Feb. 13, 2006 – Getting an early Polaris peek
February 13, 2006
Filed under Features
Polaris Industries Inc., Medina, Minn., will give dealers and consumers an early look — and ride — on two of its 2007 models.
The demo rides will take place at 264 dealerships, snowmobile events and races starting in February and running every Friday through April, weather permitting. The first demos were scheduled to start on Feb. 1 at Marita Sea And Ski in Anchorage, Alaska, and conclude on April 10 at Sports City Cyclery in Great Falls, Mont.
The demos will feature the new 600 HO IQ and the 600 HO RMK 155. The 600 HO IQ, the replacement for the Fusion trail model, will go primarily to the Midwest and East; the RMK will be in the Western United States and Canada, and Alaska. Some models also will go to the international market, namely the Nordic countries. The amount of time each dealership has the units ranges from a couple of days up to a month. There will be 158 machines in circulation.
“We wanted to bring (demos) to the dealerships,” Tony Meirovitz, Polaris spokesman, said. “The dealer network is really important to us. We want Polaris riders to know that their dealer is there for them, if they don’t know it already, that it’s a hub for their snowmobile experience. It’s an important part of ownership experience. We wanted to involve dealers for that reason:?to reconnect with old customer and find new customers, too.”
Dealers chosen to participate provided Polaris with a plan for their demos, including the location and a description of the demo route. Participating dealers then received a “demo kit” from Polaris that included waivers, surveys and promotional materials.
“It sure beats having to go to a super sneak or mass event where you have to wait for hours and it’s a mob scene,” Meirovitz said. “This is smaller, more personal. You can talk to the dealer or your mechanic and you can share it with the people you’re comfortable with.”
Meirovitz said the pricing on these two machines has not been disclosed, and the demo units will not be for sale.
The two models chosen for demonstration are a mix of old and new. Both feature the 600 HO engine, which was released on Polaris’ 2006 models.
“A lot of the changes you see in these two machines are the results of feedback we went out and got from dealers, the press and existing Polaris riders,” Meirovitz said. “We work hard to deliver on what customers ask for.”
“The response to our new 600 HO engine this winter has been tremendous,” said Polaris Snowmobiles General Manager Eric Lindquist in a press release. “But some riders haven’t yet experienced this new level of 600-class performance. So we’re producing a limited number of these two 2007 models to give more riders the chance to experience the power and quickness of the 600 HO engine as well as get a taste of the many improvements and enhancements to two of our 2007 models.”
The 600 HO IQ is the company’s replacement for the 600 Fusion. It takes some styling cues from the RMK’s IQ platform. The sled will keep the IQ IFS front suspension, which it had on the 2006 model. Gone is the Rider Select adjustable steering column; in its place is a fixed steering post. The handlebars have a riser and hooks. The machine will still have a digital gauge package.
Other changes to the 600 HO IQ include a different ski and mounting geometry meant to increase cornering precision and reduce steering effort.
The mountain-specific 600 HO?RMK underwent a weight loss regimen this past year, resulting in a look and feel that Polaris calls “raw.”
In all, the machine lost 25 pounds through weight-cutting design. The new tunnel uses snow evacuation holes punched into the running board. Polaris said a new cooling system in the tunnel, which lacks cooling fins, can prevent up to about 40 pounds of snow and ice buildup. It also eliminated the need for a radiator.
The Series 5 deep-lug 155-inch-long track is lighter weight. There are only two rear axle wheels and the machine uses the slender Dragon seat. The Rider Select was dropped from this machine, as well.
This RMK has a new Gripper ski, which is 24 percent wider than previous Polaris mountain skis. The skis make use of the top side, with a slippery compound and traction grooves for better maneuvering in deep snow and for digging out.
Polaris’ full lineup will be released to the public following its March dealer meeting. psb
600 HO RMK
Engine: Liberty, two-cylinder, 599cc, 120 hp
Estimated dry weight: 478 pounds
Front suspension: IQ RMK Adjustable, Ryde FX shocks
Front travel: 9 inches
Rear suspension: RMK, Ryde FX front shock, Ryde AFX shock
Rear travel: 15.5 inches
Track: Series 5, 15 x 155 x 2.4 inches
600 HO IQ
Engine: Liberty, two-cylinder, 599cc,
Estimated dry weight: 475 pounds
Front suspension: IQ, Ryde FX HPG IFP shocks
Front travel: 10 inches
Rear suspension: IQ, Ryde FX HPG IFP front shock, Fox PS5 rear shock
Rear travel: 13.9 inches
Track: Shockwave, 15 x 121 x 1 inches
Graphics: Indy Red/Tribal, Black/Tribal