2018 Polaris SKS 146 – Pre-ride Analysis
Here we are, the season is on! This year is even more exciting because I get to try out the 2018 Polaris SKS 146. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this because the latest snowmobiles I tried have been any less interesting! It is more because the SKS 146 targets the same kind of snowmobiler’s as me: off-trail pilots who still do a good percentage of trail riding.
At the last SnowShoot, our team had the opportunity to try this snowmobile and it impressed us quite a lot. Adding the 146 in. flavour was well received, and we can’t wait to try it! And for good reason, as much for on-trail as for off-trail, we have only heard good things! Also, it was able to keep up very well with the mountain snowmobiles.
For the 2017-2018 season, the SKS 146 will be fitted with a 2.4 in. track with studs. Initially, the snowmobile was supposed to have 2.25 in. studs, but Polaris determined that a more aggressive track would be more suited to the ‘70-30’ pilots.
This year we have 2.4 in. studs on the SKS 146
First of All
The SKS is in fact the snowmobile that will place itself between the Switchback Assault and the RMK at Polaris. It therefore has a 146 in. track with 2.4 in. studs. As the snowmobile is on the Axys platform, it, of course, has the 800 Cleanfire engine. Added to that is also the Polaris interactive screen, storage under the seat and LED headlights.
Amazing storage under the seat
Where it becomes interesting for off-trail drivers is the additions to make the SKS a more versatile snowmobile. As a matter of fact, it has the Gripper skis (those of the RMK), ski width adjustment, a Pro Taper and the PowerderTrac footboards.
I cannot wait to see how enjoyable a trail ride can be for the pilot, even during long rides. I believe that with the adjustable ski spacing and Walker Evans suspension, rides will be enjoyable in good temperatures. However, the 2.4 in. track and the Gripper skis may be a bother when the snow hardens.
The Gripper Skis
As for stability and comfort, no worries. The Axys chassis’ stability and the comfort provided by the Axys seat and Walker Evans suspension are well renowned.
Obviously, the SKS 146 will have its limitations off-trail. It is not a PRO RMK, you know! However, it will not step aside off-trail either! Having driven the Axys chassis off-trail, I expect a few things from the SKS. First of all, as the chassis is quite rigid, I believe the snowmobile will go exactly where told, like in a ‘side-hill’ situation, for example. Deep snow floatability should be good thanks to the Gripper Skis. Of course, it will not be as optimal as with a longer bridge.
The SKS 146 really spoils us with its cockpit! We could have imagined having the RMK buttons, among other things, but it is rather the commands of the Axys trail models that are present. I am looking forward to seeing if they can become a drawback off-trail. Also, our trail snowmobile will have an electric starter!
The Axys chassis’ ergonomic driving position
To conclude, I am very enthusiastic about testing the Polaris SKS 146 2018. I cannot wait to ride on-trail, but also off-trail where I know that I will be able to follow mountain snowmobiles in several situations.
I would like to thank the Sledmagazine.com Web magazine, Polaris Industries and RPM Rive-Sud for making this trial possible. I invite you to join me for my ‘first impressions’ article. In the meantime, you can follow this trial on social media!
Once again, if like me, you cannot wait until the trial begins, check out this video on the SKS 146 at the last SnowShoot.