Last winter, Olivier Bernier, Olivier Fortin and Cyndi Martin had the chance to test the 2021 Khaos. Here are the opinions of these three collaborators on this very playful snowmobile.
First of all, I believe that the Khaos is the brainless twin sister of the ”Queen of the Mountain”. In the sense that the PRO-RMK is the calm, precise, predictable champion, a reference. She is not the queen for nothing. The Khaos is her sister who seems almost identical in every way, but who is always on the party, in excess. Side by side, there are very few differences, but their behaviors are miles apart. The Khaos only wants to have fun.
In sidehill, unlike the PRO-RMK, the nose has a tendency to want to climb up the mountain instead of holding a precise line. However, this behavior is not disturbing, you just have to compensate for it by moving your foot further forward on the footboard. It’s not the surgical precision of the PRO, but it’s very tolerable.
The 850 Patriot makes sense with the Khaos setup. It delivers low-end torque perfect for mountain riding. The rear suspension geometry works in tandem to allow for a very light feeling from the front of the snowmobile, which provides a very playful ride with fascinating control.
Normally, a snowmobile that always wants to be on the wheelie will want to dig in when it’s in a bad spot, but the Series 6 track, with its 2.6″ profile and wide lugs, is effective enough. They compensate for this effect and allow you to dig in a little, just before you propel yourself up onto the snow.
Walker Evans Velocity shocks do a wonderful job. They are consistent and offer outstanding handling in a wide range of terrain conditions.
In short, the Khaos is very playful, very maneuverable, and responds quickly to rider input. It’s not the ideal machine for long, precise sidehills in tight trees, but it’s a snowmobile that leaves you speechless when you have some room to play!
This year, I shared the long-term test of the Polaris 850 RMK Khaos QD2 155. The Khaos is presented as a more playful mountain machine than the PRO RMK. It is, in my opinion, the most fun snowmobile to ride from Polaris.
What I wanted to test the most was obviously the new features of the year on this model.
For 2021, the big changes are: the 2.75 inch 8 series track matched with the Quick Drive 2.
Polaris designers were promoting these changes for improved performance and flotation.
Unfortunately, last year’s winter conditions didn’t allow me to push the limit, but I was still able to test the differences with the old version.
At first, I could easily see that the response is instantaneous with the power of the 850 engine. It really feels like the machine has more power due to the modifications.
The spontaneity of the Quick Drive is really amazing. The machine feels even lighter on the nose than it did before and I really liked that.
With the 2.75 inch deep snow track, you get up even more on the snow. For me, this is a nice advantage.
The only thing I noticed, and I’m not the only one who did, was that the track was dropping the “teeth” of the sprocket. There is only one in the center that has teeth and I feel like that is not enough.
Many have added side sprockets to avoid this problem, but with a new snowmobile, this is not desirable.
Alternatively, the solution is to add tension to the track, but this wears out the rails more quickly and puts extra tension on the track, which is not ideal for the life of a track.
Otherwise, it’s really a versatile snowmobile in deep snow and is a pleasure to ride.
The WER shocks, which are soft at the beginning and firmer as the compression increases, give good maneuverability and still perform well under impact.
I can’t wait to see the new MATRYX platform with the same track and the QD2. I can’t help but wish I had the chance to be behind the wheel of it for this season!
First of all, I would like to point out that I am a beginner in the world of off-trail compared to my two companions.
So here is the opinion of a rookie.
I believe that when you are a beginner in the field, a smaller sled can be more desirable. It allows you to understand the techniques better and to master them more efficiently. It’s more forgiving.
With the Patriot 850, the power was sometimes beyond my abilities, especially with the speed of response that the Quick Drive 2 brings.
However, I learned to do my maneuvers with this powerplant, and in some situations, it saved my ass.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed the playfulness of Khaos. Both Oli’s pointed this out well in their text. She always wants to have her nose in the air. Which is fun and helps in certain situations. Plus, with its 2.75-inch track, the snowmobile just wants to float on the snow.
The Walker Evans Velocity shocks on the Khaos are really fantastic and provide consistency in different conditions. In Quebec, off-roading, we encounter many types of conditions and terrain. They absorb shocks well and offer the rider a lot of comfort.
It is a machine that can be poured from one side to the other. For learning how to do our turns in deep snow, it’s really a great companion. It really helped me learn to perfect my turning techniques.
For learning the side hill, since she holds her line less, it brings a little more challenge. This is a technique that I need to work on more this year!
All in all, I really appreciated the playful side of the snowmobile. The power of its engine intimidated me at first, but I got used to it. I can’t wait to see what the new Matryx platform has in store for us! By the way, our collaborators Mathieu had the chance to test drive the 2020 Khaos, I invite you to read his article here! Jim also wrote a pre ride analysis.
For more information, visit the Polaris website.