• I've received emails and PM's asking me about "Group Buys" and promotions.

    A Group Buy here on SnoWestOnline.com would be a situation where a normal member (non vendor or mfg) personally collects orders from other members. That member then uses those orders to negotiate a better price with the Vendor/Mfg for HIS/HER "Group" of buyers.

    Here is an example of a viable "Group Buy"

    http://www.snowestonline.com/forum/showthread.php?t=269222

    A promotion that has the words "Group Buy" in the title is still a promotion, and from the rules that were handed down to me by Harris Publications is that non-advertisers cannot run promotions or open sales programs on the forums outside of the swapmeet.

    If a members wants to become a group buy manager, maintain a thread and collect the funds and negotiate a group buy... as a member, you are welcome to do that as long as you are not attached to the business of the vendor or Mfg.

    If you are a vendor/MFG and you want to offer an EXCLUSIVE "SnoWestOnline ONLY" promotion that is exclusive to snowest readers, please contact me and you'll be able to put it up in the Polaris forums.

    Also, before any vendors/mfgs get all "riled up" over this know that the moderators are strictly volunteers and do not receive a dime from any advertising $$ spent on this site.

    As ALWAYS, since DAY ONE of me becoming a moderator, I have pioneered, supported and encouraged vendors and mfgs in getting the word out to our readers with "New Product Announcements.

    Have a great season.

    From this point on, all vendors/mfg's promoting Pre-Season tiered sales programs, in the Polaris Forums, that are not paid advertisers will be appropriately moved to the swapmeet section of the forums.

    MH

2021 Polaris RMK

Nov 29, 2008
497
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It’s time for a completely new-from-the-ground-up chassis. And I would think that the reason ski doo did a mid season release of the factory turbo is that Polaris is bringing one out for ‘21 and they wanted to beat them to the punch.
What do you not like about the current chassis? Current ergos are great. All for better but not for sake of just being "new".

Stock narrow front end is better but its a bolt on with non oem options available too ($500 addon to my 16) Lots of tweaks / improvements left as suggested above but difficult to genuinely call it new (sucks for marketing dep that demands it). Japanese have a word that translates to continuous improvement and allowed them to kick the NA auto sector in the 60s - 80s. Sled prices are steadily going up which reduces willingness to buy new (my opinion). I'm certainly able to buy new but am loathe to pay 20k for a toy that's questionably better than current. I still ride my 2013 600s and have lots of fun - snow conditions is the bigger issue. I'd rather wait a year or two, buy used and let someone else take the hit on depreciation and tax. 15 holdovers were our last "new" sleds ..waited till 17 and started picking up used Axys at 40-60% saving. Perhaps I'm the exception and not representative of the target market but i think they are hitting the wall re diminishing returns and will have to sell fewer units at a higher margin to maintain profit per unit.

New chassis at this stage is merely marketing hype unless its a radical departure - snow bike / hawk style (this would interest me). Pro chassis vs axys is a refinement - not a radical departure. Same goes for BRP and Cat. All the manufactures use a variation of the same pyramidal chassis design - strip them down and most riders would be hard pressed to tell one iteration from another or even one manufacture from another.

Structurally, stock is getting pretty hard to further improve (stronger / lighter / cheaper) without use of exotic & $$$$ materials ...current carbon fibre overstructure and bumper are not significant (marketing) structurally or from a weight standpoint. Shot style start is far better bang for buck in terms of reduced weight and simplicity.



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TRS

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It’s hard to recoup the investment required designing and tooling for a new chassis when only building 30,000 sleds annually.
 

BeartoothBaron

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It’s hard to recoup the investment required designing and tooling for a new chassis when only building 30,000 sleds annually.
That's also why I don't think we'll see a new motor in the 600 or 700 class unless something forces Polaris's hand. Doo's new 600 sounds pretty impressive, but how big a market is it competing for? Could be Polaris will write off lost sales because it costs more to build a new motor than they'd potentially make, maybe even if they dominated the 600 segment (or 700, which is dead, but still has sales potential). It's easy to forget that part of the reason we once had such a range of models was because the market was much bigger 20 years ago. Just looked it up, and worldwide sales peaked in '97 at 260k and was half that in '18. The silver lining is that US sales have held fairly steady the last five years. Given that, I'd have to agree that chassis life-cycles are going to be longer, and if you're Polaris with arguably the best chassis, there's even less reason to throw money at continued updates. On the other hand, you can't slack off and cut R&D too much: fighting to stay ahead of the competition puts you in a good spot if there's an uptick, and might be the only thing that keeps you in business in bad years.

