Ski-Doo Summit: confident and cocky

The new snowmobile is designed with a completely clean sheet

A couple of years ago, the father of mountain snow-shoeing Bret Rasmussen, conducting a master class for Russian snowmobiles and journalists in Sheregesh, mentioned that we were wildly fortunate with the skiing area, because he had a summit with an eight-horn motor in Idaho, the same way as we have the six hundred. Due to the lack of oxygen at a height of 3000 m, Breta always lacks power. His cooperation with BRP as a pro-rider has borne fruit and we have before us an absolutely new Ski-Doo Summit 850 E-tec with an engine of 850 cm3.

Canadians did with the snowmobile something that did not solve for 20 years – from a clean slate they developed both the engine and the chassis at the same time. The REV Gen4 XP platform received a new power triangle, an upward slanting tunnel and a cast aluminum front end. The design became lighter and more rigid. At the previous Summit generation, the engine was shifted to the left, which left a mark on the weight and controllability. The displacement of the new motor relative to the longitudinal axis of the snowmobile is only 25 mm, which has sensibly optimized the center of mass. In addition, the power unit was moved slightly down and forward, which also positively affects the handling. The tunnel of the pyramid was already toward the top, which allowed to install a narrower seat and to simplify the driver’s movement around the snowmobile on the slopes. But the main thing is that the heat exchangers of the cooling system are now integrated into the frame of the snowmobile. This means less risk of damaging them and better cooling in dense snow.

Cardinally changed the case. The front part narrowed by a dozen centimeters, and the side panels of a new shape allow the driver to stand on the footrests much closer to the engine than before. In addition, the footsteps themselves have changed. In the front part they are almost horizontal, the holes for snow discharge have become huge, they are located 20 mm higher than on the old snowmobile, which allows them to cling less to them over the snow. But the most important thing is that the manufacturer refused the stirrups in the front part, which means that the work surface of the footboard is increased without risking catching the crossbar at an unnecessary moment.

The front suspension is also new, now it’s Ras3. The main differences from the previous version: the gauge is narrowed to 895 mm, and the skis themselves are shifted forward. Speaking automotive terminology: the castor has become larger. When staged in a corner due to a new weight and a narrow gauge, the snowmobile willingly leaves on the traverse, and when speeding in a straight line, the trajectory trajectories become minimal. The rear suspension tMotion has not fundamentally changed, it tilts slightly from side to side and has narrow guides, which allows the edge of the caterpillar to curl, this improves the hitch with the coating under certain driving conditions. Interestingly, its course increased from 239 to 381 mm. Now the landing after jumping will be clearly softer, and the stock of the hook when driving on very steep slopes is more. The tractor also “shoveled”, 7.5-centimeter grousers are spaced less often (between them are 89 mm), their shape with a slight bend in the contact patch is designed to improve traction, and the weight was reduced by as much as four and a half kg.

Now about the engine. It is not known whether Rasmussen influenced the state of things by demanding from his sponsors a more powerful motor or an arms race was conceived without his participation, but what we received exceeded all expectations. The two-stroke 849-cc engine has a power reserve of 165 hp. and a peak torque of 145 Nm. The main pair of direct injection injectors is complemented by another pair that injects fuel when the gas is suddenly opened, and the eR.AVE valves are now electronically controlled. The power unit received a new composite crankshaft, plasma spraying on the cylinder walls and a new piston group. To top it off, the engineers installed an additional oil pump to lubricate the crankpin and lower crankshafts, which allowed to reduce the consumption of oil injected into the fuel by 40%, so now at one refueling of the oil tank Summit passes 1400 km! To top it off – a new variator with improved response and the ability to choose one of six settings from very smooth behavior, to sporty sharpness. You can adapt the node with a regular key at any time.

Every detail of the new snowmobile, albeit a little, but threw off weight. In total it was typed on 11,3 kg. Add to this a new weight distribution, the ability to more actively move the body through the footsteps, a new suspension setting and get a remarkably easy-to-manage device. If Summit of the previous generation at some point began to actively resist the slope on the slope, then the novelty of such habits and there is no trace. In deep snow, the 850th does not seek to lift its nose and keeps itself clear on the traverse. It is understandable that the snowmobile has sent more demanding to react to the position of the legs on the bandwagon, so now we have to work on the technique of driving. The same is required by the engine. And it’s not just in its increased power, rather in the lightning-fast and aggressive response of Summit 850 to pushing the trigger of the gas. In other words: beginners will have a hard time, but after pumping skills an unforgettable experience is guaranteed. And the inner voice tells me that Brett in Idaho is now exactly fine.

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