2015 Polaris Axys Test Ride
Snow Goer was invited to test ride the new 2015 Polaris Axys snowmobiles in January, and that ride proved that the new snowmobiles offer major improvements over those same models from the past few years. The 2015 Polaris Switchback, Rush and Switchback Adventure snowmobiles are more fun, easier to ride and all aspects of performance are superior.
Engineering design goals of the Polaris Axys were to improve control, performance and comfort over the Pro-Ride chassis it replaces. Polaris officials say 93 percent of the machine is new, with only skis and some hardware being carried over. Switchback, Rush and Switchback Adventure models will be based on the Axys chassis in model year 2015.
Cornering on Axys-based snowmobiles is flatter, handling is more precise, ergonomics are more comfortable and they put the rider in a more natural position. Fit and finish on the prototype models we rode was better than production versions of Pro-Ride sleds, and stutter bump performance blows away the old Rush and Switchback models.
Late-model Rush machines are generally fun to ride, but they demand a lot of rider input to navigate quickly through tight trails that have off-camber turns or unending stutter bumps. The workload for a driver on a 2015 Polaris Rush and Switchback is significantly reduced because they corner flatter and carve more predictably. The new sleds drove lighter and felt more maneuverable while requiring less steering effort.
With a much smoother ride from the new rear suspension, less bump energy transfers through the rear suspension and to the rider. The only disadvantage of the new Pro-XC rear is that it lets the rider realize that bump energy does, in fact, come through the front suspension. Could this new skid outclass the industry’s best front suspension?
The new styling looks cleaner and makes the sled look and feel smaller from the cab, and the external rear suspension is buttoned up with a simpler package constructed from parts made with lighter materials. When riding after dark, the headlight beam was whiter and it seemed to more effectively pierce through the snow dust.
Polaris would not give a horsepower figure for the new 800 H.O. engine, but it felt livelier in the mid-range and power seemed “sneakier” because it would approach the top end quicker than expected even though we were riding more than 6,500 feet above sea level. We could feel a lot of torque and the power band was broad, making the sleds feel playful.
Here is more information about the new Polaris 800 H.O. engine.
Click here to read about the rest of the 2015 Polaris snowmobiles lineup.