Ski-Doo Terminology [Acronyms and Abbreviations]

E-TEC? MPEM? DESS? Ski-Doos have their own language, which can be confusing for beginner riders.

If you would like to find out the most common Ski-Doo-related acronyms, you are in the right place. For your convenience, we at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all of them into this post!

Ski-Doo Terminology [List]

  • ACE – Advanced Combustion Efficiency – the name of Ski-Doo’s 4-stroke engines
  • BRP – Bombardier Recreational Product – the company that manufactures Ski-Doos
  • DESS –  Digital Encoded Security System
  • DPM – Digital Performance Management
  • ECM – Engine Control Module
  • E-TEC – (not an acronym) – the name of Ski-Doo’s 2-stroke fuel injection system
  • iTC – Intelligent Throttle Control
  • LinQ – Ski-Doo’s exclusive cargo attachment system and accessories
  • MPEM – Multi-Purpose Electronics Module
  • P-TEK – PowerTEK engines (also known as P-TEC or PTEC)
  • RAVE – Ski-Doo Rotax Adjustable Variable Exhaust
  • RER – Rotax Electronic Reverse
  • REV – Ski-Doo REV Chassis (2003 – 2007)
  • RS – Racer Special
  • SDI – Semi Direct Injection
  • TNT – Track ‘n Trail
  • ROTAX – The brand name of Ski-Doo engines
  • XP – Ski-Doo XP (or REV-XP) chassis manufactured from 2008
  • XR – A variation of the Ski-Doo XP chassis for 4-stroke models

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about these systems and features in detail!

Ski-Doo Acronyms and Abbreviations Explained

What does ACE Mean on Ski-Doos?

Ski-Doo ACE is the model name of the 4-stroke engines in the Ski-Doo fleet. As the name suggests (ACE = Advanced Combustion Efficiency), these engines are designed for outstanding fuel economy and performance.

These innovative power sources come with iTC (intelligent Throttle Control), and different riding modes like ECO, Standard, and Sport modes.

What is the Ski-Doo MPEM?

Ski-Doo MPEM stands for Multi-Purpose Electronics Module. Simply put, this feature is the main computer unit or “brain” that controls the engine and the electronic components. On newer models, the MPEM unit is called ECM for Engine Control Module.

What does DESS Stand for on a Ski-Doo?

DESS, or Digital Encoded Security System, is an advanced anti-theft protection on Ski-Doo snowmobiles. The DESS key houses an encrypted chip that is programmed to the sled’s MPEM/ECM.

Besides the standard key, the manufacturer offers a learning DESS Key for their models as an option.

This key electronically limits the engine performance, which results in less torque and lower top speed. Learning keys are commonly used by rental shops and careful parents.

What is DPM on a Ski-Doo Snowmobile?

DPM, also known as Digital Performance Management, is an “active carb” system that Ski-Doo used on its carbureted models in the mid-2000s. The DPM was used to automatically change the carburetors’ fuel delivery for changes in the elevation or temperature.

The main idea behind this system was to reduce fuel consumption, increase engine power, and lower emissions to meet the new EPA restrictions. Also, riders didn’t have to adjust their carbs manually all the time because of environmental changes.

 It’s safe to say that these “active Ski-Doo carburetors” controlled by the DPM were very similar to Smart Carbs on Yamaha sleds.

How does the Ski-Doo DPM work?

In a standard mechanical carburetor, fuel delivery is dependent on the pressure difference between the venture (carb throat) and the float bowl.

The more significant the difference, the more fuel the carb mixes into the air. In contrast, the Ski-Doo DPM system is designed to electronically manipulate the carb’s float bowl pressure to automatically adjust the fuel delivery.

What does Ski-Doo PowerTek Mean?

Ski-Doo PowerTek refers to an advanced engine design introduced in the mid-2000s. These power sources were designed to meet the much stricter 2006 EPA regulations.

Therefore, they used auto-adjust “active” carburetors controlled by the advanced DPM (Digital Performance Management) system, which ensured lower emissions.

What is a Ski-Doo E-TEC?

E-TEC is the name of Ski-Doo’s revolutionary 2-stroke direct injection (DI) system, which is available exclusively on Ski-Doo snowmobiles.

The E-TEC is designed to feed the engine with the proper amount of fuel in all circumstances. Contrary to popular belief, the name E-TEC isn’t an abbreviation or acronym.

Instead, the manufacturer simply chose this name for its innovative fuel injection system. The first Ski-Doo E-TEC snowmobile was the 2009 Ski-Doo MXZ TNT introduced in early 2008.

