The Axys chassis from Polaris is for real, as in, it’s a real big improvement over the Pro-Ride chassis it replaces. After extensive testing of 2015 Polaris models in the Axys chassis at the 2015 Rode Reports a couple of weeks ago, we can tell you first hand that the Polaris marketing claims of flatter cornering, better suspension performance and better overall ride quality live up to the hype. Add in significant weight savings, notable improvements in fit, finish and ergonomics and more power in the 800 class, and you’ve got a significant step forward: In fact, when we got back to the home-office after the event, we hardly even wanted to look at our 2014 demo models, because the 2015s are that much better.
Issues of Snow Goer next fall will have complete, detailed reviews of the 2015 Polaris models, as well as all other models we tested this winter/spring. But we realize that some customers who want special models or unique features or benefits have to make their decisions right now, before the spring order period is over. With that in mind, this is the first in a series of brief stories focused on spring-order models. Click through to read details on the Axys chassis or Polaris’ new 800 twin.
Pro X vs. Pro S: Which Is Best for You?
For customers who want the new generation of Polaris Rush or Switchback, and are willing to put their money down now, one common and primary question is this: Should I get a Pro-S or a Pro-X? The answer, after riding them, is actually rather simple to answer.
If you do the majority of your riding on trails that twist and turn through the woods, even if you ride them hard and fast, the Pro-S models are better snowmobiles for you. The handling is notably flatter in the front end due to a more stiff sway bar and a slightly lower front end, plus the entire package is more compliant, meaning less wrestling to get through turns. Plus, the 1.25-inch track lugs (vs. 1.75 on the Pro-X) don’t overwhelm the front end. The Pro-S, for the vast majority of riders, is a better snowmobile.
So, who is the best customer for a Pro-X? Folks who truly spend the majority of their time in the attack mode through huge bumps, often along ditchlines, rutted out powerlines or other areas where true big-bump compliance, particularly in a straight-line, is more important than cornering stability and handling. We had a Pro-X out for a trail ride with competitive machines, and found the taller shocks, light swaybar and additional track lug height (1.75 inches) was a true detriment to handling compared to the Pro-S – suddenly, ski lift was back in play and additional forward lean was required by the driver to get the sled to corner predictably. However, when we went to play along a chewed-up, never-groomed powerline, the Pro-X had no rival – the standing driver could charge through pretty much anything, as the machine almost seemed to cover mistakes with superior balance, a lightweight feel, a quick-reacting brake and high-end suspension. We could pin the throttle through the big whoops in areas we didn’t feel safe doing the same on other models.
When we returned to the twisting trails, however, the Rush Pro-X was a more of a handful again. It’s all very purposeful: In fact, during one photo shoot, a Polaris engineer even described the Pro-X as “not a twisty trail machine.”
So, which is best for you? Take a very serious look at the rider you are today, not the rider you want to be or used to be. If twisting trails are your thing, even 60 percent of the time, we’re convinced you’ll be notably happier on a Pro-S Rush or Switchback model – it can handle everything previous Pro-R models could handle, and does it with more poise. If you truly are Ricky Racer in the ditches, or if big jumps and hard landings are your passion, then consider the Pro-X.
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