Everybody knows that there are exceptions to a rule or else, there are some people specialized in finding the exception. As other industries, the snowmobile world has its own rules. Often unwritten, sometimes the majority of fans respect these rules, other times only a specific group will. On my part, some rules suit me, others do not. But one of them is realy meaningful to me as a snowmobiler : the third year of a chassis and moreover, of a new suspension is definitely the best year for the buyers.
This year is right in the middle of the usual 5 year life of a technology. This is the perfect time for a buyer seeking for optimized cutting edge technology, but not in its last years of resale value. Good news for Polaris 2012 line ! They reached this turning point, the best year in my opinion to buy a snowmobile from any of the manufacturers. In 2012, the American manufacturer capitalizes on his chassis and Pro-Ride suspension with many valuable variations. Without going through a detailed review of the new sleds, I wish to draw your attention on a few elements that the Québec snowmobilers may be interessed in.
Polaris 600 Switchback Adventure 2012
First of all, Polaris expands his hybrid category with the Switchback series. We can clearly see that this market is in continuous progression in many provinces and states of North-Eastern America, where the snowmobilers enjoy the versatility of these models. With the Adventure model, Polaris extends the Pro-Ride suspension design to a 136 in. track, which seemed unlikely to many riders. Claiming an increased comfort and a better flotation in powder snow, this Polaris 600 Switchback is a high-mileage sled equipped with Touring features such as the cargo system, the Adventure comfort seat, improved riding (front suspension), a tall windshield and hood mounted mirrors. We think this is such a perfect touring machine that we doubt the 600 IQ LXT is needed in 2012 !?! The Pro-Ride suspension Switchback 136 is also offered in 4 other versions : the regular 600 cc and 800 cc and the Pro-R versions of these 2 motorizations. It is obvious that for 2012, Polaris aims for this market segment.
600 Switchback Adventure SaddleBag
The 800 Switchback Assault 144 is back in 2012 with very dynamic graphics. This ultra lightweight model has been a roaring success in 2011 and it will be again the Polaris flagship in 2012. The marketing success is almost guaranteed considering the actual snowmobile market where more and more buyers seek for sleds with versatility.
Suspension 600 Switchback ProR
Watch also for the Polaris Pro-R series… especially the models equipped with the powerful 800 Cleanfire injection engine. Effectively, the mobile parts of this engine are 2,5 lb lighter. This means less resistance and more power for the pilot. Furthermore, the colors and looks of the Pro-R are a huge success; I particularly like the retro model of the 70’s. Finally, the front suspension has been modified a little and the riding seems to be improved. Though it was very precise in 2010, the riding may have provoked inner ski lifting in some circumstances. We also expect that the front shock of the track will be enhanced in order to improve the behavior of the Pro-Ride suspension in moguls («washboard»).
Mountain and RMK fans will also be delighted. Along with the advantages of the Pro-R and Limited Edition series also offered in these models, the RMK line with Pro-Ride chassis will also include the 600 cc models. This means dozens of pounds lighter, which is crucial for a 125 hp mountain sled.
Polaris 800 Pro RMK 163" Snow Check 2012
Concerning the touring and utility snowmobiles, Polaris comes back with his assets : the proven IQ chassis, the 600 Cleanfire engines, the 550 with fan and the 4-stroke 750 cc turbocharged. This very surprising engine, with its 140 hp, should maybe have been mounted on the new Pro-Ride chassis to get a better part of the market. The widetrack models seem almost unchanged, except for the LX that becomes «International»; this shows the purpose of many units. The IQ model would profit from an articulated track, above all for the unconditional fans of the mountains in the province of Quebec.
RoxRiser 800 RUSH ProR LE
The spring promotion also deserves to be mentioned. Many exclusivities are offered only during spring to the buyers of these Limited Edition models. More precisely, they offer a choice of side panels with assorted graphics and colors, a choice of sport or comfort seat and the choice of windshield. In addition to these optional features, these models are offered with a Cobra Deep Lug track, a Rox height adjustable handlebar riser, a rear cargo system and a personalized license plate in the owner’s name.
There is only one element that leaves us unsatisfied, if possible; Polaris does not offer the direct injection technology on the 2-stroke engine. We know that the manufacturer could do it and we would have appreciated this technology in a 600 cc engine. For further information, you will have to wait for the results of our trials that promise to be very interesting at the 2012 Snow Shoot, from March 2nd to 9th 2011 in West Yellowstone, Montana. There, we will put theory into practice and ride as many kilometers as possible on these new snowmobiles.
Marc Thibeault's passion for snowmobiling is not new. He drove his first snowmobile at the age of 5, on a frozen lake, to the great dismay of his parents. At 18, he already owned his own snowmobile. Two years later, he was practicing this sport more assiduously. For the past 19 years, he has been traveling thousands of kilometers each winter, but this has not prevented him from combining his knowledge of the Internet, his interest in business, his passion for snowmobiling and his family, and in 2002, he created Motoneigistes.com magazine, which is dedicated to this sport. Firmly believing in the need to unite the efforts of the various stakeholders in the field on the WEB, he merged the operations of the magazine with the Magazine motoneiges.ca (presided by Mr. Denis Lavoie) thus creating the largest French-speaking information portal dedicated to the sport of snowmobiling in America. It must be said that Mr. Thibeault has covered many different aspects of snowmobiling. In addition to his involvement in the snowmobile industry on the Web for over 20 years, he has previously worked as a volunteer, sector director and public relations officer for the Club de motoneigistes Saguenay. He was also a tourist guide for snowmobile trips organized for European groups. Finally, he has participated as a columnist and host in several radio and television programs devoted to snowmobiling. He is still the host of the AMS-Motoneiges program on Télémag. In terms of his professional career, Mr. Thibeault works as a senior executive in a major company in the Quebec City area.
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