About the only thing that hasn’t changed with the newest Polaris high performance ride is the name, “Polaris”.
Okay, it is a Polaris. Yes it’s an Indy but cast in a different mold than the current crop of Indys, that have been mostly marketed as a value brand, not top performance models.
Yes, we’ve seen the acronym XC before but it’s been a long time, and this latest Cross Country (XC) is so different from the late 1990s genre it isn’t even worth talking about. Here’s more new: Under the hood there’s an all-new 850cc 2-stroke twin that’s gonna rock the entire industry next year.
… AND MORE
Finally, a 129-inch track – something we’ve been crowing about for the past three years. Finally – Pro CC – for “Conventional Coupled”. It’s been a while since Polaris has used double coupling on a top performance model.
The new Patriot 850 is as new as new gets. Everything, including the cases, crank, cylinders, pistons, heads, semi-direct injection system (no longer referred to as “Cleanfire” on the Patriot) and the list goes on, is new. While the new 850 does use a slightly heavier crank than the Liberty 800, it’s lighter than the competitions’ and employs the largest PTO bearing we’ve ever seen.
The new Patriot wins the vibration control contest producing less rumble, ski-tip shake and windshield chatter than even competitive 800s. This enormous improvement in big bore NVH is linked to both the new engine’s crankshaft and a radical, never-seen-before mounting system.
The 850 produces what Polaris claims is 9-percent more HP than the Liberty 800. Hmm… our calculator sez the new 850 delivers 170 ponies. On the trail the engine’s power curve is flat, seamless and smooth with great low-end chug and corner-to-corner wheelie power that’s easy to modulate.
The Patriot 850 is telepathic in its response to your right thumb. Down the lake it delivers immense, unrepentant top end squeeze that’ll shock even seasoned big-bore pilots. Is it fast? It’s crazy fast. Polaris has fitted the 850 with an all-new drive belt and machined the clutch taper differently to provide more durability and better clutch stability on the crank. Belt life is rumored to be stellar. We’ll report on this early next winter.
FINALLY, A 129
If you were wondering – like we were – why Polaris was slow to update the RUSH and it’s Pro XC rear skid to a 129, this new Indy XC answers this much-asked question. Using a 129 from the beginning is a smart move. Honestly, we’re not far from saying good-bye to 120-inch tracks in the higher performance categories. From a pure visual perspective the new Indy XC 129 looks right. The sled’s side and ¾ rear profiles are superb and balanced to the eye. The move to a conventional tunnel will be welcomed by the Polaris faithful.
Make no mistake about the new Pro CC rear suspension, it was targeted and benchmarked against the industry leader. In our opinion, Pro CC is a worthy competitor to rMotion. The front of the Pro CC skid is identical to the Pro XC models and the Switchback Assault. The extra long front torque arm is actually interchangeable. As you move your eyes rearward, you’ll notice the rear drop link is 2-way coupled (rear-to-front and front-to-rear) using familiar Polaris scissors stops. Interestingly, rMotion is not double coupled but uses only rear-to-front couplers. Does Pro CC work? Yes, my mogul-bent friends, this is the real deal. Power headlong into a whooped-out rail grade at 50 per and let Pro CC swallow the bumps. The almost bottomless feel is only matched by the ultra-plush response the skid delivers in jigglers and rollers. If you’re a Polaris aficionado you’re not going to believe how good the XC rides.
SNOWMOBILE HANDLING AS IT SHOULD BE
Finally, grafting the new Pro CC to the sport’s best double A-arm IFS is a double punch of heroic dimensions. The AXYS front end, including everything back to the tunnel bulkhead cooler, means you get precise, nicely weighted turn-in at any speed followed by strong, consistent bite through the middle that slingshots the Indy XC off the apex, producing a head rush that’ll last until the next immensely satisfying turn you and the XC encounter.
There’s more, way more to talk about surrounding this game-changing 2019 Polaris sled. We’ll save some for SUPERTRAX and SNOWTRAX to divulge in more detail.