With all of its hybrid versatility, there might not be anything the 700 Dragon SwitchBack can’t do. It’s the total package for trail riders who also like to venture off-trail. The sled feels small for a long-tracker and handles sharply, but it has the capability to carve its own path while trudging cross-country.
Its engine and mid-length track coupled with the IQ chassis’ predictability and leading ride and handling come together to make it one of the best sleds for 2008. Here’s a look at the stuff that makes the package come together.
Components And Calibrations
This sled’s built for aggressive riders who are out banging the trails in the woods, not blasting across lakes looking for top-end speed.
With one look at the 700 Dragon SwitchBack’s bright red paint job and fierce graphics, other riders will know you and your sled mean business.
Aside from the chrome windshield, handguards and tall, hooked handlebars that make it a full-featured sled, the Dragon package is clutched and geared for quick, mid-range acceleration from corner to corner. Squeeze the throttle and smile.
Off-Trail Accessories: Standard
Hybrid sleds are designed to be the best of both worlds. The 2008 700 Dragon SwitchBack is one of the best sleds in the on- and off-trail world.
When off trail, its 136-inch skidframe has more flotation than a regular trail sled. The longer track also includes 1.25-inch lugs for more snow-scooping ability.
The Dragon package’s handlebar grab strap is convenient for sidehilling and other off-trail contortionisms and the hand guards protect from tree branches and roost.
New Rear Suspension
Jump from a 121-inch Dragon package to the Dragon SwitchBack and chances are you won’t even notice a difference in handling performance through the trails. The new 136 Coupled skid is a longer version of the trail sleds’ rear suspension, but it handles like a short-track.
Last year’s SwitchBack models rolled on a 144-inch track and an uncoupled suspension. The new skid for 2008 has two coupler blocks per rail — one in front and one behind the scissor arm — that control weight transfer on acceleration and deceleration. These blocks can be adjusted to affect handling and traction.
IQ Front End Gets Better
The Dragon package’s highlights include the new RydeFX Air 2.0 ski shocks. These new dampers were designed to be compliant over the chop, yet able to absorb the big bumps. Mission accomplished. Riders won’t likely feel the coconut-sized bumps.
Any shock can be calibrated to be plush over the small stuff, but it would sacrifice suspension ability in the big hits. But with the Air 2.0 shocks, the IQ front end absorbs the harsh bumps gracefully.
700 CleanFire Cooker
The Liberty 700 CleanFire that powers this sled is one of our favorite engines on the snow, and it’s the reason why the 700 Dragon SwitchBack made our Top 10 list this year (Snow Goer, November 2007).
Strong, torquey power is always ready from no matter where in the big, wide powerband the fun flipper is squeezed. After a few roosts out of corners in a tight woods section, riders will feel an addiction to the engine’s strong pull. Their arms might get sore, though, from hanging on so tightly.