The one thing I hope somebody's thinking about is the low-end market. If somebody could come up with a fun and capable mountain sled for $7500, it'd sell, and it could compete for buyers who aren't currently in the market. The trouble is, that brings us right back to a new chassis. The Indy 144 is the closest thing from Polaris to what I'm thinking, but it needs to scaled down, and at least 30lbs lighter than a Pro-RMK, not heavier. The Ski-Doo Freestyle is in line with what I'm thinking, but with more capability. The trouble I see on the low end is that there's no reason to buy any new mountain sled until you get into the $12k+ range (that number keeps increasing), and other than pure trail riding, there's no reason anybody would want to ride an Indy 144 over a Pro-RMK. That's not because you have to have that big motor and track to have fun off-trail, it's because they're taking the last chassis and outfitting it from the cheap parts bin, resulting in something my old 600 RMK can still trounce at 1/4 the purchase price. I know we've all talked about it, and it's easy to say "I'd do it" when it's somebody else's risk, but I think an serious investment could pay off. Better to burn out than fade away, right? Well, the long-term trend is that snowmobiling is fading, and just fighting to hold your share of existing sales isn't going to change that.
 

Jaynelson

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
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I think the Axys is "endgame" in design. We will get a few yearly tweaks and refinements, maybe a new motor some years, but new chassis? I don't see it.
Practically I think you are potentially correct. I HOPE that's wrong, and that someone much smarter than I has some ideas that I'm just....not smart enough to come up with. But ultimately, I don't see it being worth debuting an all new chassis without some radical departure from the current sled formula. I.E. narrower track, all new drive system, or something along those lines. But if there is no big "aha!" lurking; given the current constraints, I see all "new chassis" looking a lot like when "new chassis" come out in the dirtbike world. I.E. new plastic with some ergo tweaks, better suspension, and a few more HP.

Otherwise, all of the "revolutionary" stuff from the last few years (from all manufacturers) is really just new toys, more power, better handling, etc, on existing platforms. All of which makes for better machines overall, but really no radical departures. Take SHOT for example....super cool toy? Yes. Revolutionary as far as a starting system goes? Also yes. Make any difference how the sled rides? Not really.

Also will be interesting to see what happens with the "power war." Sleds are an interesting topic, as the vast majority of riders truly can't ride the current crop of sleds anywhere near their potential in anything more than open, simple terrain. So what's the market like for a notably more expensive, more powerful sled actually like? Not sure. That said, I mostly ride 6000-7000ft, so I'm lucky to not be dealing with higher elevation power loss.
 

revrider07

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I to think the price of new is hurting the industry. 7500 should get you the original pro with old 800 it was auctualy a pretty good motor in 15. Maybe we get direct injection in 21? Hopefully there will some more leaks Polaris is hanging out with Yamaha in this waiting game. I'm buying a 21 could be a Polaris.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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Also will be interesting to see what happens with the "power war." Sleds are an interesting topic, as the vast majority of riders truly can't ride the current crop of sleds anywhere near their potential in anything more than open, simple terrain. So what's the market like for a notably more expensive, more powerful sled actually like? Not sure. That said, I mostly ride 6000-7000ft, so I'm lucky to not be dealing with higher elevation power loss.
I always contend that if we still had smaller tracks and less horsepower we wouldn't need as much snow to still have a great trip. 1.75x144 with a 700- many more areas become a fun challenge instead of just up and over

At 6000-7000ft you are still dealing with power loss!!! Just don't ride at 1500 ft and you'll be fine.
 

Jaynelson

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
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Nelson BC
I always contend that if we still had smaller tracks and less horsepower we wouldn't need as much snow to still have a great trip. 1.75x144 with a 700- many more areas become a fun challenge instead of just up and over

At 6000-7000ft you are still dealing with power loss!!! Just don't ride at 1500 ft and you'll be fine.
Yes, power loss at any elevation of course, we often start out at 2500’ for access. That said, whatever a new 850 has at 6,000 is solid for my riding style IMO. Not to say more isn’t fun.

But then As you say, power is fun, but there’s also something about doing more with less and having to scratch over something vs blowing over it without a 2nd thought. We do need deeper and deeper days to make the old hills fun with new machines for sure.
 

BeartoothBaron

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Bluetooth! Bluetooth everything! I need to be able to instagram my super sweet pull up that knarly little hill to my tens of followers! I don't care how much my next sled sucks if it can support that.
 
Nov 29, 2008
497
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I can’t speak for Rocky Mountain Riding and needs from a RMK sled named for that area since I don’t live or ride there.

Oddly enough I have owned nearly every version of RMK produced since 1995. I have lived in AK nearly my whole life and have always ridden a version of RMK since that is what I can order and get shipped for a mountain sled. Quite frankly I’m tired of modifying them to work for my riding zone. Keep the RMKs where they work perfect. The dream pow Rocky Mountains

In AK and other low elevation areas we need a different machine.

The Polaris AKS needs to be designed. A spin off of a RMK and SKS to work in AK or similar lower elevation mountain riding areas.

