Polaris Has Some Brand New From The Ground Up Models for 05
By Scott A. Sumner
Chris Nicholson is the District Sales Manager for Manitoba and Northern Ontario Polaris Industries based in Winnipeg. slednews.com had the chance to ask him some questions about the new 05 Polaris sleds at a recent Polaris Tour.
"There are two 50th anniversary celebrations coming up this year. The first one is at Roseau and the big shing dig will be the June 19th/04 weekend. There will also be one in July 18 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds complete with big bands and a huge celebration for customers to thank everyone for making Polaris what we are today. Look for Clint Black, the Steve Miller Band, 38 Special and a lot of fun" said Chris Nicholson. "A major new sled for Polaris is the 2005 Fusion 900. It has an A arm suspension system. One of the reasons we went this way is we have an new engine design that is tilted back 22 degrees to fit it correctly. The front A arms are a different set up as well. It is zero scrub, so when you go into a corner hard it eliminates the bump steer so it squats and gives predicable handling. They have been working on this project for 4 1/2 years in R and D. This is a full year in production for consumers to get on it. They may showcase it at Haydays." said Nicholson.
"The sled is ground up new. They started with a clean piece of paper and there are four pillars they wanted to live by. The first is they wanted to design a sled that adapted to the rider versus the other way around. They wanted the 2005 Fusion 900 to be good for the tallest to shortest rider. It will adjust to a guy who is a performance rider versus a guy who like to stretch his leg outs, a everyday relaxed kind of rider. They achieved this in one way with the steering as it is tilt steering, forward and reverse with 7 positions each an inch apart. If you want to get into the bumps and moguls you have a position forward, so you are almost ready to approach any thing. You legs are more under you. Many riders are more traditional, they like the way they have ridden for the last 50 years so you can pull the handlebars right back, stretch out and work the machine, like a XC sled with awesome handling. Also they have adjusted the seat to 6 inches higher than our XC sled and two inches more forward which puts you in a perfect riding position or ergonomically correct." said Nicholson.
"The next thing was a chassis with the best features of the XC and the PRO X and then take it to the next level with the A Arms, the design of the tunnel and the rear chassis. We took out ten pounds of weight, added self piercing rivets so it is much stronger feel. It is reinforced even further than the PRO X II. The weight of the sled, even with a bigger engine, is the same weight as our XC 700 or 499 pounds. It is light, very nimble. The engine is made in the US, a LIberty. They went to direct injection which has awesome fuel efficiency and a very powerful linear range. Also they have added a few things like detonation protection so it will sense any vibration. If you are running bad gas, for example, it retards the timing and helps preserve your engine. The result is awesome linear power, great horsepower. I have ridden the prototypes in Roseau and I didnt stop smiling for a week. It's phenomenal." laughs Nicholson. The design.
"We've had good feedback from customers. They like the fit and finish, there is no exposed areas, very polished and refined. We did a lot of work putting it through wind tunnels. Polaris wanted to make sure it was one of the warmest sleds out in the field so they designed it for air flow. The shocks are Ryde Fx and you have the the option of snow checking compression adjustable Walker Evan Shocks if you want to take it to the extreme. You pop those on and you are good to go." smiles Nicholson. "We want to be sensitive to the people who loved the XC. The XC has been a top performance sled for us. The difference between the RMK version of the new Fusion is the body style, with a more sculptured look. Both sleds have the same engine. The suspension and chassis is designed for mountains. There are 151inch or 166 inch tracks with 2 inch paddle."
"I snowmobilied most of my life starting at 12 and Im now 31. I work too much but have about 1000 miles snowmobiling this year. I had a 2004 PRO X II 700, which I love and a XC 700 which Ive had for the last couple seasons, just an awesome sled. We have phased out the Pro X to simplify the line up. There is a XC, a Classic touring. and then the Fusion limited build for those who snow check. It was great year overall for all QEMs. It has been a good year. We had snow and people are out riding enthusiastically. It is our 50th year at Polaris. For snowmobiles we were the leaders." states Nicholson.