I can’t believe it but here we are at about the halfway mark in the winter riding season, and I have just over 800 miles or 1287 kilometers of backcountry mountain riding on a 2022 Polaris 850 Matryx Khaos Slash 155. I’ve really enjoyed riding this sled from day one, it’s a playful mountain sled that’s sure to put a smile on your face from the instant you take your first ride.
One of the first things I noticed when I first started riding the Khaos was how nimble it is. It’s so easy to initiate a turn that I found myself overriding the sled a little at first. I was accustomed to having to put more input and weight into other sleds to get them up on edge or put the sled where I want it. The Khaos is so easy to get up on edge, I think many people will initially override this sled.
However, once you learn the balance point of the Khaos, it’s amazing and the sled really comes alive. Since it takes a lot less energy to get the sled to do what you want it to, you’ll be able to ride longer, harder and be less tired at the end of the day. Those of you that have ridden off trail in the mountains know that if you can save a little energy on every turn or movement and still hit your lines you will save a ton of energy at the end of the day. That’s a huge advantage to any mountain rider.
The Sled Being Tested:
- 2022 Polaris 850 Matryx Khaos Slash 155
- Walker Evans Racing Velocity Shocks
- 3” Series 7 Track with QuickDrive2
- Pro-Taper Low Handlebar
- 7s Display with Ride Command Technology
Matryx Chassis…Does It Perform as Well as It Looks?
The first time I saw the New Matryx platform the thought that came to mind was WOW… this sled is a sexy machine, with beautiful lines and a mean fighter jet styling. Right out of the box without any modifications, this sled looks good and is sure to turn heads. The engineers at Polaris have done some amazing work with all the upgrades and changes to this new chassis.
This sled is quick, responsive and takes very little rider input to get the sled to do what you want it to do. It also jumps on top of the snow as soon as you hit the throttle. The 850 Patriot motor is quick and powerful, all while, relatively speaking, being fairly fuel and oil efficient. I’ve had a couple 80 plus mile mountain days and still had fuel left in the tank. After getting half a season on the sled one thing is for certain: it does perform as well as it looks. Let’s take a closer look at some of the new design features that make this sled so great.
7s Display with Ride Command System…Is It Worth the Extra Money?
The 7s display might be the biggest surprise to me so far with the Matryx Khaos. As a mountain rider, the display on a snowmobile usually isn’t an item that’s very important to me. If the display shows, RPM, engine temperature and miles traveled, so we can keep an eye on fuel consumption, that’s about all I need in a gauge. We’ll the 7s display has completely blown my mind with what a gauge can do and how it can really benefit any rider but especially a mountain rider.
For starters the 7s display is big! 7 inches across big. With that size it’s extremely easy to see while riding on or off trail and it also has a full color range. It has a touch screen with easy to use buttons so you can toggle between screens and change settings all while leaving your gloves on….that’s a really nice feature when its cold out.
There’s a clock built into the 7s display, and while it’s a simple thing its something I’m constantly using throughout the day. Sure, we can stop, take off our gloves, pull out our phones or peal back the 4 layers of clothes to see our watch to get the time. Or we can just simply look down at the nice big 7s display and easily see what time it is. It’s a small thing, but I use it a ton and it’s a nice item to have on a display.
The 7s display has a digital fuel gauge that’s in the upper right corner of the display so you can easily watch and monitor your fuel as you ride. The display shows your fuel as a percentage remaining. Over the course of the season, I’ve been monitoring the percentage remaining with how much fuel it takes to fill the sled at the end of the day, the gauge and percentage seems to be accurate. It’s nice when you have a reliable fuel gauge and can rely on it being accurate for those longer trips or deep backcountry days.
The 7s display also has a built-in interactive map so that you can run a track as you ride, drop way points along the way or pre-program a way point before you leave. On the next Search and Rescue I help with, I’m going to preprogram the Lat-Long of the lost rider and pin their location before I leave. That way I’ll be able to watch the pin on the map as I go and use it to guide me to their location. It’s going to be incredibly helpful, especially since most searches are after the sun goes down and in the dark.
The map also has topography lines so it will help you navigate off trail if you’re not familiar with the area. Since we’re talking about using the display at night, the 7s display also has a night setting and will switch over to a darker screen at night so it doesn’t blind you when its dark out.
Another amazing feature the 7s display has is group ride technology so you’ll be able to link anyone that also has the 7s display and see where they are on the map as you ride. This is helpful when riding in the mountains. All you have to do is glance down at the map to see where you are in relation to your friends. If you’re missing someone one in the group, just check the map and see which way you need to go to find them and link back up.
There are a bunch of other really cool features with the 7s display that I’m still working on learning. My phone is linked to the display, so when someone is calling it pops up on the display so I know who’s calling without having to stop and take my phone out to see who it is or miss the call entirely. You can also send texts and messages to other people with the 7s display and your message will come across the screen on their sled. I’m still trying to learn all the amazing functions of the 7s display. I’ll keep at it and try to give you some more cool tips in the end of the year review. The 7s display is a game changer for snowmobile gauges and it’s going to change the future for backcountry mountain riding. I definitely think the 7s display is worth the extra money and I wouldn’t order a new Polaris without it.
Slash Tunnel and Centralized Cooling Design….How Do They Work?
The Slash is a tunnel that’s shorter than a normal tunnel and tapered at the end to reduce drag. So far, the Slash tunnel design has been working great and is noticeably more maneuverable in the deep snow than a standard tunnel. The Slash design lets the snow exit out the back, so you don’t have the excess snow weight building up in the tunnel area of the sled. The Slash shortened tunnel also really helps when it comes to hop overs or re-entries, because you don’t have resistance or drag slowing the sled down when you’re trying to turn the sled when the tunnel is in the snow. At the midway point in the season, I’m a really big fan of the Slash tunnel design.
Centralized Cooling System
Another new feature with the Matryx Platform is the Centralized Cooling System. With this system the cooling for the snowmobile only goes back as far as the seat. This is a change from the long-term cooling system that Polaris has been running that used to go all the way to the back of the snowmobile, loop around the end of the tunnel and back to the engine. By changing the cooling system to only go back as far as the seat, Polaris has reduced weight in two ways: First, the cooling system itself has less fluid because it travels a shorter distance in the system. Less coolant equals less weight. The second way this system reduces weight is that without having warm coolant from the engine circulating around the tunnel, it won’t collect and build up snow and ice on the tunnel, thus reducing weight.
It’s a double whammy of weight reduction. You’re probably wondering, does the weight reduction work in the real world? I would say yeah it seems like it’s working as advertised. I’m seeing a drastic reduction in snow and ice buildup on the tunnel because of the altered cooling system. The other question you probably have is does the new system have enough cooling capacity to keep a mountain sled cool going down the trail? So far, the answer to this is also yes. On the trail the average temperature with scratchers down runs between 115F (46C) and 130F (54C) and the off trail the temperature usually runs around 99F (37C). The New Centralized Cooling System seems to be working just how Polaris designed it to.
So far, the New Polaris 850 Matryx Khaos Slash 155 has been a ton of fun, with every ride, I keep enjoying it more and more. All the new design features that Polaris has put on and into the Matryx platform have been working flawlessly and as advertised. I haven’t had any issues or problems with the sled. It’s been a 100% pull and go snowmobile.
I’m excited to spend February, March and April on Polaris’s New Matryx Khaos hotrod. I look forward to giving you my final thoughts at the end of the season, in about 3 months.
I would like to say a special “Thank you” to Polaris for making this long-term test ride possible.