2021 Polaris Snowmobile Release - HCS Snowmobile Forums

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Old 03-04-2020, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2021 Polaris Snowmobile Release

I've spent 99% of my life on a Polaris and finally have had the opportunity to join in on one of the Polaris Ambassador rides. I couldn't be more thankful for what I've got to experience.

January I got to ride the new and old sleds back to back. I just want to give a short review of the things that I found to be major improvements and the little details that are being overlooked. Kind of do a summary of things as I'm sure most of you have already read a bunch about the new machines.

Before I get into the details I want to give you a little history on me as it is important to what will follow. I spent 20 years of my life trail riding 10 of which were with buddies BASHING the trails. 200-350 mile days regardless of trail conditions. 2010 I had enough and switch to off trail riding exclusively. Fast forward to a couple months ago and it had been 10 years since I had rode any trail sled aggressively on a marked trail. I was a little nervous to say the least as the rest of the people were still currently trail riders. I started out on the XC Launch and after 10 miles I was feeling comfortable, like riding a bike. What happened next is what surprised me. Not only was I having fun but I was riding harder with more confidence then I ever have. To me that says a lot for the calibration changes on this new platform. We switched all day back and forth to the AXYS version of the Matryx so we could compare. After each change of sleds they wanted our feedback on what we liked and didn't like about the sled we just came off of. In theory this was a good idea but in reality once you ride the new platform the AXYS felt old. Everyone struggled to come up with positive things to say about the AXYS. That being said we also all agreed that the AXYS was a fantastic machine and still had a lot of great qualities and a place in the line up. It's like a favorite pair of boots, you love them they feel like home but at some point you have to replace them. New boot, new rubber technology, new leather all of a sudden feels really nice. If you're like me you don't throw those old boots away just keep them for those special occasions. You know the ones where the wife looks at you and says "why are you wearing those nasty boots?" (no offense to the ladies reading). Point is there is always room for improvement and technology isn't a bad thing. AXYS riders are still very lucky to have that chassis compared to the Pro Chassis. Pro Chassis riders are lucky to have that over the IQ. Okay enough I'm sure you get it....

Overall the Matryx platform is rigid, corners flat and is very narrow in the seating area. Once you sit on the Matryx anything older will feel like sitting on a bull. Ergos are right in front of you perfectly positioned and very natural feeling. Shocks are HUGE improvements on any of the new models. Braking is more confident, clutching was spot on and just over all a confidence building platform.

Personally I like to ride standing up a lot so I rode each sled the same through the chop standing or sitting at the same speeds. The machine is so balanced I felt in control in either scenario. Absolutely AWESOME!

Things worth looking at:
-Running boards are all new with much larger holes further up for snow evacuation and traction is abundant.

-Brake system - Nobody is talking about it but I fell in love with the new Hayes brake system on the Matryx. Zero squish, very progressive and very easy to activate. I never felt like I over braked even when I was caught off guard and grabbed a handful. (smaller hands will require a aftermarket lever though it's a little farther from the bar then I think it should have been)

-The 7S display is a Ipad on steroids, you can literally set it up however you want it. You want to see max speed, engine temp, rpm and mph all at once....done. You want the entire screen to be the speedo...DONE! Group ride is going to be huge if you're riding with others using Ride Command. No more wondering where the rest of your group is you can see them on the map. While viewing the map you'll be able to see other critical information not available on the current PIDD. Something else nobody is talking about but is worth noting is the Map doesn't have to reload when you go into reverse anymore. If you owned the current PIDD every time you went into reverse the screen would shut off and Ride Command had to reboot. Not anymore.... This thing is light years ahead of anything else on the market. Older guys said they loved how they could actually see the map while riding. Plus the new display offers 7.5 liters of storage behind it.

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VR1 = Cadillac

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Classy with all the bells and whistles but can be pounded on hard. The Velocity shocks are no joke and I know this very well because I have them on my Khaos. The harder you ride them the better they perform.

XC Launch = Chevrolet

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Same back bone as the VR1 but standard gauge and new Walker Evans Force shock. If you don't need or want the gauge of the VR1 you'll be very happy with the XC. The lesser shock doesn't come acrossed as lesser IMO.

SBA 146

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This machine is in a class all by itself, the new running boards, rider position, 7S display, slightly longer track and 850 make it the ultimate machine to go explore with. Velocity shocks round out the package which I think are the nicest shock offered by an OEM. They took a class leading crossover sled and made it even better which IMO was hard to do. Freeride guys should look at this machine very closely.

Last but not least the new 650. I called it the 850's ANGRY LITTLE BROTHER and its not a joke. While we were our on our trail ride the machines were camoed up so you couldn't see what they were if we encountered anyone on the trail. While riding the XC Lauch 137 I had to pull the bra back to verify I was on the 650 and not the 850. If you're secure enough in your manhood that you can say you ride a ssssssiiiix hundred you will be laughing at those who couldn't. This thing is a savage, snappy and gobs of power and for the trails in Michigan I would buy one in a heartbeat. Of course you'll lose in a lake race against the 850 but corner to corner you'll be doing it cheaper and as good as your buddy on the 850. No joke when I say this thing feels like a mid 140's HP sled...all on 87 octane. Yup, doesn't require anything more than plain old ethanol 87 octane. When your favorite fueling station in the U.P. runs out of premium you'll have filled up with 87 and watching all the others waiting for the fuel truck from the restaurant across the street. You're paying less per gallon getting better fuel economy than the old 600 and can fill up just about anywhere. Those are all a big deal to me...

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If you have ANY questions feel free to ask and I'll try my best to answer them or get you an answer.

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great write up - thanks Paul! Quick question, does the new 7S PIDD do turn by turn routing? Also, did the key with an electronic chip make it to production?
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Old 03-04-2020, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How does the launch/vr1 compare to a pro-s overall?
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by polarisbum View Post
Great write up - thanks Paul! Quick question, does the new 7S PIDD do turn by turn routing? Also, did the key with an electronic chip make it to production?
I don't believe it does turn by turn and the electronic chipped key is another thing they didn't mention.

I'll see if I can find out.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trail325 View Post
How does the launch/vr1 compare to a pro-s overall?
I'll be honest, I've never ridden the Pro-S the only they only had one there and one of the engineers rode it all day. Sorry I couldn't answer that one but didn't want to bs ya.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great write up Paul and you were well overdue to be invited on one of those rides. I've been reading as much as I can on the new releases and your review is the icing on the cake especially your comments about the 650....Almost positive I'm ordering an XC 650 137 Launch Edition. Thank you for the excellent write up!
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Al Czervik View Post
Great write up Paul and you were well overdue to be invited on one of those rides. I've been reading as much as I can on the new releases and your review is the icing on the cake especially your comments about the 650....Almost positive I'm ordering an XC 650 137 Launch Edition. Thank you for the excellent write up!
You're welcome, glad I could help. Man if you order one you are going to LOVE IT!!!

I wish I could find the cash to order one, it was ton of fun to ride.
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Paul. Not sure I want the fancy gauge but having a 2020 xcr with the velocity shocks, will I be down grading going with the Launch shock package? Can you elaborate a little more about the ride between the VR1 and the Launch 129?
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The gauge is cool and all, but they can keep it. Why do you need all that? I bet it adds over $1000. Sounds like a killer machine though, and the 650 sounds good. Hopefully it has the retaining ring on pto bearing 1st year.
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice work Paul! I second everything you said. Matryx platform is amazing and the 650 was an animal! I also had to look to make sure I wasn't on the 850! The 650 runs!
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