Polaris 2011 Test Ride

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POLARIS 2011 TEST RIDE

This was a treat getting an e-mail from Polaris...attached was the opportunity to go for a test ride! And test ride it was..... a small guided tour around the Martinsville, Osler and Warman countryside. We made many stops to chat and at midway I exchanged the 800 Switchback Assault I was riding, for a 800 Rush, this was a RUSH, that is for sure.

The Switchback did not ride like I expected, I hadn't noticed the tipped up rear rails in the dark earlier in the morning, this machine absolutely did not feel like a 144. The machine rode well and their wasn't any big surprises, a tribute to it's ride qualities, considering it was cloudy and we had no depth perception whatsoever. You had to have faith in our guide and keeping him in my sites, I just strattled his path and watched his helmet closely for any sign of a bobble! It was a total treat to not have to "be the guide" for a change! But still unnerving having to put my confidence in someone else's hands. Hats off to our guide and the whole crew for a great morning. Idle to WOT the Switchbaclk rocked back on it's heels slightly just enough to lift the skis and hold them there, and just check out, a steady pull that ended when I found my self noticing our guides back bumper getting larger and larger [I was strattling his track remember?] I would say that the 1.352 cobra had all the bite I needed in the ditches and through some stubble fields. Others commented during a round table discussion after the ride, that this wouldn't be enough track in deep snow. That maybe true in the first 100 feet or so but I'm think' in about when your up to speed in a deep stubble field, in more of a long run! I rode standing more than I usually would, the agronomics was just to inviting to sit. Sitting did get you out of the wind when it was time to relax! This machine was my first pick because I wanted to put a couple miles on a long track, but it was simply not unlike the 128 that I'm used to. I also picked this one for the tall windshield, the weather was unseasonably mild but if I wanted to be in the wind all I had to do was stand.

The ride back on the 800 Rush was good, the sled rode with out any indication that the suspension was at any time pushed to it's limits. You could tell that it was a 121 on take off, she would pull the skis, then the skis would fall back as the sled lost traction. You would likely loose a little time to the switchback at that point but once you were rolling the Rush definitely would out-pull the longer and I would of guessed heavier  Switchback. A look at the 2011 Polaris brochure and I'm puzzled......the Rush is stated to weight in at 456/210.9, the                       Switchback....457/212.7? The Polaris staff did say that some of the sleds were broken in and that some were not at this point, was that the difference? Or doe's the 144 track actually play that large a part of the difference? The Rush gave every indication that it would smack the c note and the Switchback did not! Good thing these gauge packages had push button memory because I didn't spend any time at all looking down at them while we were riding.

I have to admit I am used to a mix of digital and analog gauges and out of the corner of my eye I did miss seeing the action of the tack needle pinned up against the red line, schincronized with the action of the flipper! Hats off to Polaris for the opportunities to compare these new machines.

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