2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (2023)

More Power with Added Refinement and Capability By Jerry Mathews – SnowTech Mountain The biggest news from the Ski-Doo camp for 2023 is the...2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (1)

More Power with Added Refinement and Capability

By Jerry Mathews – SnowTech Mountain

The biggest news from the Ski-Doo camp for 2023 is the release of their new Deep Snow Gen 5 platform. This latest rendition features a narrow hood, belly pan side panel and tunnel design, two new tracks, a higher horsepower turbo engine, highly refined rear suspension, LED lighting and so much more. We’ve had the opportunity to ride these new Summit models several times now and here are our opinions and observations.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (2)

2023 Ski-Doo Summit X Expert 850 ETEC TurboR

Summit X with Expert Package

The Gen 5 Summit X with Expert Package is designed to be more stable when on edge in tough snow conditions and highly technical terrain. It takes more commitment to get it to roll up on edge, but once in a sidehill position, it is easy to keep it there. Track wash out is nearly gone. This configuration is precise and effective even in tough (hard, tracked up) snow conditions on aggressive sidehills. The downside is the effort that it takes to get it on edge and navigate those off camber situations you encounter. This sled takes more commitment and energy to ride, but for the energetic snowmobiler who wants a super precise combination (essentially a high intermediate to expert class rider) this is the sled for you.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (3)

Full Rod Powdermax X LIght

Now let’s talk more about the technology that makes the Summit X with Expert Package work. It gets a new track without “Flex Edge” technology. You heard us right, the track rods have been extended the full width of the track. This track is still a full 16 inches wide. The lugs on the track have also been changed so that their edges are right out to the edge of the track. This gives more traction, effectively utilizing the full 16 inch width of the track. Eliminating the “Flex Edge” gives the track more bite in hard, tracked up snow conditions eliminating the tendency to wash out (skate downhill).

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (4)

2023 Ski-Doo TmotionXT rear suspension

(Video) 2023 Ski-Doo Gen5 Summit first ride impressions

Complimenting the track is a new rear suspension. And the big news for the Expert Package is it has a fixed rear suspension arm. You got it, tMotion as we have known it, is gone on the Expert Package. However, they are calling this new rear suspension tMotion XT. This suspension is specific to the Summit X with Expert Package. No other model gets the fixed rear arm.

Other rear suspension changes include a longer front arm, longer shock, repositioned rear arm upper mount and a flat rail profile. All Summit models get these changes. These changes allow for roughly one inch more suspension travel. They also provide more stability in making the sled launch and propel forward rather than up. Ride quality is excellent, we would say they continue to have the best-in-class rear suspension ride quality.

The front end of the Summit X with Expert package is 34 inches wide (adjustable from 33.7” to 35.4”). It utilizes a new DS4 ski that has a deeper keel and more ski in front of the spindle than previous (only the Summit X with Expert Package gets the new DS4 ski). The new DS4 ski is said to help provide less wash out, but we need more time on it to say for sure. What we can say is the new rear suspension stabilizes the front end making the 34 inch width the width of choice for the riding conditions we have been in so far.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (5)

The chassis is a full three inches narrower where the running board meets the belly pan. This compliments the narrow 34 inch ski stance and keeps the belly pan and side panels from lifting the ski out of the snow in extreme sidehill conditions (also known as “Panning Out”). The narrow chassis and stance is a very welcome change as it allows us to get more aggressive in the backcountry with lean angles and the like. Essentially, the wider running board and belly pan are no longer in the way leading to less stucks and more fun.

The Gen 5 Summit X with Expert package is said to be about 8 pounds lighter than the Gen 4. This is a welcome treat, but with all the other changes to the sled, the weight difference is difficult to feel and say specifically that it is lighter.

Summit X

The Summit X is easy to ride and exhibits a good compromise between sled stability and required effort to perform a certain maneuver. Everyone from a beginner to a high intermediate and even some expert riders will love this sled. The Summit X is a joy to ride. Allowing you to carve and play to your heart’s content, it becomes like an extension of your body. With the new Gen 5 platform, the Summit X definitely became easier to ride in most conditions. It requires less energy to do most tasks providing an awesome riding experience that can last all day. If you are a recreational rider who likes to get into technical terrain and is always searching for and riding in deep snow, the Summit X is for you. It is not as precise as the Expert package, but it doesn’t take as much energy either.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (6)

2023 Ski-Doo Summit X 850 ETEC TURBO R

The Summit X also gets a new track. It is still 16 inches wide but with “Flex Edge”. However, the edge of the track lugs extend to the far edges of the track which provides more traction (full 16 inch width traction).

