Polaris 2024 ProStar S4 Indy XC: First Impressions

2024 ProStar S4 Indy

Being an objective test rider requires keeping in mind the intended market for the snowmobile you are testing. Over the years, with the ongoing support of both Polaris and Laquerre’s Power Sports, I have intentionally selected a wide variety of new snowmobiles to review. Limiting my thoughts and selections only to models that most closely match my riding preferences and adrenaline desires, wouldn’t make me much of a test rider, would I? Just because a particular model may not fulfill my every wish personally, does not mean that it can’t be an exceptional choice for a large number of snowmobilers. Polaris offers 32 models and 6 different engines to cater to a broad range of snowmobilers. That’s where objective reporting becomes most important. And it is with this reality and editorial goal that I began my experience with Polaris’ 2024 ProStar S4 Indy XC.

2024 Polaris ProStar S4 Indy XC
2024 Polaris ProStar S4 Indy XC

The Most Immediate Impressions

First lesson was that the brake must be applied before a ProStar S4 model will start. I felt a little helpless and confused for the first minute.

The sound of this four-stroke is of immediate note. At idle it most definitely does not instill a sense of anticipated power. Very ATV-ish, which should have been expected as this engine was adapted for snowmobiles from Polaris’ ATV offerings.

Next was the recognition of a ProStar S4’s additional weight as I pulled on the ski to better align it with the path to my trailer. Yes, a ProStar weighs about 90 lb more than a 650 Patriot powered Polaris of the same XC model and it is predominately up front.

When you first apply any pressure to the throttle, you ARE moving. No two-stroke, quick blip of the throttle, rev up and engagement, this is an immediate touch and go. Fortunately, the ProStar engine has easy ECO, Standard and Sport levels of performance adjustability. When loading or maneuvering in tight spaces, changing modes for more precise control takes about three seconds and is recommended.

Polaris’ ECO mode is also perfect for new snowmobilers to become familiar and comfortable without unintended input or unanticipated result.

Getting all set up and ready for riding

Familiarization with my new ride began just as it does for everyone with a new snowmobile. Accessories, storage options, personalization of handle bar and control adjustments, starting suspension settings and loading it up with tools and the safety supplies that all snowmobilers hope are never needed.

Polaris’ Lock & Ride storage accessories were easily installed and are offered in a variety of available sizes and configurations.

I’ve always liked the available adjustability in the handle bars of a Polaris. Higher, lower, closer, further, the choices are yours and can make your riding posture more comfortable and effective.

Polaris exclusive TS shocks adjustment knobs on the ProStar S4 XC are large and easy to access. I started the ski shocks and rear shocks on setting three out of their five available positions.

It’s become a habit of mine to loosen the locking rings on each of the springs of a new sled. They frequently seem to be extremely tight by default. This tightness renders any trail-side adjustment virtually impossible to make. I also check that each ski spring is at the same preload setting.

Polaris’ 7S Gauge Package

Next up was a familiarization with the capabilities and display layout on Polaris’ S7 gauge. This is no ordinary gauge package; the S7 is a user-friendly, easily customizable, full-feature information centre.

I first set up the data display how I wanted it to appear. Then, I adjusted initial hand and thumb warmer temperatures at each of the three available settings. In the warmth of my shop, it was quite the guessing game. But my goal was to set up a starting point and familiarize myself with the system. I will be making more refined comfort adjustments later. Super adjustability and temperature maintaining accuracy is a very nice feature from Polaris.

There are also opportunities to pair your phone’s capabilities via the Bluetooth options offered by the S7 package.

The many capabilities of the S7 gauge system can be operated as basically or as extensive as you choose.

I also went to RideCommand.Polaris.com to set up my account. This way I can easily download any current, or future, system and or trail maps upgrades as needed.

Let the riding begin!

Our 2024 trial of the ProStar S4 Indy XC began in a paradise of early-season snow and exceptional trail conditions. It was a long drive but it ended with the warm welcome of Quebec friends at a picturesque lakeside chalet adorned with the flag of the USA in recognition of my arrival. Snowmobiling has always given me very special friends to share memories with.

The first miles of any snowmobile season are the same for all of us…. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! My first miles on the 2024 ProStar S4 Indy  XC were no different for this rider.

The Indy XC 137 was smooth and quiet and its ProStar S4 sounded much more robust at the higher RPMs of an actual ride. As is recommended for any new ride, I varied throttle input for proper engine and drive belt break in. This process gave me the opportunity to experience the impressive low-end torque of Polaris’ return to four-stoke-powered snowmobiles. As I jumped on and off the throttle, my smile filled with the anticipation of everything to come throughout the season that has now begun.

Throughout the coming days of trip #1, I rode our Polaris Indy XC ProStar S4 137 as I believed it was intended to be ridden for its target market. I found my initial ride impressions to be comfortable, predictable and stable in how the S4 handled in the trail.

2024 ProStar S4 Indy

Shock Adjustment

After the first few days, I chose to soften the adjustment of the TS ski shocks for an even softer feel. This adjustment of Polaris’ new five position compression adjustable TS shock was deemed to be a success and confirmed that, in my opinion, softer is typically better in a trail sled application. Higher shock settings may make you feel tough, but you will also need to be tough to take on an unnecessary rigid ride.

Continued First Impressions

As the first 500 miles (800kms) continued, I noted that the S4 engine seemed to feel less restricted, picking up increased RPM with greater ease. Ah, break in nearing completion! I was impressed by initial (break in period) fuel consumption efficiency. I also enjoyed the cheaper price of ordinary fuel and no two-stroke oil smoke, storage or expense.

At this earliest stage of our 2024 S4 trial, it appears clear that the ProStar XC is not targeted to meet the needs of every snowmobiler. But without a doubt, based on what has been experienced so far, it definitely has a unique potential to meet the needs of many snowmobilers who are realistic about their comfort, efficiency and performance needs.

I look forward to the miles to come. In our next review of the Polaris 2024 ProStar S4 Indy XC, I will more closely focus on and explore the performance parameters and capabilities of both the S4 engine and TS shock suspension. Cheers to 2024 and the more spirited paced rides to come.

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