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2016 Blizzard Bonafide and 2016 Fischer Motive 95: head to head

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

2016 Blizzard Bonafide vs. Fischer Motive 95

 

Funky firm off-piste and groomer review!

 

I had a chance to really put both of these skis through their paces last spring. Conditions were firm and odd off-piste: re-freeze, lumpy snow, some windblown in the steeps. Groomers were mostly firm to softening throughout the day (it was a 50 degree day, but early February, so thaw was only partial). Very challenging conditions for any ski. Of the skis I tried this day, the only one that really held up extremely well was the Kastle MX88, probably because it is a GS ski at heart and has the kind of damping that one would expect in a rutted racecourse, conditions that are similar to the off-piste snow we encountered that day. But this review is for 2 of the more off-piste oriented yet powerful skis on the market: the Fischer Motive 95 and Blizzard Bonafide (98).

 

Skier info: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, ski 15-50 days a year, fairly technical based skier, athletic, strong overall ability. Prefer bumps and steeps in terms of terrain.  

 

The skis:

 

Fischer Motive 95: 2 sheets of metal with a carbon and wood stringer core: mid to mid-stiff flex. Classic Fischer race-bred feel, laminate construction. Early rise tip, basically a flat tail. Feels somewhat like an all-mountain version of a GS ski. Easy to ski, damp, stable, big sweet spot. Tip is fairly firm, not super surfy: wouldn't classify this as a deeper snow ski, more of a mixed conditions ski, like the old Kastle FX94.

 

First run, we got this ski into the top of the bowl: it handled the wind-blown buffed out steep (~40 degree) turns well (around 10 turns in total). Quick edge to edge, quite agile, easy to turn in that steep stuff, a nice flexible tip to engage at the top of the turn, nice de-cambering feel at the bottom of the turn that gave me enough loading to use energy to release. Once down into the lower bowl, which is lower angle (25-28 degrees), it is all open GS terrain, and the snow was extremely challenging and varaible. Down there, the Motive really came alive: it showed off it's GS pedigree, and encouraged me to just lay the ski over, really open things up, let the ski absorb the terrain while on edge. Not exactly as smooth as the MX88, but workable here, the Motive 95 tracked reasonably well. Once down outside of the bowl, we found some soft groomers and bumps to test the ski on. I would say the Motive in 180 is happiest in medium to long turns: swing turns feel a bit heavy, but it is easy to ski at any speed, nice high edge angles hold well on the funky groomers, the ski is as smooth as anything outside of a premier ski like a Kastle/Stockli. It feels fairly mellow on groomers: stable, easy to ski, not a ton of energy: again, somewhat like a GS board. In bumps, I liked it: the tip was very forgiving, I could push through into the trough well, not fearing a wicked rebound of the ski. Tail wasn't grabby.

 

Don't underestimate the ease of use on the Motive 95. It is simply easy to pilot at any speed, and doesn't require a super skilled skier either, but the better the skier, the better it will perform.

 

2nd run: high speed groomer this time. I really opened it up, and wow, it is a hero at speed. Very stable, grippy, just dives right into direction change when exiting a long turn. This ski 5 years ago would have been a bruiser, but with new technological advances, companies have figured out how to retain the performance of a very stable, powerful ski that is mellow and easy to ski when asked to do so.

 

Conclusion: super versatile board that holds it's own on any terrain, has the soul of a GS ski, yet is very forgiving for lighter skiers such as myself, and is a great mid-radius carver. Similar skis would be the Rossi EXP 98, Kastle MX88, Atomic Crimson Ti.

 

Blizzard Bonafide 180cm 2016 model: new for 2016, the Bonafide comes back with the Flipcore construction, but is much lighter in the tip and tail, flex patterns have been altered somewhat, while retaining the metal laminate construction that made this ski so popular the first time around.

 

Review: same 2 runs as the Motive: 1st run on steep wind-blown snow down to wide-open icy rutted turns at speed; short turn groomers, and bumps: 2nd run of GS turns on blue groomers.

 

The Bonafide made itself felt as a lighter, snappier ski right away. It has the “feel” of something more off-piste biased. Grip was great on those first 10 turns of the bowl: easy to handle, super quick, I felt very confident with the “dolphin” move of pushing the feet forward early and pulling them back to transition on the tips. The Bonafide had a very predictable flex at the tip: some skis can feel like they will run away with that move, but the Bone did exactly what was asked of it. I liked it in the funky stuff. Down a bit lower, when opening it up a bit more, the Bone wasn't quite as solid at the Motive: it didn't track as well on edge, and there was noticeable tip flap. It seemed to be trading stability at speed for quickness and ease in the steeps, which is a very fair trade. In this aspect, it felt more like an off-piste, funky snow biased tool instead of more of a GS thoroughbred, do-everything ripper. It loved short to medium turns in the funky lower bowl, but not the bigger GS arcs. Once onto the groomers, this characteristic continued: it was a wicked short to medium turn carver, very fast, precise at the top of the turn, felt like a 16m ski instead of the 20m printed on the ski. Lots of energy, aggressive tail release when loaded, nice aggressive initiation, and it loved turning. This is definitely a fun piste-ski. In the bumps, I found the aggressive nature of the tip a little much; the ski fought me in the bumps more than I would like, and some more bulk may have been nice to plow through and get that tip bending early.

 

2nd run: wide open zoomer groomer, bigger GS arcs. Again, the Bonafide felt planted, solid on edge, with lots of energy. This is an excellent piste ski. It is a bit more committing than the Motive: you have to really load the edge as it can wander on you with poor technique, but when there, angulated and driving the ski, it is rewarding. Tracking is slightly below the Motive, as discussed earlier: energy is up. Very fun piste ski all-around, except in bumps.

 

Snow feel is lighter, snappier than the Fischer. A bit more BMW Z4 vs. the M3 that is the Motive.

 

Overall, I enjoyed both skis. I felt the Bonafide was more hit or miss for someone my weight: excellent at moderate to fairly fast speeds off-piste, got throw around at really fast speeds, but the sweet spot is now considerably bigger and this ski is EXTREMELY confident in funky snow, as long as it isn't pushed too hard. It is probably suitable to more skiers in this incarnation: previously, it could be a lot of ski for lighter or less aggressive skiers. I didn't care for it in bumps, but in the trees, tight swing turns were super easy. And it is a great ski for most any condition, whether you find yourself on the groomers or in the steeps.

 

The Motive 95 is the ski I would choose if I expected to spend lots of time in the bumps, or were skiing really fast. It wasn't quite as quick as the Bonafide nor quite as confident in really dicey snow, but better at speed and seemed to be above average or better in every snow condition and turn. As a groomer tool, it probably equalled the Bonafide, but with a different tool. Definitely had a dampness and stability in really rough snow that I have seen from few skis. It is also extremely forgiving. Leans toward slightly longer turns, and is a great bump ski.

 

I do think that a heavier ski may find the Bonafide to be slightly easier and more forgiving, and to work very well in bumps. At my weight, I think the Motive is slightly more versatile, but I would happily own both. If I skied a lot of tight trees and funky snow in shorter turn situations, I would likely opt for the Bonafide. At Mt. Bachelor, I liked the Motive a bit better. Both are amongst the best skis on the market.   

 

If you are looking for a coupon code, it is epicski15 through December 1

 

dawgcatching.com is a well-known Blizzard, Fischer, Kastle and Stockli dealer, and as a sponsor of this site, I pen a lot of reviews, as unbiased as possible. We do ask that you support Epicski and the sponsors, who do a lot of hard work getting these reviews up and contributing to information, which is the most thorough on the web. Taking advantage of the Epicski discount and supporting the hard work of sponsors is one way to do that, so that we can continue to bring you reviews of quality that you will not find anywhere else. And great service too; we won't put you in a bad ski, and if we do, we will make it right.

post #2 of 14

Great review.  I have been trying to decide if I want a Bonafide/Motive or a Enforcer/Ranger 98 as my mid quiver ski (Head Rev 85 pro on the front and Nordica Patron on the back).  Both options would work - but trying decide which option I want.  Based upon your review I would probably opt for the bonafide over the motive.  I am split on the Ranger vs the Enforcer.  Then to decide between the bonafide and that one.  

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prophet98 View Post
 

Great review.  I have been trying to decide if I want a Bonafide/Motive or a Enforcer/Ranger 98 as my mid quiver ski (Head Rev 85 pro on the front and Nordica Patron on the back).  Both options would work - but trying decide which option I want.  Based upon your review I would probably opt for the bonafide over the motive.  I am split on the Ranger vs the Enforcer.  Then to decide between the bonafide and that one.  

 

I need more time on the Enforcer.  It seemed a bit beefier than I would like.  Check out the Soul Rider if you don't want a ski too stiff. That is a very fun ski, similar to the "old" Ranger. The new Ranger would be a bit more like the Bonafide, but not as good on groomers and track as well in rough snow (no metal). Better in trees and the soft snow however.  

post #4 of 14

Funny how different we can feel about some skis... I'm guessing that it become even more evident as we compare here 2 really nice skis that are both really high performance and kinda similar...

 

For me,  I bought the motive because I prefer it to the Bonafide ( small margin here but it's there) in bumps and in trees... BUT, I'm talking about the 2014 Bonafide... I know they changed it but is it enough??? Well it's sure is enough to make me want to try the 2016 ;)

post #5 of 14

I think with me being 6' and 215 - SR may be a bit too soft.  I have looked at it - alot.  I think either the Motive or Bonafide would work - with my size maybe lean to the bonafide.  I really like the Ranger 98 but would love it in a 182ish vs the jump from 180 - 188.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by prophet98 View Post
 

I think with me being 6' and 215 - SR may be a bit too soft.  I have looked at it - alot.  I think either the Motive or Bonafide would work - with my size maybe lean to the bonafide.  I really like the Ranger 98 but would love it in a 182ish vs the jump from 180 - 188.

