2018 Polaris Switchback XCR – FIRST RIDE! 2018 Polaris Switchback XCR – FIRST RIDE!
RACE READY TECHNOLOGY WITH MORE TRACTION For 2018 Polaris is following up the introduction of their popular RUSH XCR of last year with a... 2018 Polaris Switchback XCR – FIRST RIDE!


For 2018 Polaris is following up the introduction of their popular RUSH XCR of last year with a longer-tracked version – the Switchback XCR. It features the same race-bred technology as its short-track brother, but with even more traction.

The new 600 and 800 Switchback XCRs feature 137” tracks with the traditional 2.52” drive pitch for improved top speed. Both versions are equipped to deliver the ultimate Crossover performance, inspired by the durability and reliability of Polaris race sleds. With componentry proven in the Iron Dog and USXC cross-country racing, these sleds are engineered and calibrated to meet the needs of the most aggressive riders.

Polaris Race Technology equipment on these sleds includes: premium suspension and driveline components that are strong and lightweight; the PRT Brake System for outstanding braking in all riding conditions; premium, compression-adjustable Walker Evans shocks, reinforced components, and even more.

2018 Polaris Switchback XCR

Features on the 2018 Switchback XCR include;
* The AXYS Chassis that provides Rider-Balanced Control for flatter cornering, more precise handling in all conditions, and better control in big bumps and chatter bumps.

* PRO-XC Suspension with Active Pitch Control to optimize weight transfer. The progressive rate rear suspension is optimized for the best performance and Rider-Balanced Control, and it features a larger diameter Walker Evans 2.0” body front track shock that Polaris helped develop to withstand higher speeds and, with its increased oil volume, perform under higher operating temperatures, for consistent no-fade performance and durability.

* The Independent Front Suspension is equipped with Walker Evans Hi/Lo Compression Adjustable Piggyback Needle Shocks with XCR valving, giving a rider the greatest tunability to suit personal riding styles and the day’s conditions. This is as good as it gets, calibrated for ultra-high performance riders and environments.

2018 Polaris Switchback XCR

* These sleds also feature many additional race-ready components for ultimate durability, strength and performance, including: Chromoly rear pivot and front torque arm, solid bogie wheels and IQR rear axle wheels, strength-optimized, reinforced rail beams, a heavy duty front track shock mount, premium race braking system, solid “hardened” jackshaft, and an IQR handlebar atop a PRO-X Riser.

* The Polaris Race Technology (PRT) Brake System has superior components and enhanced cooling to deliver consistently outstanding performance and optimized braking in all conditions with greater durability. Specific features and benefits include; race rotor; increased surface area; ability to absorbs heat better from the brake pads; more consistent performance; even pad wear; brake scoop for increased cooling; Type 81 brake p that withstand higher temperatures with increased durability.

* The 800 Switchback XCR is powered by the proven 800 Cleanfire H.O. Engine that delivers unrivaled acceleration. It has 3-stage electronically controlled exhaust valves, an electronic oil pump that eliminates power-robbing gear drive, high-efficiency intake and exhaust, VForce Reeds for the ultimate in throttle response, a lightweight crankshaft, and grooved pistons for increased durability and engine life.

* These models also have classic, race-inspired paint, graphics, and decals. They look fast just sitting there, and with the new trick shock package you can hardly wait to climb on the machine and romp through the bumps.

Several of these special components that are stock on the XCR models are also offered as Polaris Engineered Accessories to enhance the performance and riding experience of other high-performance RUSH and Switchback models. The IQR Handlebar, IQR Axle Wheels, Pro-X Torsion Bar, and all of the XCR shocks can be fitted to the other AXYS RUSH or 137” Switchback models for extreme duty and performance.

2018 Polaris Switchback XCR

Ride Impressions
Our saddle time on the Switchback XCR was east of the Roseau factory along ditches and trails, giving us a wide variety of bumps and turns to get a good feel of the suspension and handling capabilities of the package. There are better sleds for just sitting there and motoring down a smooth trail, but there are few sleds better for really getting on it and attacking the moguls with confidence. If a whooped out ditch is your idea of fun, then you will love this sled.

The difference between a cheap snowmobile and an expensive one is typically going to due to the difference in shock packages. This is very true on the Switchback XCR, as it is fitted with a top-level shock package from Walker Evans with both high- and low-speed compression adjustability, and these are the needle shocks (front and rear) for the ultimate in tune-ability.

When you take the XCR through the bumps, it is the needle shocks that make the difference between it and the other RUSH models. The XCR is for extreme performance riders that need to dominate tough terrain at high speeds. Lighter riders will likely find the suspension to be on the firm side, so realize this is a race-ready XCR calibration, set up for serious hard core riders.

We start by dialing the clickers all the way down, and then work up as needed. In our experience the Walker Evans clicker shocks always seem to work best for us just a click or two above full soft, that way we get the most oil volume moving through the orifices. If you start to bottom anything above slight & occasional give that shock a click or two, any more than that and it will start to take away from the compliance.

2018 Polaris Switchback XCR

One of the features we really noticed was the use of the 1.35” lug height Cobra track in the XCR. This track has softer, cupped lugs that really scoop the snow and give the XCR an incredible level of traction across a wider range of snow conditions. That is the key, across many snow conditions, with a true cross country racer, not just traction on hard packed trails, but also the ability to hook up and launch in looser snow, be it chewed up or freshly fallen and deeper.

We’ve always been fans of the taller Pro-X style handlebar riser, and we get that as well on the XCR, so your aggressive riding position and ability to stand comfortably are intact, enhanced by the IQR handlebar. When riders ask us if the XCR is more like a Pro-X or a Pro-S, you have to kind of steer them into it being more like a Pro-X but with a lower track lug height so you can ride it in most any snow condition. But it is so much more than a Pro-X when we start to consider the race-bred features, but it is the shock package that makes the biggest difference.

And then there is the 800 H.O. engine. Wow, what an engine! This powerpack delivers hard-hitting midrange and has great top end as well, making the XCR flat-out a riot to ride. This powerpack has proven itself the past three years as being strong and reliable with excellent owner satisfaction. Between the shock package and the 800 H.O. you have what could easily be one of the very best sleds ever offered by Polaris.

2018 Polaris Switchback XCR

When you ride it you really cannot find fault with anything. It just plain works as a high performance sled should. It launches hard. It pulls and pulls. You can take it through the rough about as hard as you’d dare. You can rail through the corners, flat or rough, and it follows your intended line. As you pound on it and pound on it the shocks do not fade away. This is the highest-technology sled offered by Polaris, top of the food chain, as good as it gets. The 800 Switchback XCR sells for $13,799 and the 600 goes for $12,299.

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