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6 Things you need to know about the new 2018 Ski-Doos

Ski-Doo is hanging onto the market share leadership position and isn’t interested in letting it go. In order to keep its leadership, the original Canadian snowmobile company is making six distinct updates to its extensive lineup. First, it’s proliferating its potent 850 E-Tec engine package and Gen 4 Rev chassis across its product families. Second, Ski-Doo is adding a high tech, 2-pound electric start system known as SHOT to its 850 mountain sleds. Third, the crossover Renegade family sees a new C-Motion 146 rear suspension. Fourth, there is a new KYB Pro 36R front shock on a broad variety of models. Fifth, the RS models get beefier runningboards to stand up to the harsh duty of a ditch-pounding racer replica sled. Finally, there are just new combinations of existing component sets to create “new” models.
Let’s take a look at these six key pieces of Ski-Doo’s 2018 lineup and which models you can find them on…
#1 850 E-Tec/Gen 4 Rev proliferation
Ski-Doo released the hot 850 E-Tec engine and Gen 4 Rev chassis in a limited number of variations last season. Turns out a LOT of people really liked it and asked for the combo in their preferred package. Ski-Doo product planners read the fan mail and have released a boatload of 165 horsepower, 850/Gen 4 options this year. We’ll talk more about just what a Gen 4 Rev chassis means to you soon.
Sleds you’ll find with the 850 E-Tec/Gen4 Rev combo:

The 2018 Ski-Doo Freeride sleds all boast the 850 E-Tec engine with the Gen 4 Rev chassis.

  • MXZ X-RS
  • MX Z X
  • MX Z Blizzard
  • MXZ TNT
  • Renegade X-RS
  • Renegade X
  • Renegade Backcountry X
  • Renegade Backcountry
  • Renegade Adrenaline
  • Freeride 137
  • Freeride 146
  • Freeride 154 S-38
  • Freeride 154
  • Freeride 165
  • Summit X 175
  • Summit X 165
  • Summit X 154
  • Summit SP 175
  • Summit SP 165
  • Summit SP 154
  • Summit SP 146

Left shows basic rope start. Center shows SHOT (+2 lbs). Right shows standard electric start (+18.8 lbs)

 

#2. SHOT Starter
Sometimes you see a development that makes you scratch your head and say, “wish I’d thought of that.” We’re going to give that status to Ski-Doo’s new SHOT electric start system. Reserved for the 850 mountain sleds this year, the new SHOT uses a capacitor system to fire up the sled once you’ve pulled it over in the morning. Here’s how it works:

SHOT is a high tech, yet simple, lightweight solution for starting your sled.

You pull the rope for the first start of the day, or if you’ve left your sled parked for more than 20 minutes. Once the sled is running, the magneto charges the capacitor. It takes about 2 minutes to reach full charge. For the rest of the day, mountain guys just hit the start button and the system spins the magneto like a starter gear and the sled fires up.
Here’s the really slick part of the Shot: it only weighs about 2 pounds! A conventional Ski-Doo electric start system adds about 20 pounds to the sled, so you can see why ‘Doo is super-excited to bring the new component to market. The downside? It’s only available as a spring order option on 850 mountain sleds and it’s NOT something you can retrofit onto an existing engine package.
Sleds you’ll have the spring option to buy the SHOT featherweight electric start system:

2018 Ski-Doo Summit X is one of the sleds that can get the SHOT system as a spring order option.

  • Freeride 137 (Spring Option)
  • Freeride 146 (Spring Option)
  • Freeride 154 S-38 (Spring Option)
  • Freeride 154 (Spring Option)
  • Freeride 165 (Spring Option)
  • Summit X 175 (Spring Option)
  • Summit X 165 (Spring Option)
  • Summit X 154 (Spring Option)
  • Summit SP 175 (Spring Option)
  • Summit SP 165 (Spring Option)
  • Summit SP 154 (Spring Option)
  • Summit SP 146 (Spring Option)

cMotion rear suspension is aimed at the rider who wants a true crossover sled.

