2023 Ski-Doo Mountain Snowmobiles
Early spring is an exciting time of year for snowmobilers as we learn about what’s new for the next model year, and the 2023 Ski-Doo snowmobiles launch offered plenty to be excited about!
2023 Ski-Doo Mountain Snowmobiles
The big news for 2023 Ski-Doo snowmobiles is the arrival of the much anticipated REV Gen5 platform! Mountain riders have been doing the mental math on BRP development cycles for years now in anticipation of when the next generation of Ski-Doo snowmobiles would drop.
The Gen5 overtakes the incredibly capable and successful Gen4 that was available from 2017-2022 model years. The Gen4 was a huge step forward from the previous iteration (XM in the mountain segment) and was the platform in which advanced technologies such as the SHOT starter, the 850 E-TEC and 850 E-TEC Turbo powerplants were released.
But that’s not all. Ski-Doo has replaced its own incredibly successful factory 2-stroke 850 E-TEC Turbo with a more powerful version called 850 E-TEC Turbo R, that produces 180 horsepower! Mountain sledders have dreamed of the day when a factory 180-class horsepower 2-stroke might exist, and that day is here.
Ski-Doo REV Gen5 Platform
Before getting into model specific information, let’s first look at the REV Gen5 platform—the next generation of Ski-Doo snowmobiles—which has arrived for model year 2023. The Gen5 platform will be the standard on all Summit and Freeride packages, including even the base model Summit SP.
Gen5 Platform Features
The REV Gen5 is significantly lighter than the Gen4. The weight has been reduced by up to 16 lbs, depending on the configuration of the sled.
REV Gen5 is narrowed by up to 51 mm on the LH side and up to 25 mm on the RH side of the bodywork. It’s 3.1″ (8 cm) narrower at the running boards, which should aid in steep sidehilling. The body panels are redesigned to reduce width and bulk and fit tight to the mechanical components. The new body is so tight even that the spare belt compartment is relocated to the rear of the seat!
Not only are the running boards narrower, they also feature considerably more open surface area for better snow clearing.
Similar to the Gen4 design, there are two versions of Gen5 running boards on the Ski-Doo deep snow sleds depending which model. The Summit X, Expert and Freeride sleds have running boards with 53% open surface (an increase of 11.5% from Gen4) and the Summit SP and Edge running boards feature a 41% open surface (an increase of 14% from Gen4).
Deep Snow Specific Tunnel
While the tunnel is similar in size and shape, there are some key changes. The heat exchanger on the Gen5 follows a different path (more U-shaped). It also uses a thinner upper surface aluminum sheet (1.8 mm instead of 2 mm), which shaves 1.5 lbs dry and 3 lbs wet on an 165″ sled. The thinner material also maximizes heat exchange efficiency, while the structural strength is maintained by the same thickness material in the rest of the tunnel construction.
PowderMax X-Light 3″ with FlexEdge Track
The deep snow Gen5 sleds use a lighter 3.0″ lugged track called PowderMax X-Light with FlexEdge. The track is up to 4 lbs lighter. The new X-Light track features full-width outside lugs that now extend all the way to the edge of the track. All lugs are reinforced for improved traction and better durability.
Quick Removal Driveshaft
A brand new quick removal driveshaft uses a sealed bottom gear to separate the wet and dry sides. This means that it is no longer necessary to open the chaincase to remove the drive axle. Track changes can now be made faster and with more ease.
The tMotion rear suspension has been completely revamped using 90% new parts, and is now called tMotion X. tMotion X uses revised geometry:
- 13 mm longer front arm
- Rear arm moved farther back by 30 mm
- Rear shock length increased by 22 m
- Suspension travel increased by 25 mm (1 inch) at the bump stop
tMotion X also features a quick-drop mount that eliminates the use an of an axle. Combined with the quick-remove driveshaft, this will allow much faster and easier track changes.
These changes result in the elimination of 3 lbs of unsprung weight.
In terms of handling, the changes are purported to provide more controlled weight transfer, more stability and a quicker plane on the snow. tMotion X maintains the pivoting arm for easier initiation of roll up.
CVT Venting System
The Gen5 uses a completey new CVT venting system that is the first enclosed CVT system in the industry, which promises improved belt life.
The system uses a drilled clutch cover that is integrated with the body panel and which provides airflow, stiffness and acoustic insulation. A cold air inlet with snow intake filter provides cool fresh air to the CVT. The clutch sheaves are finned to draw fresh air and expel hot air.
The system is so effective that Ski-Doo says the CVT venting system pulls twice as much cold air compared to the engine air intake!
Oil Access Panel
Alongside the CVT Venting system, the Gen5 now uses a separate, smaller oil access panel. The clutch and spring adjustment tools included with each new sled are housed within this compartment now, which prevents the possibility of the tools coming loose and finding their way into the CVT.