If you really like the Ranger 98, the motive 95 in 180 should be nice for you... That's what I have, same weight and height than you...

post #7 of 14

Scott, how much difference does the re-worked carbon tip and tail of the 2016 Bonafide make in comparison to last years model? I own the 2015 model, and can find little fault with it. Have never skied the Motive 95, although I did spend some time on last years Motive 86. At 6' 210 lbs, I found the 182 length was about right for me. Was a little surprised how much I liked that ski. I think Fischer tends to fly a little under the radar. Seems that people that own them like them, but most people don't go out of their way to try them.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

If you really like the Ranger 98, the motive 95 in 180 should be nice for you... That's what I have, same weight and height than you...

Have you been on the Ranger?  I think the Motive would more "in common" but better upgrade to my Prophet  but I am concerned with the overlap of it and my Head Rev 85.  I ski the 85's in a lot more that I thought I would.  Any thoughts?

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac View Post
 

Scott, how much difference does the re-worked carbon tip and tail of the 2016 Bonafide make in comparison to last years model? I own the 2015 model, and can find little fault with it. Have never skied the Motive 95, although I did spend some time on last years Motive 86. At 6' 210 lbs, I found the 182 length was about right for me. Was a little surprised how much I liked that ski. I think Fischer tends to fly a little under the radar. Seems that people that own them like them, but most people don't go out of their way to try them.

If you liked the Motive 86, you will love the 95! Carve very nicely and really nice in bumps and trees! They are very alike, width aside,  like the Brahma and the Bonafide are...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prophet98 View Post
 

Have you been on the Ranger?  I think the Motive would more "in common" but better upgrade to my Prophet  but I am concerned with the overlap of it and my Head Rev 85.  I ski the 85's in a lot more that I thought I would.  Any thoughts?

I tried the Ranger in 96 and 106 and the Motive in 86 and 95 and now own a Ranger 106 and both Motive 86 and 95... What can I say...:rolleyes

For someone our weight, I say forget the Ranger 98... Not stiff enough... The 106 is a serious ski, I was surprised by how stable it is and how it can hold an edge on icy conditions ( The day I tried it conditions were not optimal for that ski) and it felt really buttery whenever I could find spots with softer snow... So I still have some testing to do here... But I had plenty of time on both Motive! They are really nice and sweet skis... Both nice carvers, plenty of edge hold and SUCH A NICE CAMBER! Something that is rare in those days... It make them snappy and responsive... Love them for carving, bumps, trees, icy or soft conditions, steep,...I would say that there is a bigger overlap between the 86 and the 95 than between the Brahma and the Bonafideas the 95 is more similar to the 86 than the Bonafide is to the Brahma...( comparing the 2014 Bonafide and Brahma here)

I owned a Rev 85 2 years ago and I always thought that it was lacking something...It could carve, it could be nice in bumps and trees but there was no sparks... But I owned the 177 that I thought was too short for me...For me, the Motive and the rev 85 are not in the same league...

post #10 of 14
How is the float for the motive in fresh snow up to boot depth?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by prophet98 View Post

How is the float for the motive in fresh snow up to boot depth?

The 86 and 95 has same as average float for both their categorie...They don't have a ton of tip rocker but they are light skis...

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

Funny how different we can feel about some skis... I'm guessing that it become even more evident as we compare here 2 really nice skis that are both really high performance and kinda similar...

 

For me,  I bought the motive because I prefer it to the Bonafide ( small margin here but it's there) in bumps and in trees... BUT, I'm talking about the 2014 Bonafide... I know they changed it but is it enough??? Well it's sure is enough to make me want to try the 2016 ;)

 

it has changed a lot!  Quite a bit more pliable in certain conditions. Still a handful for me in bumps, but doesn't feel like a runaway truck at times.  The old one wanted to charge 100% of the time for a guy at my weight.  The new ski is friendlier and still retains 95% of the stability of the old model.  

 

It kind of reminds me in feel of the ON3P 107 underfoot ski that was out a couple of years ago. Had metal in it, not too overpowering however. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

 

it has changed a lot!  Quite a bit more pliable in certain conditions. Still a handful for me in bumps, but doesn't feel like a runaway truck at times.  The old one wanted to charge 100% of the time for a guy at my weight.  The new ski is friendlier and still retains 95% of the stability of the old model.  

 

It kind of reminds me in feel of the ON3P 107 underfoot ski that was out a couple of years ago. Had metal in it, not too overpowering however. 

So from what your telling me, the 2016 bonafide and the Motive 95 are a lot more in common than the older Bonafide?

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

So from what your telling me, the 2016 bonafide and the Motive 95 are a lot more in common than the older Bonafide?


Yes, I think so. They aren't identical in any way though; still a much different feel to each ski.  The Bonafide still has more of an on-off feel to it, the Motive works through a wide variety of turns with more range, and the Bonafide skis with a bit more energy as a consequence.

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