The new 2018 Ski-Doo snowmobiles have been announced, the biggest news being a wider availability of models the latest 850 E-TEC engine and REV Gen4 chassis. Ski-Doo also introduced the new SHOT starter system that is 20 pounds lighter than a traditional starter but doesn’t require an electric starter motor or battery!
2018 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles REV Gen4
If you want a 2018 REV Gen4 chassis you’re going to have to get the all-conquering 850 E-TEC engine because it’s the only mill that will fit within the narrow chassis. You may recall that the 850 engine package is about 1.5 inches narrower than previous Rotax 2-strokes.
Apparently the other engines are too wide for the super compact Gen4, so if you prefer the Rotax 600 H.O. E-TEC, 600 ACE, 900 ACE or 1200 4-TEC, you will have to stick with the tried and true REV-XS or XP chasis, which still continue to be some of the best sleds available.
Does this mean that a new 600 E-TEC might be in the works? What about the 4-strokes? Or could this mean that another aluminum chassis is being forged by the engineers in Valcourt, Quebec? Who knows, but it’s obvious there are now a lot of questions.
Ski-Doo SHOT Starter System
First of all, SHOT is only available on spring-ordered 2018 Ski-Doo Freeride, Summit X and Summit SP models with the 850 E-TEC engine, however the promise of this new technology is exciting.
SHOT is a push-button starting system that adds only 2 pounds to the sled. No battery, no ring gear on the clutch, no noise. After an initial pull-start, the engine charges a lightweight ultracapacitor, which acts like a battery but with limited storage capacity. Pushing the handlebar SHOT button for subsequent starts uses energy stored in the ultracapacitor to turn the magneto into an electric motor that rotates the flywheel and fires the engine.
It’s important to know that the system isn’t designed to start a cold engine, it still has to be ripped with the rope first thing in the morning. This may seem odd to flatlanders but for mountain riders who often get stuck, and are exhausted after digging out, the thought of pushing a button instead of pulling the rope is a dream come true, especially on a big-bore twin. If you think about how many times you start your sled during the day, the benefits becomes obvious, especially as you get tired.
Ski-Doo SHOT Starter Video
Since the easy starting E-TEC engines only need 1/3 of a crank rotation to fire when warm, the lightweight SHOT electric starter is a perfect fit for the 850. SHOT stands for Start Hot, by he way. Ski-Doo claims the capacitor will hold a charge for 30-45 minutes after the sled is shut down, although those with hands-on experience claim double that.
Ski-Doo say it takes 2 minutes of run time after the day’s first start to fully charge the capacitor and 20 seconds of run time to recharge it after a SHOT start. While these figures may seem somewhat limited, we are talking about cutting edge technology that will only advance. Maybe there will come a time when the sled can be plugged in to a wall outlet and charged!
The X-RS and Blizzard are now part of the Gen4 family and get the mighty 165 HP 850 E-TEC and the fast shifting pDrive clutch. The sleds are equipped with RAS 3 front suspension and rMotion 129 rear suspension.
2018 MXZ X-RS 850
The RS (Race Sled) features racer style running boards, designed for aggressive stand-up riding. They are flatter for most of their length, wider and strong. The aluminum sheet is thicker than the standard sleds, (3 mm vs. 1.8 mm), plus there are front and rear reinforcements to withstand rough landings.
The 2018 MXZ X-RS adjustable steering post is about an inch more forward for aggressive cornering and stand-up riding position. And the suspension rails are reinforced for hard landings.
New KYB Pro 36 R Easy-Adjust piggyback race shocks dampen ski motions, with external compression and rebound damping. The rear rMotion skid is controlled by KYB Pro 40 Easy-Adjust piggybacks.
MXZ X-RS spring only package options include the rMotion Quick Adjust system with no-tool adjustability of the rear spring preload and shock compression on the running boards, and the Pilot TS adjustable skis.
2018 MXZ Blizzard 850 E-TEC
More trail oriented than racer, the 2018 Blizzard is far better suited to the majority of riders, an MXZ for the masses. In addition to all the great Gen4 goodies, it comes with a 129 inch Ice Ripper XT Track that has embedded carbide studs in the track lugs.
2018 MXZ Blizzard HPG Plus front and rear shocks keep the ride civil but still offer fantastic bump absorption. Pilot TS ski are standard, with dial-in ski bite by turning a knob by raising or lowering the ski runner over a range of .5 inch.
When every ounce counts, aluminum handlebars with J-hooks help keep the Blizzard at a lightweight 487 pounds. The dashboard presents a multi-function three-zone LCD screen packed with data.
The 2018 MXZ X 850 and 2018 MXZ TNT 850 are also new this year in the Gen4 chassis, rounding out options, shock choices and price points as low as $12,549.
Spring order MXZ X and X-RS have the option of a RipSaw with 1.25-inch lug, an Ice Ripper with 1.25-inch lug, or an Ice Cobra with 1.25-inch lug.
2018 Ski-Doo Renegade Backcountry X
With its tipped-up rear skid rails, Ski-Doo says the Renegade Backcountry X is the premier 50/50 crossover sled, combining precise trail handling with agile and effortless off-trail maneuverability. If you want to be seen in bright octane blue and manata green, this is your sled!
Crossover-specific suspension uses principles of the rMotion trail and tMotion mountain skids for confident cornering and agile boondocking, wrapped in a 15 X 146 X 1.6 Cobra track. It also features a rising-rate motion ratio rear suspension with a KYB Pro 36 shock, to provide excellent control and comfort. Tipped rails enable better cornering, boost top-end speed, fuel efficiency.
HPG Plus front shocks, with similar geometry and steering to the RAS 3 mountain front end for capability and light steering feel on- and off-trail but optimized for crossover usage, with two ski stance positions to dial in handling: 40.1 inch or 38.4 inch.
Also introduced by Ski-Doo are the new 2018 Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 850 and 2018 Ski-Doo Renegade X 850.
Spring order Renegade X-RS has a choice of a RipSaw 1.25, a RipSaw 1.5, or an Ice Cobra 1.6. The Renegade X has the Ice Ripper XT 1.25 as an option.
2018 Ski-Doo Summit and Freeride mountain sleds get all the Gen 4 goodies, too, including the 165 horsepower 850 E-TEC 2-stroke and new SHOT starting system.
2018 Freeride 154/165 850 E-TEC
The 2018 Freeride KYB pro-level, remote reservoir shocks that are rebuildable/revalvable. The extruded grid-style Profile running boards, which let snow pass through, are flatter than the REV-XM.
The tMotion rear suspension flexes laterally, reducing the effort to initiate a roll, due to a ball joint at the center hinge between the rear arm and drop link and split flat-tube front arms. Very progressive motion ratio makes the ride on trails even more comfortable. The tracks are 16 inches wide, regardless of length.
Other new Ski-Doo mountain sleds for 2018 are the Freeride 154 S-38 850 E-TEC, Freeride 146 850 E-TEC, Freeride 137 850 E-TEC, Summit X 850 E-TEC and the Summit SP 850 E-TEC.
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