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Nick Olzenak
03-27-2010, 10:06 AM
There is a FreeRide in Alaska getting tested and put to the test here in the remainder of the season. We have it down at the store today getting all ready to rip. It is strong, sharp, and sturdy! Come check it out before it finds its way to the hills!

Nick Olzenak
03-29-2010, 06:43 AM
AMDS will have both a 2011 Summit X 154 800 ETEC and the 2011 FreeRide in the showroom all day today! Make sure to come down and climb aboard these two incredible sleds and get all the low down for 2011 while they are here!

Nick Olzenak
03-29-2010, 09:03 AM
2011 FreeRide – First Tracks.

At the annual dealer meeting for Ski Doo in Orlando, FL the FreeRide was released with a big bang! And lots of excitement began brewing around this new model segment. I have been anticipating the release of the Ski Doo FreeRide for over a year now. Finally this last Friday, March 26, 2010 it arrived! I had been hoping for the FreeRide to be available in a 146 or even a 137 and for once I felt like Ski Doo had let me down. After a whole ton of market research, probing, and poles BRP decided on the 154 Summit as the platform for this creative new segment entry. With all that said, I had received one of only two FreeRide’s around so I was excited to put some track to the snow!
On arrival the FreeRide came all white, no stickers what so ever except two 800R ETEC stickers on the hood. We assembled and test ran the sled on the bench and brought it right into the showroom where the wrap kit that BRP sent was waiting to be installed. The quality of the wrap kit is top notch and installation was very easy, especially since there is hardly any removal to be done (that was my favorite part)
The first things you’ll notice on the FreeRide are the running boards right from the RS and the extrusions are twice as thick as the Everest or even Summit X. This, along with the new brace on the top side of the running boards make these the stiffest running boards I have felt aside from the true RS racer. The rear suspension is visibly different when compared to other Summit Models (see photo). The rear arm is 4.5 inches back for stability and more controlled weight transfer.
Enough about what it was like on the showroom, yesterday I headed south with a good old friend of mine to “kill some pow” and get some photos of the FreeRide.
ONE PULL and the FreeRide easily breathed to life on the sled deck. Push the special RER button (the FreeRide uses a momentary switch found on race sleds for the RER switch) and off the deck we went. The snow report showed as much as two feet over night and high avalanche danger so we chose a spot near sea level away from the big hills to keep safe. Riding in 1-2+ feet of extremely wet and heavy snow we ventured up Placer Valley before making the turn towards Skookum Glacier. Here the snow began to get much deeper and with the warm temps and flat light made it a nice challenge picking our way across creek beds and around trees. The very first thing I noticed when I push the throttle is the incredible amount of power you feel. ETEC has a very light feel on the thumb but when you do flick it hard it GOES! Secondly the new “non-ported” track hooks up like crazy lifting the skis straight up off the ground and the 154 FreeRide planes on top in mere seconds. Carving… carving I was sure was going to plain stink… To my HUGE surprise it was a breeze, even with the long 154 track and the rear arm being moved back for “less, more controlled” transfer. The snow was pretty inconsistent and heavy which made carving a little tricky at times, I think this may have been influenced by the new ski which I am not used to yet. In those warm spring conditions it can be deceiving what the ski is really doing. I will wait until I ride up at higher elevations later this week before I make my final judgment on the new DS skis. Overall feel of the FreeRide is just about perfect, I cant say that I would change anything in the cockpit at all, bars are the perfect height, the bend is great, brake lever is custom to fit the taper bars, minimal buttons on the dash make it less clutter and easy to use. These are things I’ll normally spend an entire weekend changing on my personal sled before I can even ride it comfortably. The suspension is very solid, I didn’t bottom out but maybe twice all day which in my book is perfect, although for me I would like to see it a little stiffer from the factory since not every day is a powder day and you’ll need stiff shocks to soak up big jumps and bumps.
The worst part was when I got back to the truck after just about riding 15 miles in deep, wet, heavy new snow total my fuel gauge was on full still, and my oil level hadn’t moved even a millimeter… Lame!

Photos Courtesy of Seth Wells 574 Photography All Rights Reserved.

Irondog
04-26-2010, 09:45 PM
The power and handling are great, I found it easier to lay over and maneuver then my 146 summit. Overall a better package then the summit X IMO. The power and clutching feel good, the track hooks up good and doesn't trench, the shock calibration is good, it soaks up the studder bumps and doesn't bottom out. Easily lifts the skis off the ground - but doesn't wheelie over on steep climbs unless you want it to, totally rider controllable, responds well to rider input - very controllable and predictable. Easy to hold a side hill and high speed carve.

Irondog
05-02-2010, 08:48 PM
Some where near Upper Huffman. :cool: