Me: Oh, Polaris released a kids mountain sled!!! I'm so freaking excited!!!
Polaris: I know, awesome huh?
Me: Yeah, so cool. What does is weigh?
Polaris: 420 pounds.
Me: Wait, what? That's more than my AXYS 800 155 that I ride at 409 pounds?
Polaris: Well, yeah, the sled for your 10 year old is indeed heavier than your sled, but don't you worry, we took it and made it a low rider so that even though the bulkhead and tunnel and track are all full adult size, the kid will think it's small, even though it's heavy.
Me: Oh. So not only is it heavy, but now it sits real low like an 80's phazer so that the body work will have to plow through all the deep powder instead of floating above it and also so that it will be even tougher for my kid to get it on edge?
Polaris: Well, yeah, that front end will really be a snow plow through the deep snow with it being so low, not to mention that the boards being low will really get it high centered and stuck really quickly. However, as for getting it on edge, don't worry, we made the ski stance narrower than our trail sleds.
Me: Oh, cool, what is the ski stance?
Me: What? That's a wider ski stance than my sled!! That's the same exact ski stance as the trail version of the EVO!! You don't actually have any plans for my kid to learn to put this sled on edge do you?
Polaris: No, not at all. If he ever did get it on edge, then he would get a bunch of snow in the running boards, and there's not a hole in sight, so it's going to take a lot of work to get snow off those running boards.
Me: Ok, well then I guess this isn't really a boondocker. I suppose I'll just let my kid learn how to ride the way people did back in the 80's where he just points straight up a mountain and tries to get a high mark and then comes right back down. I mean hey, you did give a 70 pound kid a 144" X 15" track, which is essentially like giving a 180 pound adult a 220" X 15" track so at least my kid can go learn to climb mountains straight up really well as he should have an absolute glut of flotation back there?
Polaris: Well...kinda. You see, even though the sled already weighs more than your sled, and is trying to turn a track just 11" shorter than your sled, and has fairly decent size lugs, we actually decided that the 550 fan was just creating way too much power. Oh, yeah, especially at 10,000 feet, yeah, that little 550 fan was producing a whopping 38.5 HP. We just decided that was way too much. So we decided to limit it to 5/8 of the power so that it would go down to 24 HP at 10,000 feet where you mountain riders want to take your kids. On top of all that, we put in some sea level clutching, so by the time you point it at any kind of hill with any kind of power at 10,000 feet, that little engine just won't even have a chance and your kid isn't going to make it very high up that hill, which is good though, you know, because, safety first right?
Me: Ok, so what you're telling me is that my "mountain" sled for my kid is:
- Actually built on and adult size chassis?
- Heavier than my adult sled?
- Has a wider ski stance than my adult sled?
- Built to sit low like a low-rider grass drag sled?
- Has running boards from the year 2000?
- Has a de-tuned engine to add insult to injury for the power we already lost at elevation?
Polaris: That's right!!! Want one?
Polaris sales guys to Polaris Executives: See, I told you it wasn't worth investing in the youth market. These parents are a just a bunch of selfish cheapskates who won't even spend 6 grand on their kids even though they blow 12 grand on their own sleds.
I agree - and yes I will be buying one! My 9 yr old is totally stoked! He can't reach the boards on any of our other sleds. I'll bet he has a blast on it and I think the more stable (wider) front end is just fine. I am going with electric start so I don't have to mess around with pull starting it for him.Ok, I need to say something nice or else I won't be able to sleep at night. Here we go.
First. While other manufacturers are looking at the 11 year old boy who is 80 pounds and about 4'7" and flipping them the middle finger, Polaris is at least pretending to act like they care. That seems to be a first step in the right direction that should be appreciated.
Second, not only did they make a sled for the 11 year old, but then they even made an RMK version. Again, better than the double bird we are getting from the other factories.
Third, they put gripper skis on it. Cool!!
Fourth, the track has 1.75" lugs. Alright!!
Fifth, the gas tank, seat, and the bars are great. My 9 year old was riding a 2012 600 RMK 144 on Saturday and really didn't have the option of getting on one side of the sled because the seat was too high and the bars were too high/wide.
Sixth, they at least do offer the parts for us to "undo" their mistake of limiting the throttle.
Seventh, they seem to offer a lower gear in the chaincase, which is a great option to leave in for mountain riding, even after getting all your throttle back. I assume that will work great. Still waiting to hear from a Guinea Pig on it. Anybody? Anybody?
