One of the sleds we got to sample late last season was the 136-inch Switchback XCR.
This version of the XCR is available with either 600 or 800 Cleanfire power and, as much as we like the 120-inch version of this sled, we absolutely love this longer one.
Polaris has done a good job with the XCR’s shock package to make it a performance-centered model while still allowing excellent trail compliance without harshness.
Actually, the shock setup sounds pretty techie: Compression adjustable Walker Evans piggybacks up front and on the skid’s front arm, and a big compression adjustable W-E piggyback Needle at the rear.
You can adjust these shocks big-time to get exactly what you want, but we found the stock set-up was very good.
It feels like the 136 handles trail moguls and chop better than the shorter track and we didn’t find much difference in the way the two track lengths steered in tight stuff. The AXYS platform is a great handler anyway and all the geometry works to give you excellent feedback through the handlebars.
As for our preference of engines – 600 or 800 – it really depends what you want. The Cleanfire 600 is a very strong semi-direct injected (SDI) powerplant with excellent throttle response and significant pull in the midrange.
The 800 is definitely more brawny, still very well-behaved, and it can pull stronger mph up top than the 600. If you’re like me and actually prefer the 600 class, anyway, this is a great example.
All XCRs use a 1.35-inch-deep track and although it’s very good, and quite versatile, we’re hoping Polaris will eventually move up to a 1.6 – at least on the powder-snow targeted 136.
We think the XCR represents the highest evolution of the AXYS platform and strongly recommend it.