Polaris race fans made the trip to Hay Days in North Branch, Minn. to get a glimpse of the 2018 Polaris 600R race sled, which received some key upgrades.
Polaris race engineers started improving a few items on the 2018 Polaris 600R race sled, but as they dug deeper they found that they could improve a lot of items on the sled that was introduced only a year ago. Polaris set up a nice display of a 2018 600R at the 51st annual Hay Days event in Minnesota.
The 2018 Polaris 600R has all new Walker Evans Velocity front suspension shocks and springs. This position-sensitive shock allows for an initial softer setting, but still has the stiffness at the bottom for big hits. The piggyback reservoir is mounted lower on the shock body to allow for increased travel and a lower center of gravity. The upper front control arm has been re-configured to accommodate the lowered piggyback reservoir, and also provides protection for the shock. The front spindles are a half-inch taller. Polaris says this improves cornering and increases ground clearance. The rear suspension shocks for 2018 received calibration and styling updates.
As snowmobile belts have evolved and become harder and more durable, the clutch sheaves have a difficult time grabbing the belt. Last year Polaris introduced a new belt and this year unveiled a straight-cut sheave angle that is designed to improve the holeshot capability of the snowmobile.
All new for Polaris is a floating stainless steel brake rotor. The rotor floats between two all new break pads. Polaris says a stainless steel rotor will dissipate heat quicker, and since the rotor is floating the pads shoudl grab the rotor evenly. Polaris claims it has improved stopping power, performance and durability.
Runningboards received improvements as well. New stock cutouts allow for easy snow evacuation. This, combined with added traction cleats, keeps the racers’ feet from slipping. During a race when snow builds up in the runningboarda, and a racer can stomp on the snow and smash the snow out through the evacuation holes.
The seat for the 2018 Polaris 600R received quite a makeover as well. Input from the racers was key to this, and really on the entire race sled itself. Racers needed increased durability and a material that added grip.
Little things like half-inch increased clearance, runningboard and seat traction may seem like not much, but in reality makes a big difference. Polaris may not be introducing an all new race sled like Ski-Doo or Arctic Cat, but engineers feel they have a solid race machine and these fine tuning improvements will lead the 600R to the podium.