One of the most dominant and capable crossover sleds you can buy is the Polaris Switchback Assault. This popular line of sleds keeps expanding, with even more versions to choose from for 2016! We have the 800 & 600 engine sizes, the 1.35” Cobra track or 2.0” lug height Powder track, with or without electric start, and now for 2016 we have a Terrain Dominator Limited Edition! That gives us a total of nine different model configurations!
It makes perfect sense. Polaris has their standard Switchback Pro-S models, then there is the Pro-X and the Adventure series, all fitted with the RUSH-style rear end and progressive rate suspension and a 137” track length so they are better suited for on-trail use. When the snow gets deeper the Switchback Assault is truly the weapon of choice to go into battle. Here we find a traditional tunnel for far superior clean-out in deep snow, along with a 144” track length with your choice of 1.35” Cobra lugs or you can get 2.0” lugs as well. But wait – the best part is how the Assault is fitted with tipped up rails, so when you do ride down a forest road, or even on a packed and groomed trail, the sled will act like it has a shorter track and a shorter wheelbase so the handling remains very responsive and it takes corners far easier than a 144” track sled would without tipped up rails, with the flotation of the longer track in loose or fresh snow. It works.
That means if you are what we would consider to be a serious crossover rider, one that spends equal amount of time or miles off trail as what you do on trail, or place a far higher emphasis on deep snow capability than what the other Switchback models are capable of, then there really is only one sled for you – the Switchback Assault. The 144” long Cobra track chews up the fresh snow and spits it out, yet has excellent trail manners as well.
All of these features add up and is why Polaris calls the Switchback Assault their “Ultimate 50/50 on/off trail crossover”. This is an uncoupled skid so it does lift the skis on acceleration to get up and out of the snow, requiring a more active riding style but it drops them right back down when you cut the throttle so you can get the skis to bite for the corners. Once you understand the difference in riding styles between a coupled skid and an uncoupled one when on the trail you will find it to be a fun ride. The gearing is taller than what a true mountain sled would come with so it will wind out pretty good as well.
It comes with tall handlebars and a center grab bar, along with a suspension calibration that lets you ride it hard and put it away wet. We’re talking compression-adjustable Walker Evans shocks with piggybacks all around, needle versions up front, all calibrated aggressively. It does not get much better than this.
On trail, off trail. Fresh snow, hard trails. Boondocking, tree riding. Bumps or powder. Standing or sitting. You can get as mean as you want to on the Switchback Assault. The (125 HP) 600 retails for $11,699 and the (150 HP) 800 goes for $12,699. Adding electric start will run you an extra $770. Stepping up to the TD LE will run you $13,999, but the addition of the electric start and the wicked-cool interactive digital color gauge with GPS is worth the extra jing in our opinion, it is super trick. The 600 is red and black, the 800 comes in black and orange, and the Terrain Dominator has a unique graphic package of silver and blue on black. These are the best sleds Polaris makes for the widest range of conditions, true 50/50 crossover sleds for wherever you ride.