As soon as Polaris’ Craig Wilfahrt tilted the pre-production 2019 850 Indy 129 on its side and started explaining its new rear suspension, he and the sled were surrounded by a crowd of curious onlookers that was three-deep. Such is life at a 2019 sneak peek event, like the one held yesterday just outside of Minneapolis.
It’s show-and-tell season in the snowmobile industry, when the snowmobile manufacturers use various means to display their new snowmobiles for next winter, and try to get enthused riders to plunk down their hard-earned cash to pre-order/reserve their hottest, limited edition models that will turn their snow-riding dreams into reality next season.
In the U.S. this spring, there was no formal Sneak Peek Tour, where at least three of the manufacturers work together with the Leisure Features company to jointly display their new sleds in a big ballroom or convention center. This year, the sled markers are each going it alone, with everything from showings at individual dealerships to a handful of demo ride events to larger displays in bigger cities/snowmobiling hubs.
Each sled maker has models or features that they are only going to make available to those who order in the spring – including Arctic Cats with the revolutionary Alpha One suspension, any Polaris with the new 850 Patriot engine, Ski-Doo’s assortment of X-RS and X models, and Yamaha’s Sidewinder SRX and other LE models. This is also the time of year to factory-customize your new sled, get extended warranties, special financing and take advantage of other incentives.
The spring ordering season wraps up in the next week or so for most of the factories – in fact, Ski-Doo’s Spring Fever promotion wraps up tomorrow (April 11), Yamaha’s Spring Powersurge ends April 16, Polaris’ Snow Check concludes April 17 and the Arctic Cat Spring Guarantee Sales Event has an April 18 deadline – so whether you got to one of these sneak preview events or not, it’s decision time if you want the hottest new iron.
The pictures in this story all happen to be from last night’s Polaris event, which attracted a very impressive crowd to the Minneapolis Marriot Northwest, but all four sled makers have had similar events in this and other markets.