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Features

2018 SKI-DOO XRS

By: Kent Lester, Photo By: Mike Lester
3/22/2017

SKI-DOO XRS HARDCORES CAN BE HAPPY NOW!

One of the biggest complaints we heard from died-in-the-wool Ski-Doo fanatics last year was that the newly-introduced G4 850 wasn't available in the XRS package.

It meant if you wanted the good shocks and maximum track options you had to stick with the MX-Z XRS 800 in the XS platform for another year. Wah, wah!

MY2018 brings a new G4-based XRS with all the jam those hardcores have been asking for.

Available in both 129 (MX-Z) and 137-inch (Renegade) track lengths, the new XRS series brings an amazingly striking color combo of yellow, silver and black besides a second all-black scheme with the black having a more subdued complimentary nose band across the hood - a styling cue we personally wish the G4 would lose.

Both look awesome, however, and leave absolutely no doubt this is Ski-Doo's premium performance model.

You can choose between an Ice-Ripper XT semi-studded track or a RipSaw, with 1.25-inch lugs in both track lengths or an optional 1.6 Cobra.

Frankly, we feel XRS riders would really benefit from the 1.6 option because this sled makes some serious power and both stopping and acceleration traction is at a minimum without aftermarket traction products installed on a 1.25.

One interesting change this year is a switch to Pro 36mm rebound adjustable front shocks compared to the usual 40mm units on XRS Ski-Doos of the recent past.

Although the compression and rebound adjustable piggyback gas shocks up front are very sophisticated and offer extreme performance, they may lack the "mental horsepower" appeal of the bigger units.

You have to give consideration to the fact, with the XRS being calibrated for the masses, there are few riders who will experience fade or damping limitations (bottoming) from these smaller diameter KYBs.

As it is, buyers are getting premium performance with less weight – a sensible and valuable trade-off – and there are still big 40s in the rMotion out back.