It is now time to conclude my trial of the Polaris 550 Indy Voyager. I lived quite an adventure with this small snowmobile ! I must say that I had underestimated it and it proved me its value right on my first ride. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship between this machine and me.
Let's return to the basics of the Indy models : who are they designed for ? The Indy models are designed for the beginners or for the snowmobilers looking for a versatile machine, to use at their cottage for example. It's getting really interesting when you take a look at the price and components of the Indy models. Effectively, due to the 550 fan-cooled engine, they need very easy and low maintenance.
Under the hood
As said earlier, the Indy Voyager is propelled by the long-time proven Polaris 550F engine. The new 2014 CVTech PowerBloc 50 drive clutch enchances the transmission of power to the track.
You can't say the Indy Voyager is not a nice snowmobile. It looks like a mountain snowmobile because it is built on the same chassis than the RMK lineup. Also, it was a good move from Polaris to keep it simple. The rear cargo rack proves the versatility of the Indy lineup. Effectively, the Polaris Indy models are able to face most challenges on trail, off trail or for utility at the cottage.
I have been surprised by the great rides I had with the Indy Voyager, whether on trail or off trail, no matter the mileage. One day, I rode over 600 km and I was comfortable from the beginning to the end of my tour. Cornering on this snowmobile is quite surprising for a 144 in. machine. And the mid-size windshield provides a good protection. I experienced slight darting only when trails were in bad conditions.
However, my greatest surprise was the performance of the Indy Voyager when riding off trail. Despite its 550F engine, the Indy Voyager offers unexpected performance in powder snow thanks to its clutching, its lightweight chassis and the instant response of its engine/clutching combination.
Once comfortably seated, the Polaris standard gauge in front of us shows all the important data, except for the fuel level that is indicated on the tank cap. Also, I like the thumb and hand warmer controls located on the handlebar. And what great surprise it is that the Indy models are equipped with an electric start !
Now you're talking, because it means that we are riding off trail ! And it means that it becomes more exciting ! The Indy Voyager brings in its unique features and increases your fun. Effectively, as mentioned above, the engine / clutching combination provides a good power off trail. Also, the 1,25 in. track helps you to get out of difficult situations. I have really been astonished by all what I could do with the Indy Voyager. In fact, this snowmobile floats on the snow in a most surprising way and gets out of snow easily when carving in powder snow.
However, there is no perfect snowmobile. With the Indy models, Polaris focussed on simplicity and affordability for the largest number of riders possible. That has a price : the 550F engine with carburetor is not the most fuel-efficient engine on the market. All those who have already owned such an engine are aware of its high fuel consumption. On the other hand, this choice of engine is justified by Polaris : simplest design, easy to maintain, very low maintenance required, starts at almost any temperature, industry-proven engine.
In short, I had great pleasure to try out the Polaris 550 Indy Voyager and I keep only good memories of my experience. Polaris succeeded to offer affordable snowmobiles that fulfill entirely the novice as well as the experienced pilot's basic needs. We could observe some new 2015 Indy models; it will be interesting to see the final Indy lineup over the years.
Special thanks to Polaris Industries who allowed me to try out the 550 Indy Voyager all season long.