Known Conditions:
>0-7500’ elevation
>Bombed out access trails everywhere. If parts are weak they will break quickly!
>Some trails at sea level are frozen dirt that gets so icy you slide down backwards with any track that is not studded.
>Wind blown snow frequently leads to bare frozen tundra 0-1500’
>Above 2500’ you find 3-10’ of great snowpack!
Then there are a few (very few) deep days when you wish you had a 3”. It just dumps!
>But watch out for the hard drift buried under that dump. A 3” track will hook so hard on the drift you’ll be on your head!
>One week after the snow dump the wind blows, snow drifts, freezes and the cycle starts over.
>Temps range from -25 to +40F
> Cool dense air makes great power. Adding more reliable power requires bigger displacement engines.
>Target HP needs are 195-200HP
>Turbo won’t work at low elevation to gain the needed power.
>90 octane (non ethanol fuel) is abundant.
>Glacier riding is abundant.

RMK is an awesome sled for it’s intended zone!

AK is simply a different zone with different needs. I have have been riding Assault RMKs the past few years with good success.. But it is still not the ideal solution for the conditions.

Time for some variations in the RMK mountain sled category.
That's what SKS / Assault are for ...go bigger with Titan or BRP Expedition if needed...enough variants as it is which is driving up $$$$
No single sled can / will do it all.

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Norway

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All this talk about entry sled, changed cycles for chassis /engines etc. makes me think about Timbersled. Polaris bought it a few years ago and I cant recall hearing much about it after that..
They must have a plan. We might see something different in the near future..

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Mentzel

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Not sure what happened to my last post..

Fare point on cost. Polaris built the KHAOS which is so similar to RMK you have to ask whats the difference. That is a very limited market sled and it was offered in 8 or 850 versions. So now there is a wealth of high elevation sleds yet none setup for lower altitude parameters I listed above. The Assault and SKS are the closest mountain sled for this zone. But still not ideally configured. Burandt building great stuff for their dream pow zone. But that stuff only works great in that zone. How big is the market for those sleds? They are not selling in our area as well because they are great sleds, but not ideally configured for this area.

I’m not saying build the AKS to cover all my parameters listed. Just pointing out the clear differences in end user riding areas and the gaps not covered by RMK design that is being shipped here yearly.

Its hard to improve on the RMK when used in the Rockies. I’m just tired of an adapted sled for my area. Especially when it costs $16k and you pre-order it.

Build the AKS!
 

moab11

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I kind of think we are in the same state the industry was in in 2000, paint the hood a different colour and you'd be hard pressed to tell one brand from another. Lots of that was because technology was getting maxed out for the current way of building a snowmobile.
We need another revolutionary change like the Rev chassis, what that is, I have no idea. Cat has the Alpha rail system, Ski-doo has DI and SHOT and now a 2 stroke turbo for the mountains, Polaris has a great chassis and drivetrain, Yamaha has competitive 4-stroke motors, Snow bikes are gaining popularity, but none have had the spark to really push the industry. Maybe it needs to be a combination of all of the above, I'm not sure.

I also believe that we need the old 340's, 440's, etc again. The jump from a 120 kids sled to a 600 is too much. I'm sure many of us started out riding sub 500cc fan cooled sleds, many of which were smaller chassis and were a complete blast to ride. The industry is surviving on veterans that have been riding for 20+ years and really struggling to get younger riders and whole families engaged again. I know emissions has played a part, but think of riding an old fan cooled sled, you didn't care if there was enough snow to keep the sled cool, you just rode as soon as there was snow on the ground and kept riding until the snow was all gone. Tracks were small and needed minimal snow for cooling, suspensions were simple and robust, often relying on the seat foam for cushioning the bumps. Creature comforts were hand warmers and a speedometer, a tach and thumb warmer were premium options.

I really hope Arctic Cat's Blast sleds take off and get beginners and young riders into the showrooms and out on the snow. The Polaris Evo sleds are trying, but need competition and I think smaller motors.

Just my $0.02
 

MKULTRA

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Not sure what happened to my last post..

Fare point on cost. Polaris built the KHAOS which is so similar to RMK you have to ask whats the difference. That is a very limited market sled and it was offered in 8 or 850 versions. So now there is a wealth of high elevation sleds yet none setup for lower altitude parameters I listed above. The Assault and SKS are the closest mountain sled for this zone. But still not ideally configured. Burandt building great stuff for their dream pow zone. But that stuff only works great in that zone. How big is the market for those sleds? They are not selling in our area as well because they are great sleds, but not ideally configured for this area.

I’m not saying build the AKS to cover all my parameters listed. Just pointing out the clear differences in end user riding areas and the gaps not covered by RMK design that is being shipped here yearly.

Its hard to improve on the RMK when used in the Rockies. I’m just tired of an adapted sled for my area. Especially when it costs $16k and you pre-order it.

Build the AKS!
The khaos is just polaris trying to convert skidoo riders to poo by mimicking the doo wheelie happy feeling.

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