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SnowTrax TV’s AJ Lester Shares His Opinions on the 137-inch Indy…

AJ, you rode the 129-inch version of the new Indy XC quite a bit last winter. Give us some initial impressions of that sled, say, in comparison to the Pro-Ride RUSH or Switchback at the beginning of the season. How did it hit you when you first rode it?

AJ: I was impressed with the 129’s instant comfort and ride-ability without the need to set the suspension up perfectly for your weight. This was and had become a requirement for the Pro-Ride external shock suspension. The XC is good to go for a wide variety of riders’ weights and will also smooth out small, medium and large trail bumps without needing to go underneath and adjust clickers or spring preload.

At that time, did your strong impressions of the then-new 850 twin overpower your impressions of the new Indy platform?

AJ: I’d have to say the engine and chassis were both home runs, but yeah, I couldn’t help but be blown away by the exceptionally strong performance of the 850. It floats like a butterfly and stings like a… Polaris!

Thinking back, is there anything you would have changed about the Indy XC 129 last season?

AJ: Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like about that sled! I like to think I’m pretty unbiased and there are truly very few sleds I can say this about, but the Indy XC is perfect the way it is and this is coming from a guy who had yellow underwear for a good part of my life due to my racing history.

ST: Is the 2020 137-inch version just a logical progression for the Indy, or is it the real deal – and better than the 129? How does it work in powder compared to other crossover sleds?

AJ: I think it is the logical progression from the 129. It has to be. However, with that said there is no reason it’s not still the real deal. While we knew right away a 137 would be next, it’s not just a “me too” sled. It’s every bit as good as the 129. In fact if you’re running a bit more fresh snow, say on lakes or riding over heavier snowpack, the 137 puts the power to the ground more effectively and reduces track spin. Keep in mind, with the 850 you could spin any length track pretty much at any time but the increased grip of 8-inches more track lets the Indy accelerate harder and grab better.

How would you rate the differences in ride compliance between the 137 XC and the 129?

AJ: If you’re a corner to corner, trail shredding, ditch banger then 129 will be your jam, but honestly for those of us who cruise wider, more open trails and are looking for a bit better big bump compliance with slightly less aggressive cornering ability, the 137 is a great choice. I feel the rear end ride is not incredibly different, but there’s better bump bridging and acceleration with the 137 and maybe a bit better cornering with the 129. That’s pretty much the big difference I see. Some of our testers here felt the 137 definitely rode better than the 129 but honestly, they’re both really close.

You’ve always been a big fan of Polaris’ handling. Did you feel like there was a handling penalty with the longer track?

AJ: There will always be slightly reduced steering precision when you increase track length and/or lug height. There has to be; it’s physics. However, with the much closer sized sleds of today at 129 and 137 as apposed to 10 years ago running 120 and 136’s, the differences are truly harder to feel and the handling penalty of a longer track is less obvious.

What track depth would you consider ideal for the 137? Would you keep the same track on the 600 as on the 850 or 800?

AJ: I’m a fan of the Ice Cobra at 1.352. It’s a great all-around track that lets you not only grip like crazy on hard packed or icy surfaces but also gives that little extra bit of lug to power through deeper snow should you encounter it. A 1.25 lug is fine for a 600, but I do find some reduced performance when you go with that heavier pre-studded track and deeper lug with the 600 rotating it. My choice would be 1.25 on the 600, and the Ice Cobra with the 800 and 850.

How different is the 850 compared to the 800 – really?

AJ: How different are apples and shoulder rockets! As far as I’m concerned, that isn’t even a comparison! The 850, man… this is the kinda engine your momma warned you about. The 800 is a great powerplant, and I still really enjoy it, but the 850 is a fire breathing dragon just waiting to destroy every snowflake in your path. Up top, down low and in the midrange it just flat-out outperforms the 800.

What do you think of the XC’s riding position, controls and instrumentation. Is there anything you’d change?

AJ: Riding position is excellent, comfortable and is long day, high-mile comfy while still allowing you to stand up and ride through really brutal, worn-out weekend moguls. The controls and instrumentation are detailed and right where you need them and work well with intuitive gauge interactions. I still can’t believe Polaris is the only manufacturer offering a GPS. Isn’t this 2020? Hands down, the best gauge ever and a worthwhile upgrade not just to fulfill some random tech craving (and, trust me, it’s a fun addition and comes in handy), but also exceptional for resale value!

Give us three gob-smacking positives that hit you and three negatives – no matter how big or small.



1) Best engine in the business (Patriot 850).
2) Best front end suspension with most precise steering.
3) Incredibly well-thought-out design ranging from appearance, to rider comfort to under-hood accessibility.


1) As a critic, this is the hardest sled in the business to find fault with.
2) The 850 is only Snow-Checkable, so in-season buyer = out of luck.
3) Having to disappoint your friends who thought “they” had the best sled.

Supertrax Online
Supertrax Onlinehttps://www.supertraxmag.com
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