Here we are starting the season and again I’ve been given the opportunity to review another top-tier mountain slaying snowmobile: the 2023 RMK Khaos Slash. I want to start by thanking Sledmagazine.com for this opportunity and certainly Polaris Industries for supplying this unit for the review.
Boost Is Back and Here to Stay
When I was given the Patriot Boost RMK Khaos Slash 165, I asked myself: “What can I compare this with?” Eventually, it dawned on me that I’ve personally owned the “IQ,” “PRO,” and “AXYS” RMK chassis before ever throwing a leg over the Matryx on which is built this model. I owned each chassis multiple years and guided thousands of miles on each one. So, I have something to compare this chassis with. But what about the 850 Patriot Boost engine? Well, it’s in a class of its own. I will do my best to give you my impressions and feedback on this sled. RMK Khaos Slash 2023 review, here I go!
Handling of the 2023 RMK Khaos Slash
It was a beautiful day in Montana, and after a long ride up in elevation we were able to find a few feet of decent snow. I found the 2023 RMK Khaos Slash to lay over predictably and with little effort. I had the ski stance set to the narrowest setting (36 in). This can be a two-way street. On one hand, it causes the snowmobile to initiate a carve, or counter steer, more quickly. On the other hand, it can make it more difficult to un-initiate the machine from a maneuver.
I found there’s a good balance to this sled. It reacted quickly and would spring back when I needed to set myself on a new line. I felt at home in the handling department with this Matryx chassis. I’ve been a consummate fan of the Gripper ski since my IQ riding days, and it still performs amazingly. I believe this ski does more for handling than it’s given credit for. Being in this industry for so long, I’ve seen owners with other brands mount the Gripper ski to combat handling issues and they were amazed at the positive impact they had.
I’m sure by now it’s no surprise that riders have been raving about the 850 Patriot Boost engine. Personally, I’ve never been the one to “jump on the bandwagon” easily. However, on my way to the tattoo shop to get “I like Big Boost and I cannot lie” across my chest, it did feel justified. OK, I’m joking. I didn’t get the tattoo, but I need to get some stickers made at least!
Years ago, my friend Jim said: “Joe, don’t ride that Boost.” After rolling my eyes and wondering what he was getting at, he then added, “Nothing else will be the same.” He was right! The 850 Patriot Boost pulls like a jet plane and keeps going. When at low-speed riding, it has plenty of power. It’s not until you ask for more from the engine that it spools up and the boost adds consistent and smooth power. And I mean BIG power! You may not get a tattoo, but you will have a permanent smile on your face, which could only be removed by an empty tank or a lack of energy.
Pros and Cons
It’s easy to look at the Matryx chassis and find it appealing. Polaris’ colouring and panel design have been among the best in the industry for decades. This 2023 RMK Khaos Slash looks tough on the snow. I also commend Polaris for making the most out of the highly reflective red accent decals on this unit. Safety is important, especially when it’s practical.
Something that I’m eager for Polaris to update on these machines is the hand warmer and light switches. I would like to be able to easily adjust them with gloves on and without taking my eyes off what I’m doing.
Is the 2023 RMK Khaos Slash 165 Playful or Not?
The Khaos suspension package is known for its playful yet aggressive valving. The piggyback Walker Evans Velocity shocks are the real deal. They are fully re-buildable and have plenty of adjustments to fit your style. But will lifting the skis be easy with a 165 series 8 track? Now this was my first ride, and yes it did lift the skis very well. Having a boosted power plant takes care of that. I could immediately tell it wasn’t as reactive as a shorter track when it came to ski lift, but that was to be expected. With a slow start to winter, I’m waiting for more snow to really ride the 2023 RMK Khaos Slash to its full capabilities. Stay tuned for the mid-season and final review I do on this Polaris mountain-shredding machine.
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