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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So Friday, I made it to the 2019 demo rides in Old Forge. And I got to ride 7 different 2019 demos sleds. But before I review the sleds, I will let you know that I currently own a 2014 Ski-Doo XRS 800 ETEC with Quick Adjust, a 2006 Ski-Doo MXZ 597 with an X Package suspension (my wife mostly rides this sled), and a 2008 Yamaha Venture GT (my 70 year-old father mostly rides this sled). My most other recently owned sleds include a 2013 Ski-Doo TNT 600 ETEC, 2009 Ski-Doo TNT 597, 2008 Ski-Doo TNT 597, 2005 Ski-Doo MXZ Adrenaline 597. Over the years, I have owned all 4 major brands of snowmobiles. I do not consider myself brand loyal. And of note, over the last few years, I have spent significant time riding a 2016 Arctic Cat ZR6000 LXR 137 and a Yamaha Nytro XTX; I have also ridden a Yamaha Apex.

OK, onto the sleds (I rode each one for about 5 miles on both smooth and bumpy trails):

2019 Arctic Cat ZR6000 129 – Not a bad sled and it handles well. It is very comparable to a Ski-Doo TNT 600 ETEC except overall less refined. I do not like the Arctic Cat gauge package and find it difficult to use, difficult to read, and distracting.

2019 Arctic Cat ZR7000 137 – Great low-end power and definitely more low end power than your typical 600 2-stroke but it felt very heavy in the front end. This sled had Cat’s new gauge pod and it was not impressive. I wish Cat would return to old school analog-style gages. Later on in the day, this sled was sidelined due to a chain case failure. My guess is they did not adjust the chain tension after the initial break in.

2019 Arctic Cat ZR8000 137 with iACT – Power was similar to my 2014 Ski-Doo 800 ETEC. Unfortunately, no one, including the Arctic Cat Representatives hosting the demo rides, knew how to control or change the iACT suspension settings (from soft to medium to firm). Later on, inside the Old Forge Recreation Center, some guy (who didn’t work for Arctic Cat) figured out how to change the iACT on the model sled inside the building. The concept is great, except again, Cat’s gage and controls are NOT intuitive.

All 3 Cats handled well. Possibly, the best front end in the business.

2019 Polaris Rush / Axys 600 S – This sled did not impress me at all. I know that the Axys rear skid can be tuned to perform well, but it needs to set for specific trails conditions. But as we all know, in New York, trails can change from smooth, to nasty, and back to smooth in a matter of miles. Sorry, but I prefer the set it and forget it R-Motion.

2019 Polaris Assault 800 (‘short’ lug 144”) – This is an impressive sled with an impressive motor. Even though this sled had an uncoupled skid, the rear skid’s performance on trail moguls was surprisingly acceptable and it’s handling was acceptable on groomed trails as well. If you are a true 50/50 off-trail / groomed trail rider, then this is the sled for you! Again, 2017 and newer Polaris Liberty 800 motor’s performance is impressive and if the new Polaris 850 is even better, then the Polaris 850 may end up being the new 2-stroke performance king! And all I can say, is Arctic Cat better jump on the 850 2-stroke wagon soon!

2019 Ski-Doo 600 ETEC Gen II G4 ‘XRS’ – This was the MOST impressive sled of the day!!! If they would have put an 800 decal on this sled, I would have believed them. This motor was so responsive and torquey, and light years ahead of Arctic Cat and Polaris 600’s. Everyone else who got off this sled felt the same. Add on the suspension and handling, and this sled is just amazing.

2019 Ski-Doo ACE 900 Turbo – Seemed like it had endless power. I am sure that the Sidewinder and Thunder Cat will beat it to the end of the lake, but this sled felt sooo much lighter than the Arctic Cat 7000 which is lighter than the Sidewinder and Thunder Cat. I cannot think of anything bad to say about the 900 ACE Turbo, it had it all … ride, handling, and lots of manageable power.

I rode a friend’s 850 ETEC G4 last year, so I did not see the need to ride the Ski-Doo 850, but my colleagues who rode the 2019 XRS 850 said it was the most impressive sled they rode that day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
1,000+ disappointed people are going to click this thread assuming you rode a new Indy.
Everybody there wanted to ride the new Indy XC 850, but they did not have one available for demo rides. They had an Indy XC 850 inside the building for display only.

If the Indy 850 XC is anything like the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Assault 800, then Polaris has a real winner on their hands.

Big shock......you own ski doo's and raved about all the ski doo's.
I own a Yamaha too. There is a reason why nearly 50% of all sleds sold are Ski-Doos.

