MIDRANGE TRAIL SLEDS: 2021 POLARIS INDY XCR
The big question is this: How much power do you really need?
Sure, a lot of snowmobile shoppers would argue, "If you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound"; meaning if you've got your wallet out, why go for a 95-130 horsepower sled if you can spend a few more bucks and get a 160-200-hp one?
The hard truth is this - and it's challenging to get power-hungry buyers to fully understand what we're proposing here – not everyone wants or most certainly, needs more than the 130-hp ceiling this line-up offers.
Here's a look at some of the most popular (and largest selling) trail sleds that fall splat into the middle of the power wars.
2021 POLARIS INDY XCR: Two Ways Get It Right!
When it comes to wannabe race sleds for actual trail riders, Polaris approaches the market in two distinctly different ways.
Both of the Polaris XCR models are targeted at the same market, but the company has chosen to offer the longer tracked Switchback XCR in the 137-inch Pro-Ride chassis using external shock technology and the 129-inch version of the XC in the Indy AXYS platform using conventional shock-in-tunnel tech.
We're not sure why Polaris went this direction in MY 2021, but we tend to think it may have something to do with the intro of the new MATRYX platform this year.
Since either XCR is very, very close to being a competitive ditch warrior suitable for racing, we believe there just wasn’t enough time to get a new MATRYX calibrated to fit the bill of a very exclusive market.
Why continue with the Pro-Ride version in a 137-inch chassis? We think it has a lot to do with the past performance of this sled.
Frankly, The Switchback XCR is a fabulous example of the fine-tuning of an AXYS PRO-RIDE chassis and has proven its performance without any doubt in the past.
I guess the best answer is to ask another question: "Why mess with something that works so doggone good when it's so likely there will be a completely clean sheet of paper in the next year or two?"
This brings up another interesting observation: If you want to know what the XCR future looks and performs like, borrow a ride on the 2021 Indy XCR 129.
This sled combines a jumbo set of Walker Evans WER compression and rebound adjustable piggybacks with a "race-inspired" Pro-CC coupled skid with rail doublers. There's also a high performance brake with an external air scoop for cooling the brake pads when you're running hard in tight areas.
We don't even need to mention handling. Suffice to say, these two XCRs are at the top of the heap for knifing under your buddies in corners. Flat, predictable and accurate!
Both versions of the XCR use the SDI Liberty 600 Cleanfire and although this engine hasn’t been modified beyond subtle tweaks to the ECU and the clutching, it's still the same efficient and reliable 2-stroke twin.
We can only guess if Polaris will go all-out in the future and make all XCRs Patriot 650s. We know what we'd do but that doesn't mean Polaris will risk eliminating itself from some classes of competition. Hmm, I wonder what a 600cc Patriot would perform like?
As it is, Polaris will sell - or already has sold - every XCR it can roll off the assembly lines in Roseau this year. Good on them – and good on the riders who bought one. These two sleds are amazing!
More Like This
LATEST VIDEOS View All
Snowmobiling Algoma Country PART 2
January 21, 2021
In part 2 of our special Northern Ontario snowmobile destination ride. Luke and his good buddy ...
2021 Polaris Indy 650 MATRYX VR1 Review
January 20, 2021
Motorhead Mark presents his impressions of the 2021 Polaris Indy MATRYX VR1 featuring the ...
Snowmobiling Algoma Country in Northern Ontario
January 14, 2021
In a special two-episode Northern Ontario snowmobile destination ride, Luke is joined with ...
2021 Polaris 850 Switchback Assault 146 Review
January 13, 2021
In this TEST RIDE AJ evaluates the 2021 Polaris Switchback Assault 146 in the all-new MATRYX ...
Snowmobiling in New York: Hamilton County / Adirondacks
January 7, 2021
Matt Lester and his daughter Madeline take an epic father/daughter adventure to Hamilton County ...
Top Gear View All
January 18, 2021
IPONE MAINTENANCE & CARE LINE
Getting the most out of your snowmobile requires a lot more than just topping up the oil reservoir whenever you go for a ride.
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
January 20, 2021
2021 KLIM Frozen Cow Tag Snowbike Ride
Join KLIM, Timbersled, Rever and Trail Tech for the third annual snowbike ride in the rugged Idaho mountains on March 20, 2021.
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...