Polaris has taken the cover off of the 2012 600 IQ Race Sled and the Minnesota-based manufacturer believes it will give Polaris snowmobile racers a leg up on the competition as it features race-ready suspension calibration.
Polaris Snowmobile Racing Manager Tom Rager, Sr., says the race sled’s suspension setup was fine-tuned throughout last season and delivered outstanding performance, so racers will take delivery of 2012 race sleds that are ready to hit the track.
“We have Ben Hayes, who previously worked with Fox Racing Shox and Walker Evans Racing, as our in-house suspension specialist, and he worked really hard on setups last season,” says Rager. “Working closely with our racers, he came up with an incredible setup that two teams used in last season’s final four or five races.
“We continued testing and development with our racers after the season and made further calibration changes so the front and rear suspensions are better than ever, and we’re going to continue to move forward.”
The current setup features revised shock valving and stiffer rear torsion springs than racers started with on the 2011 Race Sled.
“It delivers improved performance because the suspension is compliant through high speed bumps, and when the sled comes off doubles or table tops, the sled absolutely goes straight,” says Rager. “We gain speed through the rough sections because the sled stays so straight.”
Polaris has found the Independent Front Suspension (IFS) to be durable while delivering easy, responsible handling so it is now featured on several 2012 production snowmobiles, including Rush, Switchback and Switchback Assault models.
According to Polaris, this IFS design requires less steering effort, and provides flatter cornering. Polaris says racers will stay fresher throughout a race and be able to run at maximum speed from start to finish, while consumers will also stay fresher and be able to ride hander longer.
In addition to its race-ready suspension, the 2012 Polaris 600 IQ Race Sled also features the title-winning Liberty 600 engine and a white hood with retro graphics that were featured on Polaris production and racing sleds in the 1970s and ‘80s.
The 2012 Polaris 600 IQ Race Sled was developed as a snocross sled, but extensive additional testing was done to fine-tune a chassis setup for cross-country racing. Polaris says cross-country racers who want to campaign this sled will receive information about how to adjust their shock valving and springs to achieve premium terrain performance.
2012 600 IQ Race Sled Details
The 2012 IQ Race Sled is built on the Polaris-exclusive IQ Chassis, which is designed to be strong, durable and lightweight. According to Polaris, the chassis’ part count is minimized and advanced assembly techniques are used to produce the strongest bonds among components.
The IQ Rear Suspension has a Walker Evans Coil Over Shock as the front track shock, and the rear track shock is a Walker Evans Aluminum IFP 16-position compression adjustable large body shock. The rear suspension has 13.9″ (35.3 cm) of travel.
Under the hood is the liquid-cooled Polaris Liberty 600 twin, which has dual Mikuni Rack TM 40 carburetors, NiCaSil-lined cylinders for optimized heat dispersion and the Polaris VES (Variable Exhaust System) for outstanding power and instant throttle response.
Managing the power delivery is the legendary Polaris P-85 clutch, and for braking the race sled has a Cyclone master cylinder and lever and a liquid-cooled Phantom dual-piston caliper.