Please go ride a new Ski-Doo and then offer us your opinion.

Please note, that I did make some positive comments about the Cats:

2019 Arctic Cat ZR6000 129 – Not a bad sled and it handles well.

2019 Arctic Cat ZR7000 137 – Great low-end power and definitely more low end power than your typical 600 2-stroke ...

All 3 Cats handled well. Possibly, the best front end in the business.
 

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The new 600 XC race sled for doo, needs a lot of work. Motor seems fine, the ergos suck. The footwells are a joke. It is wider, it just feel goofy.
 

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I did not race it, it was at the XC race in Warroad MN. Ask the the Doo pro rider and his brother. I'm sure it will be fine...this takes time. It does not really involve you anyway. Only a complete idiot would even enter a PRO USXC race, they are not right in the head:thumbsup::bc:
 

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A new 600 skidoo G4 won the open class and 3rd place in pro factory 600 at I 500 USXC race , Dillan Dohrn I think was his name
 

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No , they can run after market parts , pipes and stuff like that but the most don't because they are signed up for other classes at same time . He was stock because of also being signed up for factory stock class
 

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More the fact that you are paying 13k+ for many sleds today and to get a hunk of schit gauge package is just unacceptable. My personal bare basic want/need from a gauge package is to have a large readable coolant temp. Having this missing or some super small number stuck to the side of a gauge is unacceptable. Again, my IMHO but I'm sure 90%+ of seasoned riders agree with this too.
 

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I put the Izzni Next Stage Gauge on my ZR8000 and I gotta wonder why AC doesn't pick something like this up for on their sleds. It's very unique and easy to implement a interface to the Android tablet. Not sure why they wouldn't do it. It's far better than anything I've used and seen and is close to the Polaris gauge. It's a great package.

Steve
 

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The complaining about gauges just kills me; are you snowmobiling or playing video games? People should be watching where they're going or just stay home and dink with their iPad.:wall:
And their the first ones to bitch about the price of a new sled. All those little (in their mind) upgrades cost. I must be one of the 10%ers cause I could give a shit about all doodads and crap on some of the gauges.
 

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And their the first ones to bitch about the price of a new sled. All those little (in their mind) upgrades cost. I must be one of the 10%ers cause I could give a shit about all doodads and crap on some of the gauges.
Polaris's kick azz IDD is optional. So you are not stuck paying for it. Their standard gauge package is still very good and has been since the Fusions in 05/06.
 

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And their the first ones to bitch about the price of a new sled. All those little (in their mind) upgrades cost. I must be one of the 10%ers cause I could give a shit about all doodads and crap on some of the gauges.
Have you seen this ?
Deluxe Gauge Reflash - Next Stage Gauges
Not What stevem5215 was referencing and installed on his sled but same company.
 

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Yes. Just more gadgets to take away from the reason I sled...to have fun. Sledders in lets say the last ten years have turn into some of the biggest crybaby whiners ever. We need to be happy with what we have because the way things are going I don't seeing it lasting. With the way the winters have been and sales going down the pipe, the greenies looking around the corner at everything we do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The complaining about gauges just kills me; are you snowmobiling or playing video games? People should be watching where they're going or just stay home and dink with their iPad.:wall:
The fact of the matter is other manufacturers provide simple, easy to read gauges on their budget sleds.

I want to be able to easily see in an instant: my speed, my fuel level, and my odometer.

Speed limits do apply on many trails and I do not want to get a ticket for excessive speed in the wrong place.

And when I come to an intersection or decision point in my ride, I want to quickly glance at the gages and determine if I need to go into town for fuel or if I can keep on riding.

I don't want to be pushing buttons and squinting. I want to ride.

More the fact that you are paying 13k+ for many sleds today and to get a hunk of schit gauge package is just unacceptable. My personal bare basic want/need from a gauge package is to have a large readable coolant temp. Having this missing or some super small number stuck to the side of a gauge is unacceptable. Again, my IMHO but I'm sure 90%+ of seasoned riders agree with this too.
Exactly!
 

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The complaining about gauges just kills me; are you snowmobiling or playing video games? People should be watching where they're going or just stay home and dink with their iPad.:wall:
Until you ride a sled that's equipped with "more" you just don't get it. Riding buddy of mine, who is die hard Cat, upgraded his '18 ZR to the NS1 gauge and it's awesome .... he absolutely loves it, and can't believe he waited this long to upgrade. Cat's missing the boat with their gauge.
 
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