 

#3. cMotion 146 rear suspension
Crossover sleds are, by definition, a mash-up of trail and off-trail sleds. We expect them to corner sharp when the day calls for a rip on the groomed trail. We expect them to dance in the powder when we decide to track up an open meadow. Ski-Doo engineers needed a good rear suspension option for this kind of rider. The solution is to throw the rMotion and the tMotion skids in a blender, give it some design elements of its own and bring the cMotion to market. The new 146-inch crossover suspension features geometry and shock ratios very similar to the Summits’ tMotion, however the arms are rigid. It has a dual rate center spring like the rMotion uses for cornering handling. Its unique element is that it features tipped up rails at the rear. This give the sled a footprint like a trail sled on hardpack, but lets the whole track float the sled when you get off trail. It’s not a new concept, but it is very effective. All-in-all, Ski-Doo claims this new 146-inch cMotion skid is a whopping 11 pounds lighter than the 137-inch rMotion suspension.
Sleds you’ll find with the cMotion rear suspension:

The 2018 Renegade Backcountry is agile on and off trail, thanks to the new cMotion skid.

 

  • Renegade Backcountry X
  • Renegade Backcountry

The new KYB Pro 36R piggyback shocks are lighter and better calibrated than ever before.

 

#4. KYB Pro 36R front shock
You’ll find redesigned KYB shocks on the front end of the premium performance models in 2018. The new dual-adjustable Pro 36R shock has been reworked inside and out. Visibly, the shock uses a narrower shaft. Benefits to this, according to Ski-Doo are less weight, reduced friction because there is less surface area and it also has a wider preload range adjustability. The shocks will come calibrated in the dead center of the shock’s compression and rebound adjustment range, which, according to Doo engineering, is exactly where the X-RS and Freeride customers would like their ride… makes sense!
The other change on these shocks from previous versions is for packaging on the Gen 4 Rev chassis. While this may not seem like a big deal, we’ve all had run-ins with an adjuster knob or air valve that was just a pain in the fingers to utilize. Easier is better, so this is a good use of engineering time.
Models you’ll find with the new KYB Pro 36R front shocks:

The 2018 Ski-Doo Freeride all have the new KYB Pro 36R front shocks.

  • MXZ X-RS
  • Renegade X-RS
  • Freeride 137
  • Freeride 146
  • Freeride 154 S-38
  • Freeride 154
  • Freeride 165

The RS runningboards are beefire and wider than previous designs for added durability and surer footing. (Blue line shows 2018, yellow line shows 2017)

 

#5. Beefier RS Runningboards
It’s no secret that race replica sleds take a real beating. With high performance suspensions, engine packages and decal sets as capable as what the big fellas are running on the circuits, it’s no wonder the RS sleds and their cousins in the industry can get a little tired. While they may look like the real deal, most consumers don’t put the time and resources into the extra bracing and reinforcement the pros do. Ski-Doo is helping solve that with the new RS runningboards. You’ll find the baseplate of the runningboard is nearly doubled in thickness at 3mm! You’ll also find steel bracing under your feet at the front of the board and aluminum bracing at the rear. When you come crushing down on the backside of a road approach, you’ll appreciate the sturdy boards with aggressive traction punchouts, for sure! You’ll also like the overall board redesign, which is flatter and wider for more of the sled’s length.
Models you’ll find with the new boards:

2018 Ski-Doo MXZ X-RS has beefed up boards for this guy!

  • MXZ X-RS
  • MXZ X-RS Iron Dog
  • Freeride 146
  • Freeride 137
  • Renegade X-RS

The 2018 Ski-Doo Summit X 175 is a new variation for this year.

 

#6. New variations
Building snowmobiles is like working at Taco Bell. You have choices for chassis, engine, suspension and track, just like choosing hard or soft shells, meat, cheese, veggies, and the secret sauce. Product planners mix and match these elements to try to find the best combo that appeals to the widest audience. Ski-Doo adds four new combos to the offering to try and meet our unending appetite for the ultimate model. Beyond all of the new 850s in the Rev 4 platform, new variants this year include:

The 2018 Summit SP comes in 2 new track length variations this season.

  • Freeride 165
  • Summit X 175
  • Summit SP 175
  • Summit SP 146

Those are the high hard ones for the 2018 Ski-Doo lineup. We know we have only scratched the surface here. There is a seemingly endless supply of Ski-Doo models to choose from. We’ll bring you more information on specific models in the coming days, weeks and months. If you’re in dire need of a spec sheet or have a hankering for one of the families we didn’t cover (Skandic, Tundra & Expedition), check in with your local Ski-Doo dealer or hit the corporate website, ski-doo.com!

One Response to 6 Things you need to know about the new 2018 Ski-Doos

  1. John ross March 4, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    I want more imformation on the 2018 renergade 850 x

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