In our latest edition of “My First Sled”, we profile Kelly’s 1980 Ski-Doo Citation 4500. As the snowmobile industry entered the 1980s, sled designs improved by a significant degree. The tight financial times of the mid-70s were out of the way and sled makers (what few that were left) could devote R&D resources to chassis refinement. Snowmobiles took on a sleeker look and ride quality was dramatically improved.
Ski-Doo launched a completely revamped line for the 1980 model year and a big part of that roll-out was an all-new mid-range series called Citation. Positioned between the Elan and Everest models, the Citation was replacing the venerable Olympique and the previous version of the Citation. The earlier Citation was a small chassis model with a 300cc engine marketed in 1978 and 1979. The Olympique had been a fixture in the Ski-Doo line-up since 1965.
The Citation received an all new chassis with an aluminum tunnel and steel front section, along with an all rubber track.
Citation was available in three different versions:
- 3500- Equipped with a 268cc engine with a single carb and a 106” track.
- 4500- Featured a 368cc engine with a single carb and a 114” track.
- SS- Also used the 368cc engine, but with twin carbs and 106” track.
The Citation models were designed as affordable sleds with great fuel economy that still provided snappy performance. Bombardier hit every mark in this undertaking. The fuel economy of the Citations was in the early to mid-20s per US gallon. We could not find 1980 pricing for the Citations, but we estimate that it was in the $1725 (US)/$2050 (Canada) range.
Qualities of the Citation Series included:
- Decent power to weight ratio
- Low centre of gravity, wider stance
- Excellent fuel economy
- Sleek new good looks
- Decent suspension for its time
- Solid reliability and workmanship
As was the practice at the time, Bombardier also produced a Moto-Ski counterpart for every Ski-Doo model. The Moto-Ski version of the Citation was called Mirage. Here were Moto-Ski versions:
- Mirage Special = Citation SS
- Mirage I= Citation 3500
- Mirage II= Citation 4500
The Citation remained relatively unchanged through the mid-80s. The Citation model was phased out after the 1989 season.
Specifications For The 1980 Ski-Doo Citation 4500
- Engine- Rotax two-stroke, piston-port, two-cylinder 368.3cc
- Cooling: Fan-cooled
- Bore/Stroke: 62mm X 61mm
- Carburetor: Single Mikuni VM 43-229
- Ignition: Breaker point
- Spark plug: Bosch W275 T2 (W3C)
- Lubrication: Oil injection
- Horsepower: 34
- Top speed: 58 mph
- Fuel mileage: 23.5 US mpg
- Overall length: 103.5”
- Overall width: 36.5”
- Overall height: 38.75”
- Ski stance (centre to centre): 32.25”
- Track: 15” width, 114” length
- Front Suspension: Leaf springs with shocks
- Rear Suspension: Torque Reaction slide rail
- Dry Weight: 353 lbs (manual start), 380 lbs (electric start)
- Brake type: Disc
- Fuel capacity: 6.25 Imp. Gallons/7.8 US gallons/28.4 litres
- Injector oil capacity: 48 Imp. oz/26 US oz/1.36L
- Oil Type: Bombardier 50:1