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2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC Preview


by Guillaume Rivard ,

As Ski-Doo's one-up luxury trail snowmobile, the 2014 GSX is available in two models: SE and LE. The latter offers a choice of three engines including the revolutionary new 900 ACE, as well as the 600 H.O. E-TEC and 1200 4-TEC. While the first one earned the GSX LE the title of 2014 Snowmobile of the Year by Snow Goer magazine, the company will be quick to tell you that the second one is the most popular engine in North America based on retail sales results as of January 1st, 2014, so that's what we'll focus on in this preview.

2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC
Photo: Ski-Doo

Discover the 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC
Housed within the REV-XS platform is the vaunted 594cc, 2-stroke, twin-cylinder Rotax 600 H.O. E-TEC engine. It uses liquid cooling and direct injection for smooth throttle response and easy cold starts, not to mention excellent efficiency (11.3L/100km, and 50% less oil than the Rotax 600 H.O. SDI).

Unlike the two other engines available with the 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE, which push total weight past 500 lbs, the 600 H.O. E-TEC keeps the machine at a pleasant 455 lbs. That sort of makes up for the lack of output: at 120 hp, it's 7.7% less powerful than average. Electric start and electronic reverse come standard, though.

Offering your typical 9” of travel, the front suspension on the 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC has dual A-arms and HPG shocks. It connects to Pilot 5.7 skis that are spaced 42.4” apart.

Meanwhile, the new rMotion rear suspension with HPG shock provides more capability, more comfort and more adjustability. The most rising-rate motion ratio and longest travel (15”) in the segment means the rMotion proves supple in small bumps with added capability in large ones, although you should know that the more upscale GSX SE benefits from an air suspension with five preload settings. The rMotion joins forces with a short 15”x120” RipSaw track with 1.25” lugs that represent a nice compromise between grip and drag-free acceleration.

Other 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC highlights
Expect outstanding stopping power and fade-free performance from the Brembo hydraulic disc brake. Meanwhile, the side panel edges were designed to let riders get into a more aggressive forward position when attacking corners, and their shape helps move air away for a warmer ride.

The 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC is also equipped with heated grips, a new, more ergonomic left-side control block with backlighting, as well as an analog speedometer and tachometer complemented by a multifunction three-zone LCD screen packed with data.

Let's not forget the acclaimed LinQ cargo system, which on the GSX LE incorporates a 19-litre, semi-rigid tunnel bag that can expand to 22 litres.

Summing up the 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC
While not designed for two-up riding, this luxury trail sled will delight riders after a competent and efficient machine that boasts one of the industry's best powerplants.

You can buy a 2014 Ski-Doo GSX LE 600 H.O. E-TEC for $12,599, but make sure to also consider the Arctic Cat ZR 6000 El Tigré and Polaris 600 Rush PRO-S.