2015 Polaris Snowmobiles
With an all-new chassis that has nine models (plus a few special edition machines) based upon it, the 2015 Polaris snowmobiles lineup marks the most complete re-vamp in all 60 years of Polaris’ history designing and manufacturing snowmobiles. Everything except for the skis and some of the nuts and bolts are new, which let engineers reduce and reposition weight, change the rider position and redesign the rear suspension.
The new chassis is called Axys, and Rush, Switchback and Switchback Adventure models will be based on it. Design goals were to improve control, performance and comfort over the Pro-Ride chassis it replaces.
The rider’s hands and knees have been moved about 4.5 inches forward, and the feet are 2 inches forward, compared to the Pro-Ride. This was employed to create a more neutral rider position for better machine reaction from the driver’s input, and the chaincase was integrated into the side of the tunnel to reduce parts and save weight. The 2015 Polaris Axys chassis has a carbon fiber structure over the engine, a design that debuted on the 2013 Polaris Pro-RMK. Polaris claims the new sleds weigh about 35 pounds less than similar 2014 Polaris models. Fuel capacity will be 12 gallons, up from 11.
The Pro-XC progressive rate suspension played a big role is reinventing the 2015 Polaris Rush and Switchback. The new suspension is 13 pounds lighter than the Pro-Ride suspension, thanks to lighter materials, and the front torque arm is fastened 5 inches farther back on the chassis and 5 inches farther back on the rails. Front track shock travel increased from 8 inches to 9. With the Pro-XC’s front torque arm farther back in the new Axys platform, it plays a more significant role in controlling the sled’s attitude — Polaris calls it Active Pitch Control. With the new geometry, the skid will use a rear spring that is more compliant over stutter bumps.
High-tech electronics also debut on the 2015 Polaris Rush and Switchback platform in the form of a new LED headlight and a multi-function gauge that has GPS and Bluetooth capability on select models. Both features are industry firsts. Light is brighter and whiter for better visibility after the sun falls below the horizon, and the diode’s solid-state means it’s more durable than an incandescent bulb so it will last for the life of the sled, Polaris claims.
The new interactive digital gauge has a color LCD display that has customizable screen options and diagnostics, and it can interface with a rider’s cellular phone to alert about an incoming call or text message. In addition to the normal speed and engine RPM, other information available through the gauge includes air temperature, fuel and oil levels, compass, GPS mapping and information about fuel stops, restaurants and lodging. Map updates can be imported through a USB connection.
Also new for the 2015 Polaris Axys models is the left handlebar control block with an attractive, easy-to-use unit, and a radial brake master cylinder that looks exactly like the Hayes radial assembly Arctic Cat has used since 2012.
Engineers also improved on fit and finish. Some panels overlap others to hide gaps, and parts are smaller so there’s less run-out that can cause big voids between parts. New quarter-turn fasteners are easy to operate while wearing gloves, and both side panels and the hood can be removed without tools in less than 30 seconds for easy access inside the engine compartment.
The 2015 Polaris Rush and Switchback models are available in two trim levels: Pro-S and Pro-X. Polaris says the Pro-S package is designed for 80 percent of riders because it has the most precise handling with a compliant ride quality while still being capable to handle the demands of fast, aggressive riders. Classify it as the 2011-14 Pro-R package but with a broader sweet spot that’s less reliant on riders finding the perfect spring and shock settings. Rush models will have a 120-inch RipSaw II track with 1.25-inch lugs; Switchbacks have a 137-inch RipSaw track.
Compared to Pro-S models, Pro-X machines sit about 2.5 inches taller with ski shocks that are 1.5 inches longer, firmer springs all the way around, a taller handlebar riser and Backcountry X track with 1.75-inch lugs. The Pro-X has a softer sway bar, too, making each side of the front suspension work more independently over the bumps, but this will also translate to more body roll.
The 600 Switchback Adventure will have the same suspension calibrations as Pro-S models, but it will have a Cobra track with 1.352-inch lugs. All Axys-based machines will have four Walker Evans shocks with 16 compression damping clicks, and pitch of the 2-ply tracks will be 2.86 inches.
Two 2015 Polaris Indy Workhorses
The Indy-based recreational-utility lineup has expanded with two new models that were engineered for improved deep-snow flotation and more towing and hauling ability, thanks to a new rear suspension and skis.
At 9.5 inches wide and curved up high in the rear, new Pro-Float skis are designed for better performance when backing up in deep snow off-trail. And the new 155 Articulated rear suspension was also designed for easier rearward travel, especially when backing over uneven ground and obstacles like fallen trees. Both features will be part of the 2015 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure 155 and Polaris 550 Indy Voyageur 155. Traction is courtesy of a 155-inch Cobra track with lugs 1.6 inches tall.
2015 Polaris Snow Check Customization
A special customization feature means there will be more than 20,000 combinations for RMK models ordered during the Snow Check promotion. Buyers first choose their model — RMK, Pro-RMK or RMK Assault — and then they choose a color combination for the body panels, rails and tunnel. Other options include track, Pro Taper handlebars (a new, lower version is available), bumpers, skid plate, body wraps and storage. Switchback Assault models are subject to the same customization options.
Special 60th Anniversary Edition Rush and Switchback models will be available exclusively during Snow Check. The package includes a retro red/white color scheme and accessory storage, painted tunnel and rails, and the interactive LCD display. Indy models will be available in 60th Anniversary trim, too. They will have the retro graphics scheme with painted tunnel and rails and 1.25-inch RipSaw track, The Polaris Snow Check program runs through April 15.
Polaris has more than a new chassis for 2015. Click here to read about the Polaris 800 H.O. engine.
Click here to read our impressions after a test ride on the new 2015 Polaris Axys snowmobiles.
Here is the full 2015 Polaris snowmobiles lineup, with updates. Models only available during Snow Check are marked with an asterisk.
Axys chassis, new intake and electronic oil pump
600 Rush Pro-S
600 Rush Pro-S 60th Anniversary*
600 Rush Pro-X*
600 Switchback Pro-S
600 Switchback Pro-S 60th Anniversary*
600 Switchback Pro-X*
600 Switchback Adventure
600 Switchback Adventure 60th Anniversary*
Axys chassis, 800 H.O. engine
800 Rush Pro-S
800 Rush Pro-S 60th Anniversary*
800 Rush Pro-X*
800 Rush Pro-X 60th Anniversary*
800 Switchback Pro-S
800 Switchback Pro-S 60th Anniversary*
800 Switchback Pro-X*
800 Switchback Pro-X 60th Anniversary*
155 Articulated suspension, Pro-Float skis, Adventure Cargo System
550 Indy Adventure 155
550 Indy Voyageur 155
Color & graphics
550 Indy Voyageur 144
800 Switchback Assault 144
600 Switchback Assault 144
800 RMK Assault 155
800 Pro-RMK 163
800 Pro-RMK 155
600 Pro-RMK 155
800 RMK 155
600 RMK 155
600 RMK 144
600 IQ LXT
600 IQ WideTrak
600 Indy Voyageur 144
550 Indy LXT 144
550 Indy Adventure 144
800 Indy SP
600 Indy SP
550 Indy 144