When Polaris introduced its brand new AXYS platform, we had the chance to test it on Rush and Switchback models. I can easily remember the huge fun I had to discover such a responsive platform on trail! Considering the success this new chassis has known right on its first year of production, it has not been surprising to see it on mountain snowmobiles. In fact, this is the reason why, for the 2016 season, Polaris provided our team with the new 800 PRO-RMK 155 for our trial.
I must say that I made the mistake to approach the AXYS chassis the same way than the PRO-Ride chassis, which did not fulfill my expectations at the beginning. I had to pull myself together, I made the necessary adjustments to the snowmobile, I cleared my thoughts and started all over again. At that precise moment, I understood all I would be able to do during the season with the Polaris 800 PRO-RMK 155. Effectively, Polaris worked hard on the predictability of its mountain models, which provides much smoother off-trail riding, not to mention that we need much less steering effort to make our maneuvers.
With a new riding position on the PRO-RMK, we notice right away that we are higher from ground. I think that this is the most obvious when we go side-hilling. Effectively, the PRO-RMK 2016 edition does not only provide more precision, but also much easier sideways moves.
Comfort is good on trail, considering the type of this machine. It is equipped with a mid windshield, which was the perfect compromise within our test, since we had to ride on trail before getting to deep snow areas. Also, during many weeks, we had to remain on trails due to lack of snow.
As I had piloted a 600 cc engine the season before, I could only appreciate the 160 HP of the Polaris 800 Cleanfire engine. Remember that by adding the AXYS platform to the mountain lineup, the snowmobile now weighs 408 lb/185 kg instead of 417 lb/189 kg for the 2015 edition. With an even better power/weight ratio, Polaris again raised the bar in the mountain snowmobile category. In accelerations as well as in pick-ups (off trail and on trail), I have always been satisfied with the responsiveness of the engine. In fact, the engine always provides the little something that makes us get out of trouble.
A nice surprise on our trial snowmobile this year was the presence of Walker Evans quick-adjust shocks. Effectively, before hitting trails, we can adjust the suspensions in few seconds for our best comfort. Just turn the knob! Then, once arrived at our spot, we only need to re-adjust the suspensions to maximize their efficiency. Also, it has been a nice surprise on trail to see how well the suspension was absorbing bumps, still keeping in mind that we are riding a mountain snowmobile.
Under our trial snowmobile is hidden a track of 155 in./393,7 cm with studs of 2.6 in./6,6 cm. Pick-ups in deep snow were incredible! Even when the track was not completely on snow, it provided good response. And that, not to mention the combination with the engine that allows us to make wheelies on demand!
Just like any model equipped with the AXYS chassis, our trial snowmobile was equipped with the new Polaris interactive digital display. It shows many interesting aspects, such as the engine data, the speed, the RPM; it is quite complete. I definitely think that the optional GPS will prevent many explorers of remote areas from getting lost in mountain.
I keep very good memories from this trial. The addition of the AXYS chassis on the mountain snowmobiles has definitely been taken into consideration during its design. I had to put away my previous points of reference about Polaris to give all the space to the 2016 800 PRO-RMK and its higher centre of gravity. Once this achieved, the fun begins! This snowmobile is quite balanced for a 1st year production model. Also, even with a track of 155 in./393,7 cm, we can easily ride on trail, whether we want to reach our favorite deep snow spot or not.
I would like to thank Polaris Industries for their renewed trust and Garage Yvan Thibault in Amqui for their quality services.