MY2020 Ski-Doo Snowmobile Mountain Line-Up
It’s pretty clear that the pattern tends to be 4-5 years between major releases of new chassis and engine components. Sometimes the lineup is upgraded in part on a fourth year, as in the case of the P-Tek engine in the Rev chassis. And sometimes the entire model—engine and platform both—are upgraded together as in the Gen4 850.
That said, most folks assumed that the MY2020 Ski-Doo snowmobile lineup—being the fourth model year of aforementioned Gen4 850—would be a year of small technological upgrades, with no major engine or platform upgrades. And well, those folks would be right. But hey, what about that Summit Expert model? It’s a very cool concept, and the modifications to it aren’t that small at all.
BRP MY2020 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles
For mountain riders it comes as no surprise that the Summit SP, Summit X and Freeride models are back. But there is a new Summit X spring-check option called the “Expert Package”, and it’s a very intriguing concept.
BRP has taken feedback from guys like Carl Kuster and Rob Alford and made some significant modifications to the sled based on what these guys have asked to see. These are the exact type of modifications that the BRP backcountry ambassadors have been making to their own sleds in order to help make them as capable as they can possibly be for the advanced mountain riding they do on a daily basis.
– BRP“The Ski-Doo Summit X with Expert package brings deep snow riding to the next level. The package is built from the ground up with improved stability and predictability for advanced riders that includes a shorter tunnel, revised front spindle and ski interaction, revised suspension and improved ergonomics. The result is a machine that makes it easier to conquer technical lines with confidence, so riders can challenge their own boundaries.”
MY2020 Ski-Doo Summit X Expert Package
Shorter Tunnel and Track Lengths
The Summit X Expert Package will be available in 165″ and 154″ x 3″ track lengths. However, the tunnels on these models has been shortened by 5″ each. This modification is reflective of the demands of riders pushing their sleds in new ways. The shortened tunnel allows for a few things. First, it allows for better evacuation of snow from the tunnel. That makes riders less likely to get bogged down and stuck in deep snow. But perhaps more importantly, it allows riders to maneuver their sleds on the tail a little more, as in a pirouette or bow-tie type tight vertical turn that is becoming more popular.
Here’s a peek at BRP Ski-Doo’s 2020 Deep Snow sleds.
The Summit X Expert Package comes with the smaller Carl Kuster FORTY7C Performance Seat. As Carl says, “You only use the seat for eating lunch.” The FOURTY7C seat is shorter, lighter and has strategically placed grippy material that allows a rider better grip of the sled with their knees and legs. Of course the smaller size allows the rider to move back and forth between running boards with better mobility.
The cockpit area has some key mods as well. First of all, a lower than stock riser comes with the Expert Package. Most advanced riders prefer a shorter riser than comes stock on the Summit sleds, so the Expert package makes this available straight from the factory. The riser height is 4.7 inches, which puts riders in a more athletic and ready body position.
Another solid modification is a 2mm smaller diameter handlebar in the grip area. That doesn’t sound like much, but a smaller diameter handlebar allows significantly more strength on the bars, better control and less fatigue throughout the day.
Also part of the Expert package is a 1″ shorter mountain strap. In steep terrain, some riders find that the standard mountain strap can impact or interfere with the rider when the sled is vertical. The shorter strap on the Summit X with Expert Package is less obtrusive, and it is also more flexible so as not cause issue with the rider in those situations.
Finally, the Expert Package comes with handguards, which Carl Kuster runs on all his sleds. If you ask him, Kuster will tell you that the hand guards not only protect from wind and foliage, but more importantly, they allow the rider to ride without the heated grips on. Heated grips can cause ice buildup to form and make the grips more slippery. The hand guards also work work keep snow out of the control area in general, reducing snow buildup in the throttle block.
Spindle, Ski and Rubber
The Expert Package (and the Freeride model as well) will offer a new spindle, rubber ski-stopper and ski. The spindle is lighter. More importantly, however, the ski is prevented from tipping up, which can slow the sled’s forward momentum in extreme circumstances and also encourage washing out of the rear end. Meanwhile, the ski is still allowed freedom to tip down, which allows for more easy and predicable sidehilling according to BRP backcountry experts.
During the Ski-Doo reveal, BRP Backcountry Expert Rob Alford noted that the suspension on the Summit X Expert is valved about 20% stiffer to allow the sled to smash better through whoops and uneven snow. The sled is held higher in the suspensions travel, so the suspension has more capacity to absorb impacts at higher speeds.
Up front, Kashima-coated KYB HPG Plus coil-over shocks will use a lightweight ski spring. The rear features a KYB HPG Plus center shock and a KYB Pro 36 EA rear shock with adjustable compression settings.
The tMotion skid of the Expert Package will feature Ski-Doo’s adjustable limiter strap.
The full-length Profile running boards that come on the Summit X model are now updated with bigger cutouts, which allow snow to fall more efficiently through the foot area, resulting in less kicking.
And there will be no snow flap! Instead, in its place will be a lightweight fender on the shorter tunnel, which will allow greater clearance and eliminate a few grams.
The Ski-Doo Summit X Expert Package is a spring-order only option, and will come in Ultimate Black/Orange Crush with panel wrap and Ultimate Lava Red/White with panel wrap colour schemes.
In this video from Dave Norona, BRP Backcountry Expert Rob Alford walks us through some of the highlights of the Summit X Expert Package from his own experience riding and testing the setup.
MY2020 Ski-Doo Mountain Sled Lineup
For MY2020, the Ski-Doo Summit SP, Summit X and Freeride models will all be available—in new colours, of course. All sleds will have updated running boards with enlarged cutouts, including the Summit SP. And the new 571 drive belt, which utilizes a PBO material and design, will be used across the board for better durability in deep snow.
2020 Ski-Doo Freeride
The spring-order only Freeride is quite similar to MY2019, however it will feature the improved full-length Profile running boards with expanded cutouts. It will also make use of the new drive belt.
Perhaps the most impactful change is that the Freeride will feature the same new spindle, rubber ski-stop and ski configuration as the Summit X Expert Package. This should improve the handling of the sled, making it less prone to washing out and offer more predictable handling in general.
The colour scheme for the MY2020 Freeride is called Intense Blue.
For more detailed information on the 2020 Ski-Doo Freeride, check out our story here.
2020 Ski-Doo Summit X
The Summit X will feature the new running board cutouts and new drive belt. As usual, the Summit X will be available for spring-order only in Ultimate Iceberg Blue with panel wrap, Sunburst Yellow/White and Black colour options.
2020 Ski-Doo Summit SP
The base Gen4 850 mountain model, Ski-Doo Summit SP, will also come with improved Gen4 running boards and a new drive belt. It is available for spring-order and in-season in Octane Blue/Black and Black options.
But it’s the Expert Package that steals the show this year. Kudos to BRP for listening to their riders and taking a chance on making some high-level and very specific mods available to advanced and demanding riders, right out of the box.
The Summit X Expert Package a very appealing concept, and one that many customers will surely have to consider carefully based on their own specific preferences for setup and mods.
Here is the rest of the MY2020 Ski-Doo snowmobile lineup: