2017 BEST ADVENTURE TOURING SLED

Mark and Kent Lester battle it out over their picks for the 2017 BEST IN CLASS AWARDS. THE ARGUMENT: Utter Versatility Means You Have To Look At Everything!

WINNER: ARCTIC CAT XF6000 CROSSTREK

Okay, I admit it – I love the ZR chassis. Simply, these sleds respond on the trail so perfectly, no matter what engine you choose, they are a pleasure to ride. Mark will tell you a ProCross is heavier than an AXYS or a Ski-Doo, and for once, he’s right.

I say this: Who cares? If there’s a couple pounds more weight with this sled, it sure has been used in the right places and besides, that DI 600 is awesome and makes enough power and torque to put other 600s in the rearview mirror…every time!

Okay, my argument for making the CrossTrek Best in Class in this category: It’s all about gearing up for a long ride and fearing neither long days on the trails nor detours into the powder. No, it’s not about mountain climbing or high-marking, it’s about carrying stuff, rider comfort and maybe even the occasional attendance of a second passenger. The latter is really optional.

The past two winters we’ve learned any 137-inch ProCross rides great, no exceptions, so the CrossTrek falls right into line. This fully coupled skid with a blend of 1.5 and 2.0 IFP gassers, delivers incredibly good compliance and even when the factory-included bags are loaded and other gear is stowed on board, it rides on trails with the smoothness of a Bentley Arnage.

Here’s the kicker for me: A 1.6-inch lugged Cobra track! I love this track and frankly, after riding one last year on a Yamaha, I never want to go back to a 1.25. 1.6 should be the industry standard for all tracks and although the hook-up benefit is great, its stopping power is incredible!

The CrossTrek 600 is one of those sleds you can keep for years and never get tired of. Its versatility as a trail sled and as flatland powder runner is ideal. Definitely the best!

– Kent

RUNNER-UP: POLARIS 600 SWITCHBACK ADVENTURE

Kent is actually making me nervous. Some of his BIC winners are credible this year. I think the Ginko-Biloba supplement I told him to take is finally working. Note to self: Tell him it kills libido. I don’t know if that’s actually true but it should scare him off the stuff.

Okay, the CrossTrek is an interesting adventure touring ride and I’m not going to say anything neg about the DSI 600 mill. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the Adventure Touring segment leader is the sled that coined the handle: Polaris Switchback Adventure.

Clearly, the SB Adventure delivers everything a hardcore rider wants: Superb flotation and deep snow-mobility, CleanFire 600 instantaneous power, perfect rider ergos and a flat-top seat that’s the industry benchmark for comfort and gymnastic rider mobility. I could go on, however, Kent’s confusion with my eloquent reasoning will only increase.

The SB started the whole tube bumper and industrial caliber rear rack thing. These welded aluminum pieces scream “I’m a hairy chested tough guy” while providing unequalled functionality.

Let’s say it succinctly, precisely and with sincerity: Polaris will forget more about the Adventure touring segment than Arctic Cat will ever know.

– Mark

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