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (7)

The pivoting tMotion rear suspension, as we have previously known it, is still maintained in the Summit X. However, the new rear suspension gets the longer front arm, longer shock, repositioned rear arm upper mount and flat rail profile. These rear suspension changes may seem subtle, but they are key to making this sled work especially with the 34 inch front end width. Essentially, the rear suspension changes added stability to the sled that allowed a narrower front end to be added. We feel like the 2023 Summit X with the 34 inch front end is more stable and predictable than the 2022 Summit X with 36 inch front end. In this sense, the Summit X demonstrates how a machine is truly the sum of all the components and systems working together in balance. That could be the key word here, balanced. This is one of the most well balanced sleds there is. Most riders will find this to be the sled of choice, and will be ecstatic with how it performs and responds. We were!

(Video) 2023 Ski-Doo Summit X 850 Test Ride

The Summit X is said to be about 10 pounds lighter. Riding it, you will swear it is much more than that. This is due to the Gen 5 chassis changes with all of the refinements that came with it.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (8)

2023 Summit Freeride 850 E-TEC Turbo

Summit Freeride

The Summit Freeride continues the tradition of being the best suited for the extreme conditions where suspension performance is paramount as it gets the premium adjustable KYB piggyback shocks it is known for and maintains a 36 inch front end width. It also gets the new rear suspension changes and the new “Flex Edge” track. The 36 inch front end on this model combined with the new rear suspension changes makes the FreeRide feel more planted than FreeRide models of the past. If you are always running the rough terrain or hucking it off of the biggest jumps you can find, the FreeRide is built to withstand this punishment and is the right model for you.

Summit Edge

Ski-Doo didn’t use the new Gen5 platform only on their high-end models, it is found across the board and that includes the capable Summit Edge as well. The Summit Edge is a value-packed option that will work extremely well for almost everyone and is a stable machine as it also gets the 36 inch front end. Again, due to its rear suspension changes, it is more planted and stable than the previous Summit Edge. It is said to be 16 pounds lighter. If you are looking for a good all around sled that is very predictable yet capable, the Summit Edge is a great choice for you.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (10)

2023 Ski-Doo Summit SP 850 E-TEC

(Video) 2023 Ski Doo Summit 850 Gen 5

2023 Summit Technology

850 Turbo R Engine

For 2023, Ski-Doo is upping the horsepower on the 850 turbo models to 180 horsepower. And, they did not just increase it on top end. The increase in power is very noticeable from midrange on up. The power curve is much broader than before making this engine package a hoot to ride. All 850 turbo models for 2023 will be the Turbo R configuration.

Several detail changes have been implemented to achieve the 15 horse increase in power. New injectors provide the added fuel flow required; air flow is also greater with the Gen5 airbox; there is a new ECU; turbocharger boost pressure has been increased and now ranges from 1.5 to 6.5 psi for an average increase of 1.5 to 2.0 psi over the previous 165 hp version. CVT components have been reinforced to better handle the added power delivery, along with a stronger reinforced chain in the chaincase.

Ski-Doo engineers also improved the cooling of the head around the spark plug area. This allowed them to use the same heat range plug that their naturally aspirated 850s use. The intake tube between the turbo and the air box as well as the throttle body intake boots are stronger to withstand the additional boost pressure. The drive clutch spider has been reinforced and the secondary rollers are stronger. The ECU is recalibrated to allow the additional boost pressure and the clutches are recalibrated with different weights and spring to harness this power.

The new 850 Turbo R engine is so clean that Ski-Doo receives EPA credit for every one of these engines they deliver.

Gen 5 Summit Chassis Features

* The new Gen 5 Summit truly is mountain specific. It boasts new LED lighting, a much narrower chassis with no windshield. The chassis is a full three inches narrower than the Gen 4 where the running board meets the bellypan. It is also 8 to 16 pounds lighter depending on the model.

* The bulkhead and front suspension remain the same as the Gen 4, but the sidepanels and hood are all new for a narrower, more compact platform. Engineers went as far as integrating the clutch cover into the left hand side panel to minimize width. In doing so, the spare belt had to be relocated to the rear of the tank where the battery would have been on early Gen 4 Summits with electric start. We are told that the clutch cover/side panel now acts more effectively as an air pump bringing cold air into the clutches and exhausting the hot air out to make the clutches run cooler and more efficient.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (11)

Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.

* The sled has a new oil bottle that is narrower and more compact.

* The engine is mounted using four engine mounts on Gen 5 models where the Gen 4 only used three. This is said to improve engine stability to transfer more power through the clutches and drivetrain to the ground.

* The hood is all new. The air intake in the hood is flat on top of the hood and can be cleaned easily by wiping a glove across it from a standing position. The sled has a new coolant bottle which is accessed through an access panel in the hood. A glove box has been added back into the hood for a small amount of storage there.

