After Polaris pulled the sheets off the new S-4 4-stroke twin scheduled for service in a number of Polaris snowmobile platforms in MY 2023 we immediately loaded our next bullet.
What About Dynamix? Clearly, Polaris and Ski-Doo are in an intense season of competitive product intros. There’s little doubt Polaris has evaluated Ski-Doo’s (and Can-Am’s) Smart-Shox semi-active suspension control system.
Dynamix is fully developed and, more importantly, highly effective on numerous RZR SxS off-road models in MY 2022. Sliding the entire system including myriad sensors, electronic controls and sophisticated switchgear onto the MATRYX platform should be – mostly – a no- brainer. Okay, it does take a lot of fertile brains to develop active suspension.
Ski-Doo has had ridiculous success with its Smart-Shox option. How successful? Smart-Shox availability was sold out before Spring Break concluded last April. Truth is, if you had the opportunity to try a Smart-Shox equipped MX-Z or Renegade you were likely overwhelmed by the tangible improvement the set-up delivers.
Frankly, we think Dynamix and Smart-Shox for dirt-destined off-road vehicles is impressive but Smart-Shox on a Ski-Doo is more impressive than on a Can-Am. We would expect the same degree of effectiveness from a Dynamix system tweaked for snowmobile use.
For those who may not be up to speed on exactly what semi-active suspension is about, let’s discuss it briefly. Ski-Doos with Smart-Shox have accelerometers on the front ski shocks. If you look closely at the front suspension of a G-5 Ski-Doo, you’ll see what looks like another sway bar drop link. It’s not. It’s a linkage connected to a sensor (accelerometer) that reads both velocity and the amount of movement of the right and left front suspension when encountering terrain. The info is passed to a Smart-Shox specific ECU which responds to suspension movement by stiffening or softening the front suspension shocks damping. It doesn’t end there. The ECU talks to the rear suspension front arm and rear arm shocks simultaneously and makes them ready for whatever terrain the front IFS just swallowed. Another accelerometer is attached to the rear shock for exactly the same purpose as the front suspension sensor.
All of this whiz-bang techno sophistication produces what we at SnowTrax and Supertrax have proclaimed is the hands down best ride quality of any snowmobile built today. Ski-Doo developed the Smart-Shox system and KYB produces it. Polaris Dynamix was developed in tandem with Fox.
With Polaris intent on continuing a market share battle with Ski-Doo, we have to think the next big thing for them is the adaptation of its SxS Dynamix suspension technology to its snowmobiles.