Snowmobile Magazine

5 things to know about the 2018 Polaris lineup!

Polaris is banging on Ski-Doo’s door for the top spot in the sales podium. Team Roseau has nailed customer expectations in the mountain, on the trail and in most places in between. That means that it needs to find new niches and variation models to continue its ascent up mount marketshare. Here are 5 things Polaris is doing for 2018 to keep the heat on Ski-Doo…

The new Titan adds a new definition for what a Crossover sled can be.


#1. The Titan is a new breed of high performance crossover

The crossover segment is an interesting place to watch sleds. Many have pegged the segment as the place where trail sleds and mountain sleds get together to have a good time anywhere you want to ride. Others have started mating breeding touring sleds with solo machines to crossover between single and paired riding adventures. Polaris has added a new angle on the crossover arena by splicing high performance with high capacity with high versatility and calling it Titan.

The all-new Titan is built on the Axysis chassis, with the 800 HO Cleanfire engine under the hood. From the handlebars forward, you’d swear you were looking at an SKS or a Switchback. But from your knees rearward, you’ve got serious functionality. Without going into the nitty gritty, you’ve got a 20×156 track spinning around a performance-minded articulated rear suspension that has been so well designed that you can ride solo, tandem or with a load in the rack without making a single adjustment. Pretty badass, right?

But as they say, we’re just getting started… the Titan is rated to tow 1200 pounds! IT has a gnarly new titan Alpha transmission that smoothly and simply shifts from high to low to reverse to neutral. The back of the sled is decked with Polaris cool Lock & Ride system from the ATV world to let you quickly swap between myriad cargo accessories.

The 800 Titan is powerful and fun. What other 20×156 track sled has #wheelieability going uphill? We’ll have more about this latest twist on the Crossover segment later.

The 2018 800 SKS 146 is going to be a great 50/50 on and off trail machine.


#2. A full salute to the new Snow King Special 146

High on our #wheelieability list is the new 800 SKS 146! This model handled the trail ride in with grace, and tore up the backcountry with ferocity. The new SKS is built on the proven Axys platform, with narrow front end and the 146 x 2.25” Peak track. The skid under the rigid tunnel is uncoupled, allowing you to lift the skis at will by grabbing a handful of throttle. Guess who had a lot of fun on this little buggy? You will definitely be hearing more about the new SKS this season!

The Switchback XCR adds race-bred components to a solid trail-biased crossover platform.


#3. Switchback gets racy

In a world of clicky knobs and shiny dials, it’s not a big surprise that the Switchback gets the XCR treatment this season. The trail-biased crossover will rock Polaris Race Technology (PRT) suspension and driveline goodies like Walker Evans adjustable shocks, chassis reinforcements and the PRT hydraulic brake system. If you follow the Iron Dog, many of the elements that make the Switchback XCR were used on those competition sleds. You have the option between 600 and 800 HO Cleanfire engines.

The Timbersled ARO is lighter, easier to install and delivers amazing performance.


#4. Polaris fires a volley of Timbersled AROs

Where some OEMs have pooh-poohed the snowbike as a passing fad with no foreseeable sales volume, Polaris has evolved its Timbersled acquisition into a full-time business unit, with full-time engineering resources behind it. The result? Full-time volumes and full-time snowbiking consumers.

The new ARO (pronounced “Arrow”) platform is lighter, easier to install on a variety of dirtbikes and claims significant performance gains with two different track lengths, 120 and 137 inches. Handling is improved, thanks to a matched ski and track setup. Both are 11.5 inches wide, meaning that the track perfectly fits in the ski’s line.

Polaris significantly improved the installation experience by changing the TSS geometry, which means you don’t have to hack up your bike’s airbox anymore. Also, the kit includes a sealed, pre-bled hydraulic brake system that you simply install. Finally, the spindle plates bolt on directly, with no drilling. All tallied up, the new Timbersled ARO promises to elevate the snowbike industry yet again.

Snow Check lets you select colors and components. there are thousands of combinations available!


#5. Snow Check Select continues

Polaris was a pioneer of the Snow Check program way back when there was no guarantee that you would be able to find the sled you wanted in the fall. Remember when there was no such thing as an internet search to browse dealer inventories or web forums to crow about how hard you beat your dealer on price?

The company continues to allow customers to place a deposit in the spring to guarantee the sled you want, in the color you want, with the wrap you want, with the component set you want. The times have evolved since the good old days, when you just felt good about the small brass plate with your name on it that they riveted onto the cab. We’ll run down all of the options before you in the coming weeks. There are thousands of possible outcomes when you start to really look at it, including LE options for the Timbersled ARO, too!