Polaris Makes It Light in 2013
by Scott A. Sumner
The big news this year at Polaris is the new RMK Pro with new running boards, belt system and the carbon structure over the motor. It is 417 pounds in a 600 or 800 engine format and the lightest in the industry.
“ We came down from 431 pounds a year ago and continue to find ways to cut weight. It is carbon fiber and finding one part to do 3 or 4 things,” said Dan Peterson, Polaris Product Line Sales Manager. “ The belt drive system alone saved us about 7 pounds getting rid of the big chain case and oil bath and oil. The belt drive system is pretty simple - a sprocket on the top and one on the bottom with a rubber belt with teeth on it. It is similar to what a chain case would look like but is only rubber on aluminum, not steel on steel, so more efficient, lighter, quieter and with less maintenance. I think it will progress into other models.”
The Rush and Switchback were new last year and are a fantastic ride. “ We bought the Indy back, our old faithful and it is getting lots of buzz. The Indy was brought back to give us a lower cost snowmobile. Technology is driving the cost up so much and we wanted to have something for the customer who don’t need everything in a sled, but still be full featured.” said Peterson.
In the last 3 or 4 years the mountain sled segment has exploded according to Peterson. “ The RMK last year was the number one selling sled. People will travel to get to the snow because they like it so much. It is fun and like an adventure.,” said Peterson. “ Polaris had a fantastic season of sales last year even with low snow. We use racing for testing braking systems different compound on tracks, spindle cases and camber angle. It has helped us to get lighter. If it works in snocross we put it in our production sleds. We are working on 2014 and 2015 sled improvements right now.”