Winner: Polaris IQ Switchback
In the last issue of Supertrax we delivered results from our 120hp X-Over Shootout. The Polaris IQ 600 CFI Switchback took the deal by a single point!
We approve of this revamped Polaris because we’ve already ridden the wheels off a limited build 2008 delivered to us late last winter.
The Switchback platform is available with either a 600 or 700cc CleanFire 2-stroke or a 140hp 750cc turbo 4-stroke.
We think buyers in this class want transparent trail prowess above all other traits. If you only want flotation for mountain snow, this is probably not the place to do business.
However, the trail market is shifting profoundly to 136-inch sneakers and the Switchback chassis provides the best trail ride and handling – virtually indiscernible from a 121-inch IQ – without sacrificing deep snow-mobility.
The SB handles impeccably but ride quality is better than a 121-inch IQ.
For whatever reasons, Polaris elected to punish itself for three years using a 144- inch track and skid. With the new 136 Switchback, greatness has returned to the original Snow King concept.
Runner-Up: Ski-Doo MX-Z Renegade XP
Outside of lack of familiarity with this chassis we see nothing stopping it from rising to the top this winter in the hearts and minds of X-Over buyers.
The incredibly lightweight Gade XP is available with two power variations: 600 SDI and 800R PowerTek. These power-to-weight ratios combined with a 16-wide track make the Renegade a formidable performer in deep snow.
To date we haven’t had any time on a full production Renegade with the new vibration isolating “de-coupled” handlepole and a trail-calibrated rear skid, but we think its inherent lightness will pressure Polaris to respond.