March has arrived, and it’s unfortunately already time to give you my season review of the 2020 Polaris 850 Indy Adventure 137. The saying that time flies when you are in good company takes on its full meaning for me this year. Although my trial started almost three months ago now, it seems like only yesterday that I sat behind this snowmobile’s handlebars for the first time.
I comfort myself by telling myself that I still have a few weeks to fully enjoy the Indy Adventure 137. Here are my observations and comments following this trial.
Last year, I had the opportunity to drive the 850 Patriot engine during my test drive of the 2019 Polaris 850 Switchback Assault (Read Review of the 2019 Polaris 850 Switchback Assault). I had the programming updated during the season, which improved the snowmobile’s performance and considerably reduced oil consumption. For 2020, a new factory programming was available on the Indy Adventure 137 when I took possession of it.
As far as power is concerned, I didn’t notice any difference, but oil consumption after the running-in period seemed slightly lower, and fuel consumption is also slightly reduced. For purists, according to my Internet research, the Patriot 850 engine should be slightly more powerful since it should develop 4 HP or 5 HP more than last year. Honestly, this represents between 2% and 3% power gain, and you can’t really feel a gain like that. However, the engine’s acceleration behaviour and response to RPM changes seemed to have improved.
Apart from changing a pair of spark plugs in the middle of the season, the engine has always lived up to my expectations. In fact, it was the only time I had to change the spark plugs in two seasons.
The pulley system does an excellent job, whether it’s during starts, accelerations, recovery or other. The transfer of power from the engine to the track is done very well.
The AXYS front and Pro-CC rear suspensions are very efficient. The Walker Evans adjustable shocks on this snowmobile absorb holes and bumps very well, providing comfort in the vast majority of situations I’ve encountered. These shock absorbers are compression adjustable, and it’s possible to adjust the preload using the coil springs to find the configuration that suits us.
The driving of this snowmobile is precise, which makes the negotiation of more technical routes very pleasant. Turns can be negotiated easily with a minimum of effort. However, skis tend to wobble under certain conditions when the trail bottom is relatively firm.
The AXYS chassis gives me a riding position that provides me with a great feeling of control on the snowmobile. The seat is slightly higher than that of other manufacturers. In addition, we sit more upright, and our body is well-positioned in relation to the front-back balance point of the snowmobile. This driving position offers me great comfort even during long rides.
The foot braces provide a good grip for the boots while being neither too tight nor too loose. As I use a lot of leg power in sportier riding and especially in twisty sections, everything is done naturally and intuitively while minimizing the level of effort.
The straighter driving position offers an excellent view of the terrain ahead. The digital gauges are well-positioned in front of us. However, some of the information is written in fairly small print, making it difficult to read when the snowmobile is moving. It offers several choices of information presented so we can choose the configuration we like the most.
Care must also be taken not to leave the key in the “On” position when the engine is turned off. The gauge remains lit, and it can drain the battery. The people at Polaris told me that they have a limitation in the GPS sensor that prevents them from correcting the situation. However, I believe that the gauges should turn off automatically after 2 or 3 minutes when the engine is stopped by the emergency button on the handlebars.
The seat offers very good comfort, and its shape makes it easy to change position from left to right and vice versa when driving. The Indy Adventure 137 comes standard with a windshield that offers very good protection against wind and the elements. In addition, there is a set of mirrors that go well with the entire snowmobile.
As I mentioned in the title of this article, this snowmobile is in the Solo Touring class. As such, the Indy Adventure 137 is equipped with a small trunk on the front console. This trunk space is limited but allows you to place your cell phone, wallet, or similar items. This storage area is usually quite warm since it is located just above the engine compartment.
There is a second storage space under the back of the seat. It’s quite bulky, and you can put one or two liters of oil, a small tool bag, etc. Finally, there is a large semi-rigid storage area at the back of the tunnel to finish it all off. The latter offers enough space to bring your luggage with you for trips of a few days.
I liked every aspect of this snowmobile… Engine, suspension, driving, cockpit, … Every ride was a great experience. If there’s one thing that stands out from the rest, it’s the performance, acceleration and handling of the 850 Patriot engine that made me smile with satisfaction on the inside of my helmet many times this season.
If you are looking for a Solo Touring type snowmobile, I strongly invite you to consider the 850 Indy Adventure 137 at your next shopping session.
Until then, happy end of the season to you, and see you on the trails!