2011 BEST IN CLASS: Best 2-UP Touring

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Brothers and Co-Publishers of Supertrax – Kent and Mark Lester debate their picks for 2011’s Best In Class Awards.

WINNER: Ski-Doo Grand Touring LE

Kent sez:

You’re probably thinking: Not the LE without air suspension and all the bling; surely he must be meaning the Grand Touring SE? Wrong.

My choice and the obvious darling of the rest of the Supertrax crew is the sensibly equipped LE. Why? It’s about price and it’s about choice.

First, the LE is available for thousands of dollars less than the SE and you can select either 4-stroke 4-TEC power like the SE has or opt for the amazing 600 E-TEC 2-stroke (not available on the SE).

Now, here’s the real gristle in this choice: the Grand Touring LE with two people on board rides so close to the higher priced model you’d need electronic sensors on your butt to feel the difference.

Honestly, Ski-Doo has come close to painting itself into a corner by creating ride quality so good it defies the need for anything better.

To top it all off, the equipment list on the LE is downright amazing and its combination of ergonomics and warmth features makes riding it a sweet experience in any temperature.

The XR chassis possesses all the weight efficiency of the XP (this sled uses the XR 4-stroke bodywork even when you choose the 600 E-TEC) and, for a big dual passenger ride, is plenty agile and easy to flick around on trails. Certainly, the LE with the E-TEC engine is the lightest big-power 2-upper in the biz.

There’s a cool quick-attach 2-up seat included and you can buy all the high quality bags and travel gear you need from Ski-Doo PAC or just strap on your existing bags – no problem finding attachment points on the LE’s built-in rear rack or running boards.

Doesn’t matter which engine you choose, this is the best deal in a luxury 2-fer you can find and the gas mileage will take you further on a tank than you’d have believed possible.

Mark Sez:

Okay, the Ski-Doo Grand Touring LE is a formidable competitor in this class. I won’t disagree with any of your assertions in this regard except for one very important issue on all Ski-Doo 4-TEC 1200 triples.

Pay attention again here, Kent, you may learn something. How can a sled with a techy, supposedly modern engine have such weird and persistent throttle lag, strong enough to throw your melon into the handlebars when you jump on the loud handle.

I don’t care about ride, handling and all the rest of the whiz-bang junk you’ve talked about on the GT, the thing has wicked, persistent and continual lag just off engagement every time you whack it.

Now, for an intelligent and emotionally balanced pick for Best In Class honors I simply suggest the impeccably smooth, sweet handling Arctic Cat 4-stroke TZ-1 Touring featuring even throttle response that won’t make you feel like Gumby when you grab a handful.

The TZ-1 uses AC’s amazing 144-inch floating front arm skid to erase bumps with one person onboard and when the cheeseburgers stack up at Larry’s Burger Pit and your significant other has enjoyed a few extra Angus versions of same, nifty overload springs can be swung into action.

A stellar tourer with no glaring faults. Hello, Kent. Are you getting this?

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