SUSPENSION PART 1: POLARIS PRO-XC
In this series, Supertrax takes a look at some of the most popular skidframe designs and evaluates their performance.
The Pro-XC rear suspension used on the RUSH and Switchback 136 is probably the most technically unique back end in the business.
What makes it so different is the way it separates the main shock from the skidframe. The main shock is mounted at the rear of the snowmobile tunnel, actually under the seat, and through a system of levers, transfers the rear half of the suspension's movement down to the track and skid.
At the front of the skidframe is a conventional coilover shock that damps initial inputs into the front of the track suspension. There are no couplers present.
Polaris feels the only road to a completely rising rate rear end is to separate the two shock functions, much like a motocross bike does. Their opinion is this provides more range, better use of the suspension's travel and eliminates any possibility of bottoming out.
One of the big advantages of this setup is, because there's only one shock in the skid and the bigger primary shock is outside the skidframe, there's a significant reduction in unsprung weight as the suspension moves through its travel. Thus the shock is able to respond to impacts more precisely with a lighter skid.
This same strength was actually a bit of a weakness with the original Pro-Ride (prior to the AXYS) as its rear shock and coilover spring was very sensitive to rider weight and the speed and type of terrain the sled was ridden over. If spring settings were too soft and compression damping not fine-tuned, the sled would bottom out and, if set too stiff, ride compliance was compromised. To some riders, the complexity and sensitivity was too difficult to get right.
The new Pro-XC version, now in AXYS based Polarii, rides much better while still maintaining good adjustability. We like the way this setup resists bottoming but its ride compliance, although very good, is certainly no better than some coupled shock-in-skid systems like Ski-Doo's rMotion and Cat's Slide Action.
Shock and spring adjustment is super-easy on the Pro-XC because clickers and the rear coil spring are easy to get at, since they’re mounted outside the tunnel.
More Like This
LATEST VIDEOS View All
Full Review of the 2019 Ski-Doo MXZ X 600R
March 19, 2019
Mark tackles the exploding 600-class snowmobile market and reviews the 2019 Ski-Doo MXZ X ...
2019 Yamaha Sidewinder SRX Walk Around & Impressions
March 18, 2019
Following hundreds of miles ridden this season, Motorhead Mark delivers his final 2019 walk ...
SnowTrax Television 2019 - Episode 12 Sneak Peek
March 18, 2019
Talking the legacy of Arctic Cat Snowmobiles, looking at the CKX Titan Helmet and reviewing ...
2020 Arctic Cat ZR 8000 RR Walk Around & First Impressions
March 17, 2019
Mark is here to talk about the 2020 Arctic Cat ZR 8000 RR after a day's ride. Full Review ...
Maybe The Best Way To Load Your Sled
March 15, 2019
AJ looks at an innovative new way to load and unload your motorized toys into the back of ...
Top Gear View All
March 11, 2019
ROX PRO-TEC HANDGUARD AND MOUNT KIT
These guards can be used with or without the foam extensions included and, if you're a racer, provide plenty of extra space for sponsor ...
Ask Motorhead View All
September 26, 2018
850 Switchback XCR vs. Renegade XRS
If you were choosing between the XCR 850 Switchback and the XRS Renegade which sled would you go with?
Press Releases View All
March 7, 2019
Arctiva introduces the all-new LAT48 gear
This gear is ready to take you further than you’ve ever been before with its fully waterproof and durable polyester shell.