Andy Swanson's Snowmobile Insights

Yeah, the steering is heavy and the handlebars are awkward, but the grunt of the 599cc engine is strong enough to move the needle on my fun meter toward “10.”

Running through the whoops is the most fun on a 600 HO Fusion. Its A-arm front suspension and IQ rear instills confidence because of the way they eat up hard hits and fly flat and straight off a bump.

If the Polaris dealer was sold out of 600 HO Fusions, I’d head straight to a Ski-Doo store and pick up an MX Z 600 H.O. SDI Adrenaline. The SDI engine runs well and delivers reliable performance.

The changes to the RAS suspension and new Pilot skis make the REV chassis even better. The sled handles more predictably. The chassis responds consistently to both driver input and feedback from the trail.

Arctic Cat’s F6 Firecat is my third choice of the 600-class sleds. It provides the closest resemblance of slot-car handling through twisty trails, but its performance in the bumps is where this machine loses ground. Its skis seem to be in the air more often than they’re on the ground.

The 600 laydown engine screams. When it revs up, it pulls hard and would probably run with the Polaris. A downfall of this powerplant is its lack of low-end grunt.

The Nytro rounds out my shopping list. It’s a decent sled with a good backbone, but its rear suspension isn’t set up for the aggressive riders that Yamaha markets the machine toward.

Ergos of the machine are on par with the other machines, but the console is too wide and footwells are too loose for my smallish frame and size 9 boots. The tall handlebars with hooks and the sculpted cab make it easy for a driver to move around and set their body for a turn or bump. The Nissin brake has a good feel but it’s runner up to Cat’s Wilwood binder.

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