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17 Things You Need To Know About The 2010 Polaris Lineup

Shocks, tracks and a thing about a Rush

Published in the September 2009 Issue Published online: Sep 23, 2009 Industry News Ryan Harris
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MOUNTAIN STUFF

  1. Assault coil-over Walker Evans needle shocks. This move was made later in the game and announced to the media in early June. We were a bit surprised, mainly because we didn't think there was a problem with how well the Walker Evans air shocks worked on the Assault when we rode it in January and March. But if the Polaris engineers found something better, it must really be something. Polaris claims the needle shocks-which are also used on the front rail of the Assault and Dragon 800 RMK rear suspensions-offer better absorption in the big bumps and have a wider range of adjustability.

  2. Seats, seats and more seats. All RMK models get a new seat cover material that has better grip, especially when wet or dusted with snow. It's a minor improvement that goes a long way with us, since many of our test staff pointed out how easily your butt or knee would slide on the old seat.

    The 600 RMK and 800 RMK 144 also are now equipped with the lightweight Freestyle seat that is found on the Switchback models. It's a more comfortable seat to sit on than the RMK Raw chassis' seat.

  3. Optional Assault tracks. The Assault RMK was originally designed for Polaris' professional hillclimb racers and it was marketed as an all-out backcountry freeride sled. The standard 146x2.125 competition track is ideal for the torn-up terrain on hillcimb courses and firm, packed snow. But there was so much demand for the sled from regions that didn't fit that type of snow condition that Polaris is offering two more tracks as options for the 2010 Assault (as add-ons at the dealership, not factory-installed). You can get the 146x2.4 Powder track if you spend most of your time in the fluff, or there's the 146x1.352 Cobra track, best suited for sleds that see a lot of trail time.

  4. Single-layer Series 5.1 track expansion. 2009 Dragon RMKs featured a lightweight single-layer track. That track proved its durability and has been expanded to all 2010 RMK 155 and 163 sleds. The change sheds a little weight off of the 2010 RMK lineup; a single-layer track is up to 3 lbs. lighter than the previous design.

  5. Color options, spring incentives. The Dragon RMKs are available at any time, although they are a limited build. If you ordered your 2010 RMK last spring, you had the choice of four color options, a 3-year warranty, $300 in parts and accessories and guaranteed Nov. 15 delivery (or you get $1000 back). If you didn't get your order in, here are the four colors you'll be staring at on the snow this winter: matte black, matte red, matte silver, gloss white. If you waited until fall to buy a new Dragon RMK, you get matte red.

  6. Ice scratchers. All 2009 Dragon 800 163 models came standard with ice scratchers. For 2010, that has been extended to all Dragon models, 163 and 155.

  7. 700 RMK: The Sequel. Polaris initially dropped the 700 RMK from the 2010 roster, only to add it back in June. Demand for the sled from rental operations and dealerships was enough to convince Polaris to keep the all-around mountain sled in production for at least another year. We couldn't be happier. Polaris also dropped the 800 RMK Shift and 600 RMK Shift and those are still gone. With that, here is the complete 2010 Polaris mountain segment lineup (subject to change without notice):

    800 Dragon RMK 163
    800 Dragon RMK 155
    800 RMK 155
    800 RMK 144
    800 Assault RMK
    700 RMK 155
    600 RMK 155
    600 RMK 144
    Trail RMK

RUSH TECHNOLOGY

  1. Pro Ride tube chassis. From here to the end of the list, it's all about the new Rush 600. It may be a trail sled, but it is one innovative and impressive machine and it ushers in some new technology that we backwoods mountain guys wouldn't mind seeing on the RMKs of the future. The Rush's Pro Ride chassis is one such example. Using tubular chassis technology like that used in Nascar vehicles, Polaris was able to make the Pro Ride chassis 300 percent more rigid than the IQ chassis. That may seem like a difficult figure to process mentally, but imagine how much better a front and rear suspension can work independently and as a complete vehicle if the core chassis isn't flexing to varying degrees. A rigid chassis is a suspension engineer's dream.

  2. Pro Ride progressive rate rear suspension. Don't call it a skid frame. This is a rear suspension unlike anything on the snow. For starters, the rear shock is located above the track, where there's room for a larger bodied shock and easier adjustability. The rear shock utilizes spring preload for balance adjustment and adjusts the 16-external clicker knob for ride quality. The design allows for a complete progressive-rate suspension and long travel. The Rush can absorb impacts from huge holes without kicking the seat into the rider's spine. It isolates the rider from the terrain and maintains a better balance between front and rear suspensions than conventional designs. With the Pro Ride, you don't feel a loss of ski pressure under acceleration and there is almost zero inside ski lift on a tight corner. All of these aspects translate into improved rider control over the vehicle, something Polaris calls "Rider Active" control. The front suspension features Walker Evans Piggyback needle shocks.

  3. Stiff swaybar. What's a rigid chassis without a stiff swaybar? Part of the Rush's flat-cornering ability is due to the new swaybar, making for precise steering.

  4. Serviceability. We love this idea. The tubular Pro Ride frame on the Rush is comprised of multiple pieces, each bonded together with a special aeronautical epoxy. Stronger than rivets, the epoxy allows each individual piece to be replaced without compromising structural integrity. Also, take a close look at how the upper and lower control arms attach to the bulkhead of the chassis. The fasteners face outward and utilize studs. No plastic body pieces need to be removed to replace or service the front suspension.

  5. Simplicity. There are half as many parts to the front clip of a Pro Ride chassis as there are on an IQ. Half.

  6. Multi-Function Display. One of the most technologically advanced sleds on the market deserves one of the most advanced digital display gauges.

  7. Rush specifications. Here's the short list on what matters on the 2010 Rush: 459-pound dry weight; 42.5-inch ski stance; 599cc Cleanfire 2-injector twin cylinder engine; 9-inch front suspension travel, 14-inch rear; 15x121x1.25 Ripsaw 2-ply track; PERC and a $10,299 price tag.

AND A FEW MORE...

  1. IQ bumper expansion. The lightweight aluminum bumper and revised front and plastic found on select '09 IQ models is now on all 2010 IQs.

  2. LX Crossovers. Need a little more bling for your extended cross-country adventures? The 2010 600 LX and Turbo LX feature 136-inch coupled rear suspension, handlebar-mounted mirrors, 16.5-inch windshield, multi-function display, storage bags and Sunset-red hood with LX graphics and electric start. The Turbo LX has the Rider Select 7-position steering system.

  3. Working hard or hardly working? Working hard, thanks to the 2010 WideTrak IQ. This new model features the popular Liberty 600 HO Cleanfire 2-injector engine and a 20-inch track. Now go check some traps.