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2015 POLARIS: AN ALL-NEW 800 FOR MY15


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By: Kent Lester

Monday, March 03, 2014

The AXYS is a true blockbuster sled offering extremely low weight without compromising handling or ride - actually making incredible strides forward in both!

Wisely, Polaris didn't put all its marbles into one jar just with massive weight reduction. The company has completely renovated its 800 2-stroke engine with the intention of exceeding everyone else's power output.

Both the Cat 800EFI and Ski-Doo's 800 E-TEC were carefully benchmarked and the target was to exceed both.

First, 2.5-lbs was shaved from the crankshaft's weight to improve throttle response and RPM spool-up with 25-percent less inertia.

The lighter crank responds quicker and gets the sled out of the gate like an EXOCET. Although bore and stroke is the same and the engine cases are similar, the cases have been recast to accommodate a new integrated mounting system.

This ensures better clutch action with more consistent center-to-center and the engine actually acts as reinforcement for the sled's cast bulkhead.

The electronic exhaust valves offer an industry-first multi-stage engagement to maximize torque in the low and mid-range and allows mega power to be produced at top end.

Due to the new exhaust valves and other electronics, the engine is actually much cleaner burning than former Cleanfire (Semi-Direct) injected Liberty mills and Polaris claims there's a 25-30-percent improvement in gas mileage.

Combined with the AXYS platform's better power-to-weight, the improved power output (Polaris is very tight-lipped about making claims but we presume this engine is making over 160-hp on the dyno) turns the new sled into a rocket.

Our testers told us the sled pulls extremely hard down low, transferring weight onto the track, keeping the skis light and just "keeps hauling right up through triple digits" with its 1.25-inch track. Seat-of-the-pants certainly seems to confirm the Polaris claims.

The AXYS is available as a PRO-S and a PRO-X. The PRO-S is targeted at the bulk of the market and is calibrated for real-world use in stutters and sustained bumps with more compliant suspension settings.

The PRO-X is an all-out version for big-bump hardcores and offers stiffer settings with aggressive high-speed resistance to bottoming prioritized.


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