Polaris HP War is On for 2019

Polaris’ new 850 is going to throw down head-to-head with Ski-Doo’s 850. The gloves are off!
2019 Polaric Switchback XCR 850
It doesn’t really matter who started it, but the horsepower war is beginning to look like a good old bench-clearing hockey brawl. Polaris was in the fight with their lightweight and over-achieving 800 H.O. motor, but they just upped the ante and all the other OEMs are going to take notice.

■ Boom baby!
Like they were slamming down the last card on a royal flush, Polaris announced their new 850 motor. It is technically a little less than 850 (840cc to be exact) but the Polaris brass were confident that the power would be “class-leading.” We all know what that means, and sights are aimed at de-throning Ski-Doo as the brand at the top, and the only other OEM with a naturally aspirated 2-stroke engine over 800cc.
2019 Polaris 850 Patriot
The new Patriot 850 motor will be available in some form across all Polaris lines including.
The new Cleanfire liquid twin 850 Patriot 3DS motor will be manufactured in the US at the Polaris Osceola plant which is good news for folks here in the states. The foundation for the motor was laid several years ago and Polaris engineers were given a blank slate. This was long before the Ski-Doo 850 was released and Polaris reps told us they simply wanted to make a durable, reliable motor with great power-to-weight ratio. The “flickability” was key and there is little commonality with other Polaris motors. The 850 is a Snow Check option, and you can choose your sled, color, options and make yourself an exclusive sled, uniquely yours. After 25 years of Liberty engines including the 800 H.O. “giant killer,” Polaris has learned how to make lighter sleds with positive inertia that are easily maneuvered. The new 850 is said to have a 7% better power-to-weight ratio and 9% better acceleration than any motor in this class … that’s bold talk!

The new 850 will be available across all Snowcheck model lines including the RMK, SKS, Switchback, Rush, and Indy. What really blew our hair back was the announcement of a standard four-year warranty with this motor. Polaris is REALLY standing behind this motor!

In the RMK deep-snow line of sleds, the 850 is said to give instant lift, have low inertia, and the best power-to-weight ratio in the industry. It is by far the most powerful snow engine Polaris has ever built, and is said to have the best throttle response as well.

Since this is basically an all new motor, then naturally most everything on it is going to be new. Highlights include a new piston, ability to have max electrical power at idle/low rpm, and much more. Basically the only things that are the same are the water and detonation temperature sensors and the spark plugs.
2019 Polaris Switchback XCR 850
The bore and stroke of the Patriot 850 were selected for minimized inertia and the best throttle response and handling. Engineers say they’re able to match inertia of the 800 but there is a bit more weight, and of course better durability.

That new piston has improved heat transfer, a PVD coated steel single ring design, and the piston dome is 3mm thicker, with a higher capacity wrist pin, with 23% more contact area with cylinder bore. In addition, the motor has a lightweight crankshaft, which is just three pounds more than the old 800 H.O.; there is a larger clutch taper design as well so the clutch comes off easier. The new cylinder and head have plenty of new tech put into them as well, including better cooling and other new-to-this-motor designs.

One of many cool new pieces of tech on this motor is a new water bottle with an integrated thermostat that is patent pending. This design moves the thermostat off the engine for minimized vibration and better durability and reliability. It will have a longer life too. This is a self-bleeding cooling system, with a tested 100 degree T-Stat.
A new engine mounting strategy was used to minimize the vibration to the chassis and to the rider. Also the new 850 has a more consistent clutch center distance still with a P-85 Team primary. Belt longevity is better we are told and this motor drops right into the AXYS chassis so the performance is seamless.

Exhaust flow is improved with a new pipe and silencer/resonator, and the tone quality is quieter, with heat-shielded resonation. There is an EGT sensor and Mototassinari V-Force reeds used.

Finally, that 4-year warranty speaks volumes to Polaris believing in this new motor. Normally I would say to hold off a year on buying the newest, flashiest motor to let them get the kinks worked out, but with a four-year warranty many of those screams can at least be quieted.
2019 Polaris Indy EVO
2019 Polaris Indy EVO front shock
2019 Polaris Indy EVO
Indy Evo is a capable first sled It’s comfortable and adjustable from its IFS, lower seat and handlebars, but retains the active INDY riding style.
■ New Smart Trail
Polaris has been seemingly making all the right moves lately and the early released Indy EVO was another great power-play in the market. The smaller EVO still has its roots in a 121-inch full-sized sled, but with a new seat and lower ride height, lower front and rear suspension, narrower and lower handlebars. There’s a much shorter throttle throw for smaller hands and Polaris engineers moved the rider into a correct position for more diminutive stances. This is the exact right tweener-sled the industry needed. Other OEMs were taken by surprise and some just flat out refuse to invest in this part of the market to spark parent interest or new 10-16-year-olds to get into the market.

