The 2015-16 snowmobile riding season has begun – sort of – for Snow Goer magazine after a staffer picked up the pair of Ski-Doo demo sleds from a dealership last week. It was only a 20-yard ride to go from the deck of the trailer to the inside of the SG shop, but it was still fun to squeeze the throttle and smell the two-stroke smoke.
Our 2016 Ski-Doo demo models are an MX Z X 600 H.O. E-TEC with the Quick Adjust package (Pilot TS skis with adjustable wear bars, and running board-mounted controls for the torsion springs and rear shock compression clicker) and a Renegade Enduro 800R E-TEC. We chose these packages because we’ve always enjoyed MX Z models, and the Enduro was intriguing with its unusual color scheme and implementation of the rMotion rear suspension with the Air Ride rear track shock that lets riders adjust air pressure with an onboard compressor.
After running the sleds into the shop, we looked them over to see if anything had changed in comparison to earlier REV-XS models or pre-production 2016 models. Nothing substantial appears to have changed, but knobs for the Pilot TS adjusters both the MX Z and Enduro feel tighter and sturdier than how the knobs felt on the sleds we tested in January at the Ski-Doo media sneak peek and on other sleds we tested later in the season.
Pilot TS knobs on the skis we tested at our annual Rode Reports test event late last winter and on the pre-production 2016 MX Z Blizzard loaner we rode in March had a notable amount of freeplay between each setting, but the knobs on our production sleds feel tighter. The system seems quieter, too, as the springy ‘click’ noise it makes for every half turn of the knob is less audible. Engineers must’ve tightened things up inside.
We look forward to prepping the sleds for snow, which will include adjusting the handlebars and setting the controls, riveting license plates to the tunnels, installing storage bags, spare belts, tool kits and the like before we hit the snow – hopefully by mid-December.