Is the Ski-Doo E-TEC for a 4-Stroke?

No, the innovative Ski-Doo E-TEC fuel injection system is specifically designed for 2-stroke engines.

The manufacturer considers these engines to be the most advanced 2-stroke power sources on the snowmobile market.

Ski-Doo E-TEC vs. P-TEK: What’s the Difference?

Ski-Doo E-TEC engines use a fuel injection system, while P-TEK (or Power TEK) engines were carbureted power mills that utilized the DPM system. Ski-Doo P-TEK engines appeared on the market in the mid-2000s, but they were dropped after a couple of years to make room for more advanced fuel-injected engines.

What is the E-TEC SHOT?

According to the manufacturer, the E-TEC SHOT is the world’s most advanced engine starting mechanism. In a nutshell, the SHOT is an electric start without a battery and starting motor, so it adds only 2 pounds of extra weight over a pull starter.

Ski-Doo designed the SHOT with mountain riders in mind who have to start their sleds many times during a ride. Before the SHOT, riders had only two options to fire up their engines, a manual or electric start.

Pull-starting the engine several times a day was exhausting, while an electric start added about 20 pounds of weight to the machine.

But with the E-TEC SHOT, you can get the best of two worlds, as this system offers the convenience of regular electric starts without adding significant extra weight. In addition, the sled only requires a pull-start in the morning, and the rest of the day, you can re-start the engine by pressing the SHOT button.

What is Ski-Doo Launch Control?

Ski-Doo launch control (or launch mode) is a program designed to build up boost for “race-style” starts.

The launch control on a Ski-Doo can be activated by the press of a button. Activating the system causes the engine to rev up to about 1,800 RMP, slightly below the clutch engagement point.

Starting the sled from this offers an amazing acceleration, although this also requires adequate traction. Keep in mind that using this feature on a groomed trail may result in a huge pile of snow behind the track!

What does Ski-Doo MX Z Stand for?

Ski-Doo MXZ is the name of Ski-Doo’s popular performance snowmobile line. The newest MX Z models come with 600cc and 850cc 2-stroke E-TEC engines.

What does Ski-Doo RAVE Stand for?

Ski-Doo RAVE stands for Ski-Doo Rotax Adjustable Variable Exhaust. This system was made for building up power in the low PRM range and decrease fuel consumption.

The system featured a set of valves installed in the exhaust ports of the cylinders.

These valves were designed to “keep to power” inside the cylinders but to open and close automatically based on the engine RPM to let the exhaust gases out.

What does Ski-Doo TNT Stand for?

According to SnoWest, Ski-Doo TNT stans for Track ‘n Trail. In the early ‘70s snowmobile manufacturers commonly used catchy names for their performance models like the Arctic Cat EXT (Extermitator) or the Polaris TX (Trail Extreme).

Regarding the newest Ski-Doo lineup, the MXZ TNT is a variation of the popular high-performance MX Z snowmobile. The main difference between the MX Z X and the TNT is that the latter features HPG Plus shocks, taller handlebars, and some lightweight parts from the X-package.

What does RS Stand for on Ski-Doo?

On Ski-Doo snowmobiles, the RS stands for “Racer Special.” The RS models were explicitly built and marketed for racers and performance-minded trail riders.

What is a ZX Chassis?

The ZX chassis was engineered and used by Ski-Doo around the Millennium. Many famous sleds like the MXZ 440, MX 600, and the MXZ Renegade were built on this platform from 1999 through 2003.

What does REV Stand on a Ski-Doo?

The Ski-Doo REV was a popular Ski-Doo chassis that was available from 2003 through 2007.

What does XP Stand for on a Ski-Doo?

The XP, also known as REV-XP, was a more advanced version of the outdated REV platform introduced in 2008.

What does XR stand for on a Ski-Doo?

The Ski-Doo XR (or REV-XR) chassis was a wider variant of the REV-XP platform specially designed for 4-stroke Ski-Doo engines. The Ski-Doo XR chassis made its debut in 2009.

What does RT stand for on a Ski-Doo?

The Ski-Doo RT (or REV-RT) chassis was designed to house the 1000cc engine of the Summit 1000 and the Mach-Z.

What does RER stand for on a Ski-Doo?

On a Ski-Doo, RER stands for “Rotax Electronic Reverse.” This reverse system is very similar to Polaris’ PERC, as both of them do the same job, forcing the engine to run backward.


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