UNDER-ACHIEVERS FROM THE PAST: SKI-DOO STRATOS
Down through the history of snowmobiling there have been snowmobiles built that fell short of expectations. At that time, the idea behind them seemed good – but the execution just didn't pan out...
Probably Ski-Doo would just like to forget about the Stratos.
Here was a snowmobile so ugly and awkward-looking it defied description. Was it lightweight? No. Was it a performer? No. Did it fit the market in its time? Nope. Was it pretty? Definitely not!
What it was, was built as solid as a battleship - just as reliable - and almost as heavy.
Back sometime in the late 1980s Supertrax toured the Ski-Doo plant in Valcourt, Quebec and watched in awe as extremely high grade parts were precision formed using robotics and CNC technology to make... unbelievably... parts and components for the Stratos. We couldn’t believe it!
We suspect the Stratos was an idea someone came up with that seemed really good at the time and as production and planning ramped up for it, there was no way to turn back.
To be fair, the Stratos was almost impossible to destroy. It was so overbuilt and underpowered (it used a 500cc fan-cooled Rotax), you just couldn't hurt the thing – and we suspect many who bought one really wanted to do just that.
The Stratos chassis spawned a similar 2-up model called the Escapade. It too was equally unpretty but just as rock-solid. Years ago, we took an Escapade with us on a tour in Quebec and our Polaris and Yamaha press sleds were stolen. The thieves walked right past the "Eska-Pod" and left it alone. No wonder!
You still see these sleds here and there - because like a bad penny, they just won't go away!
More to follow...
More Like This
LATEST VIDEOS View All
Tips for Loading Your Marlon Xplore Pro II Truck Deck
January 23, 2020
AJ increases the usefulness of our GMC 2500 with the installation of Marlon's latest sled ...
Full Review: 2020 Ski Doo Renegade X rs 850
January 22, 2020
Motorhead Mark Lester gets race inspired and blasts the trails revealing all the details of ...
2020 Crossover Snowmobile Shootout!
January 21, 2020
Luke takes a closer look at the 50/50 crossover snowmobile market addressing its appeal to ...
SNOWTRAX TV 2020 - Episode 4 Sneak Peek
January 19, 2020
Coming up on the next episode of SNOWTRAX TV...
2020 Backcountry XRS 850 vs 2020 Switchback Assault 800
January 16, 2020
AJ's got two of the top off-trail sleds parked side by side giving you a full overview and ...
Top Gear View All
January 19, 2020
MBRP QUIET SERIES TRAIL EXHAUST
Finally! An aftermarket exhaust company has answered the call trail riders have been begging for.
Ask Motorhead View All
April 3, 2019
NOT HAPPY WITH SHOOTOUT RESULTS
Luke responds to a viewer's disappointment about the results of our 600-class, 129-inch shootout.
Press Releases View All
Tourism View All
December 18, 2019
THE ULTIMATE SNOWMOBILE BUCKET LIST FOR QUÉBEC THIS WINTER
Take a moment, close your eyes and think of the most beautiful winter landscapes you could possibly imagine!