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There have been a higher than expected number of complaints about how fast the new Polaris 600 H.O. is. A number of riders haven’t...

There have been a higher than expected number of complaints about how fast the new Polaris 600 H.O. is. A number of riders haven’t experienced the hot little 600 that was reported last spring, that their 600s are slower than expected.

On the other hand, we have many favorable reports on the 600 H.O. being a very strong and potent package, so are we all talking about the same machines or are there some that are in fact quite a bit slower than others?

We can chalk up a few of the complaints to high expectations, but there does seem to be an number of units that are not as quick as they should be. Some of the things found to be causing this are tight track tensions, rich jetting, improper drive belt fit, and new machines simply being tight.

Our Switchback 600 H.O. runs very strong, but we can tell you the OE jetting is rather rich for the warm temperatures we’ve experienced this winter. Plug color and piston inspection confirmed our suspicions, and dropping the mains from 420s to 390s makes a significant difference in performance when the temps are above zero.

Just like any other sled, the track tension is a huge factor in rolling resistance. Many dealers tighten the tracks more than they should, assuming the owner will not be checking it so as it stretches it should end up somewhere close. Right. Don’t complain about a slow sled unless you have personally verified the track is to spec, or as loose as possible without ratcheting. Of course, studded tracks must run more tension to keep from derailing, but many of these new sleds have tracks that are too tight.

Just because a sled is new doesn’t mean the drive belt and clutches are exactly as they should be. One must verify things like clutch alignment, belt deflection, ride height, and side clearance before complaining about performance.

Every year we hear of brand new sleds that are not as fast as they should be. They loosen up considerably as they break in, but any comparison to an older sled with significantly more miles on it should be done with this in mind. Again, these sleds with over 2,000 miles on them seem to be rockets. Brand new, yes, they’re tight.

The hottest ones are going to be the Fusion 600s, as the M-10 versions will suck up some of the power as will the longer tracks on the Switchbacks and RMKs. Most dyno testing indicates the 120 HP is a reality, so we need to first verify each slow one is making power, then figure out where it is going.

The air intake system is said to be restrictive on these new models as well, and you can open them up some with additional intake filters; SLP has been recommending the installation of four of their Flow Rite intake filters, two on each side of the dash, on the RMK and Switchback 600 H.O. models. Remember that the additional airflow will require appropriate main jet sizing; if you’ve already jetting it down, bring it back up to compensate. Stock sleds are really close to perfect with the addition of the increased airflow.

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