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Electronics Article


Drift Mode Enabled: Minn Kota Goes Brushless with Upgraded QUEST Bow Trolling Motors


Date: 6/26/23
Tackle Type: Trolling Motors
Manufacturer: Johnson Outdoors Minn Kota
Reviewer: Zander



Introduction: The arms race in the trolling motor wars has continued to heat up with Minn Kota’s biggest lineup refresh in a decade and gets some interesting new features including Drift Mode. The highest end Minn Kota bow motors have been re-redesigned with a new dual brushless technology platform called QUEST offering even more power and efficiency.


Today Minn Kota Announced a complete refresh of all their bow mount trolling motors including the popular Ultrex line


Complete Update: Launching today is a complete update of Minn Kota’s bow-mount motor lineup and the introduction of QUEST technology. New and upgraded Ultrex™, Ulterra®, Instinct, Terrova®, Riptide Terrova®, PowerDrive™, and Riptide PowerDrive™ bow mount trolling motors are being reintroduced with a brand-new look and updated technology suite full of angler-friendly enhancements.


The new motors feature more compact and sleeker lines (Ulterra shown)


In addition to all the GPS navigational features anglers have come to expect from Minn Kota like SpotLock and Follow-the-contour, all these new additions to the motor lineup will feature enhanced boat control tools for anglers in both fresh and salt water. Minn Kota has always been known for reliability and the new motors are designed to continue that tradition while bringing some new features to the game.


Pro Angler Chris Zaldain running the new Ultrex Quest


New Features for All the Updated Minn Kota Bow-Mount Models:


NEW Enhanced GPS Suite Including Drift Mode to allow anglers to spend more time fishing and less time on boat control.


Drift Mode: combats current and wind by automatically adjusting speed and direction to keep the boat on a true drift. Drift Mode acts as a gps drift sock eliminating the need for cumbersome ropes or shallow water anchor paddles.


A look at the Ulterra deployed


Improved Follow-the-Contour functionality: allows for better LakeMaster and CoastMaster integration to stay on the desired course.


Dodge Mode: allows anglers to quickly leave auto navigation mode to manually steer through waves and around structures and then resume navigating without resetting their route.


Seamless integration with Humminbird


Out of the Box connection to Humminbird via the One-Boat Network by including all necessary adapters required for networking without additional need for setup.


One App for Everything – the One-Boat Network App can control everything on the boat from the trolling motor and shallow water anchors to the Humminbird head units.


Enhanced Built-in 2D Sonar with Dual Spectrum CHIRP adds Humminbird’s unrivaled sonar clarity to every Minn Kota motor.


QUEST Tech: In addition to refreshed styling the biggest update in the newest high-end Minn Kota offerings is QUEST Technology, which are basically completed redesigned motors that feature a dual 24- or 36-volt brushless lower unit, a carbon fiber-infused upgraded shaft and reinforced brackets and pivot points.


The new QUEST motors are designed to deliver 30% longer runtime and up to 50% more torque*, enabling anglers to get out earlier, stay out later and fish in tough conditions.


In addition to dual brushless motors the QUEST enabled motors get a carbon fiber infused shaft and redesigned propellers to cut that cut through heavy vegetation while maintaining peak power output


Minn Kota Ultrex, Ulterra, Instinct, Terrova, and Riptide Terrova motors will all now be available with QUEST technology. With available shaft lengths up to 100”, Riptide Terrova and Instinct QUEST motors were made to tackle the toughest offshore environments on bigger boats than ever before. With improved and upgraded components such as mounts, brackets, shafts, and pivot points, the motors are built to handle the increase in power in the harshest environments.


Ultrex Quest also features a new lift assembly to make lifts faster and easier


QUEST motors also include an upgraded lift assist assembly for effortless stow and deployment, carbon fiber shafts with increased lengths, Auto Park to automatically turn the motor when stowing, new propellers to cut through heavy vegetation while maintaining peak power output and fewer moving parts to prevent unnecessary wear over the life of the motor.


Our Quick Take: The trolling motor market has really heated up over the last few years and while Minn Kota is still a dominant player the latest offerings from Lowrance, Garmin, and now Power Pole are gaining momentum. Brushless technology in the Garmin and Lowrance offerings has been proven to deliver quieter motors and improved runtime. Minn Kota needed to make a big move and this latest refresh looks like it puts the brand back into the leading technology conversation.


The new Ultrex deployed


We are most excited about the Ultrex QUEST motors which include all the updated features like Drift Mode and enhanced built in 2D Sonar but also with the more powerful and efficient QUEST brushless motor, upgraded mount, carbon fiber shaft and enhanced lift assembly. The MSRP for Ultrex brushed models are $2999.99-$3499.99 while the MSRP for QUEST Models are $3699.99-$4199.99. I personally think the premium to get one the QUEST models are worth the investment. The updated Minn Kota models will start becoming available on July 1st and like all trolling motors, only time in the field will really prove just how good the new powerplants really are.









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