Our long-term trial of the brand new Polaris 550 Indy Adventure has begun and we already rode many hundreds of kilometers on trails. Even if it is too soon to draw a conclusion, I already noticed some highlights. So, here are my first impressions on this new beast.
First of all, we quickly smell the 2-stroke engine odors, very present in a break-in period. Since many years, I have been used to pilot snowmobiles equipped with high technology engines : 4-stroke or 2-stroke with direct or semi-direct fuel injection. All these machines offered fuel efficiency and mostly, produced much less polluting emissions. This said, we must stay logical; at first, this Adventure is designed to offer the best quality/price ratio and this includes mainly a more affordable motorization.
Keeping this in mind, we really appreciate the standard equipment of the 550 Indy Adventure for less than 9 400 $ CAD : electric start, 144 in. track, large cargo system and the brand new Polaris 1 + 1 seat you put on or take off in a split second. The Lock & Ride system is really simple, easy and quick to install. Also, our trial snowmobile has been equipped with a sleigh hitch to complete the accessories.
I proceeded to my first test of this Adventure during the perfect period of Christmas Holidays : many passengers and pieces of luggage to transport, and some firewood to haul for the cottage. The versatility of this snowmobile is among the first things I noticed. The new CVTech-Powerbloc 50 / Invance clutching maximizes the power of the fan-cooled 550 engine for rear cargo as well as for a second passenger transportation. This sled seems to fulfill many needs with its typical Adventure series design. The rear suspension seems a little rigid when the pilot rides alone, and conversely, it is very effective with a passenger aboard ! I will try some adjustments during my next tests.
Here is something else I noticed. It happened that a few mornings, we had the "chance" to start the machine under extreme cold temperatures. I remembered what Polaris people had said when they introduced the Indy Voyager and Adventure 550 series : one of the target markets for these snowmobiles include the remote regions where riders need more predictable snowmobiles with low-maintenance requirement. At -44 °C before wind chill factor, I pulled the start-up cable 3 times to warm up the 550 crankshaft and then, with choke open, the electric start quickly started the 2-stroke carburetor engine. In short, while many high-tech snowmobiles did not start up, the 550 Indy Adventure started up !
I am going to ride many more kilometers on my 550 Indy Adventure in different conditions, on- and off-trail. Then, I will be able to analyze the capacities and versatility this snowmobile seems to offer. In my next article to be published, I will present a full detailed report on the different characteristics of our trial snowmobile.