A new body style, intriguing new suspension technology and the expansion of other Ski-Doo staples highlight a 2013 lineup that was announced today by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).
The New-Look REV
When Ski-Doo evolved the original REV chassis into the REV-XP for model year 2008, it was akin to a second revolution. The basic REV platform was still buried in there somewhere, but the XP iteration was so different – dropping more than 50 pounds and altering the sled’s ergonomics.
REV 3.0 on most two-stroke MX Z and Renegade models is certainly more of an evolution that anything else, but the new REV-XS styling puts a fresh face on a basic chassis platform that is still ahead of the curve, including improved wind protection, lighting upgrades and other features.
Ski-Doo kept the basic tight, angular appeal, but got rid of some of the gaps, open holes and circles by utilizing slightly overlapping body panels. Gone, for instance, is the honeycomb panel in the top of the nose and the cut-in vent above the exhaust on the driver’s-side right. The airflow they provided now comes from vents hidden beneath the body panel overlap.
The panels themselves changed. The top center panel is larger and can be removed with four bolts to give top-down access to the engine. The side panels, meanwhile, are more rounded at the edges facing the driver to give more room to those who lean far off in corners. Those panels also provide better wind protection thanks to subtle flares that move air around the driver better.
A new dual headlight is also part of the revised styling, and it should also provide better low-beam coverage. A stylish new LED taillight is found in the rear, as is a plastic hinged snowflap. To see a video of the new chassis click here.
The rMotion rear suspension will expand for 2013 to in-season MX Z TNT models and also on most Renegades.
Introduced last year on X and X-RS spring models, the rMotion’s rising rate design, ease of adjustability and the way it collapses almost fully into the tunnel has made it the new benchmark in terms of ride quality.
For 2013, all MX Z X-RS, X and TNT models get the 120-inch rMotion introduced last year, and all Renegade Adrenaline, X, Backcountry and Backcountry X models get the new 137-inch rMotion. Sport MX Z and Renegade models keep the SC-5 and SC-5M rear suspensions, respectively.
tMotion Changes The Summit
Ski-Doo is making its high-end Summit models more off-trail capable by introducing a new chassis platform and fresh thinking in both rear suspension and track design.
Revised ergonomics that allow the driver more room to easily climb all over the sled, stiffer running boards that clear snow more easily and new body panels similar to the XS platform are all a part of the new REV-XM design. Alone, these changes would make Summits better mountain climbers and backcountry playmates.
The biggest news, however, is tucked beneath the tunnel. It starts with the tMotion rear suspension. The lower case “t” stands for “torsion” or “twisting” motion, and it ties to the fact that the rear suspension flexes within the tunnel while the sled is turning, which allows the sled to bank more easily and hold its line much easier when carving powder or sidehilling, Ski-Doo officials said.
One key is a ball joint connection where the rear arm attaches to the drop link above the rails. It allows up to 4 degrees of motion (2 degrees in each direction) when the driver torques the sled one way or another. In addition, the front arm also allows for some twisting.
Summits with the tMotion also get a new FlexEdge track with shorter fiberglass reinforcement that end at the windows, meaning the outer 2 inches of the track is able to flex slightly when the sled is tilted.
The REV-XM and tMotion upgrades are found on 2013 Summit X and the 800 SP models. The Summit 600 SP and all Summit Sport models stay in the REV-XP platform, with the 600 SP getting a SC-5M rear suspension and the 800 and 600 Sport machines getting the SC-5M2 rear in 2013.
For 2013, Ski-Doo has lowered the suggested retail price of its entry-level MX Z Sport 600 Carb by an incredible $950 – dropping it to $6,999 (U.S., $7,649 in Canada), while maintaining an impressive level of features.
For that price, a buyer gets the REV-XP chassis, SC-5 rear suspension and dual A-arm front (both with Motion Control gas cell shocks), heated and hooked handlebars, a 15- by 120- by 1.25-inch RipSaw track, push button reverse and an analog/digital gauge that includes a tachometer. No, you won’t get E-TEC engine technology at that price, but the trusty 597cc carbureted twin still rolls out quite nicely and has proven to be about as dependable as the sunrise.