Web Exclusive By: Kent Lester
When we first saw the 2008 Polaris IQ Shift last January, we thought it was one of the company’s test mules used for calibration. There were no markings on it at all, save for POLARIS logos on the sides of the seat. No graphics, no engine displacement numerals, no model name – nothing. The hood is uninterrupted deep black and there are no outside rear idler wheels in the skidframe.
On closer inspection it became obvious Polaris had left all the good stuff in. The fully coupled suspension featured Arvin gas cell shocks, there was a sway bar, snocross style seat and high quality plastic skis.
Its carbureted 600HO twin offered detonation control and a throttle position sensor and, better yet, with the shave job, the Shift had dropped about eighteen pounds. Much of the diet came from using a .91-inch Shockwave track but this sled is one of the lightest on the 2008 industry dance card.
The Shift is all about price and it comes at a critical time. The Shift offers less, costs less but gives you more on the bottom line – performance. Price is becoming a huge factor as complex technology has been causing price creep the last five years.
Nobody could have dreamed sleds would reach five digit prices but it=s happening – and the qualified market willing to pay those dollars is shrinking.
By offering a clean canvass, the sparsely equipped Shift opens the door to infinite personalization.
This sled can be thoroughly customized and plays to the twenty-something generation who have less earning power but eagerly want their tuner Honda, Acura or Cobalt to reflect personal individuality.
You can go wild and use aftermarket parts and graphics to get the same result. Besides, there are a bunch of optional graphic kits available from Polaris and you can upgrade the shocks or windshield, add a higher handlebar riser or install a deeper track – your choice.
You can personalize this sled any way you want and to the extent your budget will allow. Leave it alone and you’ll still be playing with a lightweight, great handling chassis that delivers an honest 120 horsepower.