INDY EVO OR ARCTIC CAT BLAST
COVID is doing some strange things to the powersports business. For sure, it's shattering sales records as families trade their expensive annual, warm-weather vacays in on PWC, ATVs, boats, SXSs and yes, snowmobiles.
This fall, we're hearing of dealers equipping completely new snowmobilers with sleds, gear, clothing and advice on what to do with the snowmobiles they're taking home or to their cabin in big numbers.
Interestingly, for decades the OEMs have wallowed in indecision and ambivalence having little success expanding the sno-mo-biz and getting sleds in the hands of a new generation. The plans to accomplish this have been myriad, with lofty goals but until COVID hit, success at expanding the market has been at best, elusive. Go figure, a worldwide pandemic expands the sled biz?
For the record it's not just new, entry level sleds selling like ice cream on a July day - it's late model used iron as well. Check out the prices used sleds are going for all over the North American snowbelt! Frankly it's crazy, making the cost of a new, fully warranted unit convincingly attractive. The problem? New sleds are in short supply.
So, here's our opinion on some completely credible entry level sleds perfectly suitable as first rides or for family use (second sled).
We've penned a ton of articles on the new Arctic Cat BLAST. This is a really good first sled that offers respectable top end on hard pack (65 MPH). Handling is okay but the Blast would benefit from an anti-sway bar to level up the front end when pushing the sled into turns.
The BLAST has a full size sled feel and it fits full size adult pilots comfortably. Ride quality is okay - not fantastic - but certainly good enough for family trail rides and a pull up the lake.
The BLAST uses what we consider a high feature engine, albeit a single cylinder one. The 400cc liquid cooled 2-stroke produces remarkable thrust with a nice surge right off engagement and enough jam to keep pilots in the hunt on any twisty trail. The SDI engine uses a 3-stage exhaust valve to keep power strong down low and impressive up top.
The BLAST is not cheap, however, in today's ridiculously demand-intensive market, we think price is less a consideration than is availability. Simply put, people want to be outside in the snow if they can’t go to the Bahamas this winter.
Here's another impressive entry level ride able to double as a second sled for family use. Polaris is in the third year of producing the Indy EVO. The sled offers unique features, not the least of which is a complete upgrade package that will follow the skill level of the rider.
Literally, the EVO is a piece of ergonomic genius. The sled in its stock form sits very low and is not the least bit intimidating to first-time pilots. Engine power output is about 65 ponies - but speed is limited to 50 MPH, the right number for a new rider.
As your fleet of pilots grows and gains confidence in the safe operation of a snowmobile, the complete front suspension, IFS shocks and rear skid shocks and springs can be swapped out, increasing both width and available suspension travel significantly. At the same time a new ECU black box can be installed giving the 550 twin cylinder fan-cooled engine an impressive upward kick in top speed from the stock 50 MPH limit.
Here's why the EVO is a great buy. The ability to upgrade the suspension and handling significantly and return it back to stock if you enlist a new pilot, is pretty much unprecedented. In case you're wondering - yes - the EVO is the best handler in this segment.
More Like This
LATEST VIDEOS View All
2021 Revolutionary Advanced Design Award Winner
April 10, 2021
AJ presents the winner of our for our annual Revolutionary Advanced Design (RAD) award.
2022 Sidewinder X-TX SE Detailed Overview
April 8, 2021
Luke presents a detailed look at Yamaha's on-trail / off-trail Genesis turbocharged Sidewinder ...
2021 SNOWTRAX Real World Sled of The Year
April 7, 2021
It's that time of year again where Luke presents the winner of the Annual SNOWTRAX TELEVISION ...
2022 Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE Review
April 3, 2021
Luke harnesses all the trail worthiness of Yamaha's 2022 Sidewinder SRX LE and reveals why ...
Top Gear View All
March 22, 2021
SeeDevil LED Balloon Light
Up until us using the SeeDevil LED Balloon light, illuminating a large area always came at the price of having to be string several ...
Ask Motorhead View All
November 15, 2020
600 EFI, 600 ETEC or 900 ACE?
Mark takes a look at which of these sleds is right for a reader...
Press Releases View All
April 9, 2021
Polaris empowers women of all experience levels around the world to Just Ride! on Saturday, May 1 in celebration of the 15th annual ...
Tourism View All
November 1, 2020
5-STAR SLEDDING IN CHARLEVOIX
Rarely does a specific hotel earn universal recognition as a must-visit snowmobiling destination...