REV Gen5 Highlights:
- 3.1” (8 cm) narrower at the running boards
- Redesigned narrower, compact body work
- LED headlights
- Up to 16 lbs lighter
- Revised intake system
- New CVT cooling system
- New engine cradle with 4th engine mount
- New easier to remove drive axle
- Easier access to service areas
- Redesigned and lighter rear suspensions
- Redesigned and lighter tracks
- New DS4 skis (Expert Package only)
- New adjustable brake lever
- Optional 10.25” Color Touchscreen Display with BRP Connect
Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo R
180 horsepower from sea level to 8,000 ft! Wow. For MY2023 Ski-Doo introduces the 850 E-TEC Turbo R, which replaces the 165 horsepower E-TEC Turbo across the entire lineup.
The Turbo R has many changes from the E-TEC Turbo, which was first available from 2020.5 through model year 2022. What Rotax engineers strived to maintain are the outstanding characteristics of the first factory 2-stroke turbocharged engine—snappy throttle response, smooth power and rock solid reliability.
They’re calling the 850 E-TEC Turbo R powered sleds the best power-to-weight ratio in the industry, and that’s saying a lot. At sea level, the Turbo R produces 15 more horsepower than both the previous Turbo and the naturally-aspirated 850. At 2400 m (8000 ft) elevation and above, the Turbo R outclasses the original Turbo by 15 horsepower and the naturally-aspirated 850 by a whopping 55 horsepower.
Here are the changes implemented in the 850 E-TEC Turbo R:
- Revised cylinder head for better spark plug cooling
- New injectors
- Reinforced CVT components
- Reinforced chain
- New ECU
- Uses REV Gen5 airbox
- More boost
- Boost ranges between 1.5 and 6.5 psi
- Turbo R builds 1.5-2 psi more than first gen E-TEC Turbo
10.25" Colour Touchscreen Display
As an option on spring order only sleds, for 2023 Ski-Doo is offering a large, high definintion, high contrast colour touchscreen display.
The display is designed to enhance the rider experience with improved connectivity and a slick interface. BRP Engineers have designed the display with an emphasis on readability, and its placement has been optimized on the Gen5 platform for either trail or off-trail riding, depending on model.
The display can be customized for many different layouts and information settings depending on the preference of the user, and also features light and dark modes.
For connectivity, the display can connect via Bluetooth and can interface with the BRP GO! app for navigation and location information. It can also be updated via WiFi using over-the-air technology.
2023 Ski-Doo Summit Expert Package
For 2023, the Summit with Expert Package will see a number of other noteable changes in addition to all the Gen5 platform upgrades.
tMotion XT and PowderMax X-Light 3″ Track
Some riders have asked for it, and now it’s here. The Expert Package for 2023 features a brand new tMotion XT rear suspension with a fixed rear arm. This is complemented by an Expert-exclusive lightweight 3″ track with full width rods.
If you’re wondering what this is all about, we’ll explain. Some advanced riders feel that the original tMotion (while undoubtedly easing the ability of the sled to tip up), in some situations (such as very steep sidehilling) may contribute to a washing out of the track downhill which causes the sled to point uphill and off line. While Ski-Doo stands by the performance benefits of the tMotion (now also redesigned as tMotion X), this change is to address the demands of a very specific customer riding in the most technical terrain.
Together, these changes promise to offer a more precise, stable and predictable ride in very technical terrain and improved sidehilling capability.
The PowderMax X-Light track offers up to 2.6 lbs of weight savings over the Gen4 FlexEdge in the same length, along with improved durability.
New Pilot DS 4 Skis
Stability and precision in sidehilling is improved with the Pilot DS 4 Ski for the Expert Package. This ski features a new rear keel designed to improve stability (at some cost of steering effort) and a 35 mm longer flat sole in front of the keel. Again, this is to aid control in very technical terrain. The removable tip is eliminated.
The Summit w/ Expert Package will continue to use a 34″ ski stance (which will also be featured on the Summit X models for 2023).
Adjustable limiter strap
Also changed for the 2023 Summit with Expert Package in an increased range of adjustment in the adjustable limiter strap. The amount of adjustment has gone from 30 mm to 50 mm to provide a wider range of performance adjustment from “Precision” to “Agility”.
Adjustable Brake Lever
In keeping with outfitting the premium Summit w/ Expert Package with all the most specialized components, for 2023, the model will feature a new adjustable brake lever. This will allow riders to fine-tune their braking ergonomics to adapt to their specific preferences, for using one or two fingers as an example. The adjustable brake lever offers up to 20 mm of adjustable range (up to 15.5 mm closer than standard or 4.5 mm farther). The adjustment does not require tools. This component is also standard on the 2023 Freeride.
2023 Ski-Doo Mountain Snowmobiles
Wow! That is a huge launch for Ski-Doo, with the addition of some new youth models that we’ll discuss in another post. We’ll also dig into some deep snow model specific detail elsewhere as well.
Gen5 promises to usher in the next era of Ski-Doo deep snow sleds. If the jump in performance and handling is anywhere near the improvement that Gen4 built upon its predecessor, then Ski-Doo owners are in for a real treat. From the specifications revealed at the launch of the 2023 Ski-Doo snowmobiles, it looks like it may be even more impressive.