What’s Up with Ski-Doo for 2015? This is one of the questions that will be answered when the snowmobiling media gather near the end of February for “Snow Shoot” in West Yellowstone, Montana. This is where the four sled manufacturers reveal their new wares each year.
Snow Shoot is also where the media take most of the sled photos that will grace our covers and pages for the 2014/15 season. What’s more, It’s where we intrepid reporters discover the secrets that will determine market share next season and possibly for years to come. So prior to Snow Shoot, I’m going way out on a limb with some personal speculation about what’s Up with Ski-Doo for 2015?
There are a few clues that Ski-Doo is going to take the wraps off something big. First, it’s time. Typically Ski-Doo shakes up the industry every five years or so with a snow-shattering new technology or sled. Some could reasonably argue that such recent innovations as the 900 ACE or tMotion / FlexEdge qualify, but I think Ski-Doo has an even bigger debut up its sleeve.
Ski-Doo’s annual dealer get together usually takes place in the U.S., somewhere sunny and hot. But this March, it’s been moved to wintery Quebec – and one of the few times that’s happened previously was for the launch of the REV platform, when BRP wanted dealers to actually experience their next generation technology on the trails. So doesn’t it stand to reason that the dealer meet coming back to Quebec signals a new product that has to be ridden to be believed?
So what are the possibilities? Certainly one is a bigger ACE engine on the snow, like the 1330 ACE already on the road with Can-Am Spyder. Another possibility is a totally redesigned front end with new suspension attributes as unique as rMotion. Or maybe we’ll see the debut of the first Lynx snowmobile in North America. But for the good and growth of snowmobiling, I really hope that what’s coming is a very affordable, entry-level sled à la the Spark watercraft. A whole new generation of potential buyers can’t afford the big bucks for a new sled, They are just waiting in the wings, and bringing them on track would be the right ticket to reinvigorate our sport big time.
But this is my pipe dream about 2015 sleds and maybe I’m just whistling Dixie, so tell me – what’s yours? We can all find out for sure at the 2015 Manufacturers’ Sneak Peek Tour starting mid-March.