So which 2024 model Polaris sled in our fleet this season am I most excited about getting some seat-time aboard? Of course the answer must be the new 2024 Indy VR 1 Boost, Right? Wrong and here’s why.
I put a whole season of riding on a 2023 Indy VR1 Boost last season and my opinions of that sled, along with Luke’s and AJ’s, are well documented on this site and on our YouTube channel. So, while I’m still excited to ride the improved 2024 Boost, it is not my number one pick for evaluation once we get some snow here at the Supertrax/SnowTrax World Headquarters!
THE NEW INDY XC PROSTAR S4
So, why would I be excited to ride an arguably 90-95 horsepower 4-stroke sled? Simple answer is I’ve only ridden an S4-powered Indy in Northern Minnesota two years ago and in West Yellowstone last spring at 6600 feet and I’m itching to rack up some serious trail riding miles on this sled on our home turf.
Just the exhaust note this sled produced when we unloaded it from the trailer got all of us sitting up and paying attention. This new mill is based on the Pro Star 1000cc, 270/450 firing, twin cam, twin cylinder EFI engine used to power numerous Polaris Ranger and RZR offroad vehicles. In short, it produces a sweet, “Harley-esque” exhaust cadence that causes gear heads to unnecessarily whack the throttle repeatedly. Go figure.
I’m even more intrigued by this sled’s nicely integrated profile from all angles. The insertion of the ProStar engine required virtually no re-jiggering of the quick-on/quick-off Polaris three-piece frontal bodywork. In essence, the only way to discern an S4 among a group of Indy MATRYX snowmobiles is to read the graphics.
Here’s where a confounding observation will be discussed. Strangely – and I do mean “strangely”, the ProStar twin appears by all our measurements to be almost 60 pounds heavier than a G5 Ski-Doo powered by the ROTAX ACE 900 triple cylinder engine. Does this extra poundage make a measurable difference to how the S4 performs and handles? No and yes.
Considering our limited exposure to the new Indy S4 I have to say this sled performed really well both at sea level and at Yellowstone’s 6600 foot altitude. Obviously, the ProStar’s power was noticeably diminished at altitude (as are all non-turbo engines). The brief ride I had almost two years ago at sea level impressed me with the spread of power the S4 delivered.
From a handling perspective I have only one gripe. Polaris has elected to deliver all MATRYX S4’s with dual runner skags. Why, you ask? Apparently, Polaris feels the target buyer for this sled and engine combo will more likely be a big mile cruiser than a ditch banger from Grygla, Minnesota.
Okay, the logic is sound, but last time I checked Polaris is about industry-leading handling and these skags “numb-up” the Indy XC S4 in an effort to reduce darting and lighten steering effort.
We’re going to throw a set of Woody’s 6-inchers on ours and see what the highly discerning cadre of riders around our office think is the best carbide set up for twisty, trail-riding forays.
I will say this, the MATRYX Indy XC platform has the best ergonomic package in the biz and this 4-stroke powered variant benefits from this platform’s rider-centric layout. The flat top seat narrows to dirt bike width at the gas tank juncture and feels positively correct for sitting, standing and transitioning between both postures and the Pro CC long front torque arm rear suspension is so near to the best set-up in the biz delivering coupled rear arm response and pleasant throttle-induced weight transfer.
We’ll report with more impressions of this sled soon so, stay tuned!