2009 Ski Doos Show Engine Improvements
by Scott A. Sumner
In my home city of Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada once a snowmobiling stonghold, we were fortunate to get the 2009 Ski Doo Show. It was the only show for 2009 sleds in Thunder Bay this year and If attendance and snowmobile sales do not increase it will probably be the last Ski Doo show because it is a costly undertaking for BRP to bring all the sleds here according to Frank Vettraino from Gordons Trailer Sales.
" Mother nature didn't come to the table this year as we would have liked but we have snowfall within 30 to 45 minutes of Thunder Bay. If you go golfing or boating you drive 30 or 45 minutes as well. We have a reduced trail system and the demographics have changes over the past years. The interest is less and our target market is now males ages 35 to 55." stated Frank Vettraino.
Even with less than ideal weather and trail conditions Gordons had a great year with their 2008 Ski Doo line up. "New for 2009 is the 600 ETEC engine which replaces the 600 SDI. It is 78% more fuel efficient than any other 2 stroke on the market and really an amazing
piece of technology. It will get 25 miles to the gallon and the norm is 13 miles to the gallon. So on this ETEC powered sled you can get double your miles up to 200 miles per tank," smiled Vettraino. "There is a 3000 mile spark plug warranty and cold start on the first pull
forthis new engine."
The other new big introduction for 2009 at Ski Doo is the 1200 four stroke. Previously Bombardier only had the 800 four stroke. The 1200 cc replaced the Mach Z. It is 50 pounds lighter than its closest competitor. Bombardier has simplyfied their chassis offerings to
three for 2009- REV XP for 2 stroke, REV XR for 4 stroke and REV XU for utility. "The new light weight REV XP was well accepted by our customers. It accommodated taller individuals and the ride was a much nicer ride than the old REV. We had very few problems," stated Vettraino.
" The ETEC motor will take gas mileage to the next level. Bombardier has been an advocate for clean burning 2 strokes for years because weight of a snowmobile is a big issue. As soon as you get into 4 stoke in snowmobiles it becomes a weight issue. The next
thing is a clean burning 2 stroke.It is the next level for the SDI engine," smiled Dan Oitzel, Area Mananger for Bombardier." It has evolved from outdoor motors. When we purchased Johnson outboards we took thar technology, made it our own and perfected the use in a
outboard engine at that time. The difference in gas mileage between a SDI and Etec is about 10% better. In addition though is the improved oil consumption and the lack of smoke in the E TEC clean burning of the fuel and oil."
" In 2009 the chassis difference is mainly in the motor area because of the mount , the XU has a wider tunnel to accommodate up to 20 inches of track. The 4 stroke in a larger engine so you needed a large front section on the REV XR chassis," stated Oitzel. "Last
year we did extremely well as this year we were blessed with snow in 90% of the country as well as the US. We had snow early as well which relly helped. We launched the XP chassis for 2008 so we took the lions share of all 2008 model year sales. The snowmobilers are crazy like that, they hunt for the new technology, the new thing. It is a real passion.In snowmobiles we are pushed to further technology where as in ATVs it is not pushing the envelope in technology year after year. The investment we have to make in sleds each year is monstrous and the refelection n price of the unit is marginal if any. A snowmobile price of ten years ago to now means other than inflation the prices have not gone up but down in some instances."
Oitzel who has been on the job at Bombardier for 22 years now covers the area of Timmins to Winnipeg as his trade area. "The area has done well with an increase in the market and Ski Doo took a little bit more of the share. The economy in Northern Ontario has not been that good because of the softwood industry but the snow helped a lot," noted Oitzel. "I didn't get enough riding in thid season as a carpenter never finishes his house and a mechanic never finishes his car. I have a window to ride from Christmas to mid January. It is neve enough," who had a 2008 Ski Doo MXZ 600 SDI and a 2008 Ski Doo Renegade 800 at his disposal this season.Ski Doo had very little old inventory in the hopper with mostly
current year 2008 models only left according to Oitzel.