Shiny Side Up: We Were Wrong Once, Once!

Mark Boncher Editor American Snowmobiler
Back in 2004, the Polaris Fusion 900 was the new, hot muscle sled. Like many in the snowmobile world, we were giddy about this new beast and excited to ride it! The futuristic styling and adjustable handlebars, as well as the monster 900cc 2-stroke Cleanfire engine, had our fires stoked! In an editor’s column we said, “Polaris has laid its hopes for regaining the No. 1 title squarely on the Fusion and its new Cleanfire technology.”

Well, as we all know, the Fusion didn’t work out exactly as we hoped, and our excitement was quickly extinquished. The lesson? Anyone can get it wrong once in a while, especially when there is a lot of hubbub. We are all human. That being said, the Fusion led to new innovations, chassis changes and a return to the great traditions that made Polaris strong. Now, 11 model years later, Polaris is back vying for the top spot in the market with Ski-Doo. Recently, V.P. Mike Jonikas quietly retired from Polaris, but he was adamant about returning Polaris to its former glory. Kudos!

This isn’t just a Polaris history lesson, but a realization that getting it wrong has often led OEMs to their best achievements. Setbacks happened before Yamaha’s record-breaking original Phazer. Same with model years before Ski-Doo shot to No. 1 with the REV in 2003, and Cat turned early Firecat temperaments into the famous F7 Sno Pro, an all-time personal favorite.

November 2015 is our Performance Issue and like you, we are in the garage putting on accessories, tuning, prepping and readying for snow. Right now, skinned knuckles are causing cursing in barns across the Snowbelt, but not to worry. Everyone gets it wrong once in a while, and the best part of the year is coming up quickly!
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