If you have not watched the Polaris commercial regarding the EVO, we highly recommend it. Family friendly tween riders and reaching out to new novices was the point of EVO; from easy steering, to a stable ride and lower rider position, to ergonomics meant to fit the vast majority of people, not just huge males, or tiny kids, but everyone in between. Plus you get a really peppy and attainable real trail speed limited at 50mph. The fan cooled 550 sled is electronic speed-limited and the throttle controlled machine will have stage tuning kits available, eventually. The accessory kit to bring the 550 motor up to full speed is not available yet and there is obviously no price available for that yet either, but Polaris tells us it IS coming. Maybe this will bring back memories of the old 300 and 340cc sleds we all rode growing up.

The actual throttle pull is a shorter reach, and with an adjustable IFS stance, and specific shocks and skis made for the EVO. This is a totally effortless machine.

One thing we hope they will change though is to make the brake a shorter throw and new lever. The current one is the same as standard sleds.

There will be both electric start and pull start versions of this sled and two different color options (red/black and blue/hi-vis). Both these models are under $5700!

The Indy line of sleds also gets an upgrade this year with a 129-inch rear Pro XC suspension. This sled still has a standard tunnel and is the lightest in its class already … and it will be available with the 850-motor this year too! Similar to what others have done in the industry, the XC skid gets a bigger two-inch diameter front shock, but there are Walker Evans shocks and clickers both in the front and rear shock in the 129-inch suspension with improved oil flow, and is less harsh at the top end of the clicker. The rails in the suspension have a new lightweight profile design, patent-pending. Track options for this skid will include the Camso Storm 1.5-inch, the Cobra 1.35-inch, and the Ripsaw 1.25.

You will notice new metal flanges just behind the new Powdertrac TR running boards on the Indy and a skirt to keep the snow from flying up and getting the rider wet. There’s a new bumper and snow flap too. Storage options: a removable passenger seat (fits 129, 144, 146-inch sleds) and more options make this sled an affordable and fun option to the more expensive, big-bump oriented Rush sleds. One final note on the trail sleds, the Pro-X is dropped from the lineup due to the popularity of the XCR.

Titan gets BNG
The all new last year 800 H.O. Titan reached new rider segments, as a sled that was called upon to do more as a crossover and still be fun to ride, with great cooling for low snow. This sled is still a wheelie monster, and a very unique machine.

For 2019 all three versions of the Titan (the SP, XC and Adventure) will be available again. The XC has full Snow Check customization with colors, tracks and more.
2019 Polaris PRO-RMK 850
■ React Pro-RMK Front Suspension
Using less energy in the elevations of the Rocky Mountains is important if you want to have a long, fun day of riding. The new REACT suspension for the RMK means less fatigue. The new 36- to 38-inch adjustable sway-bar equipped skid has new forged A-arms and spindles with new geometry. The idea is the REACT will allow you to lay the sled even farther over into a sidehill position, without washing out, and keeping positive traction. Part of that is because of the new running boards with geometry for better sidehill and lean angle. RMKs come with new lightweight steel shock springs that shave three pounds off last year’s model, and are said to be lighter than titanium. These are only available in the Snow Check models though.

Additional small changes to the RMK line include new lighter Snow Check hyfax design that lasts longer. The RMK Snow Check sleds also get a new light aluminum front track shock cross shaft. The RMK is still arguably the best racing mountain sled; last year capturing 27 of 28 RMSHA wins last year, and going undefeated against the 850s. With the new Patriot 850 motor Polaris hopes it will be untouchable in the hills. Sadly the 2019 RMK Assault does NOT get the new Patriot 850 motor. RMK track lengths include 146, 155, 163 and 174-inch long sleds.
2019 Polaris Timbersled
■ Timbersled Gets More Attention
Snowbike riders want dirt bike agility, effortless confidence, year-round usage and quality. That’s what Polaris told us. What they didn’t tell us is how many snowmobilers want this versus a sled. That is a touchy subject with people sometimes and the popular marketing spin to the 1% folks is that “it is not a buy this, or buy that decision … but ultimately buy both!”

Either way, Polaris is in the snowbike market up to their necks, and that might be a good thing because they might have the best handling and easiest to convert kit on the market. The direct bolt-on system of the ARO means no bike or air box mods necessary, no brake issues with a Hayes pre-bled system, and easy bolt-on front spindle. The new Trio front-end allows you to avoid re-tuning shock forks and has better fork protection and stops bottoming. It is quick and easy to install … a continuing theme here to get more people to do this conversion.

For 2019 there’s a new Timbersled Snow Check ARO 120SX which is a snocross application with Fox 18 position clicker shocks, reinforced tunnel, spindle and 11.5x120x2.5-inch lug track. Also at Snow Check, you can get Fox Zero QS3 shocks, matching rails, spindle, ski loop, and all kinds of colors. This is for the ARO 120 and 137 LE kits, and you can match a bike wrap as well!

The youth Ripper machine has a longer 6.5x93x1.25-inch lugged track on it now and a 2.5-inch adjustable seat height. So your options for 2019 in Timbersled kits include the ARO 120, 120 LE, 120 SX, the ARO 137, 137 LE and the ST 120 RAW. Plus the smaller youth Ripper ST 93.
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