New 2020 Ski-Doo models are getting nice “running changes” over what was unveiled and shown to dealers and consumers last spring, with more front keel being added to the bottom of the Pilot TS ski to improve handling, and more user-friendly settings on the new, horizontal gauges that are prevalent throughout the lineup.
The ski change is most notable — and most expected. Late last winter Ski-Doo officials confided to Snow Goer that they weren’t entirely happy with the handling of the runner-blade adjustable Pilot TS skis and how they reacted in some snow conditions specifically on REV Gen4 snowmobiles.
In fact, Ski-Doo even sent us a set of prototype skis to install on our 2019 demo Ski-Doo MX Z X-RS — we wrote about the experience here, but were told thereafter that the skis we were testing were still not the final spec.
Now, just days before Haydays kicks off the new season, Ski-Doo sent a memo to its dealers dated September 4 announcing the ski change. In it, Ski-Doo wrote, “We’ve listened to consumer feedback over the past seasons and we will be improving the Pilot TS skis in very specific cornering conditions while keeping the same overall level of trail performance these skis are known for. As shown below, the keel of the skis will be longer in the front (NEW = Blue) helping reduce steering kick while cornering.”
Our test team members were big fans of the Pilot TS skis — which feature height-adjustable blades that can easily be set to varying depths by turning a knob near the spindle — since they were introduced for model year 2016 on sleds in the REV-XS chassis. However, there have been conditions in which the skis haven’t been as sure-footed as we’d like on REV Gen4 chassis machines.
Also, Ski-Doo has updates is long-narrow gauges that it is unveiling on 2020 models. Both its in-season-available 4.5-inch wide digital display and its 7.2-inch wide version that was on spring-order snowmobiles like X and X-RS models will come with updated display options that include a second trip meter. Ski-Doo explained it this way to its dealers:
“Following the announcement at Club BRP 2020 in February, we had some consumer feedback on social media platforms and during Spring Tour on MY20 Ski-Doo digital gauges that the initial Trip display options were not to their satisfaction,” Ski-Doo wrote in the dealer memo. “We listened and are responding. For 2020 models, the configuration of the new 4.5 digital display and 7.2 wide digital gauge will be updated at PDI to offer the following display options: Odometer, Total vehicle hours, Trip A distance, Trip B distance.”
The change essentially adds a second trip meter (Trip B) to the gauge, as the original version only had one trip meter setting. FYI, PDI stands for Pre-Delivery Inspection/a.k.a., machine setup.
It’s actually not unusual for powersports manufacturers to have occasional running changes to their model lineup: Ski-Doo does a better job than most in communicating the information to dealers and consumers.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.