(Video) Jay Mentaberry Gen5 Ski-Doo interview - the SNOWEST show

* The running boards are narrowed up from about the mid board to the belly pan junction. The rear bracket that ties the running boards to the tunnel has been re-designed for less snow build up. The boards are even more open than before to allow the snow to evacuate rather than build up.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (12)

*The Gen 5 chassis has a lighter top tunnel piece (thinner material) and utilizes less coolant volume.

*Ski-Doo is introducing two new tracks for 2023 deep snow sleds. The 3” Flex Edge is lighter weight and the lugs extend to the full width of the track for improved traction. A similar track is on the Summit X with Expert Package that has Flex Edge eliminated with full width track rods.

* A new 10 ¼” optional color display will be available during Spring Guarantee. This attractive gauge is easy to read and offers multiple display modes. It can be paired to media via Bluetooth allowing you to listen to music, monitor your phone or utilize the BRP GO app.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (13)

* The drive shaft now features a “quick change” feature with a coupler between the drive shaft and the bottom gear inside the chaincase. This allows you to disassemble the brake side and simply slide the drive shaft out of the coupler to change or service a track. The chaincase no longer has to be opened up or drained to do this task as the drive shaft simply slides out of the coupler that is the link between the shaft and gear inside.

* The rear suspension rear upper mount position has been changed to allow a quick disconnect of the rear upper arm. This makes removing the rear suspension for service, repair or modification much easier.

* The rear suspension has been changed and about one inch more travel has been added. The changes are a longer front arm (20 mm), longer rear shock (13 mm), relocated front arm lower mount position (22 mm back) and relocated rear arm upper mount position (30 mm back). These changes add stability to the chassis allowing the 34 inch width front end to be used without compromise. They also result in the chassis launching more forward than up which improves performance and these changes provide an additional inch of suspension travel.

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (14)

2023 Summit Freeride 850 E-TEC Turbo

As you can see, Ski-Doo engineers have been very busy since the release of their Gen 4 Summit back in 2017. With the Gen 5 platform they have stepped up the game again. These sleds really are incredible to ride. We encourage you to get into your local dealer early to order the sled you want. With the supply chain issues (caused by both component and labor shortages) and delivery delays that have been happening this year that are expected to continue, the earlier you get in the better chance they have to fulfill your order in a timely manner. As before, we suggest not letting your current sled go until you have the new one in your garage or trailer, just to be safe. It should be worth more in December than it is in April as well.

Subscribe to SnowTech Magazine and see all the 2023 First Ride Reports.

(Video) 2023 Ski Doo Summit Expert vs Edge

2023 Ski-Doo Gen 5 Summit X & Expert - FIRST RIDE! (15)


What is the Ski-Doo expert package? ›

The Summit X w/ Expert Package features an adjustable limiter strap that, when set to the short position, helps keep the skis planted to make the sled even more stable and predictable. The Summit Expert can be ordered (Spring Order only) with the Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo R engine package for 180 arm-stretching horsepower.

How much horsepower does a Ski-Doo Summit have? ›

Summit snowmobiles are powered by one of two Rotax 2-stroke engines - including the most powerful factory-built 2-stroke turbo, the 850 E-TEC Turbo R at 180 hp. Each offers instant response and seamless power.

How much horsepower does a 850 summit have? ›

The Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo R is the most powerful 2-stroke turbo engine ever from the factory. With 180 heart-pounding horsepower, perfectly calibrated for full power up to 8000' and a 55-HP advantage as you climb.

How much does a Ski-Doo Summit weight? ›

89 mm/3.5 in. (154 in.) Dry weight 208 kg/459 lb (146 in.)

How long is a snowmobile with a 163 track? ›

Registered. The total length of the 163 is 134.6 inches, from ski tip to snow flap.

How long is a Skidoo Summit? ›

Vehicle overall length 3,422 mm / 134.7 in.

What snowmobile has the most horsepower? ›

The most powerful stock snowmobile currently available is the Arctic Cat ZR Thundercat which has an impressive 211 horsepower.

How much horsepower does a 900 Ace turbo have? ›

The 150-horsepower Rotax 900 ACE Turbo delivers instant acceleration at the punch of the throttle. With a Rotax-built turbocharger specifically designed for the 900 ACE engine, riders get the technology they love with the reliable, powerful performance they demand in one advanced engine package.

How does the Skidoo turbo work? ›

The Rotax 850 E-TEC Turbo: The Game Officially Changed - YouTube

How much horsepower does Polaris 850 have? ›

For example, both of Polaris' 850 Patriot and Ski-Doo 850 E-TEC engines offer 165 HP. 1000-1200cc snowmobiles are arguably the most powerful sleds on the market.

