The Matryx platform has been attracting attention since its launch. Here are my first impressions of the initial 3000 km travelled. First of all, the assessment presented below is intended to give our readers a faithful representation of how I felt aboard the new Matryx XC chassis and the long-awaited 2021 Patriot 650 Launch Edition engine from Polaris. I would like to mention a very special thanks to RPM Rive-Sud and Polaris Industries for supplying and preparing a Matryx for me.
As an expert friend told me, it is difficult to find in this world PERFORMANCE/RELIABILITY and ECONOMY in the same package. This is why, for more than a decade, the smallest 600 cc class engines have been trying to meet these demands, which are, let’s face it, technically huge to satisfy. The new Patriot 650 (2-stroke) engine offers the advantage of being closer to the 3 points mentioned above.
In addition, the 2-stroke engines offered by Polaris accept 87 octane fuel without any retaliation. In fact, I have not noticed any engine problems in this regard when using regular fuel. This one, producing nearly 140 HP, is awe-inspiring in performance, well-calibrated, and above all, well suited to the famous P-85 (leading) and TEAM (trailing) pulleys. From now on, it’s not utopian to reach 12,000 km with the same belt, especially since the Patriot 650 consumes truly little fuel. We must not hide the fact that, in the past, predicted figures and reality did not always match. However, Polaris now keeps its word. Exceptionally good in oil consumption, the 650 can easily travel 800 km to 850 km with its 3.5-liter oil reserve. The 43.5 liter fuel tank also ensures a more than respectable range.
Also, not to be overlooked are the new SmartWarmers intelligent hand warmers that allows you to adjust each intensity level to the precise degree. This system also adjusts itself according to the outside temperature regulating and respecting the ambient conditions, no matter if you are using a muff as an example. I loved this innovation!
Another novelty at Polaris is the NightBlade headlights. Impressed in the past by the LED headlights mounted on Axys platforms, the Matryx’s new NightBlade layout is a first. During my tests, I appreciated the significance of these new changes. However, I confess that its scope is not wide enough, which, in my opinion, could shed more light on the edges of the trail. It is interesting to note that most Polaris 2021 elect/start are equipped with a manual recoil starter at no extra charge in terms of standard equipment costs.
When it comes to the heart of the matter, trail riding, the Matryx 137” Snowcross-inspired configuration boasts of being in the Polaris definition of “effortless.” I am not the only one who has seen the benefits of this evolution. Corner to Corner, is definitely one of the most dynamic and stable sleds I have ever tested. Braking is powerful and well-ventilated thanks to the air intake at the front of the sled. I’ve noticed that the Matryx’s narrowness combined with a slightly more advanced driving position than the Axys version reduces the counterbalance effect that the driver has to fight.
The throttle response is faultless and linear, providing a sporty and responsive driving feeling. I didn’t perceive any annoying vibrations that can become an irritant. On bumpy trails, the vehicle has the ability to recover on its own and stabilize itself. In addition, the original torsion springs of the rear suspension allow a sag that should satisfy the majority of customers (see a replacement for the intermediate series if you ride two or aggressively). Do you like to travel long distances? The 650 Patriot engine and its mounting brackets raise the limit to withstand higher top speeds while reducing vibration.
Regardless of the degrading trail conditions at the end of the day, Piggyback front and rear suspension (with external reservoir) ensure this ability to absorb any rough trail conditions. The 137 inches of 1 1/4 Ice Ripper XT track (optional) and a coupled suspension provide increased comfort and safety without affecting ride accuracy. The wide Pro-Steer skis top of the game on both freshly groomed and powder-coated trails. The only correction made to my frame is the replacement of the original runners by the HC-60°-8” (P08-288-08) from Qualipièces. I recommend HC-60°-6” for less experienced snowmobilers.
With a certain advertising discretion in the spring of 2020, Polaris bet big with the arrival of Matryx 2021. The elements put in place to seduce the consumer but also to ensure they get value for money. Once the hood is removed, the ease of maintenance is simple and well-explained, thanks to Polaris’s numerous YouTube tutorials. Standard equipment such as multiple accessory sockets is already included. The chassis structure seems to be rigid, sturdy, and the elements protecting the wiring and connections all seem to be there and of good quality.
All in all, I would like to point out that the Matryx XC Launch Edition 650 succeeds in bringing out that long-awaited frenzy without extra cost to the consumer to achieve the announced and desired performance. Those who wish to purchase the superior version will always be able to turn to the VR1 with the impressive 7S screen and these Velocity shocks. At the magazine, we believe the 650 version will prove to be reliable given its robust design and our ongoing testing. The 4-year warranty (Snowcheck), notwithstanding engine (and other) breakdowns, is the company’s commitment that brings peace of mind to its customers.
The refinement brought to the smallest details will know how to conquer future buyers’ hearts where perhaps some hesitated before. The Matryx is probably the most intuitive snowmobile I have ever ridden so far and is here to shine for years to come!