There are few things as exciting in life to a snowmobiler as a new snowmobile. Every year, new sleds come with a certain level of expectation driven by fancy marketing hype, spec sheets and snowmobile media reviews.
The Ski-Doo Summit X with Expert package has been one of the most intriguing spring releases in recent years thanks to a host of unique features that have piqued riders’ interest. RMSHA Hillclimber and Ski-Doo Ambassador Jay Mentaberry had his eye on the Expert since its reveal. Here are his first impressions:
Without a doubt, I expected the 2020 Ski-Doo Summit X with Expert package to best its predecessors. The only question was by how much? Quite frankly, my expectations were leaning more towards slightly better rather than significantly better. Not all new models deliver on the game-changing, bar-raising promises people attach to them. The Expert certainly had some of those words attached to it, but the only thing that matters is if a sled can prove it on the snow.
After that first technical line, I thought to myself, “Okay, this sled is significantly better!” After 100 miles on a mountain side, that’s not entirely accurate… it’s more of an understatement than I can express.
I’ll be honest, I was slightly reluctant to believe that the changes made to the ski rubber and spindle, shorter tunnel, and shock valving were going to be effective enough to improve the sled in technical situations. It looked great on paper, but that’s a lot different than a snowy sidehill in the tight trees.
I’ve yet to be let down by this sled, and I’ve been putting it to the test on steep sidehills with low snow, which is the best test, in my opinion, as it’s less forgiving. The sled has all the same responsive characteristics of the Gen 4 Summit that we love but gained huge amounts of predictability and feels right at home on steep, technical sidehills.
As some of you may know, rarely do my sleds stay stock. I’m always searching for specific handling and performance traits to suit my riding style. I could ride this sled 100% stock and be stoked. The only thing that I’m left looking for is some adjustment on the suspension for when I want to drop a cliff or practice for racing. Other than that, I don’t see the need to change anything which is a first for me in my snowmobile career.
To anyone reading this that has a 2020 Summit X with Expert Package sitting in your garage – You will not be disappointed! And to everyone else that didn’t get one this year, here are two things you should be considering: Order the Expert spindle and ski rubber. It might be the least visible change on the Expert, but it will transform your season for the better. Next, find a way to beg, borrow and steal (OK, maybe not steal) $500 to reserve that 2021 Ski-Doo next spring.
Follow along with me on Facebook and Instagram to see how the Expert is opening new possibilities and enhancing my riding style. Plus a few cool tips to keeping you and your sled performing to the fullest.