Touring Snowmobilers Go Farther With Rotax 900 ACE Engine…
The Rotax 900 ACE engine delivers the best fuel economy. I can get about 340 kilometres per tank of gas. So if you’re in the market for a new sled, do yourself a favour and take a serious look at the Ski-Doo snowmobiles with 900 ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) engines.
Although I’m no tecky, I can speak with some authority about the Rotax 900 ACE engine. Because I’ve put over 20,000 kilometres (almost 12,500 miles) on one, in both a Renegade Enduro (long track) and a GSX LE (short track). Throughout the entire season, this 4-stroker performed flawlessly. It more than exceeded both Ski-Doo marketing hype and my own real world riding expectations. As I stated in a previous post, “The 900 ACE is an understated and subtle performer, with the heart of a lion.”
Rotax 900 ACE Engine Delivers Benefits
Right from the get-go, my 900 ACE experience was special. This engine is so quiet that my helmeted ears picked up all kinds of other sounds normally masked by a hard-working engine. Even as cold as winter often can be, the 900 ACE always started first time every time. And the iTC (Intelligent Throttle Control) thumb lever was super responsive and easy to use. It also totally eliminated any ‘throttle-thumb’ – the hand weariness or ache that can result from on long days of riding.
My wife really appreciated this. Previously, she has always found sled throttle levers to be either too stiff or too big for her hands. (iTC goes one step farther with a reversible throttle that can be either thumb or finger operated).
Rotax 900 ACE Engine Delivers 3 Engine Modes
I also really like the three different engine modes made possible by ITC. “Sport” provides the most oomph off the line and very zippy torque. It most closely emulates the familiar feel of a 2-stroke and has the most top end. “Standard” delivers steady, smooth consistent power like you’d expect from a 4-stroke. Meanwhile, “ECO” limits acceleration, torque and high-end speed – too much so for my taste.
After some experimentation, I settled on riding most of the time in Standard (instead of constantly switching back and forth from Sport to Standard). I did this because Standard best covered the variety of trail performance I needed throughout each riding day. I used ECO where it excels. And that’s for loading and unloading my trailer, parking and to manoeuvre at gas stations.
Rotax 900 ACE Engine Delivers Plenty of Zip
The first of two main questions I’m always asked about my 900 ACE is: “How fast is it?” To my mind, ” the real question should be: “Does it have enough power to satisfy most trail riders?” My answer is an unequivocal YES!
On tour with loaded saddlebags, we ride many wide-open trails. They are typically on old logging roads, utility corridors, unopened road allowances, cut lines, fire breaks and abandoned rail lines. Where the trail allows, we typically cruise along up to 100 kph (62 mph). The 900 ACE excels at this pace and has power to spare.
Just to see what it could do on one well-groomed rail line, I had the Renegade Adrenalin maxed out at 133 kph (almost 83 mph) in Standard Mode, faster than I ever ride. The GSX LE made it to almost 135 kph (84 mph), thanks to it being a lighter sled with a lighter rider. Both sleds may go slightly faster in Sport Mode and without touring gear.
The fact is that the configuration and terrain of most trails most of the time won’t allow such a brisk pace. So who cares how fast the 900 ACE really is? Most of us will discover that it has all the power and then some to get the job of regular trail riding very well done. I was always able to stay with my die-hard 2-stroke buddies on their 800 and 600 ETEC’s. And after riding my 900 ACE, these 2-strokers commented that they “wouldn’t be at all disappointed to ride with that engine all day.”
Rotax 900 ACE Engine Delivers Best Fuel Economy
So the other question is: “How much gas does it use?” I don’t care much about litres per kilometre or miles per gallon stats. I’m much more interested in how much distance I can squeeze out of each tank of fuel. So I kept meticulous records for a couple of tours.
I ran all day in the Standard Mode, often between 70 and 90 kph (43 and 56 mph). When filling, I burping the tank to top it right up each time. My studded, long track Renegade Adrenalin 900 ACE, with a 100-kg (220-lb) rider and 16 kg (35 lb) of luggage averaged 313 kilometres (194 miles) per 40-litre (10.6 US gal) tank. The studded, short track GSX LE 900 ACE, with a 172.5-kg (160-lb) rider and 11.4 kg (25 lb) of luggage, averaged 341 kilometres (212 miles) per 40-litre (10.6 US gal) tank. I know of several other 900 ACE riders that regularly topped 350 kilometres per tank.This is excellent fuel economy, especially as the 900 ACE runs on regular gas!
Ski-Doo has really hit a major home run with its Rotax 900 ACE engine. I’m sold on it and I bet you will be too – in fact, I’ve already ordered the 2020 Renegade Enduro 900 ACE pictured here!
The tips and advice in this blog are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.