RIDING THE EVOLUTION KITTED INDY EVO
The Indy EVO has been a big success for Polaris. Its super low retail price has attracted buyers, for sure, but there's also the fact it's a pretty well-equipped sled, too.
The stock EVO uses a twin carb 550 fan-cooled Fuji twin and has a coupled, short travel suspension so novice snowmobilers can feel close to the ground and safe on it.
Interestingly, the EVO is built on a full-sized Pro-Ride Indy chassis but actually feels much smaller because of its lower ride height and narrow ski-stance. It's perfect for inexperienced riders, teenagers and petite women who don't feel confident wheeling around a big sled all day.
It also has a built-in electronic throttle limiter that dumbs down the sled's top speed to about 50 mph. We have mixed feelings about that – but what do we know? The EVO has been a very strong seller.
Soooo, if you own an EVO and you want more power, more suspension and more ride height because your teenager or spouse is demanding it now they've been riding the EVO a while, here's a great solution: The Polaris EVOlution Kit!
This kit raises the EVO about 4-inches and increases its front and rear suspension travel about the same. It also adds stability by widening the EVO's ski stance four inches. There are also clutch mods - a new primary spring – and a replacement ECU that allows the 550 to reach its top speed (about 70 mph) when you replace the chaincase gears (included).
The EVOlution kit is not small potatoes. It includes a long list of suspension replacement parts: New upper and lower A-arms, tie rods, spindles and longer shocks up front (also new coilovers). At the rear there are longer shocks, a replacement coilover for the front arm shock, a new, longer limiter strap and new torsion springs.
Whew! That’s a lot of stuff and the price will set you back close to two grand. Although it sounds like a lot of jing, if you balance the low initial cost of the EVO and the price of the kit, you’re still pretty golden with what you have afterwards.
We actually have a kitted EVO in our fleet this winter and despite our initial skepticism about a 65-hp sled's performance, we are honestly, truly impressed with it!
The kitted EVO rides really well, steers and handles very close to the later versions of this chassis (AXYS) and has great trail power. We've put all kinds of riders on it – from pure novice riders, teenagers and even experienced riders and everyone has walked away shaking their heads the industry even has a sled this good in this price range.
Naturally, you could just buy a new 550 Indy and get the same thing as you'd have with a kitted EVO. You'd pay about the same but the beauty of the EVO/Kit is you can stair-step from the base model to a full-on Indy version any time you want.
It allows you to get young and new riders into snowmobiling with a marginal investment and then graduate them into a sled with more power and more long-distance capabilities.
We expect resale on the EVO will be good, too. Number one, because it starts out pretty cheap and number 2, because once you've kitted it, almost all the chassis parts are much newer than the sled itself. Win-win deal!
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