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Dear Motorhead:

My wife and I are looking to purchase new sleds and we are having some trouble deciding what Ski-Doo models to purchase.

We ride in northern Wisconsin-mainly trails and are likely going to ride off-trail on forest roads more often this year (primarily trail though). I ride solo about 30% of the time and the rest of the time is spend riding together.

We are are both currently riding 1992 Yamaha Ventures and I weigh around 230 and my wife is about 140. I ride more aggressively than my wife, but she charges into the corners too.

From everything that I’ve read, I feel like the 600 ACE is a good engine for her, but I don’t know what platform is appropriate. We try to put a lot of time on the trails when people aren’t out riding (safety) and last year we ended up riding in loose stuff a lot.

Our old Yamaha’s handle like crap in loose snow and she gets really scared. I put a new 0.75in track on one of them and that helped it feel alot more planted but my biggest concern for a sled for her is getting a platform that she will feel confident in, whatever the conditions are.

My initial thought would be a Renegade but I don’t know how that sled will handle with a smaller rider like my wife. Is it going to be hard to steer and really push in the corners? I’m sure an MXZ would work fantastic on groomed trails, but worry that I may not promote confidence when there is 3-6 in of loose torn up snow on the trail.

From my perspective, as a larger rider, I’ve read a lot of great comments from you guys and other places as well about the Renegade platform. I suspect that I’m not that aggressive that I will really suffer from cornering ability (trails are tight here).

If I’m riding with my wife, a 600 ACE should do fine (I give up a bit of weight though), but am I going to feel limited when I ride solo or lack the power to break trails on forest roads?

If money wasn’t a consideration, I would get a 600 E-TEC. For a person in my situation is the extra 2k worth it or would an ACE be adequate?



Dear Noah:

Thanks for your emial!

You have given a great description of what you intend to do with your new sled. Here’s my comments. First, going to the XP platform with any engine will impress you. The sled is ultra light and floats well in deep snow in the 120 inch version.

Having said that – if you think you’ll be riding considerable unpacked snow the 137 inch version (Renegade) will amaze you.

The good news is there’s no penalty whatsoever with a Renny in terms of understeer (push) or numb handling. The sled handles the extra track length with complete transparency.

Will the 600 ACE engine make both of you happy? I suspect your wife will be pleased with the 60 HP output of the ACE and the mpg will positively knock your boots off – if ridden respectably the engine can deliver 30 mpg – crazy.

For you though I would suggest you go to the 600 E-TEC at 120 HP. Here’s why. The E-TEC will deliver of 20 mpg and produces exactly double the output of the ACE. On top of this you are comparing your old 55 HP Venture 2 Stroke to the 60 HP ACE mill.

4 Strokes feel very strong at initial squeeze and take-off but tend to feel flat once underway. 2 strokes are exactly the opposite and in the case of the E-TEC you will get incredible throttle response as DI engines are more torquey – inherently.

This extra power for you – if you’re in 3-6 inches of fresh untramped snow on trails or off trails will be very welcome and you’ll appreciate being able to break a good trail for your wife using the extra 60 ponies.

Again, if you feel like you need a Renegade 137 the E-TEC will produce exceptional flotation – I believe the 600 E-TEC is very close in weight to the 600 ACE engine.

Hope this info helps!

Motorhead Mark

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