Evolutionary changes and a big power grab highlight Polaris for 2019
For model year 2019, Polaris covers the full range of riders from newbie to aggressive veteran, trail shredder to mountain maverick, with a slate of sleds that shows off Polaris engineering, electronic mastery and marketing savvy.
There’s a whole new level of performance as Polaris introduces its new Patriot 850cc two-stroke twin, an all-new Polaris engineered and manufactured design.
New to snowmobiling? Want to see what this winter sport is all about, but don’t want to bust the bank to be involved? Polaris offers up an all-new Indy EVO.
Here are the 4 most important things we think you should know about the 2019 Polaris lineup…
The big news with all Polaris power lovers for 2019 is the arrival of the Polaris 850 Patriot twin said to be the most powerful Polaris snowmobile engine ever! While Polaris officials wouldn’t divulge numbers, they were confident that the Patriot would match or better any other normally aspirated 800cc-plus motor in the industry. Based on power-to-weight and the new engine’s power characteristics, Polaris spokesmen expressed confidence in the performance of any 2019 Polaris sled fitted with the Patriot twin.
The Patriot comes upon 25 years of Polaris Liberty engine experience and is said to be a “clean sheet design.” The design parameters included a desire for 850 Polaris sleds to deliver the quickest trail acceleration and instantaneous lift in deep snow via the power of the new engine combined with RMK flickability and on and off trail power to weight.
We’ll explore the new Patriot 850 in detail later, but suffice it to say this new design continues all of the best features of the previous Liberty designs but with plentiful new tricks like a new crankshaft, more efficient cylinder and head designed for maximum cooling effect. The new piston improves heat transfer, features 23 percent more contact area with the cylinder bore to improve heat transfer, and a PVD-coated steel ring design with a 3mm thicker dome.
The computer “brain” (ECU) uses a faster processor complete with exhaust valve control integration and is reworked with more robust connectors and an improved seal design.
As with the existing 800cc twin, the new 850 has been designed for seamless integration into the existing AXYS chassis system. Intake includes a reed block with carbon fiber petals that was developed with Moto Tassinari specifically for the Patriot design. There’s also a new but lighter exhaust with improved flow.
If you want one, and we’re betting you will, then you have to ante up with an early season Snow Check commitment. Polaris states that Patriot power, which can be ordered in select trail and deep snow models, will be available only for pre-season order, making this year’s Snow Check program about much more than color, ski, or shock options as it has been in the past.
EVO brings a perfect option to new sledders
Polaris zeroes in on the affordable fun aspect of its Indy series. Starting with the Indy EVO, which is a shout-out to the Indy Lite of the early 1990s. Like those sleds, the EVO is more “grown-up” than kid-sized and based on its fan-cooled 550 Indy model. The Indy Lite came with either an air-cooled 244cc single or 340cc twin, whereas the new EVO features the Fuji-built 550cc twin. At full power a 550 Indy makes north of 50-horsepower. The 340 Indy would have been about 35hp or so. This is where the Polaris engineering magic kicks in as the base EVO should offer power in the 340cc frame thanks to modern electronics and some clever Polaris engineering tricks that limits peak power. To get full-fledged 550 Indy performance, you’ll need to purchase an upgrade kit that adds back the 550’s peak ponies and adds wider front suspension pieces. The base EVO has clever bits like the revamped seat profile and seat bracket that allows younger, more diminutive riders to enjoy the Indy experience.
Indy returns to the limelight
Like most of the industry, Polaris has identified the 129” track length as its meat and potatoes for trail riding over the previous few seasons. It delivers a good footprint on the snow, without sacrificing any cornering agility. In 2019, we will see a resurgence of the Indy nameplate as the premium trail performance model.
Where the Pro-S is positioned as the comfort-minded trail rider, and the XCR is tagged as the racer wannabe machine, the Indy (in SP or XC component packages) is slated to run the full gamut. Both Indy versions are built on the AXYS chassis, with a more-traditional rigid tunnel layout and a new couples PRO-CC rear suspension. Both versions also feature Polaris’ new mountain-inspired Powder Trac TR extruded runningboards with an integrated snow skirt at the tail end to keep snow from roosting onto your back.
For a full all-out Indy experiences, saddle up on the all-new 850 Indy 129 XC that boasts high performance Walker Evans clicker shocks on the PRO-CC rear and the front. There will be choices of tracks from an aggressive 1.5-inch lug profile to a Ripsaw II 1.25 profile.
The Indy SP package is outfitted with a set of Polaris IFP shocks on all four corners. It’ll spin a Camso Rip Saw II track.
Look for the Indy 129, also available with 800 or 600 engine choices during the full season.
Increasingly flickable RMKs
Polaris pays attention to the needs of deep powder riders as it adds a new Pro-RMK React front suspension designed to make its number one selling deep snow charger even more predictable and precise, mitigating sidehill initiation with less rider effort to minimize ride fatigue. The design incorporates new geometry with optimized for durability forged A-arm and spindles.
As you might expect, Polaris pays attention to the needs of deep powder riders as it adds its Pro-RMK React front suspension designed to make its number one selling deep snow charger even more predictable and precise, mitigate sidehill initiation with less rider effort to minimize ride fatigue. The design incorporates new geometry with optimized for durability forged A-arm and spindles. The Pro-RMK React suspension allows stance variation from 36 to-38 inches. Look for exclusive high-tech SLS shock springs for enhanced agility and ride response. This addition results in a weight loss of three pounds, but is available as a Snow Check item only.
Also available via Snow Check will be a new special RMK hyfax, a new rail profile, and aluminum front track shock cross shaft.
You’ll want to check with your Polaris dealer about Snow Check options, though the big option will be the 850 Patriot. As of this writing, there are no planned 850cc models offered as in-season purchases. Be advised and act accordingly!