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I’ve had the opportunity to put some decent miles on the new Switchback XCR so far this winter. I’m more impressed with the production XCR Switchback than I was with the pre-pro models we rode last spring in Yellowstone.

The build quality of the new XCR is the best I’ve seen from Polaris: The hood panels and fenders align perfectly, mount on and off like greased lighting and the overall feel of the sled is one of tight, purpose-built quality.

Our XCR is powered by a Cleanfire 800 Liberty HO with some minor tweaks for the 2018 model year. Among the most significant is a new thermostat that tangibly aids in cold engine warm-up. The rest of the AXYS Pro-XC chassis is textbook Polaris: Tough, unbreakable and functional.

It’s generally accepted here at Trax World HQ the Switchback genre of the AXYS is the best looking and most proportionally correct iteration of the legendary Pro XC suspended platform.

Here’’s what we think you need to know most about this new XCR variant. This is – IMO – the best handling snowmobile money can buy. Handling traits this variable castor IFS generates using the Pro-S lowered ride height (as compared to the Pro-X) that produces corner-carving response unequalled in the biz.

One more incomparable with the XCR: The jackshaft brake. This brake stands alone in the biz with Arctic, Yamaha and Ski-Doo all moving to drive-axle mounted binders. As far as I’m concerned, this is not progress. The Polaris jackshaft-mounted system provides incomparable depth of modulation, precise feel while generating the cleanest, sweetest mechanical noise in the biz.

The new XCR 800 Switchback is one of those sleds that not only meets but, in many instances, exceeds our expectations!

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