Eagle's review: 2015 Skidoo GSX 900 and Land O Lakes Recreation

Eagle

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So.... on my last trip out this past weekend, I had a failure on my Arctic Cat which took it down late in the day of day 2 of a 3.5 day trip. So I decided to rent. Called around and ended up going to Land O Lakes Recreation as they had short notice availability.



LAND O LAKES RECREATION REVIEW:

We rolled in around 10am and was informed that their standard rental was a MXZ 600. This was NOT enticing to me, as I know the 600 isn't all that fast. So I pleaded with them to rent anything they might have that was faster. They let me know they had a 900 GSX in the lot and I could have that.

The guy at the desk was a bit of an asshole if I'm being honest. One of the guys in my crew (5 dudes) who were obviously with me went to grab the key off the counter as I was filling out my paperwork so he could start loading the sled on his trailer (he mentioned this out loud before he went for the key). The dude behind the counter snapped at him and told him to put the key back. My guy was like, "OK, man! Not trying to make problems, was just going to load the sled up...." Counter guy answers, "Yeah, we'll get there. We will give you the key when we go outside to look at the sled."

:wtf:

So then I get to the last page of the rental agreement and its talking about how I'm liable for EVERYTHING wear related from skis, carbides as well as panels, windshield, seat, etc... so I ask, "are we going to look over the sled before I agree to all this stuff?" Same counter dude says, "We will go over the sled with you outside." Me: "So I'm supposed to just agree to all this stuff blindly and sign?" Counterguy: "Yep. Pretty much." Me: "Great. Just making sure..."

Go outside after he charges my card... but struggled to do so. Tried the chip and swiping the card 3-4 times with his system failing to work. His card reader wasn't working right. So he had to type in the card # to get it to work. He wasn't happy about that. Card went through fine after manually entering the #s. WTF. So we go outside to "look over the sled" and the helper guy literally puts the key in the ignition, shows me how to start it and put it in reverse and says, "have fun." and starts to walk away.

Cool guy, thanks for showing me all the wear items I just agreed to being in good shape.... :picard:

I ask him if he minds loading it on the trailer (since they denied my buddy doing so 20min earlier) and he obliges me.

SLED REVIEW:

This was a 2015 Skidoo GSX 900, a pretty run of the mill 4-stroke touring sled based on the "renound" and highly praised REV chassis.

We unloaded the sled from the trailer at the cabin and got geared up. I took it out on the lake behind the cabin and quickly found out it was miserable slow. Like really, REALLY slow. This is a problem because I came from a turbo Arctic Cat F1100 the day before. On the lake, it would do 78mph MAX. But I sucked it up anyway, and rode the sled to enjoy a day of riding without speed.

What I found after a decent day of riding (~130mi) on rather beat trails (Sunday riding) is that the Skidoo REV chassis is actually a pretty damn decently handling sled. Its also probably the most comfortable sled I've ridden, over Polaris, and AC and certainly Yamaha (which is now AC too).

This sled really handled whoops more gracefully than anything I've been on. Steering was impacted only slightly and the sled went where you pointed it regardless of the terrain you were on. It was extremely compliant.

On the tighter twisty forest trails, this sled actually let me ride pretty damn aggressively without beating me up as much as my AC would have. It wasn't as fast, but it definitely let me ride plenty hard and faster than others on higher performing sleds (granted, this is impacted by individual rider style).

All in all, I'm surprised by the chassis and very happy with how it handles. I'm NOT happy at all with the wide open power. Even just trail riding on long straight stretches, the group had to slow up to let me stay with them. THIS SHOULD NOT BE A THING AT ALL.

Would I buy a Skidoo? Maybe. But it wouldn't be a 900. The 1200 which I also rode (yellow sled pic'd above that a guy in the group rides is a '15 MXZ TNT 1200), could be a contender... but the infamous throttle lag is a real thing and something I instantly criticized after jumping on his sled.
 

Eagle

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#whiteisright!



Lake Gogebic from the southern end (quality sucks after upload...)


THE RIDING CREW
 

Chester Copperpot

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FWIW, 600 etec > 900 ace. There's a reason they race 600s and 900s are for utility/family. Also 2 stroke versus 4 stroke.
 

Eagle

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like what kind of failure on the Arctic Cat?
One bolt sheered in the leading pivot point, between the lower rear shock mount and the large control arm that mounts to the tunnel. Basically the middle bolt in the top of the skid in this pic, the high bolt behind the left most bogey wheels:

 

Bub

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fuck that noise, I would've walked out and happily drank all weekend before spending money on less than perfect service.
 

Eagle

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fuck that noise, I would've walked out and happily drank all weekend before spending money on less than perfect service.
COMPLETELY AGREED. My group later agreed the guy was completely out of line and we should have walked out, but in the moment, I felt guilty for already wasting the morning to get on a sled and ride with them.... so I signed and paid so I could ride with them despite the shitty service.
 

Mr. SBF

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I've rented from there a few times and never had a issue with damages or customer service, but it has been a few years though.
 

Eagle

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FWIW, 600 etec > 900 ace. There's a reason they race 600s and 900s are for utility/family. Also 2 stroke versus 4 stroke.
Well, they claimed the 900 would be a better performer than the 600. :dunno: I took their word on it. I also liked the idea of a 4-stroke rental over the 2-stroke 600, which would obviously also consume oil.
 

Yaj Yak

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yeah that 600 two stroke probably makes more power than the 900

good read though. sucks about the rental place
 

Yaj Yak

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quick read and googling 600 etec is similar in power to 1200 4-stroke.

but, also a good chunk less weight.

intertasting.
 

Chester Copperpot

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Being the resident SkiDont "nutswinger" of the group you should have given me a call. :rofl: But yeah, 900 is a gas sipper/2-up panda cruiser, period. nothing more, nothing less.

Was this the same place where I was trying to find head gaskets for my 11 junk?
 

Yaj Yak

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On the tighter twisty forest trails, this sled actually let me ride pretty damn aggressively without beating me up as much as my AC would have. It wasn't as fast, but it definitely let me ride plenty hard and faster than others on higher performing sleds (granted, this is impacted by individual rider style).
this part in particular is why my boss's cat like yours sits inside more often than his mxz's do.
 

Yaj Yak

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900 ace = 90 hp... 600 etec = 120 hp


but wait, was the 600 they offered you an etec or was it a carb'd sled?
 

Eagle

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Typical broke ass race car... on stands in the garage!

 

Yaj Yak

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600 carb two stroke ski doo makes more horsepower than the 900 4-stroke too... 100hp out of the 600 carb, 90 out of the 900... :eek3:
 

Yaj Yak

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yeah, they're rentin' 600 4-stroke and 600 carb'd 2 strokes... not etecs.

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Eagle

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So I drove a total econobox cruiser Skidoo and left with an overall impressed view. Interesting.
 

Yaj Yak

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one thing that annoyed me about my powertek was how stiff the throttle was, because it was carbed... thumb would be dead after a long day of riding.
 

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