There are some things you don’t question. Examples: Bacon should be standard on a cheeseburger. Or how about this one: 20-inch wide long track snowmobiles are only boring, snowbound tractors made to pull and carry stuff in bottomless snow.
That’s a pretty good place to start. Two seasons ago Polaris shifted the 20-wide snowmobile paradigm when it introduced the Titan – specifically the Titan SE.
The biggest surprise was this new-from-the-ground-up 20 by 155-inch monster was powered by a 155-hp Liberty 800 CFI mill. To say it rips is not correct – it rips up anything and everything including trails, lakes and powder.
DO NOT CUT
Ski-Doo, never content to let anyone mow its grass, has responded with a re-invented Expedition Extreme with a 20 x 154 x 1.8 lug. The sled is a variant of the all-new G4 chassis and is powered by a 165-hp E-TEC 850.
It comes with a sporty, mid-height windshield, solo saddle and a racy look guaranteed to confound first time viewers. All Expedition models have a huge radiator designed to supplement the heat exchangers. Trust us, you could ride this thing down an interstate in July and it wouldn’t overheat.
Seriously though, can a sled this big be fun?
Yes, the Xped Xtreme is playful. It can be ridden on trails all day with minimal understeer and generally predictable turn-in and if moguls crop up, you have nothing to fear.
The ji-normous 154-inch, articulating skid bridges chatter and whoops in a way you have to experience to believe. Corner to corner squirts are rewarded with heroic wheelies and traction rivaling a cat’s grip on a screen door. Does this sound good? It should, because we’ve had a 2020 Xtreme for a month this winter and are still giggling as the snow melts.
You’re probably asking, “Isn’t this a utility sled”? Yep, it sure is. The Xtreme can pull an ice fish hut through slush or tow your truck out of a ditch. Use the all-new lightweight, easy-shifting dual range tranny in Low Range and you might be able to pull over a building.
There are almost one hundred LINQ accessories available for the Xpedition and more on the way. You can mount a comfy twofer saddle, ice fish auger bracket, gun scabbards, bush bars, extra trunks big enough to carry small people and the list goes on. Does this sound like a utility sled?
SO WHO WOULD WANT ONE?
Strangely, after allowing those unfamiliar with 20-wides a ride on the Xtreme, the number of riders interested in it increases in a way that’s commensurate with WOT pulls down Kevlar Lake. Even with lower overall gearing we saw almost 150-kms (94 MPH) out of the Xped 850. The sled accelerates hard and doesn’t give up until the tach swings to shift RPM.
It’s bad fast but so ridiculously versatile you start to dream about what else you could do with this multi-purpose sled: Steal firewood from your neighbor’s wood lot?
Tow a convertible trappers sleigh/ice hut? Access a backcountry cabin for a romantic weekend? Drag race your bud’s 850 trail sleds and show them your taillight? The list goes on.
THINK OF A GRAND CHEROKEE SRT-8
The Expedition Extreme is the closest thing to a high performance SUV the sno-mo-biz has produced. There’s tangible cache and sportiness with this sled yet it can do journeyman work all day.
While the MSRP is not light, this is a snowmobile built to answer a call we’ve been hearing the past couple years. What call? The growing interest in snowmobiles that can do more than just one thing!