How much horsepower does a Arctic Cat 800 have? ›

Czekala found that our Cat was about three horsepower healthier than others he had previously dynoed. At 151.1 horsepower, this cc Cat roared in just 10.4 horsepower shy of a tested 1994 Thundercat (the ZR also ran better quarter-mile runs than the T-Cat at 11.928 and 11.811 seconds).

Does Skidoo make a 850 turbo? ›

Two years ago, Ski-Doo introduced the first production turbocharged 2-stroke engine in the snowmobile world. Today, the manufacturer is taking things a step further by introducing the 850 E-TEC Turbo R, which develops 180 hp. That's an increase of 15 hp or 9% over the previous 165 hp engine.

What's the heaviest snowmobile? ›

The heaviest snowmobiles are touring snowmobiles, which can weigh as much as 767 lbs. The lightest snowmobiles are Polaris mountain snowmobiles, which weigh as little as 414 lbs. Youth snowmobiles weigh 167 lbs on average, with the lightest being 145 lbs and the heaviest being 231.5 lbs.

What is the lightest Ski-Doo snowmobile? ›

The weight of a Ski-Doo snowmobile is around 435-657 pounds. The lightest Ski-Doo is the Freeride 165, as it weighs only 435 pounds.

How wide is a Skidoo Summit? ›

Vehicle overall width 1,080 to 1,110 mm / 42.5 to 43.7 in. Vehicle overall height 1,386 mm / 54.6 in. Ski stance 910 or 950 mm / 35.8 or 37.4 in. Ski overall length 1,058 mm / 41.7 in.

How fast does a 900 Ace Turbo go? ›

The 900 ACE is also a popular 4-stroke power source of some touring and utility Ski-Doo models. It features 3 cylinders and produces 95 HP. (On pre-2019 sleds it was only 90 HP.) Ski-Doos powered with the 900 ACE can typically reach the top speed of 80-90 mph.

How fast is a 900 Ace? ›

In reality, 75-85 mph.

Is the 900 Ace Turbo a good engine? ›

Rotax 900 ACE Turbo Engine

It is smooth, efficient, and linear during acceleration. The torque experienced is excellent at all speeds, and the power range is constant. This engine offers 150 HP, a level of power that is highly sought-after by snowmobilers who are both performance and touring enthusiasts.

How fast is the Ski-Doo 850 turbo? ›

The Ski-Doo MXZ X 850 has a recorded top speed of 128 miles per hour, while the Polaris Switchback Pro-S 800 caps out at 105 mph, and the Arctic Cat ZR 6000 EL Tigre is a bit slower at 88 mph.

What does a turbo do on a snowmobile? ›

Superchargers and turbochargers make horsepower by pressurizing the intake manifold, squeezing and forcing air into the engine thus increasing the air/fuel mixture, which allows the engine to pump more air and make more power.

Is the 850 ETEC a 2-stroke? ›

With tens of thousands of hours and a million smiles to its name, the world's first factory-built 2-stroke turbocharged engine has shown riders it's as much a leader in reliability as it is in game-changing power.

What is the best Ski-Doo engine? ›

The Best Ski-Doo for Deep Snow

Its power source, the 850 E-TEC is arguably one of the best and most powerful snowmobile engines at the moment. It's a 2-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected twin that delivers no less than 165 HP.

What is the fastest production snowmobile ever? ›

The Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE is ready to defend its title as the world's fastest production snowmobile. With the heart of a Genesis 998 Turbo and specially calibrated iQS, electronically controlled suspension, the SRX is sure to get you to the end of the lake first!

How fast does a 800 snowmobile go? ›

800cc snowmobiles can go as fast as 110-120 mph top speed, even in stock condition!

What snowmobile is the fastest? ›

The Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE is ready to defend its title as the world's fastest production snowmobile. With the heart of a Genesis 998 Turbo and specially calibrated iQS, electronically controlled suspension, the SRX is sure to get you to the end of the lake first!

What's the fastest stock snowmobile? ›

Meet The World's Fastest Snowmobile: The 2021 Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE. The world's fastest snowmobile is powered by none other than a a 4-Stroke 998 Genesis Turbo Engine generating in excess of 200 hp!

What is the fastest snowmobile in 2022? ›

The ZR 9000 Thundercat is the World's Fastest Production Snowmobile. For 2022, the King of turbocharged 4-strokes leads the high-performance speed and handling category with addition of the all-new ADAPT CVT System and Electronic Power Steering.

What was the most powerful 2-stroke snowmobile engine? ›

Rotax 850 E-Tec, the most powerful 2-stroke engine in the industry.


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2. 2023 Ski-Doo Deep Snow Sleds: Summit and Freeride first look
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3. DEEP REVIEW ‘23 Summit Expert Turbo R - the SNOWEST show
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4. 2023 Ski-Doo Mountain: SnowTech Magazine Test Riders first ride comments
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