Plenty Of Changes When You’d Least Expect Them
Ski-Doo has been the industry sales leader now for a few years and there was some suspicion the company would back off the throttle in 2011, at least as far as new model introductions go.
Not so. This is just another busy year and Ski-Doo is continuing to entice its customers into dealerships with interesting and innovative new models and, surprise of surprises, not one, but two new engines.
Lets talk engines first. It’s no dark secret everyone in the sno-mo-biz was anticipating an 800 E-TEC. Supertrax has been rumoring it for over a year and we were pretty disappointed when it wasn’t released in MY2010.
Not to worry, though. Ski-Doo provided us with a pilot built MX-Z E-TEC 800R in late January (actually a bonafide 2010 model) and we proceeded to put over 2000 miles on it.
To say we are impressed is a gross understatement. This sled is a rocket ship and absolutely raises the performance bar on every other big-inch offering in the business.
If you transfer the weight off the skis (open up the couplers) from a dead start, it will loft the skis a foot in the air and hold that posture for an eighth of a mile.
Nail the throttle at 50 mph on a lake and, if there’s enough traction, it holds the skis about four inches above the snow as long as you’re dipping the flipper.
The engine starts and idles flawlessly, doesn’t smoke (ever) and accelerates as clean as a turbine. The exhaust sound is that unmistakable 3-stroke tone we’ve grown to love from Direct Injected Ski-Doos.
We hear the emission levels are good, too – not surprising considering the E-TEC 600 has been legendary in this area and has set the standard for 2-strokes the last two years.
We’ve found, over our long term testing, the new 800 E-TEC gets nearly the same gas mileage as the 600. The only variance is when you’re doing a lot of lake running at full throttle.
Naturally, it uses more fuel in this mode but still a lot less than any of the other 800 2-strokes in our fleet.