Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 Polaris 9R RMK

And other updates to the '23 Polaris RMK lineup

February 2022 Feature, Polaris

The big news from Roseau, MN, for 2023 is the new 9R big bore powerplant. Details below.

What's new on the Patriot 9R engine?

  • Based on the existing Patriot 850 structure, the Patriot 9R is considered a race mod performance engine from the factory.
  • The Patriot 9R features a new lightweight crankshaft with lighter journals for quicker revving and lower inertia. The crankshaft has 170g less rotating mass than the 850 NA crank.
  • New lightweight flywheel for quicker response and lower inertia. The flywheel has 145g less roating mass than the 850 NA.
  • New cylinder head with new combustion dome shape that is unique to the 9R.
  • New cylinders with an 899cc bore (same casting as the 850) and precision CNC porting (850 ports are cast as molded).
  • Bore and stroke is 87.95 x 74.
  • New top half of the case with CNC machining to increase air flow.
  • New larger, lightweight pistons have a ceramic-coated top surface.
  • New reed valve with optimized petal material. 
  • New Y pipe that matches the Patriot 9R's porting and bore.
  • New exhaust pipe tuned specifically to the Patriot 9R.
  • Jack Struthers-inspired technology.
  • Keith Curtis won 900 Improved at Jackson Hole in March 2021 with Patriot 9R.

Is the Patriot 9R engine lighter than a Patriot 850 NA engine?

Yes, the Patriot 9R is 1.2 pounds lighter and has 3.8 perent less rotaional inertia than the 850 NA.
That's huge, because if you look back at previous generation 900 twins, they had massive crank train parts and were slow revving. They had very high crank train inertia. Old 900 engines had about 30 percent higher inertia than this engine. 

What else is new about the Patriot 9R?

  • All Patriot 9R RMKs will come standard with red Cobra pull cords. This replaces the traditional white nylon pull cords. 
  • Why? Nylon cords stretch and cushion the shock of hitting the compression stroke when you pull over a big 2-stroke engine, slowing the rpm of the engine as you pull. However, since the 9R is a higher compression engine, Polaris engineers wanted to make it easier to start. A Cobra cord does not stretch, so you get faster rpm compression strokes with the Cobra cord compared to nylon. 
  • The 9R regularly starts on the first pull. The Patriot 850 can take 2 rope pulls to fire. 
  • You do feel more of the compression stroke when starting the 9R, but the single pull is worth it. 
  • Polaris has measured the work effort starting a 9R vs an 850 NA, and the effort is lower on the 9R due to the Cobra cord.
  • The 7S display is optional on the 9R.
  • 9R and Patriot Boost exclusive graphics and colorways.

How much more power does the Patriot 9R make than the Patriot 850?

  • The Patriot 9R makes 7 percent more horsepower at 8,250 rpm than the Patriot 850. And the Patriot 9R produces up to 12 percent more torque at the peak of the curve than the Patriot 850.
  • On the snow, however, the Patriot 9R is at a clear advantage over the 850. The 9R revs quicker, responds quicker, and jumps out of the hole quicker than the 850.

Is the Patriot 9R a pump-gas engine?

  • Yes, the 2023 Patriot 9R runs on 91 octane pump gas. It is a higher compression ratio than the 850, but does not require race fuel.

Is the 2023 Patriot 9R available across the Polaris lineup? 

  • No. For 2023, the Patriot 9R is mountain candy only. 
  • It's available in every RMK configuration (Pro and Khaos) from 146 to 165 track lengths. 

How does the 9R stack up against Patriot Boost?

We've spent several days on the Patriot 9R RMKs from January to now. Here's what we think:

  • If you want the most power on the snow, Patriot Boost is your only option. It's top end track speed is unmatched by anything else in the RMK lineup. 
  • However, if you are all about tight, technical lines where lightning fast response from your sled is key, the Patriot 9R is the king of the jungle. Nothing jumps out and gets on top of the snow as well as the Patriot 9R RMK. It's cheating in a way. 
  • If we were to build a mod sled for the kind of riding we do (ugly drainages, following creek beds, tight trees), up to now we'd buy an 850 Khaos RMK Slash and put a Carl's Cycle 900 big bore in it. The 2023 Patriot 9R Khaos RMK Slash is that, but from the factory. It's crazy how rippy this sled is. 
  • Off the line, in deep snow or hardpack, the Patriot 9R will get a 2-3 sled length jump on the Patriot Boost. A couple seconds later, the Boost will pass the 9R and walk away. But those first couple seconds are the make or break for our style of technical riding. That jump is all the difference in the world. 

Does the Patriot 9R handle differently than the 850 or Patriot Boost RMKs?

Yes, but it comes down to response and weight. Here's how we break this down:

  • The 3 key tenets of Polaris's RMKs are Instantaneous Lift, Rider Balanced Control and Immediate Response. That's why Polaris RMK engineers have focused on developing snowmobiles that get on top of the snow rather than dig through it, have a rigid chassis and deep-snow-focused suspension and why they have things like QD2 belt drives, P22 clutches and now the Patriot 9R. 
  • Since the 9R has quicker response and more power and torque than the 850, it actually rides like it's a lighter sled (while it is only marginally different in dry weight). It's snappy like a mod sled, but clean and crisp. We love the roller bearing P22 drive clutch (found only on the 9R and Patriot Boost). The factory clutching is good, though it's important to note that factory specs have to appease a very broad audience. You can always dial in a better setup specific to your terrain. 
  • Since the naturally-aspirated 9R is roughtly 20 pounds lighter than the turbocharger-equipped Patriot Boost, it handles like a much lighter sled. Horsepower can make the nose lift, and nothing beats a turbo for that, though. So there's more than one way to address the weight aspect. But the 9R handles like a lightweight mod ripper. 

Is there a boosted 9R option?

No. You can get your 2023 RMK in four powerplant flavors:

  • Patriot 650 naturally-aspirated
  • Patriot 850 naturally-aspirated
  • Patriot 9R naturally-aspirated
  • 850 Patriot Boost

What's the difference between RMK Pro and RMK Khaos?

  • Defined by Polaris, RMK Pro is the "ultimate mountain sled for technical backcountry terrain." And RMK Khaos is "playful geometry with wild child attitude for the most dynamic deep snow ride."
  • Defined by SnoWest, RMK Pro is minimal weight transfer, keep the chassis flat and level to get the best propulsion in deep snow and the most precise control. The RMK Khaos is much more weight transfer, a light and playful front end that isn't afraid to show off its ski bottoms and is easier for hop-overs and re-entries. 

What's new on Patriot Boost?

  • Where the 9R has a 7 percent power increase over the base Patriot 850 RMK, Patriot Boost provides up to 50% power increase at 10,000-feet elevation and 10 percent more power at sea level than a naturally-aspirated Patriot 850.
  • Air intake system improvements. This includes the updates to the boost box and the intake system iteself. This hits parts that are under the hood, not external intakes. 
  • Updated calibration.
  • Bold new graphics.

Any changes to the 2023 850 RMKs?

  • Updated calibration
  • Bold new graphics
  • Matryx RMK Slash is now in-season dealer stocking, along with Matryx RMK. 

Any changes to the 650 RMK?

Just available configurations. For 2023, you can get a 650 as:

  • 650 RMK Khaos Slash 146
  • 650 RMK Pro 155
  • 650 SKS 146

What do the 2022 Polaris RMKs cost?

Here's the MSRP for 2023 Polaris mountain sleds:

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