What the Legend ends up being is a very reliable old friend. Pull it out of the garage on Friday afternoon, load it up and head out for hundreds of miles of easy touring. The Legend, indeed, makes your snowmobiling life uncomplicated.
As you reach for the starter button to fire up the four-stroke Rotax V-twin, you won’t think about the snowmobile anymore than you think about your car when you fire it up and head off to work. The only times you think about either is when they won’t start up or they need fuel. Other than that, you are thinking about your destination and how best to get where you want to go.
Ski-Doo engineering simplified this machine by thinking about what you want in a trouble-free touring sled. You demand a stout enough engine to haul a couple of people and gear at normal trail speeds. The engineers figured that about 65 horsepower could do the job. Hmm, they thought, where can we find a ruggedly reliable, high-torque motor to use? Look no further than the BRP-owned Rotax engine group and scope out the 4-TEC V-800 four-stroke twin. It has 67hp and gobs of grunt to power a two-up touring machine.
Based on experience with the engine in BRP-owned Lynx brand snowmobiles and Can-Am ATVs, the V-800 would be just right. It’s reliable and trouble-free, characteristics extremely important to this niche of snowmobiler. It’s also quiet and fuel efficient with up to 25 miles per gallon capability on the trail. Figuring in the nine-gallon gas tank and doing some basic math gives a touring rider more than 200 miles before needing a fill up. Heck, a Legend rider likely will make more coffee and potty stops than fuel stops in a day’s ride.
Designed to achieve high-mileage on groomed trails, the Legend blends smooth operation with comfortable rider and passenger appointments. Based on Ski-Doo’s efficient RF chassis, Legend riders will appreciate the same ride-forward positioning as REV riders. With the centralization of the drivetrain mass and rider position, this touring sled flows nicely over trail bumps. The rear passenger sits ahead of the rear suspension’s rear axle, which allows for a smoother ride. A nicely contoured backrest and heated rear handgrips provide added passenger comfort. Add in a big windshield to flow wind and cold away from the riding duo makes the Legend a pleasurable ride.
Legend’s A-arm front suspension comes complete with more than six-inches of vertical travel from coil-over-shock damping. Ski-Doo includes front spring pre-load adjustment for the 2008 model. The A-arm controls the action of the new-for-2008 Pilot skis. Ski-Doo’s own Pilot 5.7 dual runner skis add extra bite in the turns. The additional runner also minimizes that disquieting feeling you get as your ski wants to dart from ski rut to ski rut on heavily trafficked trails.
A specially balanced version of the SC-4 rear suspension provides up to 13 inches of travel. The suspension’s front arm relies on a touring-calibrated Motion Control shock while control of the rear shock arm comes from a slightly stiffer high-pressure gas shock. This parallel rail suspension design works to maximize the on-snow footprint of the 15-inch wide, medium length 136-inch track.
When we first saw the four stroke Legend and checked out its drivetrain, we were expecting much less than what we found. The power for a touring sled is above average and we discovered the ride to be plush in what we consider to be a Ski-Doo tradition of long-haul snowmobiles. Comfortably plush, the Legend is well suited to mileage making rides where you and a guest maintain a pleasantly steady pace. Where sport riders work hard to push 100 miles by blasting through turns and throttle-to-the-bar runs across lakes, a Legend rider will nimbly zip around bends and easily maintain a smooth and legal straightaway speed of more than 50 miles per hour. The goals of a high mileage touring rider differ substantially from a hot rod sport rider. Scenery and enjoyment of the scenery in relative comfort is important to them. The Legend fills the bill nicely.
Styled in a friendly deep blue with gray accents, the Legend looks ride-friendly and ready for a long tour. The handlebars jut upward and fall comfortably back toward the driver. On board, the rider views a console which includes a speedometer and tachometer, a push-button electric start and controls for the hand and thumb warmers. The convenient reverse gear and rearview mirrors are standard equipment and a small cargo rack is included for storing extra gear. Of course, Ski-Doo offers a full line of touring goodies in its accessories catalog designed specifically for the high mileage rider.
After our test ride we discovered a special fondness for the Legend. Ski-Doo does touring like few other snowmobile companies ever have. Maybe this affinity for making outstanding touring sleds comes from the company’s location. After all, Valcourt is located in the heart of Quebec snowmobiling country. Ski-Doo engineers can—and do—simply open a door and head off on hundreds of miles of world-class snowmobile trails. When it comes to living the lifestyle, Ski-Doo not only lives it, they pretty much invented it!
That history lives in the 2008 Legend.