800cc mountain freeride snowmobiles for 2016


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What exactly is an SKS?
Polaris snuck a new model into the mountain category for model year 2016 with the SKS. SKS stands for “Snow King Special,” and it’s a nod back to  older models that won the Jackson Hole hillclimbs back in the day. With a name tied to hillclimb heritage, it’s odd that the Assault will still be the sled of choice for hillclimbers. This third model is slotted between the super light, deep snow-focused Pro-RMK and the burly, rough terrain-focused Assault. The SKS uses the same 800 H.O. engine and AXYS RMK chassis, but it features a front bulkhead cooler and additional bogey wheels for improved performance in low-snow conditions. The SKS also gets a chaincase instead of the Pro-RMK’s belt drive, and it gets the Walker Evans Piggyback shocks that fill a place between the monotube shocks on the Pro-RMK and the stiffer needle shocks on the Assault. The SKS uses the narrower 39-41-inch adjustable ski stance like the Pro-RMK, as well as the 2.4-inch Series 5.1 track that came on 2015 and older Pro-RMK’s.

In a nutshell, the SKS is a Pro-RMK with upgraded shocks, a chaincase and additional cooling targeted at riders who spend time riding in lower snow conditions and want a machine that can handle rougher terrain than the super lightweight Pro-RMK. We have ridden the SKS, and it’s a great machine. It just seems strange to add a new model into the line when they could have achieved the same thing by adding a cooler option to the massive list of options available on Pro-RMKs during Snowcheck. But what do we know?
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