I do appreciate Polaris at least putting effort in. I suppose that all I have to do to make it pretty decent is undo their throttle mistake, undo their lowering suspension mistake, narrow the ski stance and put aftermarket boards on it. Shoot, I might just actually buy one. Honestly, if I insist on sleds that are less than 10 years old, is there really anything out there that is better for an 80 pound 4'7" rider?
If you had your kid was on a SnoScoot for the last 2 years your tune would be completely different. You kids is never going to learn how to sidehill that 420 lb wide sled until he is freaking 15 years old. And by then he should be moving to a larger sled. The EVO RMK is crap. Its a 1990s sled. Kids can ride a SnoScoot and love it. This is a total step backwards for the 10 year old.I agree - and yes I will be buying one! My 9 yr old is totally stoked! He can't reach the boards on any of our other sleds. I'll bet he has a blast on it and I think the more stable (wider) front end is just fine. I am going with electric start so I don't have to mess around with pull starting it for him.
I've had (and still have) 3 older Polaris 340's - while they are great kid's sleds there is no way a kid will EVER learn to sidehill on one. If you think the front end on the EVO is wide just compare it to sleds of just a few years ago! I for one am thrilled that Polaris is attempting to get something out there for kids that isn't just a toy (see 120's). And for kids that are just learning to ride they need that stable front end to build their confidence. I really don't see the lower front end being a problem for a kid that weighs 70 lbs. The running boards are the biggest issue for me. I will be doing some inserts of some kind. A kid standing on a ball of ice just doesn't work! And it's not like they can kick it off of there.
My 9 year old runs a 550 freestyle now. Put the 300 front end on it and you will see a huge difference. We did a mountain mod on ours and it’s amazing where he goes and the 800’s are getting stuck. He can carve and sidehill pretty good now.Granted it wasn't exactly what I wanted but I'm going to buy one. Currently my 8 year old is riding a 550 freestyle with a 32" wide front end. The sled is ok but the ergos are big and front end geometry sucks. My kid was sitting on an evo the other day and the ergos were pretty good. He could touch the boards well and the bars seemed to fit him well. I will try the sled as is and see how it works but I could see myself putting a set of rmk boards, 36" wide front end and adding longer rear shocks to unlower it. The kid market is a little tricky. Polaris is not going to make huge money on the evo machines. To make a full blown kids mountain sled that has all the bells and whistles of our big boy RMK's wouldn't be cost effective. The way it's made now it will appeal to a broad segment of the marketplace. They will probably sell a bunch out east to guys that want a machine that is a little more capable than the short track evo. I feel the price point is low enough and there is enough good attributes to this machine, that it's worthwhile to buy it and make it the evo rmk that I want it to be.
Where did you lose the 40lbs? Longer track, bigger skid... Good luck dropping 40 lbs without spending thousands on it.I believe that the 550 has been in a ProRide chassis for a while and some of them were 144's as well....
It looks like a dropped front end... meaning shorter shocks with standard arms and probably longer top 'ball joints'.
At a $5500 realistic street price for a new zero mile sled... not bad...there is still a budget for some goodies for the parents out there that want a more serious ride.
But, it is in the older ProRide chassis not the AXYS... but the ProRide was DANG good too.
Add to the sled.
Good shocks (find some good used ones)
Good used Pro RMK skid (sell the new 144 Indy skid, has value)
163" track with clutching and gearing
short/open running boards
Used 36/37" front end. (sell the wide front end components)
Ultra Low seat
Narrowed up handlebars.
LW Quiet can
Would be a great little ripper and probably be less than 380lbs
Looking at the specs for this sled and see it already has the pro rmk type skid that has been used in the 550 144 sleds. As far as weight savings here is where I see room to lose some. Not sure if it would be 40 pounds but also consider when talking about dry weight a fan cooled sled will be lighter ready to ride without the gallon or so the water cooled sled will have taken on in coolant.Where did you lose the 40lbs? Longer track, bigger skid... Good luck dropping 40 lbs without spending thousands on it.
Just watched your video, looks like they are having a blast on the SnoScoot. How old were your boy's in this video?If you had your kid was on a SnoScoot for the last 2 years your tune would be completely different. You kids is never going to learn how to sidehill that 420 lb wide sled until he is freaking 15 years old. And by then he should be moving to a larger sled. The EVO RMK is crap. Its a 1990s sled. Kids can ride a SnoScoot and love it. This is a total step backwards for the 10 year old.