Mid-season Impressions—Polaris 850 Switchback Assault 2019

Mid-season Impressions—Polaris 850 Switchback Assault 2019

Mid-season Impressions—Polaris 850 Switchback Assault 2019

The season had now started several weeks ago, and it is time for me to present my first impressions of the Polaris 850 Switchback Assault 2019.

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to test this model with the 800 CleanFire engine when it was launched on the AXYS platform in 2017. I had enjoyed my experience with this snowmobile. Please read my review by clicking here.

So, for 2019, Polaris presents us the same model, but this time equipped with its brand new 850 Patriot engine. During our tests of this engine in March 2018, I had fallen in love with its behavior and performance. The biggest question I asked myself when I took possession of our unit in December was: Do the 850 production models equal the pre-production models?

First contact!

From my first contact with the 850 Switchback Assault 144 2019, I quickly found my markers in the driving position offered by the AXYS platform, but also in the driving maneuverability that makes the ride such a pleasant experience.

 During my first contact, I also noticed that the running-in phase was limiting the performance, as my dealer had mentioned. I had to be patient before I discovered the full potential of the engine. 

During the running-in process, the oil/petrol ratio is also quite rich, but after a few fill-ups of gas, it is back to normal. This is a critical time, and it is essential to warm up the engine before leaving with it. If you do not do this, it is possible to “burn” a spark plug. It did not happen to me on this snowmobile, but it occurred to many snowmobilers during the running-in. 

Except for this situation, the performance of the engine meets my expectations (and my memories). When you press the accelerator, the engine starts without hesitation. Regardless of the speed at which you drive, pushing the throttle results in a strong and sustained acceleration. The engine is ready to respond to any change that may be needed when riding on trails or off the trail.

2023 Polaris ProStar S4 Indy Adventure X2 137

For the moment, I haven’t done a fuel or oil consumption test. So, it is not yet possible for me to say if this engine consumes more or less than the 800 CleanFire.

Not to repeat what I wrote in my review of the 800 Switchback Assault 2017, I would like to mention that the 850 version is just as much fun to drive. It obeys very well on winding trails and remains very predictable on rough surfaces. 

In the coming weeks, I will be riding the Polaris 850 Switchback Assault 144 2019, and I will come back to you later with a full review of my season.

SledMagazine.com would like to thank Polaris for making this test possible.

Happy end of the season to all!