2010 Ski-Doo MXZ Adrenaline 800R PowerT.E.K. Review

A serious all-around trail performer

Story by Jerry Bassett, Photography by Ski-Doo, Jun 16, 2009
 
 

Ski-Doo positions its Adrenaline model as the sport sled for the rest of us. The rest of us being those who didn’t make a purchasing decision early enough to set aside either the X-RS racer-performance model or an “X” model. But, left to the “in-season” choice of a 2010 MXZ Adrenaline, we won’t suffer too much.

There is no 4-stroke option with the Adrenaline package as there was with the early-season “X” choices, but you can amp your ride with the 800cc PowerT.E.K. twin that Ski-Doo claims makes 151-hp. While we favor the Rotax 800 ahead of Polaris’ Liberty 800, neither is as smooth as Arctic Cat’s equally powerful but eminently smoother 800. Besides the somewhat peaky power of the Rotax twin, we found the heavy pull of its dual Mikuni 40mm carburetors lacking in rider-friendliness. At this point in sled development, how about some lighter thumb pull by adding electronic fuel injection? Yeah, we appreciate that owners of these big twins are more apt to boost power by modifying the motor, but how about the rambunctious rider who wants stock go-fast combined with easy riding?

The MXZ Adrenaline comes ready for rough trails or long miles.

We’ll keep from getting too negative on the PowerT.E.K. twin because we suspect a new 800cc E-TEC version may be on the horizon. Heck, many of us snowmo-writers expected to see an 800 E-TEC joining the popular 600 E-TEC in model year 2010. The fact that it didn’t happen may be due to the overall economic travails hitting the entire powersports industry right now. If you take a close look at this season’s overall snowmobile product line, you’ll see few all-new models. Instead, companies have updated their product offerings.

Sport Rider Choice

Runningboard features boot gripping ridges.

The 2010 Ski-Doo MXZ Adrenaline 800R PowerT.E.K. remains a popular option for sport sled riders. Given its power to weight performance, the MXZ Adrenaline comes in a mere five pounds heavier than the early-season “X” package which will make it a top performance sled in this “800” sport category. Let’s face it though, opting for the “in-season” MXZ means that you do give up some higher-grade shocks at the front and on the rear suspension. You also give up the 1.25-inch lug profile on the “X” models as the Adrenaline’s lightweight Ripsaw track profile measures an inch in height. Frankly, only extremely serious trail shredders will notice the difference. However, we expect that difference in shocks to be noticeable and a good reason for opting in early on the “X” package.

Suspension Shocks

Don’t get us wrong; the base Adrenaline gets good shocks. But there is a difference. The standard Adrenaline comes with high-pressure gas shocks that are made by KYB. The lightweight and revalvable, aluminum shock will resist fade and will be fine for most Adrenaline owners. But the X shock package goes one better as its KYB-manufactured HPG Plus R aluminum shocks feature an external knob to adjust rebound action. There’s a similar performance difference on the rear SC-5 slide rail suspension as well. You’ll find steel-bodied HPG shocks fitted on the Adrenaline’s rear suspension arms. The “X” package adds the aluminum-bodied HPG Plus to the front arm and a KYB Pro 36 that features aluminum construction and a high/low speed compression adjustment so the rider can fine-tune the suspension’s bump response.

MXZ Adrenaline comes with KYB high-pressure shocks.

Like the more expensive X-model, the MXZ Adrenaline delivers up to 15-inches of rear suspension travel and nine inches of travel from the double A-arm front end. With a ski stance of 42.4-inches, the 432-lb MXZ Adrenaline handles corners with exceptional bite. You control steering inputs from a handlebar modified with J-hooks on the ends. Even though the hooks extend your hand placement outward, the mid-height windshield features flared sides to direct air away from your hands.

Fundamentals

Made of aluminum, the REV-XP chassis is light and strong.

While the Adrenaline model may lack some of the “X” package enhancements, all MXZ models come with strong fundamentals. The REV-XP aluminum chassis is both light and strong. The runningboards open style footing not only provides ample grip for snowboots, but helps dispatch snow so it doesn’t hang up in the suspension. The pioneering REV rider-friendly position evolved for more comfort and function in this latest chassis design, making the MXZ Adrenaline one of the most fun sleds to bang in the big bumps or cruise with on a groomed corridor trail.

You’ll note that the Adrenaline feels easier to turn and more responsive in quick switchbacks. That won’t be your imagination as Ski-Doo engineers revised the steering geometry to require less effort to operate while retaining its precise bite.  The easy riding style of the Adrenaline comes from the lightweight design and a ride-forward seating position that invites you to move from side to side in quick action turns or lets you stand up to ride out a section of ruts.

Owner Friendly

Rotax gets 151 horsepower from its 799.5cc twin.

This is a rider-friendly snowmobile. The 800R PowerT.E.K. twin may feature quick action for a burst across a lake, but you also can count on easy off-loading from your trailer thanks to its push-button, electronic reverse. Pioneered by Ski-Doo, this feature is commonplace on virtually all of today’s 2-stroke snowmobiles.

We’ll be one of the first to complain about lack of storage on most rider-forward models, but while Ski-Doo offers a little standard onboard stowage at the back of the seat, you can get more storage by opting for a sled-specific tunnel-mounted storage pack. You’ll find a full line of storage options in the Ski-Doo accessories catalog.

Overall, the 2010 MXZ Adrenaline 800 PowerT.E.K. fills the bill for the sport rider seeking a sled to ride through the rough with buddies, take on a club outing, or outfit for some serious trail miles. It is a very versatile snowmobile with an incredible line of add-on accessories from performance bolt-ons to touring bags. It remains one of the lightest sport sleds on the market and when you figure in its 151-hp PowerT.E.K. twin, it has to be considered one of the season’s hot performance bargains as well.

2010 Ski-Doo MXZ Adrenaline 800R PowerT.E.K. Specs
Engine Rotax 799.5cc, liquid-cooled, 2-stroke twin; 2xTM40 mm flat slide carburetors; single tuned exhaust
Horsepower 151 (Claimed)
Drive Ski-Doo TRA VII drive system with QRS secondary
Front Suspension Ski-Doo double A-arm suspension; Kayaba HPG Plus shocks; 9-inches of travel
Rear Suspension Ski-Doo SC-5 parallel rail slide with Kayaba HPG shocks on front and rear arms; up to 15-inches of travel
Brake Brembo hydraulic brake
Ski Stance 42.4
Track 15 x 120 x 1.0 Lightweight Rip Saw
Chassis REV-XP aluminum construction
Weight 432 lbs (claimed)
Fuel Capacity 10.6 US Gal
Special Features Rotax electronic reverse; analog gauge display; 4.5-in riser block; aluminum handlebar with J-hooks
MSRP $10,199

Related Reading
2010 Ski-Doo MX Z X-RS Review
2009 Ski-Doo MX Z Adrenaline 600 E-TEC Review

 
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