By Trevor Mason
Camso is already one of the biggest names in the snowbike industry, but if you think that means they’re content to rest on their laurels, you’re be sorely mistaken. With the 2018 DTS 129, they’re poised to make their biggest impact yet.
The kit is based on last year’s iteration, which landed on the scene with a huge splash. To make the new model as awesome as possible, they sought out feedback from riders in the hopes of finding the perfect solution. What they’ve come up with is more responsive, better handling, and much sturdier than what came before.
“Camso pushed the ride further this year with a new suspension in this 2018 model. You notice it instantly when running over logs, stumps or hitting hard into uneven terrain,” says competitive motocross and snowmobile athlete Colton Sturm. “The handling has also improved with more responsive steering on those awkward side hills. The new system overall, it’s just fluid all the way through.”
Back at Haydays in September, we spoke with Guillaume Laplante, Camso Advanced Product Development Project Leader, who told us a little more about the process. “After just one year, we already have a lot of cool updates on our product. These updates are coming from us being close to the riders themselves, both from backcountry riders to actual racing. We put quite a bit of energy into the racing segment last year. We did that all around for the R&D aspect of it. It was a really great way to accelerate testing, especially from a durability and performance angle, to be able to come with what to share this year on our 2018 product. It’s been really exciting.
“What we’ve focused on primarily is the suspension updates, and of course, the ski updates. One of the unique things about our product that really got the attention and really got us to where we’re at today is the design features like the single-rail design. That single-rail design has really been well-received. Dirt bikers get it. Then of course, the ski design complements that single rail. When you have a single rail, you have a ski that will have to perform well in snow but also drive the characteristics of that single rail. “
A whole host of other improvements were made to the 2018 DTS 129. For startes, they updated the rear idler wheel to an 8-inch wheel track tensioner that provides a 2hp efficiency gain and better low RPM traction control. At the same time, they changed the design of the structural supports and added some reinforcement to the chassis. This allowed them add aluminum side rail reinforcement that reduces weight while providing better rail support. Based on feedback from customers and racers complaining a bit about the kickback on moguls and such, they updated the shock calibration with new pistons to allow for better compression and rebound in rough trail conditions. Camso noticed that people were taking matters into their own hands and making adjustments to the ski pressure, so to ease the process, they added an adjustable limiter cable that allows riders to change the ski pressure on the fly. They also noticed that the plastic on the limiter cables were getting worn and exposing the cable itself, so as a nice bonus, Camso is offering a service that will give any owners of the 2017 model two new limiter cable for free. Updated ski runners improve stability in rough conditions and give a better side grip feel in deep snow. Finally, they introduced a new brake rotor and pad design that offers consistent braking and less ice build-up.
One final addition to the kit is a set of wheels to more easily move the bike from the garage to the trailer.
Bruce Dashnaw, Camso’s director of sales and marketing, says, “We actively engage with riders and customers to develop innovative solutions to exceed the expectations of powersports enthusiasts and professionals. We listened to the market and have delivered improvements that matter to those who want to ride their dirt bike year-round on all types of terrain.”
Colton adds, “I didn’t think that Camso could make a jump this big with just performance, but they did it. The handling, traction, how well it can climb, sidehill, this one just sticks so well to the snow. Camso really raised the bar in the snowbike industry, I think. They really pushed it a lot further with everything.”
If you’ve been feeling that urge to upgrade your kit to the newest, latest, and best, you could do a whole lot worse than Camso’s 2018 DTS 129 kit. Go out and get you one!
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- 2018 Camso DTS 129 snowbike system