The big question is this: How much power do you really need?
Sure, a lot of snowmobile shoppers would argue, “If you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound”; meaning if you’ve got your wallet out, why go for a 95-130 horsepower sled if you can spend a few more bucks and get a 160-200-hp one?
The hard truth is this – and it’s challenging to get power-hungry buyers to fully understand what we’re proposing here – not everyone wants or most certainly, needs more than the 130-hp ceiling this line-up offers.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular (and largest selling) trail sleds that fall splat into the middle of the power wars.
POLARIS INDY MATRYX: New, Improved and Faster!
It looks like Polaris intends to own the midrange trail class of sleds this year. The company’s selection of sleds powered by either a 600 Liberty 2-stroke or the new and much talked-about Patriot 650 actually comes close to exceeding the total of all sleds from every other OEM in this class.
The MATRYX is at the top of everyone’s inspection list at dealerships this year. For its debut year in this category Polaris has offered two models on the MATRYX platform and they’re both available with choices of 129 and 137-inch tracks.
The premium MATRYX is the VR1 and it comes with all the new MATRYX amenities: A new and dazzling digital instrument layout with a GPS you don’t need a cell phone to operate, a new and more powerful headlight, auto-adjustable hand and thumb warmers and cavernous storage in more than one location on the sled.
The seating ergonomics have been rethought (rider sits lower and seat is narrower at the front), there’s new bodywork offering better underhood ventilation and wind protection for the rider and the biggest deal of all: A completely new 650cc Patriot 2-stroke twin based on the bones of the Patriot 850!
The VR1 differs from the Indy XC Launch Edition in that the Launch’s gauge features are a bit more in line with last year’s Polaris Indys (you can still upgrade if you like) and the shock package. Otherwise all the good stuff remains: Storage, bodywork, 650, hand-warmers and headlight.
Back to the 650 Patriot engine. This SDI 2-stroke has changed all the rules with its giant upgrade in both horsepower and torque. Simply, there is no comparison to it in the midrange class.
Many of our riders felt it was so strong it could actually affect sales of the Patriot 850. Not likely this year with so many dealers sold out, but still a pretty strong endorsement of this new engine.
The VR1 uses Walker Evans WER Velocity rebound and compression adjustable shocks and the XC Launch uses compression adjustable and rebuildable WE units all around.
It should be noted that Polaris has also been tweaking and tuning both the front end and the Pro-CC skid-frame to deliver ride and handling improvements compared to the already-stellar AXYS platform.
Sure, you want one, but the sad news is supply. There probably just aren’t enough at dealers and everyone who could possibly buy a MATRYX early, did so. Better get in line for next year.