Last week I wrote about why I’m excited to ride our 2012 Arctic Cat ProCross F 800 Sno Pro demo sled. In the article, I talked about the machine’s new lightweight chassis, how the engine felt livelier and that I’m looking forward to experiencing how final calibrations and setup will affect the sled’s performance. This week I’ll give some love to Polaris and the company’s new 600 Switchback Adventure snowmobile, another machine that we’ve ordered for the Snow Goer magazine demo fleet this winter.
This is a cool, new model where Polaris is attempting to stamp out the stigma that solo-touring sleds aren’t cool and are only for old timers who drive slowly. Modeled after the emerging Adventure segment in the motorcycle market, Polaris is attempting to create a new class of “adventure” snowmobile rider with the 600 Switchback Adventure. This machine is for the high-mile riders who want to pack a toothbrush, a few pairs of underwear, perhaps a clean shirt and some survival gear and then hit the trail for a few days without having to wear a backpack to haul all of their wares. The Adventure makes this possible with its quick-release hard bags.
I took a cross-country snowmobile adventure over a weekend last winter with a few buddies, departing from the Snow Goer shop in the suburbs of Minneapolis and riding to my parents’ home in the lakes area of central Minnesota. It was a 400-mile round trip. We packed the three sleds’ tunnel bags and wore backpacks, but this winter I want to repeat that trip with the Switchback Adventure so I can fill the hard bags with my luggage for a more comfortable, hassle-free ride.
I made that trek during the dead of winter when the air struggled to reach the single digits below zero Fahrenheit. I hope it’s as cold or colder this winter so I can make use of the Adventure’s side panel wind deflectors and taller, wider windshield. Adventures are way more fun when you’re comfortable, and I’m sure I’ll be feeling well while tucked inside the Switchback Adventure’s warm cab.
So I want to get adventurous on our Adventure, but I’m also looking forward using the new Race IFS front suspension that was designed to flatten the Pro-Ride chassis’ cornering and lighten the steering. I’ve always been a fan of the Liberty 600 engine for its low-end torque. Roosting with saddle bags … It’s going to be fun!
— Andy Swanson, Snow Goer magazine managing editor