In order to answer the questions of snowmobilers wondering how the new Matryx 2021 chassis versus the AXYS version and the new 650 Patriot engine versus the 850 Patriot perform, we thought it would be a good idea to do a comparative test of the two versions to inform our readers.
I would like to mention that the tests were done in the same trail conditions, which are partially bumpy and filled with curves of all kinds. In addition, both machines were equipped with the same track (137 Ice ripper 1 ¼"). In turn, both Polaris were pushed to their limits in order to make the most accurate assessment possible. In consideration of this series of tests, I would like to thank Polaris industries as well as Rpm Rive-Sud of Lévis for their support and dedication.
It is important to remember that the changes made by the company affect the entire cockpit of the Matryx in order to improve some aspects of the Axys chassis that were already very good.
The Matryx chassis was unanimously found to be more stable and less likely to ski-lift than the Axys in curves. In addition, the new platform makes it easier for the snowmobile to regain its trajectory, eliminating the effect of oscillation during sudden accelerations. However, in deeper snow during our brief off-trail rides, where siding or counter-steering is important, the Axys platform remains a subtly more responsive choice. The Matryx's stability on the ground is mainly due to the new re-centralization of the weights allowing linear stability of both skis in turns. However, experienced riders will be able to get the most out of the two conditions mentioned. The arrival of the Matryx is intended to provide one of the most effortless and intuitive rides ever, and the INDY XC MATRYX achieves this goal. Usually, the arrival of a new chassis announces other new segments in the future.
It remains to be determined how the Matryx chassis will perform in the RMK, KHAOS or even SLASH 2022 versions, which were already top of the line in the Axys version.
As far as ergonomics are concerned, the changes in "comfort" elements made to the Matryx such as the new seat, handlebars, footboards as well as the riding position, allow weight transfers with ease, instinct and improved fluidity. The rider will quickly find his reference points season after season. In other words, the Axys chassis requires greater vigilance in sharp turns. With the same ski pressure, the Axys will tend to stay on the outside ski longer. This will naturally require more effort and balance to keep a constant trajectory. By the way, I'd like to point out that the design changes made by Polaris are not only beautiful, but designed to be effective. The narrow seat of the Matryx is comfortable for long rides, the handlebars allow your shoulders to relax, and the footboards allow you to control a certain percentage of the machine with only the pressure points applied on them and on the tunnel. I would like to add a "tumb up" mention to the cockpit (hood and half height windshield) of the new Matrix that stands out from the Axys. The pilot will be warmer and find a gravity bonus from one side of the cockpit to the other. Not to say that it is perfect, but it comes close! You only have to try the competition models to see that there is indeed an evolution. The new buttons and controls are very good. The only downside is that the encounter light button is hard to reach. Also, I was a little disappointed with the projection of the new front headlight. These project far, but are restricted in width (watch out for deer).
On the engine side, the 650 Patriot is powerful and stands out in terms of performance and economy. It's not just an upgrade from its 600cc Cleanfire predecessor. The new mill, with nearly 140 hp, stands out in the 600 cc class. Less greedy in terms of oil and fuel, the 650 Patriot performs in a way that makes it closer to the 800 cc class. Is there a difference with the 850? Personally ¨yes¨ there is. According to our testing, the 850 Patriot is less likely to vibrate and puts out more subtle, but noticeable power at mid to high throttle. Nevertheless, I prefer the 650, as it remains more agile and is still capable of handling high top speeds over long distances. Unless you're a fan of lake acceleration performance, expert riders won't be left wanting for more on the 650. In addition, the physical components of a smaller motor are usually more reliable than a larger one and develop less heat inside the cockpit, which results in less stress on the mechanical elements. Oil consumption is categorized as one of the best for a machine developing this level of performance. 650 versus 850 in the same conditions, the snowmobiler will find 2 to 3 liters of savings per 100 km at the pump for the 650. It is also not unrealistic to say that the 3.5 liters of oil reserve allow the 650 to cover 700 to 900 km. I would also like to point out that the new Furtif brake caliper on the Matryx 2021 seems to be more powerful and consistent than on the previous INDY XC versions.
To conclude, this test was meant to answer the questions we were asked during the season. Whether your choice turns to one or the other of the chassis or the 650 vs 850 Patriot engine, what counts at the end of the day is the satisfaction and the pleasure you will have with the choice you will have made! It is necessary to understand that evolution obliges, Polaris had for mandate to bring to its class ¨lightweight¨ a valorization of this one while giving it more value. It is in this perspective that we believe that the combination Matrix/650 will become the reference!
Personally, the 650 Patriot is definitely the engine I've been waiting for the last 10 years. For the performance of the Matryx platform, I would say that the rider is still the master on board, but he will have the feeling that the machine is semi-assisted due to the improvement of the system. A quick brake and a wink of the eye and the machine will regain its line when entering a curve too fast. I would also like to mention the redesigned suspension struts and footboards, which I think are much more attractive. Finally, you have to admit that when you meet one, the stealthy aspect of it plays its role well!
Comparison of Axys and Matryx footrests
Comparison of Axys and Matryx spindles