We wanted to take a closer look at four very popular 2021 snowmobiles in order to rate them. We’ll be posting details and opinion over the next few days and we’d really like to hear feedback from you on whether you agree or disagree with our appraisals.
These four crossovers will comprise a significant number of snowmobile sales for each of the companies offering them. They are – in no particular order: The 2021 MATRYX-based Polaris Switchback, Ski-Doo’s Backcountry X-RS, Arctic Cat’s RIOT and Polaris’ AXYS-based Switchback Assault.
We’ll be looking forward to your comments!
We’re writing about the plain vanilla RIOT here because we feel it meets the requirements of a true crossover a bit better than Cat’s RIOT X.
This one uses the ARS II trail spindles and better skidframe calibration for riding trails. Its best asset is its 1.6-inch-depth track – just deep enough to handle grip on trails with exceptional braking and still good enough to mole your way through powder. Best of both worlds, really!
Cat’s SDI 800 is a sweet, rapid responding engine that limits smoke output, burns nice and lean and gets up on the pipe quickly when you massage the go-handle.
Its TEAM clutching using the BOSS roller secondary has proven to be spot-on both for trail riding and in the powder.
Suspension comes with Fox 2.0 ZERO 3-position adjustment on the rear arm and 1.5 ZERO QS-3s at the skis. Although the skid is not coupled, ride results are exceptionally good – and it cleans out well in sticky snow when you’re in deeper stuff.
This sled, with wide spaced A-arms up front, turns in really well, is not negatively affected by trail junk and handling is oh-so-close to the AXYS-based Switchback Assault 144.
Probably the only negative we can come up with here is that the bones of the ProCross platform haven’t been changed in a long time.
This is a pretty lame observation really, because Cat has been continually improving this chassis both for on-trail and off-trail use for a number of years.
What they have here is a real contender and a sled we’d ride all winter with a big smile on our face.