Small changes make a huge difference on and off trail
Don’t feel shorted if you missed out on the “Spring” buy programs and passed on the Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS or X models. You’ll find that the stretch track “regular” Renegade Adrenaline model comes with plenty of features. Yeah, you don’t get the fancier and pricier shock package nor the flyspeck windscreen and transparent hand guards. But, you do get electric start standard. You do get push button electronic reverse. And it all sits on the same platform as the more expensive “ego” versions.
Engine Type:Horizontal In-line
Valve Configuration:Reed Valve
Displacement:594.4 / 36.3
Turbocharged:NoView Full Spec
We will not pretend that the base Adrenaline is a far better “deal” than an X model. The list price for the Adrenaline with the popular 600 ETEC two-stoke is only US$750 less than the X model. So, it’s not like the price differential is a killer. Plus, we do think that there is added value with the X if you are a hard-charging, big bump rider. But, if your hard charging only kicks in for a few miles per outing, then the Adrenaline package will be perfect. The money you save can be used for accessories that clip into Ski-Doo’s proprietary Lin-Q system.
We do find it quite interesting that Ski-Doo prices its two-stroke, direct injected ETEC models at a premium when compared to Adrenaline models powered by the 900 ACE or 1200 4-TEC four-stroke triples. We would think that the complexity of the four-strokes would trump the manufacturing cost of a two-cylinder ETEC two-stroke. Regardless of the whys and wherefores, we vastly prefer the ETEC twins, especially the Rotax 600.
We greatly prefer the two-stroke Rotax twin to the lower priced 900 ACE powered Adrenaline version. The Adrenaline 600 ETEC weighs 26 pounds less than the ACE-engined version. More important than the sheer pounds is where those extra pounds are located – over the skis where it impacts steering effort and handling. Plus we really like the 600 two-stroke’s traditional free-revving style as it pulls from clutch engagement of 3400 rpm up to 8100 revs at top end.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2015 Ski-Doo Renegade Adrenaline ACE 900
On a competitive two-stroke engine-to-engine basis, we prefer the ETEC to Polaris’ Liberty semi-direct injection Cleanfire 600 Twin. Power-wise they are about the same, but our experience with both designs leaves us with a non-logical, purely subjective preference for the Rotax in overall performance. It just feels crisper and more responsive overall at the throttle thumb. We can’t objectively quantify our feeling, but let’s just say that the Rotax gets us to our happy place better.
Once the Rotax kicks in, you move into a new realm of on- and off-trail handling as the 2015 Adrenaline enjoys what may seem as a hyped and, perhaps, small change to the front suspension. The all-new RAS 2 front suspension upgrade brings the sled alive. The changes in geometry and addition of lighter components increases handling capabilities in corners and very noticeably in the sled’s action over bumps, from modest to extreme. Along the way Ski-Doo managed to pull weight out of the suspension while incorporating quicker overall response. You’ll note a more styled appearance on sleds with the RAS2 as design engineers used CNC machining on the ski legs and featured flattened tubes for a premium look.
While we are far removed from being snocross bangers these days, the improvement was immediately noticeable. The turn into corners was excellent as the RAS2 seemed to give the skis added bite and much more positive steering agility. We will also admit that the RAS2 left us with a much greater appreciation of Ski-Doo’s rMotion rear suspension. In the past couple of seasons, we can say that while we appreciated the upgrade from the older SC-5 parallel rail rear design to the new rMotion, we weren’t in awe of it. But, adding the complementary action of the new RAS2 front end gives the 2015 Ski-Doo Renegade a vastly new on- or off-trail personality. The two suspensions work incredibly well together, providing riders with one of the most sophisticated actions of any Ski-Doo sport sled ever built.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2015 Yamaha Viper R-TX DX
Frankly, we don’t think the lack of pricey shocks deters from the capabilities of the Renegade Adrenaline. The complementing front and rear suspension provide a high degree of ride, control and comfort regardless of the shock package. The plus in this equation is that the front and rear suspensions can be easily tuned on the trail. If you get bored riding groomed trails and come across a rough-looking ungroomed forest road, take it! That’s what the Renegade does.
The strength of the Renegade is its versatility. The Adrenaline with the 600 ETEC gives you the proven performance to challenge off-trail snows. The fact that the sled is built on the latest REV-XS platform means that it will be nimble and react quickly and positively to your inputs whether standing or sitting on the narrowed REV-XP X saddle.
The reality of the Renegade Adrenaline works very well for serious riders. While you may not be the hardest charger any longer, the Adrenaline allows you to pick your spots and ride aggressively when you want. It does it with more actual comfort features than the higher priced “X” model. For example, when breaking through off-trail snow, you’ll have a 15-inch tall windshield complete with wind deflecting side panels. The X-rider will have a very short windscreen that will push snow back into his face shield.
The Adrenaline provides an ample 15-inch wide by 137-inch long Ripsaw track with 1.25-inch lug height for on and off trail grip. The Pilot 5.7 plastic skis will angle into turns and work to get on top of snow when traveling off trail, letting you maximize the sled’s nine inches of HPG Plus controlled travel.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Polaris 600 Indy & 600 Indy SP
In our opinion the 2015 Ski-Doo Renegade Adrenaline 600 ETEC is one of the best all-around on- and off-trail sport sleds on the market. It has a great combination of features made better with the addition of the RAS2 front suspension upgrade. The engine is a technical marvel that’s proven reliable. Heck, Ski-Doo claims it can even get upwards of 21 miles per gallon. Overall, the Adrenaline 600 ETEC offers great value to the true enthusiast. It’s a great all-around trail sled that excels on or off trail.
|2015 Ski-Doo Renegade Adrenaline 600 ETEC Specs|
|Engine||Rotax 600cc ETEC, two-stroke twin; liquid-cooled; electronic direct injection; 2-into-1 tuned exhaust|
|Horsepower||120 (est); 8100 maximum RPM; Engagement @ 3400 RPM|
|Drive||Ski-Doo/Rotax TRA III with QRS driven; electronic push button reverse|
|Brake||Brembo hydraulic disc with stainless steel braided brake line|
|Front Suspension||Ski-Doo dual A-arm RAS 2 with spring over HPG shock; up to 9-in travel|
|Rear Suspension||Ski-Doo rMotion parallel slide rail with HPG shocks center & rear; up to 16-in travel|
|Ski Stance||42.4 in|
|Track||15 x 137 x 1.25 RipSaw|
|Weight||477 lbs (claimed)|
|Fuel Capacity||10.6 US Gal (91 Octane Fuel)|
|Features||Standard: REV-XS chassis; aluminum handlebar with J-hooks; analog gauge with display; REV-XP X seat with rear storage; 4.5 riser block; reverse; electric start; 15-inch windshield with integrated deflectors|
Optional: rearview mirrors; storage bags