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Riding the new Gen-4 in either 129 or 137 track lengths is a new experience.

It neither steers heavily nor produces the twitchy on-center feel of the XP and XS. Despite having the rider more forward, high speed handling is improved.

When pushing the sled in tight trails we found moving the bars more forward and crowding the gas tank was the best place to work from.

The front end stays remarkably flat – a result of the rider’s ability to weight the inside ski by moving far forward and off the side of the seat.

At lake speed it’s more comfortable to move back on the seat. If your Gen-4 has the available bar riser you’ll be able to achieve the posture you want.

We’ve often wondered how far the sport can go with power. Is there an upper limit? This year, the arrival of Arctic Cat and Yamaha turbos seems to indicate there’s room to go higher.

In the case of the Gen-4 850 the ability to have another ten horses on tap compared to the Series III 800 plus a better handling package is highly attractive.

You can carve tight trails faster than on the XS and you can rock a 10-mile lake at speeds the old 800 only dreamed about.

Full pulls past the C-note are handily accomplished with the new 850 but is it faster than the Polaris Liberty 800 HO? The only 800 that can give the 850 a respectable run is the AXYS 800 HO.

Stay tuned as we put our 850 and a Polaris 800 to the test and answer the question everyone is asking.

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