.”
All of that combined, Daku said, results in more traction – including in holeshots and when exiting corners. Combined with the sled’s overall lower center of gravity, he said, there’s more corner speed, too. Daku said the brand’s top racers have tested sleds with this suspension setup and have said, “You’re able to use less effort – ‘effortless’ is the word I keep hearing when they’re describing this sled – and less fatigue and driver effort. The bottom line is faster lap times.”
With Ski-Doo being the only brand to release its 2023 snocross-focused race sled so far, time will tell if these changes and other more minor alterations help keep the brand up front. Below is the full press release from Ski-Doo.
SKI-DOO MXZx 600RS (Race Special) RETURNS FOR 2023 TO PURSUE MORE TITLES
Snocross racing’s most dominant sled, the one independent racers can count on for out of the box podium performance, returns with some not so subtle refinements to remain a favorite for the top step in 2023. Four straight seasons of championship form, led by Elias Ishoel’s, Jordan Lebel’s and Malene Cottew’s ISOC crowns last season, hasn’t affected the team developing the MXZx 600RS as they continue to chase their own records and push for even more performance. The REV Gen4 platform continues to prove its flexibility and prowess for riders of all abilities, and that focus – making it fast, adaptable and reliable for all – remains the same formula for this season.
Most noticeable will be the yellow color update that maintains the Ski-Doo DNA, while other chassis and powertrain refinements ensure the winning ways continue. Changes focus mainly on better traction, faster corner speeds and a smoother ride to deliver better holeshots, faster overall lap times and less rider fatigue – but no stone is left unturned as engine and clutching improvements are constantly updated every year too.
The chassis changes start up front in the RAS RS suspension with new shocks that are shorter in overall length while maintaining the same travel to help lower the center of gravity, and spring rate has been increased to reduce roll, both changes support better cornering. The front suspension continues to feature a long spindle design that allows high cornering speeds and a unique power steering system exclusive to the MXZx RS race sled that provides ultra-precise handling with less effort.
The RAS RS front suspension updates are complemented by the redesigned rMotion RS rear suspension where the front arm is shortened and the rail mount is moved up for a flatter profile that results in less ski lift and more forward traction when on the throttle out of corners. The center shock also grows in length to position the front of the rail in more constant contact with the snow surface for better traction everywhere. The increased length also delivers more shock and suspension travel at the front and also provides a motion ratio closer to 1:1 (more linear) for better shock control, bump compliance and rider comfort. The rMotion RS’s rear arm mounting points are moved back, the shock travel is increased, and its motion ratio also gets closer to 1:1 – these changes support a lower center of gravity, better traction and less ski lift out of turns to drive the sled forward faster. The coupling system is revised for a wider window of adjustment and there’s a new easily activated and more effective holeshot device.
The MXZ RS retains 46 mm KYB Pro Series shocks that have Integral Base Valves with the ability to adjust not only High and Low Speed Compression but also High Speed rebound and calibration has been updated to match the suspension geometry changes based on feedback from racers testing prototypes last winter.
The MXZx 600RS E-TEC uses the REV Gen4 platform with its open cockpit design and centrally balanced engine for superior rider ergonomics and handling in rough conditions. The REV Gen4 layout delivers agility and responsiveness while the Ergo Step side panels and beveled tunnel allow racers the room they need to attack the course – without interference from the chassis.
The Rotax 600RS E-TEC engine features E-TEC direct injection that consistently delivers quick response and perfect calibration no matter the altitude or weather conditions, allowing racers and their crew to have less to worry about. Features include booster injectors first deployed on the Rotax 850 E-TEC, a short intake tract with double reeds and digital eRAVE. Engine calibration refinement for 2023 focused on better low RPM and low vehicle speed responsiveness to provide more power out of deep holes or under heavy load conditions – letting racers accelerate faster.
2022 MXZx 600RS Highlights
REV Gen4 Platform –
- Taper/tilt tunnel design
- Short heat exchanger with internal loop
- 137” Track
- Lightweight Lexan Hood
- Quiet, high flow Airbox Design
- LED Lightweight Headlights
- Reinforced E and S modules
- MX inspired seat and hi-traction cover
- Racing foot box
- 5-gallon fuel tank
- NEW lower center of gravity
- High air flow left vent.
RAS RS Front Suspension
- NEW shorter Kashima coated 46mm KYB Pro Series shocks (High Speed/Low Speed compression and High/Low Speed Rebound adjustments)
- Integral Base Valve Adjuster
- NEW shock springs
- Rack steering system with power assst
- Long Spindle design (Stronger + better speed cornering) and new color
- Lightweight Pilot RS3 Ski – reinforced
rMotion RS Rear Suspension
- NEW race-proven rail design, higher front arm mount, new color
- 137-inch length
- NEW shorter front arm
- NEW longer front shock
- NEW rear arm mountain back approximately 1 inch
- Kashima coated 46mm KYB Pro Series piggyback center high with high/low speed compression and high-speed rebound adjustment.
- Kashima coated 46mm KYB Pro Series piggyback center shock w/ High Speed / Low Speed compression and High Speed Rebound adjustment
- Kashima coated 46mm KYB Pro Series piggyback rear shock w/ High Speed / Low Speed compression and High Speed / Low Speed rebound adjustment
- Integral Base Valve Adjuster
- Revised geometry
- NEW coupling configuration
- NEW holeshot device
Rotax 600RS E-TEC Engine (599.4cc)
- E-TEC direct injection
- Monoblock cylinder design with plasma coating to deliver more horsepower
- NEW engine calibration
- Intake booster injectors (850 E-TEC-inspired)
- Shorter intake length (850 E-TEC-inspired)
- Double reed valves (850 E-TEC-inspired)
- eRAVE (850 E-TEC-inspired)
- Lightweight exhaust system (Stainless steel tuned pipe)
- Racing Throttle Block – Ready for 50% throttle applications
- Reinforced engine mounts
- Hot Start Button
- Large brake backing plate
- Brembo Brake System – large diameter rotor, easy maintenance caliper
- pDrive primary clutch
- TEAM TSS-04 secondary clutch
- Slip gear – Better durability, less maintenance
- Lightweight belt guard – better air flow