RIDE IMPRESSIONS: 2014 Ski-Doo MX-Z 900 ACE

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A couple of weeks ago Supertrax had the opportunity to ride all the new 2014 models in Montana. Just so you know, the elevation was about 6,600 feet above sea level, so some of our engine evaluations are tempered by the high altitude. However, we did get a good chance to check out suspensions, clutching and handling on the key new sleds you’ve been waiting to hear about. Over the next days we’ll be filling you in on our riding experiences with these new sleds.

This sled takes riders in a completely different direction from what we’re used to.

Using a super-smooth, super quiet 4-stroke in a category that may not exist yet is a pretty bold move by Ski-Doo’s product planners.

We’ve had an opportunity to ride the 900 ACE in three different settings (two at sea level, the other at elevation) and we’re impressed.

Right now Ski-Doo is settling on final calibration with this new engine package utilizing drive-by-wire technology, and is very close to perfection.

The best one we rode was the MX-Z 900 at altitude. Although the engine couldn’t rev out as well at 6,600 feet as it did at sea level (we recorded 88-mph at this altitude), we were taken with the engine’s extreme smoothness and near-silent exhaust note.

Throttle tip-in on the units we rode in Montana was very smooth and linear and we can’t help but think this DBW technology will find itself on all Ski-Doo 4-strokes in the future.

With extremely light throttle pressure it really is a nice engine to ply for a long ride. We rode the MX-Z about 40 miles in Yellowstone and back home (sea level) we’ve experienced several 80-plus mile jaunts.

We think the biggest challenge Ski-Doo will face with this powerplant is tweaking hardcore snowmobilers’ mindsets to the fact this is sufficient power.

The truth is, with a very responsive midrange and a nice power delivery from engagement to trail speeds, it can run with some pretty heavy duty sleds and really is perfect for a large segment of riders. Certainly the riding experience is excellent – probably unlike any other snowmobile we’ve ridden.

Here’s a thought: Think this is a “tiny” 4-stroke? It’s only a measly 150cc’s smaller than Yamaha’s 1049cc rocket and Polaris has gotten mega power out of a 750cc twin with a turbocharger.

Any ideas where we’re going with this?

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