We Ride Ski-Doo’s 2014 XRS 800

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We’ve had a chance to put some miles on the 2014 MX-Z XRS 800 and can offer you some feedback.

First, if you anted up for the extra bucks to buy this “most specialized MX-Z”, you probably made a good investment. Depending on how you ride it, the XRS is an extremely versatile sled.

Keep in mind, the XRS is targeted at extreme riding. Its race-honed chassis uses many of the tricks found in pure race sleds (particularly chassis and skidframe reinforcing).

Although its 800 E-TEC is exactly the same engine as found in any other MX-Z or Rennie, the clutching is calibrated a bit more aggressively but, frankly, it’s so hard to tell the difference, we could pass this sled off as an everyday trail sled.

Its big-bump prowess is paid off with a combo of giant fully adjustable Pro40 KYB gassers designed to deliver optimum protection from bottoming and the very best action possible when hitting square-edged bumps and consecutive whoopers at very high speed.

The big surprise is how well the XRS behaves over washboard and medium chop when the throttle is not pegged. There’s really no compromise required.

The rMotion with its external preload and damping adjusters on the running boards makes setup so easy, you can actually get it wrong and still have a decent performing trail sled.

We dialed all the settings way back (to one or two from the softest on the tunnel adjusters, both front and rear) and got amazing plushness without losing any high performance action.

We’ve added a higher windshield – the tiny stocker is just ridiculous for trail riding – and are about to install the second carbide runner on the skis.

We’ve found there’s a fair bit of darting with the single carbide stockers and steering effort is very high. As you know, this is a condition we hate but it’s actually pretty easy to fix if you ante up for the extra runners.

All in all, we ‘d give the XRS an A-plus rating – especially if you’re using it for the exact purpose it was designed for. Otherwise, for most trail riding, the TNT performs just as well.

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