New XCR performance sleds and AXYS powder models highlight Polaris 2017
If you’re Polaris how do you top model year 2016 in which your brand new 800 Pro-RMK 155 led the snowmobile industry as the #1 selling sled? Yet, even with that good news, you realize that the overall sled business through the end of December 2015 was down by 20 percent. What do you do for model year 2017?
Well, Polaris being Polaris and frequently the master of model packaging, you play to your strengths, which has been the mountain sled market. But you also arrange to create some excitement in the trail and crossover segments by adding some features and upgrading existing models to create new ones.
Two seasons back, Polaris totally revamped its Rush and Switchback long travel flatland sleds by adding a new chassis and integrating hood and engine design to create its AXYS platform of rider-centric trail sleds. That integration of a more powerful Cleanfire 800cc two-stroke twin into the 2015 Rush and Switchback created a consumer itch for a similar integration in the already successful RMK line of deep powder sleds. This past season brought a new Pro-RMK with the more powerful engine matched to an all-new AXYS platform. Add in a return of the SKS model and Polaris had winners across the board, led by the 800 Pro-RMK 155.
For 2017, Polaris builds on its successful Rush to provide a higher performance, racing-inspired model that reintroduces a familiar name, the XCR. The name carries a heritage from the most successful Polaris snowmobiles ever — the original Indy. Like the Indy-based XCR, the 2017 version is performance-oriented with all new race-proven features.
Key to the XCR is its race-ready rear suspension with these key features and racing inspired components:
- Chromoly rear pivot and front torque arm
- Solid bogie wheels and strengthened rear axle wheels
- Race rotor with increased surface area
- New more durable type 81 brake pads
- New brake scoop for increased cooling
- Front suspension Walker Evans Hi-Lo compression adjustable shocks with special XCR valving
- A special Polaris developed front track shock with larger diameter for more oil volume
- A terrain-gripping Cobra track with 1.35-inch lugs
- A stiff Pro-X style torsion bar
- Pro-X handlebar riser
- Plus, the latest Cleanfire 800cc or 600cc twin
These racing inspired 800cc and 600cc Rush XCR versions feature race-ready components for ultimate durability, strength and performance, plus carry an “LE” designation that means race-inspired paint, graphics, and decals.
The Rush XCR LE will be a special addition but will continue the Rush traditions of high performance combined with smooth on-trail comfort.
Polaris expects the Rush to appeal to performance trail riders in a segment that continues to grow steadily as snow returns to the key market areas of North America. But, in the Western areas where snow is consistent, Polaris captures a dominant share of ridership. Backing up the proven popular 800 Pro-RMK 155 will be a limited edition 800 Pro-RMK 174 with three-inch paddles. There is also the new value-plus 600 RMK 144 that’s built on a shortened AXYS chassis.
Polaris notes that it has a deep snow model to suit any snowmobiler heading into the 2017 season. At a claimed 408-pounds, the 800 Pro-RMK 155 leads the Polaris offerings but it is backed up with a 163-inch tracked version for even greater flotation. The new-in-2016 SKS 155 returns along with Polaris’ backcountry original, the 800 RMK Assault 155. Look for special limited edition versions of select models with special early buyer options available to add personalization.
Splitting the difference between all-out trail and deep powder performance is left to the Switchback, which will feature three new-for-2017 models built around a new AXYS 144 Chassis and incorporating a new IGX (Ideal Geometry Xover)144-inch rear suspension. You’ll find this crossover combination listed as the 800 and 600 Switchback Assault 144 and new 600 Switchback SP 144. The new AXYS 144 platform also provides the backbone for select 2017 utility models like the 600 Voyageur 144.
Light in weight and versatile on and off trail performers, these Assault models borrow from the deep snow models to include PowderTrac runningboards and the new larger screen Polaris Message Center that is featured on more models this season.
Polaris has a heritage of offering value, which is at the very heart of the popular Indy line. Engineered for value, the Indy lineup includes a sporty 600 Indy SP for performance riders on a budget as well as a plethora of long track, sport track and versatile sport/utility Indys powered by a proven 550cc fan-cooled twin or the 600cc liquid-cooled twin. Track lengths can run from 121 inches up to 155 inches on the Indy Adventure. Count on a complete line of accessories to let you add customization to your Indy selection.
Snow Check Options
As in past seasons, Polaris offers special Limited Editions with components and special packages only available during the pre-season. Polaris initiated its Snow Check program nearly 40 years ago to encourage pre-season sales and continues it into model year 2017 with special incentives not available later in the sales cycle. Snowmobile buyers can ensure getting the model of their choice and have it custom-built if they order an LE model through SnowCheck Select. Available customization may include choices of handlebar, windshield, starter options and much more depending on the model.
In addition to these Polaris options, you also can choose to get a special Pink Ribbon Riders Limited Edition graphics that will be available exclusively on Polaris SnowCheck Select RMK, RUSH, and Switchback models. Pink Ribbon Riders models have a black painted tunnel and rail, pink accents, and Pink Ribbon Riders logo. In addition, these models can be customized with all SnowCheck Select options available for the respective model. A portion of the proceeds from every Pink Ribbon Riders sled purchase will be donated to this volunteer based non-profit charitable group that provides financial assistance to both men and women diagnosed with breast cancer.
As in past seasons, Polaris lets you go to a special online site, www.TerrainDomination.com, to view your options. The site also allows you to customize a new sleds and send your order to your nearby Polaris dealer, whom you’ll visit to place a deposit confirming your order. This year’s SnowCheck Select order period begins February 29, 2016 and ends April 12, 2016.
With its 800 Pro-RMK leading sales, Polaris plans to continue moving ahead even in a down market.