Not only is Indy back, Polaris has revamped the top-selling mountain sled, its RMK, going more high-tech, this time eliminating its chaincase. On top of that, Polaris goes and expands its Adventure sled lineup that debuted last year with a Switchback Adventure 600. Now comes the Switchback Adventure 800, but it's a Spring Buy only machine.
Here's a summary of the 2013 changes. AmSnow subscribers can click here to read full details of the 2013 lineup.
A Legend Returns
The new 600 Indy and its fancier version, the 600 Indy SP, are aimed at the heart of the entry-level market, positioned just above its traditional low cost sled, the Shift, now only available with a 550 fan motor.
Indy will be a combo of Polaris' successful Pro-Ride chassis, but instead of its high-tech exposed rising rate rear suspension, will use a traditional enclosed coupled rear suspension. This keeps costs down to make the 600 Indy more affordable, while still using the stiffer, bonded frame of the Pro-Ride that Polaris says is 300% stiffer than its predecessor, the IQ, which still serves in the Shift.
Up front is Polaris' race-bred IFS that gives the sled a lighter steering effort. Polaris puts that at 25% easier steering than past models. What we can tell you is the Pro-Ride-based sleds all handle better and are easier on the arms than any previous Polaris sled.
Powering the Indy is Polaris' 600 Cleanfire liquid-cooled engine with semi-direct injection with dual injectors. The base Indy 600 uses RideFX MPV shocks up front with 9 inches of travel and the coupled rear suspension features the same MPV shocks and offers 13.9 inches of travel.
Standard track is the 15-x-121-inch Shockwave with 0.91-inch lugs. Indy comes with Polaris' PERC reverse system, hand and thumb warmers, bars with hooks, a 3.5-inch riser, lightweight Freestyle seat, analog gauges and a mid-height windshield.
The Indy SP gives you more aggressive Pro-Steer skis, which have a shortened skag and reshaped keel that Polaris says reduces steering effort, something it has been working on ever since the Fusion fiasco. A 4-inch carbide is standard for the Pro-Steer.
The SP also comes with a slightly more aggressive HackSaw track with 1-inch lugs and also rebuildable Fox IFP front and rear shocks.
This year Polaris engineers trimmed even more weight out of the 800 Pro-RMK 155, the lightest mountain sled. Total weight is now 417 lbs. they tell us, a 14 lb. reduction.
But weight is just a spinoff of the rest of the high-tech story Polaris has going for RMK.
Start with the new QuickDrive Low Inertia Drive System that eliminates the chaincase. It consists of an extruded aluminum drive shaft, lightweight brake, RMK-specific brake caliper and maintenance-free belt drive. Yes, the chain is GONE and there is no need for oil or a tensioner system. Add in cast aluminum sprockets and backer plate and 6.5 lbs. have been trimmed.
Polaris engineers tell us this cuts rotational inertia by 21%, a pretty sizeable number, and that helps make the sled easier to handle a big benefit when sidehilling or boondocking.
That's the mechanical end, then there are the structural changes, including bonded lower control arms that use forged aluminum ends and steel tubing.
Likewise Polaris is the first to use carbon fiber in a sled's overstructure, the supports above the engine. Polaris also adds a carbon fiber bumper. All that trims a few pounds, as does the addition of new Powder Trac running boards made of extruded aluminum and riveted to the chassis.
There's more too. Polaris delivers a new Pro Lite Seat that is 5.5 inches shorter so you can more easily toss your leg over the back or move while on the sled. The seat also is flatter and 2.5-inches wider at the front. The new seat is just on the 155 model though.
For the record, the QuickDrive system will be standard on the 800 and 600 Pro-RMK 155 models and the 800 Pro-RMK 163 model. All get the Powder Trac boards, Pro Lite seat and carbon fiber overstructure, as does the 800 RMK Assault 155, which remains with the hollow lightweight drive system. These are the top tier RMKs this season and also come with Walker Evans shocks.
Various color combinations are available for Spring Order.
Trail and off-trail
The rest of the trail and off-trail sleds based on the Pro-Ride platform, so the Rush and Switchback and Switchback Adventure models, also get a load of improvements for 2013.
All feature the new Pro-Steer ski for better handling and lower turning effort, and they also receive a one-piece handlebar that Polaris says will dramatically improve the heat spread throughout the bars so even the very ends will be more comfortable for riders. In addition, the new bars feature a restyled throttle block with a separate kill switch.
For riders who enjoy going off-trail sometimes, the Switchbacks remain mostly unchanged. However, there is another Adventure model. Joining the 600 Switchback Adventure, complete with its Lock & Ride Saddlebags is an 800 Adventure. However, it's only a Spring Order sled. The 800 Adventure will feature Walker Evans shocks and the 136-inch 1.35-inch lugged Cobra track.
Polaris also will offer an 800 Switchback Pro-R LE with electric start as a Spring only model. The LE features a Rox Riser, Adventure cargo rack, Walker Evans shocks, power outlets and a retro wrap with Polaris starburst. Plus the LE will be offered with either the Cobra 1.35-inch lugged track or a track with 1.75-inch lugs for folks intending to do more serious off-trail carving. LE models will be red.
Much of the rest of the lineup remains the same as 2012.
Polaris again plans a Snow Check Select program that allows buyers to create a more personalized and exclusive sled. That includes the Limited Edition models such as the 800 Adventure and Switchback Pro-R LE.
For Switchbacks there is a Switchback Pro-R ES in blue and white retro trim, the LE in red and white, and the LE with 1.75-inch lugs in orange and white. Polaris also offers an Assault Switchback 144 in white and red.
Two Rush models are available, one 800 Pro-R LE in white and red with retro wrap and one sold in the international market, also in white and red.
RMKs for spring include an 800 Pro-RMK 155 in blue and white with retro wrap, a white 800 Pro-RMK 163 and white and red 800 RMK Assault 155.
Some eligible models come with a choice of Pure Polaris accessories, and many models are available with factory installed electric start.
Snow Check Select runs until April 23.
Subscribers can read all the Polaris 2013 model details and see more photos by clicking here.